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INTERVIEW: Nick Marechal

Photo Credit: Martin Nethercutt

Hi Nick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you for having me. 

Things are going well this holiday season and we’re grateful for that.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Edge of a Ledge”?

Sure. I wrote “Edge of a Ledge” last year, to express the notion that in life, each of us face difficult periods.

For example, as I wrote the second verse, I thought of my mother, alone with four young boys to clothe and feed.  

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?      

Yes, social turmoil as evidenced by the demonstrations and marches last year motivated the commentary in the last verse of “Edge of a Ledge,” and those events put me in a mood to write it.

In general events are a source of material for me as a writer. “Land of the Free” was written following the September 11, 200, attacks on our country and is social commentary. It is on the Love and Freedom album. Another example is “Don’t Drone Me Bro,” a response to the prospects of living in a world of surveillance. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

That is a good question. “Edge of a Ledge” is certainly a candidate for a video. So is “Land of the Free.” 

We recently released our “Charming Distraction” video which can be found on line, and that was great fun doing it. There will be more to come.

The single “Land of the Free” comes off your album Love and Freedom – what’s the story behind the title?

The words love and freedom are a pretty good description of the subject matter of the songs that I write and perform, so we just went with that title.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process is always fun and interesting, largely because I work with very talented people. Niko Bolas is a great producer and audio engineer, a real artist and he has been a mentor to me. The musicians I play with are top notch and good company. As for the writing process, sometimes a song comes fairly quickly, other times I really have to work on the lyrics. 

Does your mathematical background influences your music in any way?

Song writing for me at times is based purely on passion, and at other times analytic thinking plays into it. So the mathematical background seeps in that way. In the studio, my background in math enables me to understand what is done to digital audio data as the tracks are recorded and mixed. 

What role does SoCal play in your music?

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles and all of my formative musical experiences were in Southern California.

In the last couple years I wrote and recorded “Valley Circle” which about falling in and out of love. The story starts in the summer of ’69 on Topanga Canyon where he is hitchhiking to the beach. 

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than in your own?

When collaborating I try to be a good listener. You can call that an approach. Others have ideas and experience, so it is good to listen and be part of an ensemble. The way we record is a collaborative process. Usually I’ll bring the charts for a session. The guys mark them up; we change arrangements, try things out, and see what works, what doesn’t. 

What aspect of love and tolerance did you get to explore on this record?

There are a few aspects of love, which is explored on the Love and Freedom album. The track “Blue Smoke” is a “she did him wrong” song. In “Charming Distraction” he declares his love for her. In “Son of the Blues” the subject is a musician with a weakness for expensive women.  

In “Land of the Free” I express a concern that we become intolerant, if not fearful of others who are different. 

What made you want to touch on those themes?

I mainly write songs about love won or lost. However, freedom is something you think about, it’s fundamental to a good life, and as we discussed above there are current events that trigger that thinking and writing.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

General inspiration comes from watching and learning from great performers. This was especially significant when I was a young guitar player.  Probably fair to say that songwriters will find lyrics through personal experiences, observations, and the media. All of that applies to me as well.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are playing at various venues in Southern California and it will continue into 2019. The schedules for our live performances can be found at NickMarechal.com. It almost feels like we are on the road. 

What else is happening next in Nick Marechal’s world?

Thank you for asking. We have several new songs pending for a 2019 release, including “Melody Lost and Found” a torch song I wrote recently and an interpretation of “Things We Said Today” which is a Lennon-McCartney tune.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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