WRSU Assistant Music Director Danielle Ciampaglia had a chance to chat with the dreamy, L.A. based band The Marías before their Philly show in July. They got to talking about tour bus life, branding versus identity, and dream set designs. To hear the full interview, click below! To see concert photos, scroll all the way down.
Danielle: What was your biggest lesson starting out that now you know going forward?
Josh: Take your time. Even though that’s kind of, not – what I’m trying to say is don’t rush into it. Because what happened with us is that we didn’t rush into it, in fact like the first six months of being a band was just rehearsals. Working out the kinks and we would do it a few times a week, I think. We just wanted to really make sure everything was ready to go before we released something. Well, I guess we had already released “I Don’t Know You” but before we did our first show.
María: Yeah I remember Eddie once saying that we’re doing a photo shoot before we play our first show, and I was like “it’s true,” you know. We’ve got to practice, we’ve got to have everything ready before our first show. So that’s what we tried to do.
Josh: Yeah, and it’s also not just about the music too. You know, the music is very important but the visuals. Especially nowadays, when Instagram is extremely, extremely popular, and not just a number. Those fans actually do show up to shows. It’s about engagement and also enjoying yourself. Even when you may feel down, or you may feel uninspired. You just find something to inspire yourself.
María: It’s also a lot more – I mean I definitely anticipated it to be a lot of hard work – but I think none of us anticipated the amount of hard work and sacrifice that we would have to put into the project. And if someone would’ve told me three years ago, if I still would’ve done it? Yeah, I still would have done it, but I probably would’ve been more prepared mentally. Yeah.
Danielle: If you get signed in the future, are you worried about creative control or lack of creative control?
Josh: Yeah. If we ever sign that would be the number one thing, maintaining creative control. But I think most labels nowadays understand that because there’s a lot of DIY musicians who record on their own and have that pretty much on lock. I mean Paul Cherry as well, he does everything in his basement like we do in our living room. I think just, labels understand that now. But it’s still obviously a number one worry.
Danielle: I know you guys are super active on social media a lot. Is there a specific message that you’re trying to get across with your music videos? Or with your social activism that you [María] do a lot. How much of that plays into your branding as a band?
María: I don’t see it so much, especially the activism part, so much as branding as it is just like something that I’ve always found really important and that I’ve always done ever since I had social media. To like spread awareness about things that I really believed in. And I think now that we’ve been really blessed and given a platform that people actually pay attention to, I think if you have that, then you should raise awareness on things that are just humanitarian. Whatever politics you believe in just from the bottom, just what is best for humans and animals. Humans are animals. I think its not part of our brand but something that’s our duty to do.
Josh: “Our brand” to us at least is not a brand. We stay very true to ourselves and what we believe in and what we like. If we like something, it’s on-brand. If we don’t like something, it wouldn’t be on brand because it wouldn’t fit everything else that we’ve liked.
Danielle: I think brand was the wrong word. I was going more for identity.
Josh: Right. In the music business, you just hear the word “brand” tossed around a lot, and I understand why, you know? To not us, it is kind of a brand because it is like an aesthetic. Identity is a great word, yeah.
The Marías have two EP’s, Superclean Vol. I and Superclean Vol. II. Check out concert photos below! (Thank you to Tim W. Smith for audio editing help.)