Jan 22, 2013

Marc Von Em


New York native Marc Von Em developed his broad appreciation for music early on. Influenced by his parents 60's record collection and the more rebellious sound of his older brothers 70's & 80's selections, Marc was inspired to pick up a guitar, and by age 14 had composed several original songs. Marc continued to study music and went on to complete his Bachelors degree in music and production. After polishing his chops in several successful cover bands, Marc produced & released his first solo album in 1999 entitled "Von Em". Driven by his acoustic guitar playing & soulful voice, this album was well received by critics & fans alike, and created quite a buzz on the local NY music scene. he began to deliver his brand of groove oriented folk/rock from Massachusetts to Philadelphia, appearing at well-known venues and opening for artists Martin Sexton, Lucy Kaplansky, Richie Havens and more. Marc released his second studio recording entitled Free in 2002. Mixed by Crit Harmon (Martin Sexton, Catie Curtis) this album captures Marc's strong, sincere voice which complements his lyrically rich song writing and finger picking guitar style.

In early 2005, Marc's career took a turn he was asked to be part of the Rob Thomas (Matchbox twenty) Band. Circling the globe as a backing vocalist and guitarist for Rob, Marc appeared on all the major TV programs from The Today Show to The Tonight Show. Marc was also the opening act for several Rob Thomas shows, playing to packed houses. "I asked Marc Von Em to open up for me at a 10,000 seat gig. Just him and his guitar. He killed it!" remarked Rob. The tour ended in early 2006, and Marc released his third CD entitled "Marc Von Em live from Rockwood Music hall" later that year. Without question, this recording capture the essence of Marc's live show, soulful, funky, sometimes bluesy & haunting, always sincere.


Marc continued his solo career playing theaters and clubs from New York to Seattle. While touring with Rob Thomas for a second time, Marc began writing songs for his now completed fourth release "CRASH BOOM POW". Released in 2012, this collection of songs is a testament to Marc's belief that a musician not be limited to one genre. "CRASH BOOM POW" is a diverse yet coherent collection of 10 original Marc Von Em songs. From solo acoustic performances to full band funk this recording runs the gamut of styles while Marc's unthinkable voice and stellar guitar playing from a cohesive glue bonds the music together. Lately, Marc has been performing and writing new music for his upcoming spring & summer shows. 


R. Firstly let me just say what an amazing journey you've had…What has been the highlight so far?
MVE. Their has been a few highlights for sure. When I started my solo career, I had some great things happen in the first couple of years. I opened for some bigger acts like Mommas and Papas, and The Rascals. I released my first solo CD and it ended up in the hands of New York City jungle house McHale Barone. They liked what they heard and I ended up singing and co-producing "This Bud's for you" on Budweiser's 2000-2002 TV and radio ad campaigns. Another jump in my career happened in 2005. I joined the Rob Thomas (matchbox twenty) Band and toured the globe a few times over. That is some life changing stuff when it comes to avenge a music career. The huge audiences, the talk shows like The Tonight Show and Ellen, guitar techs, bussing it from one venue to another thru the night. I even opened some shows as a solo act to like 10,000 people. It felt good. Last year was a highlight for me because I released my best recordings thus far, CRASH BOOM POW. it has a nice grassroots fan buzz around it and it is probably one of my most proudest accomplishments.

R. The collaboration with Rob Thomas was no doubt an AWE moment! Tell us how this connection came about?
MVE. In 2005 I was doing my singer/songwriter thing, playing in good sounding rooms, when an old band mate of mine and good friend, Matt Beck became the music director for the Rob Thomas touring band. Rob needed a soulful male singer that played guitar. I fitted the part well. I met Rob and the newly formed live band, did a few rehearsals, played my part like I should and I was in. It was very seamless, we just started rehearsing and 6 weeks later we were touring the US and beyond.

R. Songwriting is definitely a strong factor for you. Where do you get your inspiration from?
MVE. I just get into a creative state of mind and try things or try to hear things.Most of the time it's a musical idea or a groove that will start the process rolling. It is a craft, so for me, I have to work on it and try different things until I feel something is working. Sometimes it all happens at once: lyrics, melody, chords and without changing a thing. That's when the universe is actually working with you, or your able to tune into it.

I am always inspired by other artists and music in general, different styles and players. There  is also much good music out there, I just like to leave myself open to it all and find what really is knocking me out at the time. It changes all the time too. Last week it was folk singers, this week its big band music. Song circles, other artists that I end up in bills with, the sound of traffic or silence, the news, the death of a friend, all these can conjure up artistic thoughts that could end up in a song.




R. With four albums under you wing, "Crash Boom Pow" took things to a whole different level. What was different about making this album for you?
MVE. I really do think I took this recording to a different level. From start to finish, I really took my time with this release. i didn't fully produce myself. Todd Guidance co-produced Crash Boom Pow and I think that was a crucial decision, to have someone else's ears helping make the decisions. i also had a bunch of guest musicians, music relationships that have been fostered over time and just came together in a really special way. Keys, horns, percussion, mandolin, violin - these were all nice flavors that I hadn't used on previous recordings. Finally, the quality of the recording, the microphones we used, the preamp's, instruments and vintage amplifiers, all helped sealed the deal, making this recording stand out.

R. Who are some of the artists from Past or Present that influence you?
MVE. There are so many. My problem is I really like almost everything these days. I'm very open minded and can find something in most music that is great about the sound or song. Artists that really changed my musical life would be Neil Young, The beetles, CSNY, Yes, Bob Marley, Peter Gabriel, Joni Michelle, and bluesier stuff like Dead, Little Feat, The Band and Dr. John. More resent artists would include Tori Amos, Damien Rice, Chris Smithers, Amos Lee, the Black keys and Citizen Cope.

Last but not Least…

R. If you could organize a dinner party with 4 artists/personalities (dead, alive, real, fictional) who would they be?
MVE. That's a hard one! Again there are so many choices. But I do like Jacques Cousteau, Darth Vader, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. That's not bad! 

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http://facebook.com/MarcVonEmMusic

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