Hi Marshall, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been? Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Please Don’t Let Me Go”? Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I went through a really hard breakup a little while back. It was really hard to let her go. Still hard. I had pulled the rip cord and taken a few weeks off of life to go to Northern Spain and hike as much of the Camino de Santiago as I could. I brought my backpack guitar with me and carried it along with my pack. About half-way through I was in a tiny town called O’ Cebreiro, which is the highest point on the trail. There’s this hill I walked up to with my guitar and just started playing. That song came out. It was an honest explanation of where my heart was. Even though I knew we shouldn’t be together, I didn’t want her to let me go.
The single comes off your new EP Too Many Lines – what’s the story behind the title?
I decided to title the EP after the first song for a number of reasons. First, I intend on doing a second EP and then combining the two with a few extra songs and releasing my first true LP later in 2017. So I wanted to save my first true album title for that. However, I also think “Too Many Lines” is really fitting for this release. The song itself compares making the not-so-great decisions in life to causing physical lines on our faces. In many ways, it took a lot of lines on my face to get to the point that turned me into The Tin Man – resulting in songs like these, which mean a lot to me.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was born out of some pretty intense pain. But honestly it took that for me to finally connect with my own music in a way that can be felt by others. Recording was amazing. I worked with producer Billy Hume who has an illustrious list of past clients. We’ve been friends for a couple years, and he literally watched these songs grow since they were merely ideas. He knew what I wanted out of this record, and he’s a wizard when it comes to engineering, mixing, and giving creative guidance. Myself, the drummer and the bass player tracked the whole thing live without a click at 800 East studios in my hometown of Atlanta, GA. Overdubs were done at one of Billy’s studios. But tracking live together was the key. We captured an energy and vibe you simply can’t get any other way.
How did your journey through the Camino de Santiago and your breakup influence this album and you as a musician?
Tremendously is the short answer, haha. Though I thought I’d do more writing on the Camino. Really I only wrote two songs (“Please Don’t Let Me Go” and “I Know I”) while actually on the trip. But the breakup inspired every lyric and note. I’ve been through plenty of breakups in my life, but this one hit me a way no others have. It struck a really deep chord. The whole EP is basically dedicated to her and the intensity of the love we shared. Even though most of the lyrics have a significant amount of darkness and yearning to them, I think you can hear the hope too. Thanks to her I have found my heart in this new music, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Any plans to hit the road?
Absolutely! I will be doing a short tour in March to support the release starting in New York at Rockwood Music Hall and culminating in Austin at SXSW. Hopefully after that I will have the opportunity to open for some other artists during their summer tours.
What else is happening next in The Tin Man’s world?
Great question. It’s hard to predict the future, but if I could wave a magic wand I would spend much of 2016 on the road with incredible musicians doing small club tours around the country. I love the adventure of the road and the comradery of fellow musicians. Additionally I’m working with a director friend of mine on a scripted web/TV series that features real-life singer/songwriters. I believe it’s easier for us all to fall in love with characters and stories when we see them on screen. So I want to use that platform to introduce people to amazing new music.