Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Mr. Marc Rowell. See his interview below.
Talkback Tuesday is a feature for and about everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.
1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?
Seems like a good start. My name is Marc Rowell, and I’m currently an electronics technician. I fix smaller electronic devices, such as phones, tablets, game consoles, and also do work on PC’s and laptops.
On the side, I’m a musician, which is what I would prefer to do full-time. Having been in various bands over the years and even going on a few tours, it’s a very fulfilling thing to be able to see people who appreciate you for doing what you love.
2. Tell me more about your music. What genres do you play and prefer? What do those genres, and music in general, mean to you as a person? How do you think they shape your identity?
I’ve been part of bands ranging from pop-punk to indie, all the way to hardcore punk rock and metal. Right now, my main band is the hardcore punk rock one I mentioned, and I drum for it. Since I moved though, we’ve been on hiatus.
I’m currently playing guitar and singing for an indie folk-ish project I have with my girlfriend, Jessica. As far as preference, I can’t say I have any particular one. My favorites are definitely fast-paced drumming, folk guitar, and playing jazz sax. As you can probably tell, music is a huge part of my life.
I grew up listening to Metallica, Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin: All of my dad’s favorites.
It got me started, and made me want to create things like they did, so I started learning to play instruments. Being from the family I am, music is important. My grandfather even played guitar on stage with Hank Williams Sr. on a few occasions. Music in my family goes farther back than our family tree shows.
3. What is it like being an electronics technician? How did you get into that line of work, and does it satisfy you in a way that music doesn’t? If this was to be your main career for a long time, to where do you see yourself progressing and growing?
Working on people’s high-dollar devices can be a little stressful at times, due to varying factors such as a rude and impatient customer or a backed-up line of repairs waiting, but for the most part it’s good work that I basically put myself into.
As a fifteen-year-old, I didn’t have an official job because I couldn’t be hired at that age, yet I wanted to make some money.
As fifteen-year-old Marc, I didn’t have an official job because I couldn’t be hired at that age, yet being in high school, I wanted to make some money, which put me in a conundrum. How can I possibly make money when there are no jobs that can hire me? Then, I broke my iPhone. I didn’t have $200 to replace it, so I took it upon myself to repair it. This led to the idea, why not do that?
Where I lived and grew up, there was no place around inside an hour drive to get a phone repair done, so I started doing them. I slowly gained traction, and was running my own small business out of my dad’s shop. It went well for a few years, but around four years in, business died down. I lived in a small town near nothing, so people coming to me was a bit out of the way for most, understandably.
I then got hired for the company I work for now, which led me to my new job I start later this month, still repairing, but for more reasonable hours and pay.
Comparing this to music is apples to oranges. Being on a stage with people cheering for you is a different feeling altogether, and also the one I prefer to do. If I had to do repairs for a long time, I think I’d try and work my way up to a managerial position, and possibly start my own company someday, but what I’d really like is to be able to do music as a career. Not necessarily a top 100 artist, but reasonably enough work to live comfortably on.
4. As a musician, what would you say are 3 key things to know for younger people considering a career in music? What advice can you give them?
Three things? There are quite a few, but I’ll try and narrow it down, but you should keep in mind [that tips] for writing music could really apply to any form of art or content creation. People should realize that starting off, it’s going to be bad. Your songs won’t sound good, but that’s okay. Just keep going and they’ll start to come together better than you could’ve imagined.
You should also consider that you aren’t other artists. You are… well, you. And you won’t sound like or be like anyone else, and that’s a good thing.
It also takes a lot of effort, so work, work, work. And even when you feel like quitting and giving up, just push yourself to work that much harder.
It isn’t easy to be a musician. There are plenty of critics, and at times, it feels like that’s all there are, but if you want it, you have to try to get it.
5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to go check out? It could be a product or a business, or even a song or a video that you find interesting.
If anyone is looking for some trashy hardcore punk, they can check out my band, Suitcase Bomber, on our BandCamp page, or on YouTube. Googling the name (followed by “band”) should give you a few links.
As far as my current project, we have yet to release any recordings or even pick a name for ourselves, but keep on the lookout for something soon.
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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Jewel Fries by clicking on the image below.