Marriages (members of Red Sparowes) - April 2012

Marriages Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: March 14, 2012
Posting Date: April 23, 2012
Artist Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Links:, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Sargent House
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Ride In My Place
Body Of Shade
White Shape
ONE: Could you tell us about your upcoming album Kitsune and what it was like making it?
Emma Ruth Rundle: The theme that we named the record after was just…It went along with the artwork. We purchased these Japanese Oni masks, and one of the masks was ‘kitsune’ which is the possession of the fox spirit, and so we sort of did the artwork around that. We used that whole idea to tie things together.
MB: And the meanings of the songs go with that?
Emma: I think that the overall fact that the record…well, the music was written, essentially, as one long piece of music, versus having like five songs. So, in other words, the first song is exactly where we started writing, and it was what naturally came out of that song and into the next one and the next one and the next one. It’s just a set of music. I think that those two relate because it definitely takes you through many different places, even though it’s meant to be one thing, so it’s like being possessed.
MB: So, how did the recording go?
David Clifford: It was good. It was great working with Toshi Kasai again. Our other band, Red Sparowes, we recorded with him for our last album and an EP before that, and he’s really easy to work with and does a great job so, as far as that whole process went, it was real smooth and easy— and quick. Most of the stuff had been written pretty quickly, and we played a couple of shows and then went right into the studio and recorded all of that stuff. It was a real rapid process, but very efficient.
Emma: It all happened really fast.
Greg Burns: I mean, the band started in…what, November?
Emma: Yeah.
David: October, maybe.
TWO: What motivated you to start this band, rather than focusing on your other projects?
Greg: It was really…it wasn’t even intentional. Emma and I ended up coming down to practice one night, and there was some miscommunication, so somehow we thought there was practice, but other people didn’t, and so we were just in the room and we decided to start messing around—
Emma: But we also had played together a lot in other contexts.
Greg: Yeah, that’s true. We have a history of like…we actually played Dave’s wedding. We’ve operated like that in the past, and so we just used that time to jam, and at the same time there was an opportunity to play some shows that came up, and so we just pretty quickly decided to do that with Marriages, the project, and Dave jumped in right away. It was sort of at that point that…we started playing almost immediately, and finished up those songs, and it just…I think having the shows that happened right away propelled us forward really quickly, and it hasn’t really felt like that has stopped, you know? But it wasn’t that intentional of a thing. We just found ourselves here.
Emma: But it afforded us the opportunity to do things aesthetically and different, you know, very different from Red Sparowes, adding vocals, which is something that we had talked about doing in Red Sparowes but it never really seemed to be successful entirely, so this band gives us the agency to do all of those things that we want to do, but can’t really do successfully in the other band.
Greg: It would have been hard to incorporate those things without really changing Red Sparowes quite a bit, and we realized that after experimenting, so, yeah, it’s been really fun. I think it’s given us a chance to explore a lot of other things that, for me, feel really fulfilling.
David: Yeah, and it’s easier to do things without feeling like you might be breaking the rules of what the other band’s audience would expect. It’s nice to have a completely new context for doing stuff.
MB: Is Marriages going to continue to coexist with Red Sparowes, or is it a one-time thing?
Emma: I would say coexist separately.
Greg: Yeah, as soon as we get back…we’ve actually already started working on the next record, so we’re going to be fairly focused on that until we tour again.
THREE: How did you come to release your album on Sargent House?
Greg: It was cool. Actually, we hadn’t talked to Cathy or Sargent House about it at all, but our first two shows were with Russian Circles and Deafheaven, so she just naturally went to those shows, having been involved with those bands, and she saw us play. We played LA and then San Diego, and afterwards she came up to us at the end of the show and was like, “I want to put out whatever you guys want.” And so, immediately we were like, “Well, we already have thirty minutes worth of music, and we’re starting to work on this new thing,” and so yeah, she’s been amazing. Sargent House has been super supportive, and what I liked about that was that…It was nice that we were exposed to Sargent House in those shows, but I can tell…I don’t know, it was nice to have her see us play and having her inspiration come from that, rather than us all sitting down and playing her a demo or something. It felt good. It felt like the natural progression of the band, and it’s been great.
– Interview by Michael Briggs/Transcription by Dale Jones