Birthed and raised nearly three decades ago in a distilled northern Ontario version of Twin Peaks called Espanola, the always glittery Kurt Marble creates musical concoctions that might be described as a volatile fusion of nu-garage, psychedelia, experimental, and indie rock. Deriving influences and styles from the likes of of Sabbath, T. Rex, Pinkerton-era Weezer, Mac Demarco, and The Flaming Lips, Kurt’s unforgettable soundscapes draw you in and don’t let go. With one EP entitled ‘Notes‘ already under his belt, Kurt is now poised to unleash a new EP to the world, entitled ‘Friend Of Mine’. Both of his releases were written, performed, recorded, mixed and produced by Kurt. Along with sharing the music video premiere of ‘Friend of Mine’ cut ‘Laura’s House’, we also probed Kurt’s thoughts employing an array of titillating and oddball questions that are sure to brighten up your day.
You grew up in a super small town and later transplanted yourself to Ontario’s capital city, Toronto. What do you miss about small town life?
In the city, there are always a thousand events per night. It can be difficult to get a large group of your peers together on your one night off. Too many events to choose from, and not everyone wants to go to the same event. Espanola had most everyone at the same party most every time.
Although, I left Espanola when I was 19, so maybe what I truly miss is being young.
What are you glad to be rid of?
The smell. The paper mill in town would create some real narsty stank. Also, the boredom. We made our own fun, but sometimes I just wanna be entertained.
What’s so great about the T-Dot?
It’s a bigger city. That’s all. I’m sure I’d be just as happy in Seattle or Halifax or whatever.
I suppose I stay here because I’ve made me some friends I couldn’t bare to say goodbye to. Also, the best bands I couldn’t bare to say goodbye to.
What could you do without?
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, think happy thoughts, describe them to us
Trail Mix. Coffee. Naps. Nightmare the video board game. Being the little spoon. Budweiser tall cans. Shredding the perfect solo. Little birds. Puppers. Critical hits.
All of that in random sequence.
Close your eyes, pinch your cheeks real hard, think crummy thoughts, let’s have em
No need to close my eyes or pinch my cheeks.
I just go on Facebook and see the racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic ext. and feel like trash. Especially when it’s shared by old classmates or family members.
When we listen to your music it’s hard not to imagine extra-terrestrial prehistoric landscapes filled with sub-human creatures co-existing peacefully alongside giant gaseous multi-coloured beasts. Was this your intent?
No! These are Earth songs. Don’t you ever make that mistake again!
Today you’re premiering your music video for ‘Laura’s House’ with us. It was directed by Mike Pereira and we’d interpret it as a lo-fi adventure through space and time that is the stuff of VHS fever dreams. How is our interpretation? Can you tell us more about the video’s significance?
Basically, Mike came up to me after a show and suggested doing a video where I’m jogging to the music.
The original intent for the video was for me to jog on a treadmill in front of a green screen and also through back alleys in the city, but the footage was to shaky, so in the end I just jogged in place. This was equally difficult as I am very much out of shape.
As for the space and time aspect, that is all Mike and his magical brain. He has heaps of cool footage of lasers and lights that he super imposes onto other cool lights and lasers and objects. He’s a wizard.
Describe the feeling of jogging through space and time?
It’s a marathon, not a race.
It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey.
Hold on to your butts.
If you could jog through time, past, present, or future, where would you go?
Wait, one of the options here is to jog through the present?
Maybe I’ll do that. My future self will be thankful that my past self jogged in the present.
When I’m quite ill with the flu I enjoy binge watching old episodes of Full House or Futurama to cope with the pain. What is your go-to TV for those fleeting moments between barfs?
Cheers. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just simple and lovable and laugh out loud funny. Every character is relatable, even when they’re being a twurp.
Most conflicts within the episode never get resolved by the end, but instead become the final punchline. Its not serialized, the plots aren’t important, the jokes are great. It’s an easy show to watch, even while barfing.
What can you tell us about Glitter Jesus?
Glitter Jesus was a jukebox musical I wrote with my band about myself, Kurt Marble, becoming a cult leader.
It starts out as a fun rock and roll sermon, but the more you hear about the religion, the more ridiculous and convoluted my story becomes. In the end, it’s clear that I have daddy issues and want everyone to give up there day jobs to follow me.
It’s obviously a work of fiction. I mean, that’s not really who I am. Not even close, right? Guys? Right?
Do you use bio-degradable sparkles?
My friend Roxanne Ignatius, the set/costume/everything designer for the Glitter Jesus show, made me some gold glitter using shea butter and gold dust. I’m assuming it’s real gold.
Can we anticipate any future stage personas?
I have no plans to do so, but knowing myself, I would assume that there will be plenty more.
‘Laura’s House’ is from your new EP ‘Friend of Mine’. You’ve mentioned the songs came from a place of bitterness and gratefulness. Do you often rely on feelings as a catalyst for your art?
I suppose I do. I’m not usually conscious of the fact that I’m writing songs about recent life events or feelings. They just kinda come out that way.
I typically have place holder lyrics that end up staying in the song because they’re so authentic, then it’s a matter of convincing myself that it’s not to cheesy to sing about my feelings.
If ‘Notes’ is your more lethargic more gutteral musical baby offspring, describe your ‘Friend of Mine’ musical baby offspring for us
“Friend of Mine” is more tense and uneasy. When recording it, I tried my best to keep to harshest takes (within reason) because that’s how they’re meant to be heard. Harshly.
You are a multi-instrumentalist as well as a multi-linguist with the ability to speak French and English. As a lover of pasta, I have to ask, are you also a multi-linguineist?
I have almost completely lost the ability to speak French. I’m so out of practice.
Therefor, I can only like one linguini. Does that answer your weird question?
What is your favourite kind of Mustard?
Prepared. Not the powder.
Why did your mom shave your head?
I allowed Mother to shave my head because I forgot to call her on her birthday. I am a bad son sometimes.
She had always hated my long greasy mop. So it was a belated birthday gift for Mother.
Sometimes when we see bands that are not your own, you play drums for those bands too. Who have you drummed for? What are the pros and cons of being a replacement drummer?
I currently drum for a band called Grounders, a band called Tails and a solo artist named Anamalia.
I’ve replacement drummed for Blond Elvis, Germaphobes, Ducks Unlimited, and Thick Shakes to name a few.
I’ve been told that once I drum in your band, you instantly become a punk band. That’s because I’m loud and sloppy at it.
The pros are simple. It’s fun to play music with friends/new friends.
The cons are simple. You don’t want to blow it for your new friends at there show.
Sometimes when we watch music videos from bands that are not your own, we see you in those videos. Whose music videos have you been in? How’d you land those gigs? How can we make friends?
As far as I know, I’m only in one video.
That’s Twist’s video for Can’t Wait. Check it out!
Also, a band I love from Toronto called Bueller shot some footage for a video with my mug in it, but I’m not sure if they’re gonna use it.
These are simply my pals bands. Make friends by going to see cool bands and shake there hands. Firmly.
Sometimes when we attend your live performances we partake in too much of the drink and don’t remember seeing you perform at all and wake up beside a dumpster missing a shoe. Do you ever forget performing and wake up beside a dumpster missing a shoe?
I have, on more than one occasion, blacked out prior to performing.
Luckily, I have a support system of enablers that insure that I arrive home safely. At that point, I typically wake up next to my trash can missing a sock.
What’s that childhood toy you’ve always regretted trashing?
The Ninja Turtles pizza thrower. My sisters made for good target practice.
If we were Nardwuar we’d have one for you… but we’re not Nardwuar, so here’s a YouTube clip of one.
Friend of Mine EP release show at Handlebar Toronto on April 1st with non other than Blond Elvis and Ducks Unlimited.
For any future dates just check out my Facebook.
Let’s talk about music some more, what’s something old you love?
Pony from Toronto
Wanna draw us a picture in MS Paint?
I do. Very much so, but I’m a mac user now.
We have your retro winter snowsuit you asked us for three years ago. Where should we send it?
Sent it to Mother. She’ll know what to do with it.
My sister wants her accordion back. How can we make that happen?
Does she really? Because it’s been taking up space at my apartment for ages.
Again, I’ll send it to Mother. She’ll know what to do.
What’s your favourite YouTube video of all-time?
It changes all the time!
Hmmm…one that I still like to this day is this one:
Again, not of all time, just one from a while ago that I still like.Add to favorites