From ‘Face it Tiger’ to ‘Paper Doll”, this rising alt-rock band has quickly established a cult following amongst the comic geek community.
Most of you reading this interview probably know Married With Sea Monsters as the band who performed The Mary Janes’ song “Face It Tiger” from Edge of Spider-verse #2, but it’s not the first time they’ve collaborated with Spider-Gwen artist Robbi Rodriguez. They worked with him to release a companion album named “Destrudo” for Rodriguez’s web comic Frankie Get Your Gun. I got to see them perform live at Snug Harbor in Charlotte, NC as part of the Spider-Gwen #1 launch party and am now lucky enough to “sit down” (thanks, internet) for an interview with them.
Married With Sea Monsters are:
Kat Dixon – Volcals/guitar
Ryan Hull – Guitar
Alden Tarver – Drums
Jared Shawe – Bass
I spoke to Rico Renzi (Spider-Gwen colorist) at the Snug Harbor concert and he mentioned the band has known Robbi for quite a while, how is working with him on not just this, but other projects?
MWSM: We’ve known Robbi for a while now, and working with him just gets more and more fun. He’s always been so ready to help us out and give us advice about the business side of band-ship.
KD: Working with Robbi is always an adventure. He definitely allows us an outlet to write in styles we might not have otherwise contemplated. Writing for Frankie was just the coolest. He said “acid western” and I think we were in love already.
I was sold the minute I read “Acid Western,” so I totally understand. It was a ton of fun to see Robbi jump on the mic to sing the chorus of “Face It Tiger” with you; did you know he was going to do that ahead of time?
JS: I knew, but, decided not to tell Kat. I wanted to see if she’d accidentally fall back onto Alden’s drums.
KD: I did not! I knew he had Jared’s camera to get some footage of the show, so I didn’t think it was weird to have him on stage shooting. Next thing you know, there’s this blur of pink and I think I got him pretty hard in the ribs with the headstock of my guitar! But it was a really fun surprise, and I think it made a lot of people really freaking excited to see that kind of interaction.
What was the inspiration for your newest release on YouTube, “Paper Doll”
KD: I have kind of an obsession with weird villains and anti-heroes in comics. I can’t remember when I first heard of Paper Doll, but she’s just a lovely character and I really took a shine to her. I’m on a quest with my local comic shop (Bankston’s in Waco, TX) to obtain every issue she appeared in. She kidnapped Mary Jane at one point, and I figured that’s probably something I’d write about if I were MJ.
Can we expect to see any of MWSM’s songs pop-up in Spider-Gwen or any Mary Janes songs performed by MWSM?
KD: We cover the Mary Janes almost every show we play! It’s kind of a band-ception thing though. Can you cover a band that your band is? Weird. We chat with Robbi on and off and sometimes we’ll get a little head’s up on content so we can mess around with some song themes that fit.
How crazy is it to see the “Face It Tiger” vinyl on eBay for hundreds of dollars just days after the release?
KD: We actually have an inter-band bet going on that! The guys think it won’t go for what the seller is asking, and I think it will. I’m anxiously awaiting the terms of the bet at this point. The last time we bet, I narrowly avoided having to wear those sweatpants that say “Juicy” on the butt for a week. I still have to pick Alden out a Twilight shirt for his week…
Kat, you dropped a Sharpie and made a stray mark on my copy of the vinyl, that makes it priceless, right?
KD: Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry I did that! I’m new to all of this. I still get nervous when people ask me to sign things. But yes, it’s definitely one of a kind now! I’d frame it quickly if I were you.
I certainly plan to! Where did the term “Urchins” for your fans come from?
KD: It just kind fell out of my mouth during a show, and we decided to keep it. It’s playful, aquatic, and it makes us feel like we’re recruiting an army.
Speaking of an army, if the band mates got together with the Spider-Gwen creative team (Jason Latour, Robbi & Rico) for an Avengers/Justice League costume contest who would everyone dress up as?
KD: That’s a really tough one! I just met Rico and Jason at the signing in NC at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find so I’ll have to do my best guess on them. I think Rico would be Captain America. He just has that smile and that charm, plus he’s got that smokin’ wife (Janis), and we all know Captain America gets the ladies. Jason would probably be the Hulk because he was SO NICE, but he seems like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to mess with. Robbi would end up being Iron Man because he’s lovably snarky. I’d definitely want to be Deathstroke, but I’d probably end up being somebody like Pandora. Tragically curious.
AT: Also Batman, because screw Ryan.
JS: Wonder Woman. I’ve always wanted to tie people up with a lasso…
Ryan and Alden, I’m sorry to do this to you guys, but one of you is going to have to be Robin to the others Batman…
KD: They shot rock, paper, scissors for it. Looks like Ryan is Batman, and Alden is Robin.
Thoughts on Taylor Swift?
KD: I really couldn’t say one way or another. I’m happy she’s making a living doing what she loves!
RH: I can’t really say at this point. I’m not returning her calls.
AT: Watching Taylor Swift is like watching the last Gunslinger.
JS: Nobody taylors more swiftly than Taylor Swift…and my buddy Reno’s mother-in-law.
KD: I love veggie corn dogs!
RH: I love them. I like to mix ketchup and mustard together for my dipping.
AT: Tasty, but inferior to hotdogs. They’ve got less carrying capacity for condiments.
I got a few questions from your fans on Twitter to ask:
How does it feel to be the real life sound behind The Mary Janes?
KD: We’re in love with The Mary Janes! They’ve been a lovely alter-ego for us to inhabit lately.
What instruments does everyone use?
KD: I play on a Les Paul that has an upside down bridge pickup, with a Vox AC15 amplifier.
RH: I play on a G&L tele, an Epiphone Wildcat, and a Fender Hotrod DeVille 212 amplifier.
AT: My latest secret weapon has been my full set of Paiste Giant Beats cymbals and high hats. They’ve got a beautiful dry, vintage sound that really fills a room. They’re just swell!
JS: I play on 2x4s with cable wires for strings.
How did it feel to have Axel Alonso & Dan Slott tweet out “Face It Tiger?”
KD: Of course it felt amazing! We’re always so honored to be recognized by great and talented people like that. It’s not every day your idols publicly admit to liking what you’re doing.
And finally, you all mentioned on the Married With Sea Monsters Instagram account that you’ll be back in Charlotte in June around HeroesCon, any more details on that?
MWSM: We’re really stoked that Shelton Drum, the doer of everything awesome Heroes-related, thought to ask us back. He and his wife are just the coolest, most generous people in the galaxy. We’re working out details on where we’ll be playing and what kind of merch we’ll have available.
KD: We’re coming back, and hopefully this time we’ll be bringing a 5th Beatle along! Robbi seems to like being our merch girl. We’ll be lining up more shows in other states this time, and our sophomore effort promises to be rad!