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INTERVIEW: Mary and The Ram

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

Hello Vents! I’m great, thanks for asking, hope you are doing well, wherever you are! Keep up the good work, supporting bands like Mary and The Ram, we appreciate you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Eclipse”?

It’s dark, and it’s cathartic. Mary and The Ram is a dream project for myself to play drums, and percussion on. For Kiran [Tanna, vocals], it’s his vision realized, and that’s very exciting. Like most bands will tell you, this is a vehicle for us to vent [pun intended], and become more than who we are in our every day lives. If ‘Eclipse’ is part of my musical legacy [though I’m also in a noisy, horrible grindcore band called The Parasitic Twins), then I’d be very happy with that!

It’s cool for me to help Kiran put his ideas out there too, and provide platforms for him to do that. We basically just want to rip off Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode and Nick Cave every chance we get! Haha! If [some] people like it then that’s very cool.

The track itself is open to interpretation, purposefully. I like to look at it as reflection upon our ghosts and past experiences haunting us, and finding the strength to overcome them.

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

To keep it loose, because for me, art is subjective…it’s Kiran’s chaotic life, and the darkness of past relationships and encounters, which honestly runs through all of his lyrics, but what the fu** is the point in writing music unless you’re gonna use it to exercise some demons, am I right?

I mean, to expand on that…what’s the point in writing for Vents? You wanna make a dent, whether one person reads and article, or thousands, right? It’s the same thing. We write and create for catharsis, we write and create for that one person who might take a listen, and most of all we write and create because we are both terrible at sleeping, and need to be creative at like 3am fuelled by caffeine and self-loathing. Also, I’d say this track was directly inspired by our collective love for the beautiful vitriol and spite of Tom Waits.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We do have something in the works with a very talented emerging animator by the name of Duncan Catterall, and that’s coming real soon, so keep your eyes peeled, and we hope you like it. Do let is know.

How was the recording and writing process?

Split between various locations, specifically, written in Kiran’s house aided by copious amounts of wine and black cat cuddles, recording live instruments at Melrose Yard in York, North Yorkshire (UK) and then Kiran taking them to his home studio, adding production and then working with Kallie (who’s based in New York) digitally [it’s 2019…why the hell not, eh?], and building the track that way. Finally, we sent it over to the dream team of Howie Weinberg and Dave Ogilvie [mastering and mixing, respectively] to put the finishing touches on it. We are pretty proud of it! We are pleased that Charlie Dawe at Syndicol Music liked it enough to put it out too!

Our next big challenge is to build a live set! What we have some far is much more Melvins’ style noise rock than industrial, but I think it’s gonna sound cool when we eventually do it. The future involves us building songs with a live band, and doing it that way, although myself and Kiran have been listening to way too much Have A Nice Life [basically anything on The Flenser] to not try doing some weird, bleak droney stuff in the studio! We will see how that goes.

What was it like to work with Kallie Marie and how did that relationship develop?

That’s a long story! Kallie was based in a York and Leeds for a time in the UK studying, way before I got to York, but she also knows a mega dude called Soda from a band called His Mighty Robot in New York who I worked with when working on Soundsphere magazine – small world. With both myself and Kallie being into industrial music, we run in a lot of the same circles, without knowing it! It’s crazy that we are still finding people we know to this day, that live either in the UK or US! We’ve met a few times when I’ve been working in Boston, MA, and been back in the UK and become good friends. Kiran and Kallie have bonded over a mutual adoration for cats and Trent Reznor, so that’s nice too.

Basically, we know a bunch of the same people from all over the place – she was also our link to Dave O! Kallie always wanted to work on something with us, and we thought this was the perfect time. She’s got a lot of drive, and is very creative, so it works for us.

How much did she get to influence the song?

Kallie was great, man. She was a co-producer with Kiran, and they worked pretty well together, given the distance! Haha! I think her love for dark industrial definitely helped get us there, and influenced the heavy doom elements of the track.

Did you approach this project as a total departure from previous musical work?

Oh yeah, man. Both myself and Kiran have background in theatre, and full live bands, which is why we want to try and adapt this for live in future. But yeah, I mean it’s very NIN in the approach – we build everything in a studio together – guitar and drum parts for example, and then Kiran works around that with synths and production, and we add to it as we go. It’s been a long process, but we like to take time over things. With this, I do miss the easy of just going into the studio and jamming with Twins (that’s a two-piece), and we record everything in a few takes, it’s much more raw! I think that’s something we’re gonna do in the future with The Ram.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Kiran has a wealth of lyrics, and we have a wealth of ideas. We’ll see if they come out in the studio between the two of us, or whether we move forward as a full-time live band, I mean right now, that’s the plan.

We do have a remix next year by our friends in Officers (who are from York also), and have toured with the likes of Gary Numan, and Placebo. It’s ready to go now, but you’re gonna have to wait.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

We’re thinking February for the remix, and mid year for a new track we are working on as a band!

Any plans to hit the road?

Next year we will, hopefully. It’s been in the works for a while. We want to do some shows with our friends in Bone Cult, Birthmarks and Witch Of The East, to name a few!

What else is happening next in Mary and The Ram’s world?

I’m busy touring with The Parasitic Twins, Kiran is busy touring with Viaperformance and Harold and Arthur, Eddie (Alan Logie, guitar) is working on new Modern Mood Swings stuff, and Sarah (Shiels) is in like 50 bands in my hometown of Hull (East Yorkshire, UK), including the wonderful Dyr Sister, and I think she’s still in Fire (The Unstoppable Force)! So yeah, we are all busy but we will get together at Waste Of Paint’s rehearsal space to finish the track we started working on, sometime before hell freezes over. Promise.

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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