Marriages began about a year and a half ago, with Emma Ruth Rundle, Greg Burns, and Dave Clifford of post-rock outfit Red Sparowes. Their debut EP, Kitsune, produced by Toshi Kasai, was released last May on Sargent House. While the band has seemed to most regularly find themselves sharing stages with acts of some metal sub-genre or another, they’ve drawn comparisons to artists spanning the gamut from no-and-ethereal wave to prog rock… It’s quite hard to place it in a genre (always a good thing), but it’s certainly quite epic and quite moody. Their sound isn’t exactly a million miles from Red Sparowes, but the addition of vocals (which are non-existent in Red Sparowes) does seem to open up a new mode of expression for Marriages and they seem to be enjoying this new indulgence. Although Dave Clifford is no longer drumming, Marriages have recently welcomed-aboard full-time drummer and bandmate, Andrew Clinco. They are looking to record new music in the near future, but they are currently on the road with supergroup Bosnian Rainbows (including Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta, Deantoni Parks of The Mars Volta, and Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes) for what I am deeming the best-line-up-ed, most credibly-cool, and just plain fucking badass tour of 2013. And that tour will find itself at the First Unitarian Church this Monday, February 18th. I recently got a chance to chat with Marriages’ Emma Ruth Rundle about what we can expect of the show and what we can expect of Marriages in 2013.
Izzy Cihak: The two of you are also members of Red Sparowes, an instrumental outfit. How would you compare Marriages to Red Sparowes? Has the addition of vocals changed your approach to writing and performing significantly, or added additional inspiration?
Emma Ruth Rungle: For Greg and I, Marriages is huge departure from Red Sparowes. The similarities lie in our overall textural approach to music. Adding vocals, at first, was sort of an afterthought, when it came to writing, although we knew at the outset vocals would be an important part of Marriages. Since the EP we have consciously focused writing around vocals more than we had in the beginning.
IC: Marriages have been compared to the diverse likes of Cocteau Twins, Zola Jesus, and Swans. What would you consider to be the band’s biggest influences… whether musical, or non-musical?
ERR: Hmmm… This is never an easy question to answer. Greg and I really just play together and that is Marriages. We are not writing with any style in mind. We appreciate the comparisons and are flattered. Cocteau Twins have always been one of my favorite bands.
IC: Like Red Sparowes, your label-mates and tour-mates, Bosnian Rainbows, are a “supergroup” of sorts. What are your thoughts on the band, whether musically or friendly? Were you fans of their previous projects?
ERR: Were we fans of their previous bands? Yes. We have both completely fallen in love with Bosnian Rainbows. Their live performance is unparalleled and we are enjoying being on tour with such a unique and friendly band.
IC: Do you have a favorite type of performance setting? Your local Philly show is in a famous church basement and probably the most “punk” venue in the city.
ERR: Greg likes to play in theaters, churches, and ambient settings. I agree… Spaces that have openness. I also like playing on the floor, as opposed to a stage.
IC: What are your plans and hopes for 2013, beyond this tour?
ERR: More touring. We are playing a few shows with Boris in April. We would love to get to Europe this year and at least make our way up the West Coast. We recently started playing with the extremely talented drummer, Andrew Clinco, and are working on our new record with him.
IC: What can be expected of the Marriages/Bosnian Rainbows live experience? It would seem to be an exciting pairing.
ERR: So far: knife fights, peace-making, interpretive dance, and some shoe licking.[youtube http://youtu.be/Bf6OPMWflZs]