Interview Marlon Chaplin

Have you heard of the music of Marlon Chaplin? No? Then let me introduce you to this talented musician and I will share with you why I think you need his music in your collection. This Toronto born musician/songwriter/producer is no stranger to the world of music as he co-wrote in the pop/rock band Broken Bricks. Marlon has now decided to create his own sound by releasing his debut EP ‘Wanderer By Trade’. But before I share my thoughts on this, I want to talk a little more about Marlon Chaplin who was happy to get involved with this feature by answering some questions that I had for him. This is what he had to say:

Was there a moment or someone that inspired you to become a musician?

Hearing Strawberry Fields Forever through a big old 70’s sound system when I was about 12 was the first time I remember music moving me in a deep, deep way. It was like some awakening. That, and when I became obsessed with the Who’s Quadrophenia shortly after. Those were button moments where I knew unequivocally I wanted to do what these people had done.

Once this decision was made, were there any musicians who help influence your the music and the type of sound you have created?

I was raised on Tom Waits, The Kinks, Bob Dylan, Oasis and Roger Miller among others. You can find elements of all those artists in my music in one way or another. My sound is ever evolving. I don’t like to stick with one genre. It’s all me, but why contain yourself? People have told me it’s not smart marketing to jump around styles like I do, that to establish a solid fan base you need to carve out an identity. Well, I have enough of an identity and that way of thinking is disrespectful to the audience. It makes them sound dumb, which they’re not. I’m not Arianna Grande.

 

For new fans out there, what have you released so far?

As far as projects I’ve written for, I’ve released two records and a single with a former band I shared songwriting duties in called Broken Bricks and I’ve just released my debut EP Wanderer By Trade, available on iTunes, CD Baby, Google Play and Spotify.

From these releases which are your top 2 favourite songs and why?

Just for today I’ll say Skeleton Key, from Wanderer By Trade and Boom which appears on both Broken Bricks records, albeit different recordings. Skeleton Key, because I like the way it moves. It has an interesting structure and the musicians I played with murdered the session. Boom is just a well crafted, sturdy pop song. It stands up in any weather.

What is the important part to your writing process and what helps you get passed that dreaded writers block?

It’s all important. People say Bob Dylan is all about the lyrics, but Duane Eddy made an instrumental covers album of his material. If I’m sitting down writing a song, every angle, every aspect of it is important to me. It’s important that I have a spark that makes me want to see something to completion, which could just be a simple melody floating around in my head. I wrote a song recently called A Single Drop that way. In the morning I had a little music box line in my head. By that night the entire song was written and demoed. I’ve gone through periods where I don’t write for a while, it doesn’t bother me though. You just have to let it come when it comes, plus I’ve got enough material for four albums at this point. I’m like a squirrel.

What can fans expect from your shows?

Passion. Raw energy. No frills.

Talking about your shows. What are your essentials when living life on the road between shows?

A working vehicle, an abundance of music options and good company!

If there was a movie to be made about you and your music, who would you choose to play you and why?

I’d campaign to play myself, sort of like Adam West did when the Michael Keaton Batman was being made. The whole thing would be really awkward, and I’d be too old for the part and too out of touch to realize how uncomfortable I’m making everybody.

What are your future plans and goals for your music?

I want it to reach the masses because it’s good enough to. I don’t put anything out I’m not 100% behind and that’s because I owe it to the audience. If you don’t believe in your own work, you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Really, move over. For the immediate present, I just want every release to be moving forward, progressing, bringing something new to the table. And with the new single I have coming out, an A Side/B Side 45, I’ve done that.

Finally, is there anything you like to say to any new listeners out there or maybe to any of your fans who are reading this?

We’re just getting started. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on the journey with me so far, but this is just the beginning.

‘Wander by Trade’ EP offers the listener a sound that is Americana meets folk with a slight indie edge which results in a very cool sound. This is all delivered by Marlon and an amazing group of musicians including Neil Quin of Zeus on electric guitar, Galen Pelley of The Treasures, and James McKie of Jerry Leger and the Situation. With so many different instruments on show it is the use of the fiddle that stands out the most for me which gives this EP a retro feel (check out the song ‘In Stars’ which is a great example of this).

Lyrically is where this release shines which Marlon says ‘explores themes of disconnect, the inner turmoil of being your own worst enemy when it comes to matters of the heart and the dichotomy of reconciling two human desires often at odds with one another; autonomy and connection‘. I love the storytelling quality he offers with each song that is shared by his unique vocal style which at times reminds me of Jack White (when he performs acoustic tracks). No song shows of this talents more than my favourite song ‘Family of Three’. This epic story takes you on a journey over 7 minutes long that changes tempo to fit each chapter of its story with a delicate vocal style that is so enthralling. I never get tired of listening to this one, its so good.

‘Wander by Trade’ is a release which each song gives you a different story but maintains an impressive songwriting standard. All I can say is give it a listen in full by visiting his Soundcloud page (click HERE). If you like what you hear and want to add the music of Marlon Chaplin to your collection then it can be purchased from the usual online stores of iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.

Marlon has just released his latest single called ‘Annabelle + Someone’ which has a different feel from what he gave us on his debut EP. This song has more of an indie rock sound which took a few listens to appreciate as I have got used to the type of sound he offered from his EP. I am already looking forward his next release called ‘Fossils’ which is just around the corner. I advise you jump onto his social media sites (Facebook & Twitter) to find out exactly when this is due for release. These are also great places to connect with Marlon as well as find out about his upcoming shows. All this information can be found on his website at MarlonChaplin.com.

I will be spreading the word about the music of Marlon Chaplin and if you like what you hear then you should do the same. Supporting the music that matters to us means we can help musicians like Marlon grow which means more music. It’s a win/win for us all. So go on, spread the word today!