From Scotland, I bring you The Mars Patrol. This was a great interview. I caught up with Davina, Stephen and Ross from the band last week to talk about the music scene in their hometown, their music and just about everything else. Give their website a look and their music a listen. You’ll be happy you did. http://www.themarspatrol.com
How is everyone today?
Davina Hi fine thanks for asking.
Ross Good yeah.
Would you introduce yourselves to the reader and tell us what instrument you play?
Davina I am Davina Divine and I sing in The Mars Patrol..
Ross I’m Ross Nelson and I play guitar and sing backing vocals.
Stephen I’m Stephen Parker, I funk da bass and sing backing vocals.
When did The Mars patrol form? Give us a bit of history if you would.
Davina The band formed in 2004 as an acoustic duo, Ross and I started writing and touring together. It all went well and so we began to put our band together and here we are.
Where is the band from exactly?
Ross We are all from Edinburgh, Scotland.
How is the musical climate there these days? Is there a booming local music scene?
Ross There is a scene here, as far as I know it’s mainly heavy rock. We have been so busy and I haven’t had too much time to check it out.
Stephen I think we’ve found that the music seen in our neighboring city, Glasgow, is a bit more evident. A lot of big bands play there and there are some cool places to play, so it’s handy living near there.
When was the band’s first show live together?
Ross The first full band show was back on May 20th, we played in our home town. It was a great show actually, good fun. Having the power on stage with the bass and drums definitely gave it a good kick.
Stephen Yeah I think it gave people something more concrete to grasp and get into.
Looking back, how did that show go in your mind? Was there nervousness and tension that goes along with a premier performance or was it pretty much a breeze?
Stephen It was kind of a relief to hear some of the great songs that Davina and Ross had written come together in the form they were written for.
Ross I think we were all pretty sure of what we were doing so it was more fun than anything else.
Davina Loved it! Being able to rock out with a full band was long overdue.
Talk about the band’s name. Who came up with it and what’s the story behind it?
Ross Well ‘Mars Patrol’ is my Grandfather’s name, so we just added the ‘The’ to the beginning and the rest is history.
Stephen Ah, good old Poppa Patrol…
Say hi to Poppa for me. Who are some of your musical influences?
Davina There are so many to mention, how long have I got!? Probably an early main influence was my Dad, he was a folk musician…meaning regular sing-a-longs in the house!
Ross I like everything, even the stuff I dislike influences me. I grew up listening to a lot of classic and glam rock…mmm spandex.
Stephen Anything with soul in it really. I grew up listening to Paul Simon and Dire Straits, so I had a pretty good start I think!
So in 2004, Your song “Sanitize” beat out 500 acts and landed the number one spot on a Chicago radio station.
Davina We were so amazed and grateful, I was really pleased that our music was being aired and enjoyed thousands of miles away from home.
Stephen Yeah, it’s nice to know that people so far away can be on the same wavelength as us. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Like Christmas.
Ross Of course, it’s great to have people into our music, especially when it’s somewhere we had never been!
What made the band go from an acoustic duo to a full four piece band?
Davina Ross and I have played together for some time now and it was only a matter of time before we wanted to expand, it’s simple evolution really…
Ross Good answer.
Stephen Nah, they just needed some better looking members to boost their image.
What has the reception toward the band been like so far here in the States?
Ross The reception has been amazing, I just can’t wait to do more touring. I want to travel to more states next time and be there longer.
Stephen We’ve always been big fans of the music scene in America and I think we’re all excited to be exploring it some more.
Where has the most memorable live show happened for the band thus far?
Stephen My favourite show so far was in King Tut’s in Glasgow. It’s a pretty popular venue with a good rep and everything just seemed to come together for us there. The place was packed and I could see people smiling and nodding their heads, it was a pretty good feeling.
Davina As the duo, we had a launch party for the E.P. This was a great show with a good vibe, the venue was filled with tables and chairs and candles all around.
As the full band, probably King Tuts too, there was a lot of good energy around that night. There is more to come!
Ross For me, there has been more than one occasion and they are all memorable for different reasons. When we played in Seattle in April 2005 I felt like we had accomplished something…it was our first time in the US and it was the last show of the tour, great feeling. Stuff like that stands out for me.
Are you currently working on a new album?
Davina Ross and myself are always writing new material. We have written lots of songs together now and I think we have more than enough to put together an album.
Ross Yeah, we are working on some recordings right now…there will be some great new tracks on their way soon so keep an eye out for us.
When will we see that released?
Ross As early as possible in 2006.
Congratulations on the new website too. It looks amazing.
Ross Cool, glad you like it.
Davina Yeah we are pleased with the new look site, it’s nice to have a slick and easy-to-navigate website for people to access from all over the World.
Stephen We are definitely happy with it.
What CD’s of other bands are you currently enjoying these days?
Ross ‘White Butterfly’ by InMe and ‘In Love & Death’ by The Used. Those are two great albums.
Stephen ‘Room for Squares’ by John Mayer and ‘Stand up’ by The Dave Matthews Band.
What band would you like to see yourself opening for if the opportunity presented itself?
Davina Oh wow, now that is a good question, maybe someone like Juliette & the Licks. We went to see them in the Edinburgh festival this year and they kicked ass.
Ross Good question, I dunno, there are so many. I’d like to hear what fans would say actually. I will play anywhere with anyone. Give me a stage and I’ll play it.
Stephen Um, I’d like to open for John Mayer or Ben Harper.
Is there anything else that you’d like to promote that we haven’t touched on?
Ross Yeah I have a new fragrance for men coming out in all major stores called, ‘Invisible’.
Stephen It’s a subtle perfume, but it stings the nostrils.
Davina On a serious note boys, we got a new shop online, check it out.
Ha ha ha!! Alrighty, so what advise do you have for a new band that’s looking to get where you are by now?
Davina I would say just keep your head above the water.
Ross Sleep your way to the top if you have to! Just kidding.
Stephen Keep watching the skies!
I’m looking forward to seeing you live in Boston soon. Any plans to tour this area in the future?
Davina We would love to come back out to the States, we had such a great time on our last tour J
Ross Oh yeah, we will be back before you know it, can’t wait!
Stephen OU.S.A! U.S.A!
Awesome! Did you enjoy the interview?
Davina Yes, thanks a lot for talking with us.
Ross Of course, always a pleasure.
Stephen I’m very aroused.
You guys have been fun. Any final thoughts or words for the reader before we wrap up?
Ross Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.
Stephen God bless us, everyone.
Davina Thanks for checking us out, hopefully we’ll see you soon.
I wish you all the best of luck, thanks for talking with us and we’re looking forward to a live performance soon. Take care.