Steven Marcus

Monday, December 29, 2014

By Kate Kinder 
Editor in Chief 

Mr. Steven Marcus of San Antonio, Texas is the guitar player for William Clark Green! His hobbies include anything outside, he is a big movie buff and a Star Wars fanatic!

Are you currently touring? If so with who? 

"Yes, I am currently touring playing lead guitar with William Clark Green."

Have you toured with other bands? If so with who?

"Will was the first road gig I picked up out of college and that was just over 3 years ago."

When and why did you start playing?

"I started playing guitar when I was 15."

Which instruments do you play?

"I previously played violin and trumpet through grade school. I have always lived playing piano although I'll be the first to admit I am not proficient at it."

What drives your passion?

"There is something about playing music that while you're in the moment, nothing else exists or matters. That's a great thing. There's a lot of bullshit to deal with in life and I believe everybody needs help coping with it. Playing guitar is my way of doing that. Also, listening to great music. Hearing something and thinking "Wow, I wish I could play something or write something half that good.". Being inspired by other artists and players is definitely something that stokes my fire. I'm lucky enough to play in a scene that allows me to watch a lot of live performances that do just that to me."

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?

"In terms of writing guitar parts, It's all about the song. Any guitar part I come up with has to compliment the particular tune. My job as the lead guitar player is fill space and be tasteful. When the solo comes around then it's all guns blazing. On the other hand I have been writing songs ever since I picked up a guitar 10 years ago. In that case I generally draw on personal experience as far as lyrics go and then put those lyrics to a guitar riff or chord progression or combination of the two that have been rattling around in my brain for a few months or years. I don't have a very quick turn around on my own songs."

What was the first songs you learned?

"It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with the guitar when I first started. So being a typical 15 year old, the first songs I learned were Back in Black and You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC. Angus Young is still a favorite Guitarist of mine. I eventually found my way to Stevie Ray Vaughan and new I wanted to be a blues guitarist. Blues being the foundation of all modern day music and the foundation of my personal style has definitely been advantageous to me in a lead guitarist role."

Is your family musical?

"Yes, my father has a good ear for music and brought me up on a lot of great music. One year for Christmas he gave me a Dire Straits record. I was pretty young at the time and I wasn't too thrilled about it. A few years later though I found it lying around and started listening to it. The bands front man, Mark Knopfler is still to this day one of my top ten favorite guitar players. I also have a cousin that is a classical and jazz saxophone player and a second cousin who goes by the name of Ryan Bingham."

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

"All time favorite guitar player is Stevie Ray. No one has ever matched the intensity the man played with. It's almost not Human. 

All time favorite band is The Allman Brothers Band. Why? Because The Allman Brothers Band, that's why."

Which famous musicians have you learned from?

"Too many to name. I'm a sponge when it comes to that sort of thing. I'm lucky to grow up in a day and age that I can do a you tube search for just about anything. I have spent countless hours watching concerts and learning licks. Watching how they played and how they acted and how they dressed. I guess I would have been luckier to grow up in the 60's and 70's and actually attended these concerts and say I learned how to play Hendrix's Star-Spangled Banner after witnessing it at Woodstock. But I'll take having that video at my fingertips too."

What are your fondest musical memories? 

"This summer I got to play in Europe for the first time. I was fresh off a broken wrist recovery which made it that much better. It was the trip of a lifetime plain and simple. Being able to tour other countries, thousands of miles from home playing electric guitar. That's a bucket list item I can happily check off. Hell these past three years playing with Will and the guys. I've made so many great memories and made some of the best friends of my life."

Were you influenced by old records & tapes? 

"Absolutely. Like I stated earlier I owe most of that to my father. He's the one who introduced me to so many artists and bands. I remember finding Eat A Peach by the Allman Brothers in his record collection when I was younger. Like I said they are my favorite band. My Dad also took me to my first concert which was a Steely Dan concert and it was bad ass."

Who are your favorite musicians? 

Jimi Hendrix
Allman Brothers
Freddy King
Albert King 
B.B. King
Tom Petty/ Mike Campbell
Eric Clapton
Derek Trucks
Mark Knopfler
John Mayer
I could go on but those are most of my favorites!"

What is a typical week like for you?

"I try to take as much down time as possible while off the road. I try to eat healthy and exercise to offset the inevitable unhealthiness of the road. 
In other words, I'm boring during the week."

What's your favorite thing about being on the road? 

"Having a great time with my best friends!"

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?

"When we were recording Rose Queen a couple years back in Nashville we all went out and drank two for one beers at a bar there called Three Crow. We ordered some hot wings to go before the bar closed and headed back to our buddy Ross Cooper's place who was putting up the whole band for the week at his house. We got back and we all got into the hot wings we had ordered. We were all just shooting the shit and drunk munching when I noticed that our drummer at the time, Jay, whose face was covered in buffalo sauce was disposing of his chicken wing bones between the cushions of Ross's couch. Everyone else caught on to it and it was the funniest thing we'd ever seen. He wasn't intentionally being disrespectful or a slob, we were all just out of our gourds and in his mind at the time it made perfect sense to put chicken bones in a couch. It was hilarious."

Best place to eat while on the road? 

"Deep Dish Pizza in Chicago!"

What's the best town play in?

"Lubbock at the Blue Light is always a good time. 
Also, Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. "

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?

"This same advice was given to me in my formative years and it definitely helped. Play as much as possible. Gig as much as possible. Tune as much as possible. As far as getting better gigs. The only way to get there is by playing smaller gigs and honing your skills and building a fan base. "

Thank you so much Steven! 

Xxx West Texas Sweetheart

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