It’s time for another installment of Geek Talk, where I force musicians and (eventually) other people to answer my poorly written questions! This time we’re talking to Marc Sirdoreus, best known by his stage name Marc with a C. Marc is a singer-songwriter who has released eight full-length albums and more EPs than I care to count. His style is firmly rooted in pop rock, but his lyrical content spans all of pop culture, as well as sometimes delving into his personal life and experiences. Known for his Bruce Springsteen-style marathon concerts, Marc will play for hours on end playing a mix of his own material and cover songs ranging from The Who to The Monkees. One of the highlights of this year’s Nerdapalooza, despite having the shortest set, Marc has been voted Orlando’s Best Indie Act by the Orlando Weekly’s end-of-year reader polls in both 2010 and 2011. Now, for some reason, he agreed to answer my questionnaire. Without further stalling, I give you Marc with a C.
First up, the generic “how did you get into performing” question. What drove you to do what you, and when did you know this is how you wanted to spend your life/free time?
I saw The Who on television when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It was from their 1982 tour, and depending on who you believe, the band was either “totally out of steam due to the loss of Keith Moon” or they were “better than they oughta be, but still not the same”. I didn’t know any of that inside dirt. All I saw was some gentlemen that looked like they were having the time of their lives playing their respective instruments, and they were singing songs about pinball, spiders and a magic bus. As a child, you naturally assume that the frontman is the creative force behind the music, and as soon as my mom told me that it was really Pete Townshend, the acrobatic guitarist, that was the true visionary and workhorse for the band, I looked into his catalog, was instantly obsessed, and that was it. There was no question that the pursuit of happiness via music was going to be the rest of my life. How I actually became the performer named Marc With a C is a rather different story altogether, though.
If you were to introduce someone who is completely uninitiated with you to your music, how would you sell them on it/explain it to them?
I tend to use instruments one would usually hear in rock and/or roll music as minimally as possible. This makes a sparse pop sound that leans heavily on strange lyrical concepts, and in live performances, enables the audience to be sometimes conducted like an instrument.
(The TL;DR version: Weird pop songs about odd things.)
What, if anything, do you believe has placed you into the musical niche you are most often associated with?
I’m often celebrating the very phenomenon of loving an outdated or misunderstood concept in my songs. Many of my songs are about the joys of record collecting or the joys of bonding with people over specific songs and artists. There’s not really many video game references in my songs, but I do tend to focus on the things I’m most passionate about, and that more often than not tends to be character studies of social misfits as influenced by sound, or vice versa.
What one artist who attended the festival this year, whom you haven’t already collaborated with, would you most want to work with on a future project? Why?
Oh gosh, that’s tough. I’m almost afraid to answer this, but I’d love to do a Steely Dan cover with The OneUps one of these days.
Theoretically, if you could have written any song, other than one of your own, which would it be?
My favorite pop single of all time: Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know About Us“.
What does your general recording process entail?
I’m not sure how interesting it’ll be for anyone to read, but I’ll say the following: while my recording situation has seen a major upgrade from the cassette tape days of yore, if anyone actually watched me making a record, they’d wonder how I got anything done at all. Usually it just involves me holing up in my house for up to three weeks all by myself, playing everything and mixing/mastering on antiquated programs until it sounds correct to my severely damaged ears. There’s a lot of self-inflicted personal melodrama and such. I’m a mess to deal with around those periods, but it’s all worth it once you’re able to play the music for someone and say “for better or worse, this is what it sounds like in my head”.
Upcoming releases/tour dates?
I’ll be releasing a new album of original material in the early part of 2013 called “Popular Music” – and I’m pretty sure (or at least hopeful) that it is the best thing I’ve ever created. Beyond that, I don’t have a ton of plans to travel outside of Florida for awhile, but you can always find some upcoming shows of mine by following the proper links at marcwithac.com!
Now, as always (despite this only being the second interview I’ve done) you have your choice of category for this last question: superheroes, Pokemon or literature?
His choice? Literature.
What is your favorite novel? If you could be any character in said novel, who would it be? Why?
My favorite novel is a young adult book called “I Am The Cheese” by Robert Cormier, but I’m not necessarily sure I’d want to be any of the characters from the book. But seriously, that book messed me up at an early age. Don’t let the YA tag scare you, that thing was pretty obviously just written to screw with the mental well-being of happy children.
Two down, plenty more to go. Make sure to check out Marc at all the following links. But his albums, see a show. You won’t be disappointed.