Bloody Marble Collective

MaineList Article: Bloody Marble Collective

The Bloody Marble Collective

The Bloody Marble Collective is a Biddeford / Saco based band which emerged about a year ago. The band members have had several previous experiences together in slightly difference variations. For example; Eric, Ryan and Jeff were all once part of a Southern Maine original band named “Rubber Log”. Eric and Ryan have been jamming together on and off for the past 20 years in bands such as; “Rubber Log”, “Ugly Needs A Mirror”, and “Electric Sky Church” to name a few. Meanwhile Jeff and Jonas have also had over a decade of previous experiences working together as musicians. It’s interesting to see two pairs of musicians with completely different stories merge into a union of four individuals who have all somehow been playing together since they began as teenagers long ago.

Introduction

The Band Room
The Riverdam Mills in Biddeford sets the perfect environment for bands, especially those bands who grind out heavy handed chords and pounding rhythms. I’ve seen many band-rooms, and bands are usually pretty good about giving their home-away-from-home an appeal that matches their own personality or charisma.

As I walked down the old industrial hallways towards the band’s practice room, I could hear them in the distance. Echoes of an unfamiliar tune meandering softly in the halls, reverberating off of the thick brick walls that outline the old mills, becoming louder as I approached my destination. The double doors that opened into the room presented memories of the past as I realized they are occupying the same exact band room that David’s Playground rented back in their day. I pushed hard on the doors and invited myself in.

I felt immediately welcome as I looked around the room. There were plenty of couches with tables for drinks, a refrigerator that has been in that band room for as long as I can remember, and hundreds of familiar band fliers from the past including those of “David’s Playground”, “Uncle Jack”, “6gig”, “Levy”, “Puzzleface”, “Twitchboy”, and a few bands from outside of Maine too like; “Orange Eye” from New Orleans and “Cheerleadr” from Boston all plastered along the walls and fridge. There were dozens of other stickers for guitar strings, amplifiers, radio stations, and other musical memorabilia too. The stickers and posters really helped set an ambiance for the room, which gave me things to look at as I strolled around the room listening to their practice session.

As I look around the room, I saw a lot of classic band posters from the late 60’s to the early 80’s such as “T-Rex”, “Kiss”, Judas Priest”, “Eric Clapton”, “AC-DC”, “Pantera”, “Hendrix”, “Beatles”, “Stevie Ray Vaughn”, and even a few newer bands like “Tenacious D” and “Alice In Chains.

Listening to the band’s music, I started picking up on some of this influence. There seems to be a lot of classic hard rock vibes going on here, mostly late 60’s to early 70’s grooves and riff styles. Crunching guitar riffs with traces of “Who” or “Zeppelin” with straight hard hitting rock patterns, guided by the dirty grinding vocal styles of more modern alternative rockers like “Marilyn Manson” or “Rob Zombie”. The guitar leads often put my head into a spin with trance-like bluesy grooves that were not over-powering, yet very reminiscent of bands of the late 60’s.

The Interview

The InterviewThe band members; Eric, Ryan, Jeff, and Jonas set aside their instruments and took some time to talk with me. With Led Zeppelin playing quietly in the background, dimmed lights, a cold beverage in hand, I felt at ease going through some questions with the members of the band.

I had to ask; “The name of your band is very unique. Who actually came up with this name? And what inspired you to decide to use it?”

Eric, the band’s front-man, spoke up to answer the question. “I had been doing a lot of folk style music for about 3 years before this project and decided that I’d like to try and form another rock band.” Eric explained, “The band name actually came before the members of the band joined. I had made an outlandish remark about forming The Bloody Marble Collective, when a friend emphasized that this would be the perfect name for the band.”

Eric is pretty much the leader of the band, he writes all of the band’s lyrical content and arranges all of the music at home. It's then brought to the rehearsal space where the band polishes the songs off with their unique syles. With over 450 songs that Eric has written over time, Eric is now averaging 1 to 3 original song ideas per week. The band currently has 25 songs on their ever-expanding set list.

“You really haven’t been together with this lineup for very long. What kinds of shows have you performed so far?”

The guys quickly started barking out memories of some of their shows; “The Summer Festival Tour”, “Misty Mountain Music Fest”, and fond memories of “The LaKermesse” where an elderly man apparently graced the event as he danced around in an Elvis costume providing entertainment for everyone as the band performed.

“Wow, I would have liked to have seen that. What other kinds of interesting things have you witness as a band?”

“We were in a near-fatal car accident while driving to pickup some gear near Tree Frog studio in Hollis. Ryan was injured, but nobody was badly hurt. But it’s something none of us will ever forget” They all chuckled, revealing themselves to be pretty close friends too.

The Interview (continued)“What kinds of ambitions do you have for the band?”

“We’re just looking for more exposure within the drivable limits of New England. There’s a pretty good music scene here in Maine and New Hampshire, and we can even handle booking gigs in Boston and New York which would be pretty cool for us too.” The band’s focus doesn’t seem to be on national fame or fortune, but a more practical goal for local community followings. “The big record label deal is not as appealing as the local following (for us). We do this mainly for the personal experiences and for our love of playing music and entertaining our friends.” States the band.

“Do you have particular venues in mind for booking gigs in the near future?”

The guys began shouting out ideas for booking venues. “The Big Easy”, “The Station”, “Asylum”, “Space” in Portland, “Mr.Goodbars” and “Club Mirage” in Old Orchard, and “Federal Jacks” in Kennebunk.” To name a few.

“Some of the photographs on your myspace page seem to be done professionally. Who did these photos?”

“The photos were done professionally by David Bates of Fotografix Studio. We like the way they came out too, but are always looking for more photos. We hope to generate more live photos too as the band continues to perform shows.”

“Which of your songs do you think is most requested by the fans or friends that are currently listening to your music?”

Without hesitation, the band answered; “Peanut Butter Muffin.” With certainty, Eric explains, “Our strong points are in our catchy riffs, and if you’ve heard the song, you’ll understand why we think that song seems to be a favorite for our listeners.”

“I heard a few of your songs on myspace. Who does your recording?”

Jeff spoke up, “I have been doing our recording in-house using Cakewalk – Guitar Tracks Pro. However, we recently did a professional recording at Studio Dual in Cape Elizabeth which was engineered by Kevin Partridge and mastered by John Etnier who has done mastering for bands like Twisted Roots on their Red cd, and Rustic Overtones too.”

That CD will be coming out soon, and was mentioned in "Northeast Peformer" magazine's November 2007 issue.

Eric - Vocals / Guitar

Eric - Vocals / GuitarEric LeClair, a resident of Saco, has many influences, including first and foremost; “Prince” as well as a wide assortment of metal music from the 70’s and 80’s. Eric’s eccentric personality and style reveals a creative / artistic musician, open-minded to just about all forms of musical style and tastes. Eric’s artistic musical style also comes out in his wardrobe with fashionable appeal.

Eric has been in numerous bands throughout his reign of musicianship, including; “Ugly Needs A Mirror”, “Rubber Log”, and “Electric Sky Church” for those who remember.

Eric started at the age of 8 years old banging on trash cans with vocals and whatever other toys that made noises he could incorporate into his early recordings which were layered into tracks using an old Karaoke machine to overdub parts.

Today, Eric is knowledgeable in all of the rock instruments including vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards.

Jonas - Lead Guitar

Jonas - Lead GuitarJonas Levasseur, also from the Biddeford / Saco area, started playing the guitar at 16 years of age, but has also delved into drumming and bass guitar. Having an understanding of bass guitar and drums has helped improve his rhythm, but also strengthened his understanding of the other positions in his band.

Jonas is the lead guitarist in the band, and seems to feel his way through the solo segments of the songs delivering a heart-felt presentation rather than a pre-crafted melodic arrangement.

With influences from “Hendrix”, “Page”, “Angus Young”, “The Beatles”, “Primus” and a slew of metal guitar bands like “Slayer”, “Lamb of God” and “Mastodon”, Jonas is able to draw his inspiration from many styles.

Until about two years ago, Jonas spent some time living in Los Angeles, and held a position in a band named; “No Stranger” who had performed some gigs in Hollywood for about a year during his five-year stay in sunny California.

Jeff - Drums

Jeff - DrumsJeff Foran of Biddeford, started on drums and guitar at 16 years old and has maintained proficiencies on both instruments.

Jeff has lived all over the United States stopping long enough in New Orleans and Las Vegas to call these places home too. For over seven years, he held a position working for the “House of Blues” in New Orleans and Las Vegas which is a major music venue that has given him the opportunity to meet many big names such as; “Billy Gibbons”, “Kid Rock”, and “Jack Black”.

Jeff’s influences come from classic bands like “The Beatles”, “David Bowie”, and “Jeff Buckley” but he attributes most of his influence to his brother John who started him in music.

Jeff is currently involved in a second band named “Mystery Lover” too.

Ryan - Bass

Ryan - BassRyan Coleman is a resident of Saco who started playing the drums (originally) at 8 years old in Drum Corps and school. He went from drums to guitar, to bass, and then back to guitar for a while and finally decided to stick with bass.

Ryan has been in several local bands including; “B.Movie Extras”, a Janis Joplin Tribute band named; “Pearl and the Backburners” for a few months, as well as “Rubber Log” and “Electric Sky Church” along with Eric.

Ryan has been endorsed by Thomastic-Infield strings for the past 6 years and is working towards an endorsement by Hartke.

Musical influences include; “Hendrix”, “Victor Wooten”, “Gene Simmons”, “Les Claypool”, “Tool”, “Miles Davis” and “Sly and the Family Stone”.

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