Thursday, September 19, 2013

NEAF '13 Feature Artist: Black Marmot

Folk Rock may be a term not quite as overused as Americana, but I am going to go ahead and use it…Black Marmot plays folk rock, and do so incredibly well. Blending the best parts of story-telling folk music, with the catchiness that makes indie rock music so popular makes for a great combination. Great vocal harmonies, mixing acoustic instruments with guitar effects and drum beats give the band’s sound its signature likeable and friendly tone.

Linde Clark took some time to provide thoughtful and great answers for our questions. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate it when someone takes the time and really shows where they are coming from this blogger and music lover to a band...THANK YOU!

Check it:

1) First and foremost, who are you, what do you do? That is, what band are you in or are you
a solo artist, what have you guys been up to leading up to the festival, anything exciting we
should all know about? Your chance for shameless self promotion…go!

LC: We are Black Marmot:
Linde Clark (me) - songwriter, lead vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele.
Tim Parker - electric guitar, vocals
Mike Zartarian - bass guitar, vocals
Ryan Callahan - percussion
We have recorded two albums, “Run Home” and “The Everyday Seeker.” We regularly play
around New England from Connecticut to New Hampshire, locally in Cambridge and
Somerville, and sometimes in people’s living rooms! We call ourselves alternative folk
rock, but you can call it whatever you want. This summer has been busy and a lot of fun;
some of the highlights include opening for the great Austin band The Oh Hellos, sharing a
bill with Luddy Mussy at the Lizard Lounge, and playing a great outdoor show at the
Fruitlands Museum. In the fall, we are planning on getting back into the studio for our 3rd

2) New England Americana and the Fest firmly plant their roots and morals in “community”.
The event is a culmination of a community of musicians and artists that is going on all year.
What does that community mean to you?

LC: Growing up I have always been into local, live music (that probably comes from the fact that I
have a musical family and music has always been a part of my life.) There is nothing like finding
a great band and being able to experience a live show. It is great that you can now get your
music out there without having to be a part of a major label and you can easily make it
accessible to everyone. For whatever reasons, some communities just embrace this
americana/roots music, help it grow, support the bands, and really help promote the overall
scene. There are so many great communities in New England that do this: Boston, New London,
Portland, Providence; and we’ve had an opportunity to play in many of them.
When you are surrounded by other musicians that are writing great songs and by people that
truly enjoy hearing a new song and seeing it performed, you can’t help to be inspired to keep
doing it. It’s hard to say exactly what “roots” music is, but that is how I envision it. It’s a musical
scene that supports itself from the bottom up, that is comprised of people that are passionate
about music and by musicians that are passionate about writing a great song to share. My
songs are directly influenced by the music that I am listening to at the time, the people I am with,
and the experiences that I have. I have become a friend and fan of many New England
musicians and have met many local music lovers and in that way the roots music scene
naturally finds its way into my songs.

3) Name a record that shaped you as a musician early on. What music initially made you
want to sing, or pick up an instrument and make music?

LC: My dad always played Jethro Tull and Neil Young on guitar for me, I think that is what initially
made me want to play music, to be like him (and them). In high school I listened to a lot of Pink
Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, and Alice in Chains. I always liked writing and poetry so
adding guitar seemed like a natural choice for me. That being said, our band has so many
different musical influences. No one member has the same taste, but they all seem to overlap
somewhat which allows us to do our own thing and kind of meld all of those sounds.

4) What are you listening to now that you think folks should be aware of?

LC: Right now I am listing to a lot of Middle Brother, Midlake, Father John Misty and old Pink Floyd. I
know Ryan is very into Dub Apocalypse and John Brown’s Body. Mike is a huge Wilco fan and
Tim… who knows what Tim is listening to.

5) Music festivals, in general, are fairly well known for surprise sit ins, improvisational jams
and collaborations. If you could see any two of this year’s acts collaborate on stage at this year’s
NEA Festival, who would you like to see?

LC: I would love to see Dietrich Strause rock some honky tonk rock and roll with Girls, Guns, and

6) Why is creating music important to you? Why do you pick up your instrument and write
songs? Why do you play that dive bar on a Thursday night? What keeps you going?

LC: We are all friends in Black Marmot, we have fun together on stage and off, and we all love
playing. It is easy to keep playing as a band when you get along so well and have fun doing it.
As for writing songs, I have always been into music and writing. Before Black Marmot, I wrote
songs for my friends and myself without ever playing them out. I couldn’t imagine not creating
music now because it just seems like a natural outlet for me.

Black Marmot will be kicking it at Tommy Doyle's at 7 PM on Saturday night. Get there early for these guys!

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