Marianne’s Wish Talks Music, SXSW & Working with Tommy Lee

Marianne'sWishAn alternative/experimental/rock band that was formed in 2011 by members Francois Micheletto (Vocals), Chris J. (Drums) and George Solonos (Guitarist/Producer), Marianne’s Wish has been playing shows around the world ever since, with plans to perform in Athens “very soon.” Everyone in the band has Greek-Cypriot roots, most of them with dual-nationalities: Francois is Greek-French, George is Greek-Australian, and Chris is Greek-Canadian.

Their debut album, Add to Wishlist, was released in February 2012, and their follow-up album, Mind Your Head, is scheduled for release this year. Along the way, the band has collaborated with bassist Taf while recording both albums, and they also participated on four tracks of fellow Greek Tommy Lee’s Methods of Mayhem album.

With shows coming up in Austin, Texas at the popular SXSW Festival (March 13), Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory (March 7), and the Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood (March 19) alongside Mike Tramp from White Lion and John Corabi from Mötley Crüe, Marianne’s Wish is busier than ever. Appearing as a five-member group on-stage, the band is welcoming bassist Antonis Loizides and guitarist Constandinos Amerikanos to their most recent shows.

Ahead of their trip to Cyprus this week, Greek Reporter caught up with Marianne’s Wish to talk about their music and upcoming performances, as well as some of the band’s most interesting experiences — including sharing the stage with rockers like Thessaloniki-born heavy metal guitarist Gus G.

First of all, I have to ask — how did you come up with the name “Marianne’s Wish” for the band?
Now that is a good question and one we’re asked very often, but I’m afraid the answer to that is personal. Then again, you’ll be happy to know we’ve agreed to reveal this on our very last album.

Why the decision to play alternative/experimental/rock music?
It wasn’t really a decision. When we write music, we never really think of the genre — or sub-genre if you will — or target an audience like they probably do in any contemporary music school. We only have fun creating something that comes out naturally from within, and I guess we are lucky that people are relating to it and embracing it.

Who are some of your influences?
Funny enough, our influences range from Led Zeppelin to Dubstep music. Listening to both our albums carefully, someone can spot many different elements from a lot of different eras in time. We try to compose as freely as possible, and that means that anything can come up as we are all very open-minded listeners. As a producer of course, I always make sure to transform all these different elements and fit them to the sound of the band.

You’re playing in Cyprus this week on February 27. Any more plans to play in Greece?
Yes. We are hosting our official second album release at Savino in Larnaca on the 27th. And yes, playing in Greece is definitely in our near-future plans. We will be playing in Athens very soon; the tour date section on our website will be updated as soon as we have confirmed dates, so watch this space! We were also recently invited to Salonica for a TV appearance and radio interviews so a live performance is due there as well!

What’s the difference in terms of crowd reaction between playing in Greece/Cyprus or anywhere else in the world?
The audience is always different regardless of location. Sometimes you may have to perform a show in front of what is thought to be a very difficult audience, and by the end of the show get everyone up and jumping. You never know what you’re gonna get whether you’re home or away. Whatever the case, the idea is to always give out your 100% and be there, in the moment with the people to be able to share something together.

How did it come about for the band to perform at SXSW this year?
We are all very excited and really looking forward to it! We have been invited to perform there by New York based record company The End Records. The End has an official showcase at SXSW every year, and this year we are there with four more bands including Rich Robinson from the Black Crowes.

What can people expect from going to see a Marianne’s Wish performance?
No show is ever the same, really. That’s the beauty of it and what we enjoy the most. But if you really want to find out, I guess you’ll have to come and see for yourself!

Any interesting experiences the band has had that you can share?
Everyday is an interesting experience when you love what you are doing. We try to keep it that way…try to keep the fire burning. As far as collaborations are concerned, so far we’ve had to the pleasure of sharing the stage with Doug Aldrich from Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist Gus G., the Tommy Lee project and many others.

What was it like working on Tommy Lee’s Methods of Mayhem album?
Actually, Chris J. and I had loads of fun sending parts back and forth and creating music with Tommy Lee and Scott Humphrey. It was also a great honor to be part of the Methods of Mayhem album. This video sums up the whole experience:


What’s next for the band? 
Given the fact that we have just released our second album, we are planning to book shows in central Europe and perhaps the UK to promote it. New music videos are coming up soon as well, of course.

As for the band’s goals, we are just enjoying the process and that is good enough to get you up in the morning. Being at the top of a mountain might be great, but all the fun is in climbing it.

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