This young singer from Ukraine is certainly one to watch. His new album ‘My Band Could Be Your Home’ explores the complexities of a teenage mind with such diverse and engaging style that it could certainly become your favourite record. It’s a release that never bores, often surprises but always enchants as it moves through its complex and cathartic take on life as a young person at such a strange time. I’m sure many people will resonate with the lyrics and get swept along by the alt pop rhythms that draw to mind The 1975 amongst others. Whilst it will be billed as a look at a Gen-Z mind-set, it really isn’t a record that can only be enjoyed if you’re young. It’s a chance for anyone to understand how difficult life can be for a developing human being and is as much a learning experience as it is a musical one; who doesn’t want the chance to understand each other more and this record is a timely glimpse into what makes everyone tick, but especially a young person at a time when there is so much fear and uncertainty.
Coming from Ukraine and already garnering critical approval from The Independent and Headliner magazine, the album is accompanied by some brilliant self-directed videos. Alex, the 23-year-old behind Marineris, has really managed to take his inspiration from his beginnings in an industrial town in Ukraine to something that is globally applicable. After all, at the moment in the throes of a global pandemic, we all suddenly find ourselves in the same predicament.
“There is no safer place in the world than the place you can call ‘home’. When we feel that we’re safe; when we feel that no one is judging but accepting us for who we really are – that’s when we can become the best versions of ourselves. We can feel, think, and act from our heart. We can give to the world everything we’re here for.
This album became my way of dealing with the pain, fear, doubt and judgement. It became my opening to happiness, love and my calling. This album became my home, which I looked for in all the people I’ve met and all the places I’ve been to, but never found. If while listening to it, you even once feel the inner strength to act upon things you were scared of before, if you even once start crying and dancing at the same time with a smile on your face, all by yourself, then all the thousands of hours I’ve spent on making it will not be in vain not only in my life, but in someone else’s too.”
I was lucky enough to get to pose a few questions to Marineris and I hope his eloquent responses offer an insight into this exciting artist and encourage you to give his music a spin.
EP: Hi, great to get the chance to ask you a few questions about your new album ‘My Band Could Be Your Home’. The inspiration behind this track could almost be the inspiration behind your whole vibe couldn’t it? The song, for me, is very much about taking refuge in music when everything else stops making sense. Whose best friend hasn’t been music at some point in their lives and in that way music is life changing or taking it as far as we could, life-saving. Is that your inspiration for the song, and is that your inspiration for being one of the few alt pop singers to emerge from the Ukraine?
M: Yes, definitely. It’s surprising how accurately you sensed the message behind this song and the album overall. I started working on this album in Fall 2019, and from that moment on, I’ve lived through the most diverse experiences. I was only able to get past some of them with the help of music. The fact of having something so valuable to you, something that never leaves you, is spectacular. One time, my close friend told me: “If music doesn’t save you, nothing will”. It sounds romantic, yet I think it was represented the reality at the moment. The fact of growing up in Ukraine was important and defining for me, but I look at it as though I just have to work even harder.
EP: To say that you are hands on would be an understatement. You write, record, produce and visualise your music. Which of these roles gives you the most pleasure and does the fact that you are in control of the process make you feel that you are really delivering music in the way that you want to deliver it?
M: Thanks so much! I think that the moments when I’m writing or working on production are the most important. These are the moments when I feel the best I possibly can. When you feel like something is emerging within the song – those moments are indescribable. It is in those seconds that I don’t think that I’m a slacker (because I usually do:) I always turned my attention to seemingly unimportant details, so it’s important for me to work through every part of it and participate in the entire process. Of course, I would be happy to transfer some of the responsibilities onto someone else, but in any way, I always want to be the one to control the art direction of Marineris.
EP: Sonically, it’s evident that you must be inspired by The 1975. Who are your musical inspirations and given the chance who would be your dream collaboration at the moment?
M: I’m listening to all kinds of music, that’s why it’s hard to distinguish someone specific. The 1975 is truly an important band for me not only sonically, but also from the perspective of positioning your music and yourself within art. They are the reason why I allowed myself to be so open-minded about mixing genres within the bounds of one artist. We, being the diverse human being that we are, are experiences of different states and emotions. We’re listening to a great variety of music within our playlists. So why can’t I allow myself to make a song that will have a punk-rock sound to it? I think that kind of freedom is the secret of artistic longevity. It’s important to maintain the interest and the hunger to the world and to yourself 🙂
I really love ‘girl in red’ right now – she is cool. It seems like we would find a common ground with her. ‘No Rome’ too, he’s an amazing creator.
EP: Growing up in The Ukraine must have given you exposure to some very different music and culture to the music that you are making. Do you like to merge your cultural background into your music in any way or do you try to use your music as a way to diversify from your life away from music?
M: I’m not sure I understand how I could apply something from my specific cultural background. Surely, there are the traditional instruments and songs which are associated with Ukraine, but I’m not interested in doing it in the way they do it now in electronic folk music. If those codes were present in my music, they would sound in a relevant and modern way.
EP: Your music has been critically acclaimed and there are several voices in music citing you as one to watch for the future. Are you planning to tour the album and if so where can people get the chance to see you play live? Given that you are so hands on with the record production, will playing the music live be a step into the unknown as you might have to relinquish control in some areas when you play?
M: Of course, I’m just dreaming about that day when I’ll be going on tour! Britain and Europe will be the first territories where I’ll be touring, I think. The album will sound incredible live and the concerts will be full of energy and drive, as all of the songs have an organic blend of acoustic and electric sound. Marineris is definitely the music that should be played by a band. I knew it from the very beginning and I come back to this thought every day. All the concerts I’ve had before were played by a group of four, and I think we will maintain the same arrangement for the live performances. I can’t wait!
EP: The album song titles could be a tour through the psyche of a young person at the moment, and especially as we emerge from the pandemic with all its attached emotional and social difficulties. Do you see your music as a way for young people to realise that everyone is going through the same thing and therefore helping them to cope, be stronger and realise they are not alone?
M: I really hope for it and will be infinitely happy if it would acquire that meaning for someone. Of course, social media creates an impression of being together and not feeling lonely, but is it really true? I think that in some way it only enhances our loneliness, because we stopped seeing each other so often and having those unique emotional experiences. Time is hard for everyone, but especially for young people, as at the time when they have to get to know themselves and the world around them, there is also a colossal amount of global problems that create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. I think the first step to dealing with this would be to acknowledge the fact that we’re all in a difficult space now, but at least our experiences are similar.
EP: Your songs to date have been quite diverse in nature but all drawn together by your style. Are you keen to not be tied to any one genre and experiment with other music genres?
M: Yes, for sure. I love all kinds of music and look at the defining characteristics of different genres as a form of expression. If a song has a certain emotion in it to be expressed, so I don’t see anything bad in using whatever means necessary to deliver it to the listeners.
EP: Finally, and really just to cure my curiosity, is your name anything to do with Valles Marineris on Mars? I wondered if there was an allusion to the chasm that runs, like a scar, on the skin of the Red Planet and whether there was a symbolism attached to that for you?
M: Hah, yes! Absolutely! I first saw the word “Marineris” on a space poster for Valles Marineris. At the first glance, this word seemed very poetic and aesthetically pleasing to me. There are not many words, where vowels and consonants are so interchangeably harmonious. Also, it has 9 letters in it, and 9 is my favourite number! But don’t tell anyone:)
EP: It’s our secret haha, well ours and everyone that will read this. Thank you so much for your time and good luck with your super project.