This isn’t my usual music coverage because it’s definitely not pop punk but my love runs deep for this family so I refused to pass up an opportunity to interview such a talented and lovely human!
Many of you have probably heard Shake It by Metro Station or might have watched Hannah Montana once or twice (or every episode secretly because hey, it was a cute show!) If you have, then you know these two things have one thing in common: Musso. Not the same Musso, mind you, but brothers, Mason and Mitchel. What some of you might not know though is there is actually a third Musso brother, Marc. Marc is the youngest of the three but just as talented and driven.
Marc was sweet enough to take time to answer some questions for me. This was exciting for me since there was once a time in my life that I was weirdly and completely obsessed with the Musso brothers. Obsessed meaning I drove 10 hours once to watch Metro Station play after already seeing them play in 3 other states (only one of which I lived in,) I currently am still rocking MS lyrics tattooed on my forearm, and I once shared cookies I made with the Musso brother’s mom, Kathy, who totally returned the favor with a bunch of Mitchel merch (because you can’t TRULY be a psycho fangirl until you also mildly stalk someone’s mom!)
LL: Tell me your backstory:
MM: I was born in Rockwall, Texas on March 29th 1995. Growing up, I was never interested in the southern way of things. Camping, bug catching, hunting, all the stereotypes. They never interested me. Except fishing, which I do enjoy a lot.
For the most part, I was always very creative. I would write stories about nonsense, usually based off the most recent Pixar film. They were horribly written, as you would probably imagine. My oldest brother, Mason made music for as long as I can remember. I would hear him writing songs in his room 24/7. It was pretty clear early on that his career would be in music. It wasn’t particularly interesting to me yet though. I was still focused on acting and writing, and also didn’t want to learn how to play any instruments. That is until I was about 12.
I’d been living in LA for about 2 years and I decided to take a year out of homeschool and join my friends in public school for 7th grade. One day, my science class was assigned a project on cells. There wasn’t a specific way you had to do the project it just had to be about cells and be informative. I had no idea what to do as I was very lazy and unmotivated when it came to schoolwork. Then I had the brilliant idea of making a song. A rap actually. I thought it was genius. Instead of studying about cells, writing down information, or making styrofoam representations of them, I would just rap with words that have to do with cells and not actually have to study whatsoever. It worked, I got an “A+” on the assignment. Every day for about a month in science class all the other classmates would ask to hear the song again and for whatever reason, the teacher would stop the entire lesson to play it. But something else happened. While I was impressed that I got away with my little non-study scheme, I also realized how fun creating a song was. The creative process was better and more rewarding than I had ever imagined. Most of all, I was so proud that my friends and classmates enjoyed what I made and that they wanted to hear it over and over again.
I started making other silly raps by myself and with my friend Spencer. We had so much fun for years, but never really took it seriously. Then all the sudden it clicked in my brain that this was one of my passions. I knew it would take me a while to be any good at it, but I knew I would stick with it for years to come. As silly and horrible as that song about cells was, I have a lot to thank it for in a weird way. It gave me a new outlet to express myself creatively, and honestly, that’s all I ever want to do.
LL: At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to make music?
MM: I started with releasing a couple comedy songs when I was 14. I made them just as jokes on GarageBand under the artist name “B.O.O.H.M”. They’re actually still on iTunes. (LL: I actually still have So Perfect on my iTunes, lol.) I didn’t really take music seriously until I bought my first real music program, Logic Express, when I was 16. I got a microphone, some recording equipment and me and Spencer made “Dance! – EP” under the band name “.COM”. From that point on we would make songs here and there until we finally released a full album for free on Bandcamp called “Je T’aime”. People seemed to really enjoy it but we couldn’t really make music together anymore. I moved away and Spencer had other drumming gigs he was getting so I decided to get serious about a solo act.
LL: Which comes first, music or lyrics?
MM: For me it’s usually the music. Sometimes a phrase that I like will stick out in my head and I’ll try to write that into a song. Unless I come up with a melody first, which does happen. I’ll think of some random assortment of notes and sing them into my phone. Then I’ll go home and try to create a song out of what I came up with.
LL: Your music is very electronic/chill- is this the route you always wanted your music to take?
MM: Definitely not. When I first started, I wanted my stuff to be heavily Techno focused. Sometimes there’s still lingerings of that but as I got older, I started to really enjoy the simpler, less stressful electronic music. I wanted more vocal melodies and less synth solos. I still love Techno music, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not what I’m interested in making for myself.
LL: What 3 songs do you require on a road trip?
MM: New Slang by The Shins, Everybody’s Changing by Keane, and Dreams by Wet. Probably my 3 favorite songs of all time.
LL: If you were to fanboy over another musician–who would it be?
MM: Damon Albarn. Lead singer of Blur, and Gorillaz. Gorillaz are my favorite band and I own almost all of their albums on cd, digitally, and on vinyl. I also have a Vinyl Figure of 2D on my shelf, which is that character that Damon portrays in the Gorillaz cartoon videos. So I would say I’m already quite a fanboy for him.
LL: What is the one thing you’d like the world to know about Marc Musso?
MM: Probably that I don’t think my music is better than anybody else’s. I really don’t have an ego. I just make music that I enjoy and I’m glad that other people seem to enjoy it too. Nothing makes me happier.
LL: Is fame and fortune important to you or is it all about the music?
MM: For me the music is first. I know that’s what most people say but it’s true. I just want to make enough money to live comfortably, doing what I love for a living. I don’t need to be a billionaire, a millionaire will do just fine… Totally kidding. Fame isn’t necessary either. I’d rather have a small solid fan base than a large weak one.
LL: Besides music, any other secret talents?
MM: I like to think I’m good at editing and video production. I’m probably not but it’s what I choose to believe. My other main passion though, is writing. I’ve been working on a book for about 2 years now and don’t worry, it’s not a memoir. Writing is what keeps me sane. All of my crazy ideas can go down in ink instead of out my mouth.
LL: Most embarrassing or a guilty pleasure song/artist that you like?
MM: Oh that’s “Genki Rockets” for sure. They’re kind of a cheesy J-Pop band, except it’s mainly in English. I have a huge love for Japan and a huge celebrity crush on the lead singer of the band. If I could make a song with anyone, it might be her. There’s also a song called “Sunshine Girl” by Moumoon that I absolutely love. It’s possibly the happiest song ever created.
LL: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
MM: Gorillaz, The Shins, and Vampire Weekend are my top 3 favorite bands. Lyrically and musically, I think they’ve inspired me the most. Although I strangely get a lot of influence from movies. I’ll see a movie I love and immediately get a rush to make music. I don’t know what it is but for me Movies and Music are tightly connected.
LL: Describe your music.
MM: It’s Electronic Pop, technically, but I like to think of it as more open than that. I’m not really big on genres. They’ve always seemed a bit limiting to me. I want to be able to make a random country song in an album if I want. I probably would never do that but I just don’t like labeling things. More than anything, I think it’s either a mood of relaxation or excitement. Sometimes I get lucky and it’s both.
LL: Your Youtube channels include your music, reviews, vlogs, and gaming videos. What videos are your favorite to make?
MM: That’s a tough one. I change my mind about this all the time, which is why I do so many things at once. I guess it just comes down to whatever video I’m making at that current time. I love editing for hours and hours and I get so caught up in the video that I forget about all the other videos I’m trying to make at the same time. So basically my favorite changes everyday.
LL: Your older brothers are also very well known in the music industry and your relationship with them seems really close and solid. Do you go to them for advice/help? If so what is some of the best advice they have passed on to you?
MM: I don’t know if we ever really ask each other for advice. Mainly it’s just one of us playing our song for the others, we critique it, disagree, and then no progress is made. It’s hilarious and fun to do because we know at the end of the day, we all have such different tastes in music that we’re never going to be able to agree on anything. That being said, I do love playing my music for them. They’re probably my biggest fans, and I’m their’s.
LL: Does your brothers’ popularity ever frustrate you while you’re trying to make your own name for yourself?
MM: Not at all. I couldn’t ask for better people to be related to and I’d never try to hide it. I feel bad that sometimes fans get confused and don’t realize that I run the YouTube channels but other than that, it doesn’t frustrate me at all.
LL: Music is subjective, but how does it affect you personally?
MM: It puts me in moods. It motivates me, paints pictures in my head, and honestly sometimes a song is something more beautiful than I could ever see. It can give me an idea for a script, or a video, and of course inspire me to make music of my own. It has a whole different vibe to it than visual media. It’s one of the reasons I don’t usually watch music videos to songs that I like. I already have such a clear image of that song in my head that I don’t want it replaced with something else. Sounds a little art-snobbish but hey, that’s just how I see it.
LL: You just released the new song Alaska. Tell me about it?
MM: The story of Alaska is a bit interesting. It first started as a song I was going to do with my girlfriend at the time. When the song was just a bare bones synth line, I ended things with her. So that kind of left a bad aura around it for a while. Many months later I played the synth track to Spencer and he gave me some suggestions for the drums. Then I played it for my friend Luke, and he added the guitar in. Those two things really made the song take on a new form. It made the outro possible and gave the song it’s vibe. I always wanted it to be called Alaska and I always wanted it to have a tribal/beach feel to it but it grew beyond what I expected. I almost didn’t finish the song until Spencer and Luke threw their flare into it. Since then, Luke’s been the guitarist for all my songs with guitar in them and I always go to Spencer when I can’t quite figure out the drums. Helps to have an actual drummer when you’re putting drums to a song. Then I recorded the vocals, used some leftover guitar parts to make the outro and to my surprise, the song was done. It’s kind of ironic how the song is about feeling cold and lost after a relationship ends, and the reason I almost didn’t finish the song was because I felt cold and lost after my relationship ended. I love how the song turned out, though, I’m extremely proud of it. I think it captures the feelings of sadness, acceptance, then finally, happiness pretty well and that’s what I was trying to do.
LL: You dropped the name Redundant Redundant and now just going by Marc Musso..what changed your mind?
MM: It was honestly just too much confusion. You could call it branding confusion. Not just for the fans but for me. I hated having everything spread out. Multiple twitters, YouTube channels, business contact emails, soundcloud accounts, it was just too much. I figured, instead of making people leave my channel to go to a different one to hear my music, I’ll just put it up where they already are. Also no one will ask me who “Redundant Redundant” is anymore. As I’m getting more serious about making music I decided that I had to pick one name and stick with it for a long time, so the obvious choice to me was the name I’ve had my whole life. Easy enough to remember.
LL: What are your goals for your music for the next say– 2 years?
MM: My goals are to release a full album, play a lot more shows, make some music videos and overall just put out music more frequently. I know that I hate having to wait 3-5 years for a new album from my favorite artists. Also want to do more collaborations with other artists. I’ve honestly wanted to add a female vocalist to some of my music for a long time now and I hope to in the future.
LL: What can we expect from you in the next year or so? Maybe a complete album?
MM: I’m gearing up to release my EP called “About a Girl” soon. I would say probably March-May is when that will happen. I don’t know if a full album will come out this year but definitely next year. I’m also going to start making lyric videos for most my songs. It’s something I can do myself and doesn’t need a full crew like a music video would. The soonest thing you can expect though, is a new single called “I Think I Know”. It’s very close to being done and should be released next month.
LL: Where is the strangest place you’ve ever gotten an idea for a song?
MM: I honestly get a lot of song ideas in the bathroom. Don’t know why. I almost made a really bad joke and then stopped myself. That’s probably the strangest place. The strangest idea I ever had though, was a song about a guy who’s girlfriend dies in a car accident and then he makes a female robot version of her so he can have her back. It works perfectly for a little bit and they’re happy together but then she malfunctions and accidentally kills him. She realizes what she’s done and decides to make a robot version of him so she can have him back. Then they both malfunction and explode. That song’s called “Overload”… It was never released.
LL: You do most of your recording at home..do you feel like this is easier or harder?
MM: I feel like it has its a little bit of both. I’ve recorded in my bedroom and in a studio and honestly, I can’t pick which one I like more. With a studio you have the professionalism, the equipment, and usually the people with more music knowledge than your own. On the other hand, I think recording from your bedroom/home is more personal. There’s almost a more genuine touch to all the vocals and music. With that, however, sometimes it doesn’t sound as polished as it would’ve in a studio setting. It’s hard to choose. I think what matters most are the people you’re with. Whether they’re recording with you or not. Most of all, though, I think that enjoying the recording process is the most important thing to making a good song. As long as it comes from a genuine place and isn’t made just for money/popularity. A little heart in any style of music goes a long way.
CHECK OUT “ALASKA” BY MARC
If you’re like me and simply just one song isn’t enough and you NEED more then also CHECK OUT “I THINK I KNOW”
If you haven’t already fallen in love then follow Marc on these social media platforms:
Personal Twitter: @marcmussolive
Gaming YouTube: MussoGames
Reelists Podcast YouTube: Reelists
A big thank you again to Marc Musso! We at THE GATRS are looking forward to seeing more amazing things coming from you!