Wednesday, February 9, 2011

q/a : matt bishop on seattle chamber-pop septet hey marseilles

"I’m the singer for Hey Marseilles," begins Matt Bishop.

"The band began pretty organically a few years ago. Nick, Philip and I all attended the University of Washington together. There’s nothing better than the open schedule and lack of responsibility of being a college student to inspire three guys to make music."

Three guys soon grew into seven and the Hey Marseilles that now surround Bishop on stage is a veritable orchestra of players. A chorus of vocals combines with strings and brass and bombastic things that go bump, all creating an intimate sound that can draw you in with a tight embrace before thrusting you back with an intricate sonic shockwave.

Selling himself short, Bishop has been quoted as saying, “I don’t have much in the way of musical ability. I can strum three chords along with some really talented musicians."

In fact, it's his emotive vocals and wandering lyrics that lead the band that includes Nick Ward on guitar, drumbourine, and mandolin; Philip Kobernik on accordion and piano; Patrick Brannon on trumpet and bass; Samuel Anderson on cello; Jacob Anderson on viola; and Colin Richey rounding it out on drums. From wispy balladeering to insuppressible marching orders, everyone is known to pick up something percussive towards the end of a Hey Marseilles set generating the propulsion behind merry-making favorites like "Rio":

A hit in their own right up north, the Seattleites are quickly become familiar with the Rose City (and vice versa) as well as the West Coast circuit, sharing the road last summer with Portland's Loch Lomond promoting their independently released debut, To Trunks and Travels. Released in 2008, it was reissued nationally this past summer. Still supporting that debut, the fellows, who range in age from 21 to post-30 "but our collective maturity is in the 25-ish arena," clarifies Bishop, have been making music together as Hey Marseilles for four years.

Read the rest on OMN.

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