AN INTERVIEW WITH LIFE AS MARY
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Who is Life As Mary?
LIFE AS MARY: I came up with the band name in the early 2000’s. My first name is Mary, but my family and friends always called me by my middle name. I wondered how life might have been different if everyone called me Mary. When I recently returned to writing music, I decided the name still fit!
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How is having a singing career like in reality compared to what you imagined it would be like before you started?
LIFE AS MARY: As a musician, you have to learn how to make your own way...the school of hard knocks. Fortunately, I think I was cut out for it. I had a bumpy
beginning, but stuck with it!
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What was the first song you ever wrote?
LIFE AS MARY: The first song I ever wrote was called Billy Rae. It was about an uncle of mine who led a hard life. I wrote the song after he passed away.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What ideas and messages do you want to show the world with your music?
LIFE AS MARY: My hope is that people are able to make their own connection to the music and interpret the songs in their own unique way.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What inspired you to start Metro Music Makers?
LIFE AS MARY: Sometimes I feel like I started the company by “accident”. I never really had any desire to start a business, but one thing led to another. It’s become something that I never dreamed possible, and I’m really proud of it. I also get to work with an amazing team of people who dedicate their talents to helping the company grow.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How does the music therapy work? How does it help?
LIFE AS MARY: This should be a long discussion! To sum it up, music therapists help individuals make progress toward specific goals through the use of music activities that may include playing instruments, songwriting, movement, lyric analysis and much, much more.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What’s the funnest part about running your business?
LIFE AS MARY: I love seeing our students get out there and perform. Many of them are writing their own music, too. It’s truly the highlight for me.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Why did decide to become a singer?
LIFE AS MARY: I didn’t! I decided to start writing songs, and someone had to sing them!
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How do you prepare for a photo shoot? How day a usual photo shoot day look like for you?
LIFE AS MARY: A photo shoot can last anywhere from 4 - 8 hours depending on the set up and who I’m working with. I spend 2-3 hours with a stylist before getting in front of the camera. It’s usually a grueling day, and everyone is exhausted at the end of it.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: For how long have you been writing songs?
LIFE AS MARY: I started writing songs in 1997 during my first semester working on my Masters degree at Florida State University. I dropped out after that semester to pursue writing music.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What song of yours was the hardest to make, whether emotionally or production-wise?
LIFE AS MARY: Fortunately, I’ve been able to work with some really great producers; and I love being in the studio so the recording process is fun for me. Emotionally, music is my outlet. It always feels good to get it all out, even the not-so-great feelings.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How do you prepare for a vocal recording? What was your favorite song to record so far?
LIFE AS MARY: My last vocal coach turned me onto Jacobs Vocal Academy on YouTube. I use these warm-ups religiously before performing. My new Christmas song which will release in November is currently my favorite.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How much time does it usually take to complete a song?
LIFE AS MARY: Writing a song can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 years. We recorded my new 3-song EP in 2 full days. We didn’t have any distractions which helped. After those 2 days there were several more hours for mixing and mastering.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Do you prefer music that is more joyful or more sad?
LIFE AS MARY: I like them both, but I do tend to prefer upbeat tempos.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Does your fanbase have a name? If not, are there any you have in mind?
LIFE AS MARY: I’ve never thought about it! Do you have a suggestion?!
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What inspired the concept of your latest single “Time Is Out”?
LIFE AS MARY: It’s a reflection/comparison between my life now and life during my undergrad years in college. I give a shout out to some of my favorite bands from that time.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What’s your favorite style of fashion?
LIFE AS MARY: It depends on where I am and what mood I’m in!!! If I’m in NYC, I’ll wear darker colors. If I’m at the beach, I bum it! In general, I like to wear clothes that make me feel good. I always go for comfort.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Do you perform live? Do you plan to soon?
LIFE AS MARY: I just started writing again; and initially, I didn’t think that I would want to perform. The response to my songs has been so positive and encouraging that I think performing may be in the near future.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Do you plan to always stay a punk-rock musician or would you ever experiment with different genres/styles?
LIFE AS MARY: Well, I really started off as a singer/songwriter. But honestly, no one ever knew what “label” to put on me. When I released “The Aaron Session”, I was labeled as punk all the sudden. That has seemed to stick. I don’t mind, because I love the whole movement behind the punk genre.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Who designs your album and single covers?
LIFE AS MARY: I design most of them. However, I do like to work with artists and graphic designers for a different perspective.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: Who are your musical influences?
LIFE AS MARY: I love all music. I’m classically trained and have a deep appreciation for classical music too. My writing style seems to be closely tied to 80’s and 90’s rock music. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What is your biggest dream regarding your music career? Do you have any other big dream outside of music?
LIFE AS MARY: Now that I’m thinking about performing again, my dream would be to have a room full of folks ready to have a good time! As long as I can write and record songs, I’m happy. Other than that, I would like to get better on the surfboard (a fairly new hobby). Atlanta is not the best place to be for that though.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What are your favorite food and snacks?
LIFE AS MARY: I’m vegan, so I eat lots of veggies and fruits. I currently have a slight addiction to dried mango slices.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: What do you like to stand up for?
LIFE AS MARY: I’m someone who always cheers for the underdog. There are so many great causes to get behind, especially those fighting the injustices in our current society.
ARTIST’S HOUSE: How can your fans contact you? Is there anything else you’d like to say?
LIFE AS MARY: I like connecting with people on Instagram @lifeasmarymusic. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t use those as much. Send me a DM!
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