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Interview With 'The King Of Mars'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

We are The King Of Mars! I’m John Bruner and I sing lead vocals and play rhythm guitar. We have Matt Gordon on lead guitar, Randy Deadman on keyboards, JJ Frale on bass, Austin Deadman on drums/percussion and Andrew Gercak on drums. We also have a rotating horn section that consists of Jason Deran and Jaime Ruiz on trumpet, Walter Sanchez on trombone, and Gabby Bandera on tenor sax. We’ve been through a lot of lineup changes, but I met the main core of the band at Columbia College Chicago. I’d been writing songs for a while before I met these guys, but once we started playing them as a group the songs took on a life of their own. After that, I knew I’d found my band.

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

Every member of this band studied music at either Columbia, Elmhurst, or Roosevelt so I can safely speak for everyone when I say we all had musical aspirations prior to this band. Some of us are more Classic Jazz players and some of us are more Rock oriented, but we all bring our own influences into these songs.

Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.

Our latest EP, 'Bleach and Aspirin', is going to be released at the end of October. Aside from the tracking help of Andrew Christopoulos at Soul Honey Records, we wrote, recorded and produced this EP entirely on our own. These songs are unlike anything I’ve ever heard mainly because we have so many damn band members! We’ve got the technical musicianship like members of Snarky Puppy, but with an emphasis on song writing and lyrical hooks like The Beatles or Father John Misty.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

The musician who has left me awestruck is Josh Tillman of Father John Misty. I had the privilege of meeting him last September. Not only is he a genius songwriter and old school showman, but he’s also a really nice guy who seems to genuinely care about his fans.

If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?

We take preparation for live shows very seriously. So when people come out to see us they can expect a really tight rhythm section, IN TUNE three part harmonies, lots of energy and some cheesy, awkward stage banter. We even throw in some fun covers like A Tribe Called Quest and some Stevie Wonder.

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?

Speaking of Stevie, I would give my right foot to go on tour with him and his band. I don’t know a person who dislikes his music and with us having such a big horn section, I think our musical styles would mesh well.

You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

If I could spend an hour with any musician, it would’ve been Chris Cornell. Soundgarden and Audioslave were so influential for me as I grew up and his personality has always fascinated me. He could get on stage and scream his lungs out in front of half a million people, but offstage be as quiet as a mouse so I would love to discuss his take on fame and the impact it can have on more introverted people.

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Die Hard is most definitely a Christmas movie, BUT it’s one of the few Christmas movies you can watch anytime of year and not be weird.

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