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A Dirty Dozen with CHRIS MARDINI – January 2020

| 17 January 2020 | Reply


According to Chris’ bio: “Considering his multitude of talents, ambition and the intense momentum Chris Mardini’s got behind him as he gears up to drop his highly anticipated debut EP, the 17-year-old NYC based indie alt rocker shares a most ironic sentiment just before the hook on his edgy, hypnotic power ballad “Something’s Going On,” an introspective ode to a young man’s lack of motivation. He sings earnestly, “And all the times I wake up, simply uninspired/I’m understanding now, I need to start a fire.”  We get Chris to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

Photo Credit: Royce Gorsuch

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Sleepless” came from me when I was in a pretty dark place—feeling isolated and desperate for company. Somehow, I equated these feelings to how mediocre I was, and blamed all of it on myself. I kept thinking about relationships that I’ve had and how badly I just wanted to rekindle one of them for the sake of reviving that old feeling of being cared for. Not really any hidden nuggets of truth, the song speaks for itself in many ways. But the bass line that comes in after the second chorus goes HARD every time.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been in and out of bands since I was really young, probably 3rd grade. I’ve absolutely loved every second of it. I think the moment when I realized that I really wanted to pursue it professionally was when I made my first mix of my own song on Logic Pro X, about three years ago. I was so inspired by the fact that I could create anything I wanted to, on my own terms. When I realized that there are people that can connect with my creative products, I was incentivized even more.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I’d never really been touched by music in such a way until I got into Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s music. The lyrics had so much depth, so much weight to them. They inspired me to put a large amount of thought into writing my own lyrics. I think the early 90’s grunge influence is apparent, and can be heard in my music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Nirvana, Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Elliott Smith, and Rage Against the Machine.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I think it’d have to be Kanye. He’s been able to touch so many people with such a unique, scattered mind. It would be a dream to understand his songwriting process, and to collaborate with him.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I try my best to merge elements of hip-hop with an alt-rock sort of vibe. If you like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I think you’d dig my music. I’ve often been compared to them. Nothing’s made me cringe… yet.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Marc Swersky, my producer, orders the food while we all try to figure out what and how much to drink. We haven’t really done many acoustic sessions, but our drummer, Avi Rozen (Ateller), loves to lay down a beat for me to freestyle over.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Probably when I met my bandmates, and how committed they’ve been to their crafts over the years. Their energy and their passion really amazes me.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I love being able to write my own songs, and to use music as a platform for me to spew my internal thoughts and what’s important to me, in the hopes that somebody else can connect and feel a little less alone. I also really value when people tell me that they really like what I’ve created, and for the ability to emotionally move people everywhere. If I couldn’t pursue music, I might be a forensic scientist. I’ve always been interested in using DNA evidence to investigate crimes and such.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Probably “What’s your favorite album?” I could spend hours talking about my favorite albums and fleshing out their strengths and why they may or may not be as monumental as others. Although I’m sure I’d never be able to give a straight, empirical answer. I’m not tired of answering anything! Asking questions is how we get to know each other.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Not really. My career’s just getting started!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

That’s a tough question.  It’s gotta be between The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Nirvana’s In Utero. Side 2 of Abbey Road is a masterpiece. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it.  The sounds and bipolar energy are just crazy.  Abbey Road opened my eyes to the fact that you don’t need to follow a formula. I’d just love to get insight as to what those guys were thinking when they compiled it all together. In Utero was a follow up to Nevermind.  I mean, how do you follow that album up?  Well, they did it in two weeks and again… the anger and bipolar energy is just amazing. Again, no formula, but more importantly, learning that the expression of raw emotion and the power of story-telling is a big takeaway for me.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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