EMQ’s With MARENE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Cape Town, South Africa based Flash Rock band, Marene. Huge thanks to vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tyler Duggan, for taking part…
After spending much of the tormenting 2020 stagnant with no gigs, South African Flash Rockers MARENE decided to postpone their full album release and work on an intermediary EP (as a means to keep busy and stay sane, as well as channel their range of ineffectual emotions from living in perpetual survival mode into something constructive)! “Something’s Out There” is metaphorical and written with the notion of something ominous looming over you (symbolic for anything you’re afraid of that might stop you from dreaming and keeping you up at night … much like the menacing Covid-19 is keeping us all out of our dreams).
Flash Rock you ask… yup, MARENE is not just another tidal-wave band that comes and goes… they are pioneers in a new genre that is mixing some fresh and new with the best of the old, all rolled in one potent package that will bring joy to your ears, and a broad smile to your day! Heck, it’s so good even the epic Acle Kahney from TesseracT & 4D Sounds worked his magic on the catchy Radio Mix of the title-track!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Tyler Duggan, the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and toastmaster general of the immoral majority. MARENE is a larger-than-life rock band who specialize in spectacle. We bring artillery to a knife fight and give you one helluva bang for your buck.
How did you come up with MARENE?
I started MARENE in 2017 with the dream to be the band I always wanted to see live. I was tired of paying good money to watch people get up on stage like they just got out of bed and act like I was privileged enough to see them. I was tired of watching uninspired musicians stand in one place and yawn into a microphone and expect the crowd to be wowed by their flip flops and ¾ shorts. I wanted something more. Something larger than life. So, I decided to be larger than life and create the band I wanted to see. I’ve always believed that if you fulfil a need in yourself, you’ll fulfil that same need in others too. Since 2017, MARENE has won the attention of many fans and industry folk. They are wowed at the lengths we go to put on a stadium worthy rockshow. $10 ticket, $100 show; that’s how it goes. When I get up on the stage and you pay to see me, I work for you, I’m up here to entertain you and give you your money’s worth.
What Country & Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re based in Cape Town, South Africa. The scene used to be alive and well before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Because of Covid-19, many venues have closed so the variety of live music venues are getting smaller and smaller. More accessible media, such as Netflix, is also competing in the way people consume entertainment. The consumption of entertainment has shifted towards quick and easy access.
What is your latest release?
“Something’s Out There”. It’s an EP consisting of 4 completely new songs, all composed and recorded under Lockdown in South Africa. it is the first EP I’ve mixed with Acle Kahney from TesseracT taking my mixes and mastering them to perfection. Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing. At least that’s the way I see it. If you’re looking for fist pounding, hard hitting, meat and potatoes rock n’ roll, look no further than our latest release. As always, MARENE strives to give our fans the ultimate experience and this EP is just that. So, plug in some headphones and get ready to meet your maker.
Something’s Out There – Radio Mix
Who have been your greatest influences?
KISS, especially Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Their overall drive, work ethic and ethos have kept me going since the beginning. I’ve always found myself following their guidance and as far as role models go, I don’t think you can get any better than Paul Stanley. They inspired me to take it all the way ever since the first time I heard ‘Strutter’ and ‘Shout it Out Loud’.
What first got you into music?
I was introduced to Elvis Presley sliding down a pole in Jailhouse Rock when I was around 6 years old by my Grandmother. I was in awe of his being, his style and his appeal. He was all I listened to until I was introduced to ABBA and Jethro Tull by my parents when I was around 8. One night when I was up late watching TV, I witnessed the most amazing sound: it was louder than anything else, both visually and sonically. It was ‘Shout it Out Loud’ by KISS and I was instantly hooked. The theatrics and sound blew me away, almost like the Olympic torch was being handed to me. Ever since, I’ve been drawn to music and the same goal of spectacle, I wanted to insight the same feeling in other people. I wanted people to leave the show saying “WTF?!” but in a good way.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Ghost is an amazing band who have really brought a retro feeling back to audiences with a modern twist. That’s why I feel we’d collaborate quite well. We both have the same idea of vintage meets modern.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
If I could go back in time it would be to play the US Festival of 1983, but right now I’d have to say either Wacken, Rock am Ring or the Download Festival. All 3 of these have the same thing in common: raw, energetic, electric atmosphere and full of larger-than-life line-ups competing in one helluva pissing contest.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
While performing at a venue/club, I had a t-shirt thrown up on stage with an image of a tiger on it with “Eye of the Tyler” written beneath it. Probably more awesome than weird, but I like it.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Covid-19 has put some challenges in the way, but MARENE has faced challenges before. When you put a wall between us and our goals, we like to go straight through it; head first. So, the Covid-19 pandemic regulations is a wall, and our new EP is the bulldozer. The pandemic has blocked live shows and we have learnt how to work around that. Life finds a way, and so does MARENE. So, plug in in some headphones and turn it up cause MARENE is alive and ready to bulldoze a mountain.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Peter Steele. He was the most creative song writer and I always felt there wasn’t enough Type O Negative. His life was short lived and what he could offer the world sonically was incomplete.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I never see myself as just a musician, but rather as a performer. I’ve always approached music as a live experience rather than just audio. Otherwise, I could just arrive with my MP3 player and it would give me the same experience. I think a lot of musicians fall into the trap of musicianship which is lost on the concert viewer. Sure, your shreds are an amazing flex of your skills, but the concert viewer doesn’t care if you hit every note in the scale within a demi-semi quaver of a beat if you’re just gonna’ stand there and look entitled. This is why I believe live music is an art, it’s called a rockshow because there’s something to see. It’s a balance between great music and an amazing show. A crappy band with a smoke machine is still a crappy band.
I think what I enjoy about being a performer, is seeing the smiles on the faces of the audience when they realise MARENE is up here giving our everything to entertain them, from shooting sparks off the lead guitar, to the elaborate choreographed movements. When they leave, I want them to be just as tired as I am. They should have given me as much as I was giving them. That push and pull of the performer and audience is what I enjoy the most. When you get off stage and you say to the bassist, ‘wow that was an amazing show’, because you felt the audience was up there with you the whole time. We always film our shows on a crappy video camera at the back so we can watch them over at the next practice from the audience’s perspective to make sure we really are entertaining.
I don’t dislike anything about being a musician, if you hate being a musician, I think you’re in the wrong industry.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The shift in the way people perceive value in the music industry is a challenge. There is a growing notion of “Why must I pay?”. I think that because of streaming and pirating, people believe your hard work is nothing more than a commodity that they own because music is a part of life. As a result, its harder than ever for new artists to reach global levels without other investments and many revenue streams, in addition to playing live shows and selling merch, which is why MARENE are so focused on the concert experience.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Without a doubt “Destroyer” by KISS! What an album – such epic legacy…and then there is this new EP called “Something’s Out There” by MARENE that I think it’s pretty OK (ha ha ha)!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl is classic. I think if you have to indicate music playing in a silent film it’ll always be someone putting on a vinyl LP. Zeros and ones might be perfect, but vinyl is analogue, and analogue can be unique and have defects much like humans, musicians as well as mixes and so I’d argue that it’s more personalized and living.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think Metal 4 Africa Winterfest 2019 and RAMfest 2020 with Black Dahlia Murder. Both had their reasons for being the best. At Winterfest we brought about $1400 worth of LED screens, smoke machines, extra lighting as well as our own sound engineer and lighting engineer. This allowed us to put on one helluva show. Of course, everything was dead until we hit the stage, then the screens came on, the extra lights turned on and the smoke machines went off. We hit the stage running and never looked back. I think the best part about these shows were watching the audience sing back out songs, especially our anthem ‘Turn It Up And Rise’ where we get the audience to sing along on the top of their lungs to a song they only just heard while standing there in the crowd.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Astrophysics, I’ve always loved the universe and the science behind how it works. One of my favourite podcasts is StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Sammy Hagar, Paul Stanley and Rob Halford to see who could sing the highest with Robert Smith and Peter Steele to judge the contest.
What’s next for the band?
The goal will always be Madison Square Garden, but right now we’re planning on recording a 2nd EP for 2021, with the full album on hold until we can release it and tour it properly.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
It’s a biscuit sized cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If you really wanna’ challenge the system and see what you want to see, you gotta’ be willing to put in the time, get up there yourself and make it happen. If you sit around and wait for someone else to do it, you’ll be waiting for a long time. To make it happen, you have to be the person you want to be and do the things you want to do. You need to be the person you would want to see. Greatness is inside all of us. Life is not the cards you’re dealt with, but what you can make out of the cards you receive. Grab all opportunities with both hands, and if you can, with your legs too.
Tyler Duggan: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & EP Producer
Ozzey Padayachee: Vocals & Bass
Maronay Todkill: Keyboard
Arian Helm: Lead Guitar
Skye Nagel: Drums
Old trends are returning and MARENE is in front of the line to bring back the best of the best: good ol’ classic Rock N’ Roll baby! Heavily influenced by bands like KISS and Van Halen, MARENE is bringing back what was once the best of an era (with a MARENE spin on it)! This vibrant band runs around on stage with signature colours, lightshows and choreography; all while still playing an instrument and singing.
With a razor-sharp voice and an intricate rhythm at hand, front man, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Tyler Duggan takes the front of the stage by storm with high energy and cheeky dance moves. To his right, with a thundering voice and jazz-rooted bass playing is Ozzey Padayachee, the bassist that growls. When the front man isn’t taking front stage, the lead guitarist Arian Helm steps up to the spotlight, running shreds and dinosaur bends. Don’t let his height fool you, he can shoot sparks from the headstock of his guitar into great heights. Steadily behind the band is Skye Nagel, but his shy soul doesn’t hide there, he thrives there. He makes sure he is heard with fist pumping strikes. Filling up the gaps with synths, is Maronay Todkill, making sure everyone’s eyeliner is on point before they step out on stage.
MARENE isn’t another tidal-wave band that will come and go … they’re innovators of a new genre that’ll shake the world. Flash Rock!
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