Bucket Bros: The Carpenters of Comedy
The Transendient Issue #23: Magical Merk
Magical Merk is one of the best musicians I've heard in 09. His Music has a fun brit-pop feel to it, but the lyrics are brainier than you might expect. His music has variety and substance and will cheer you up with it's magic.
Mars: Hi Magical Merk, thanks again for this interview! Time for five questions!
How do you usually put your music together? Do you finish the instruments first or the vocal track? Or is it both at once?
Magical Merk: I usually write the music on a piano, using a cheap little tape recorder to remember it. After that I write the lyrics, and usually go back and integrate the music and the lyrics, and really try to hone in on all the aspects of the song, as this will make the recording process go smoother. After this I set about recording. Usually I lay down a metronome track, then a musical rhythm track, and then a rough vocal. This gets the overall feel of the song, and after that I will go through and really flesh it out with all the other instruments, and drums and so on. There is a lot of going back and forth to different areas throughout the whole process, and most songs are just pieced together bit by bit. Hopefully by the end it all comes together!
Mars: Your music has a very fun and happy feel to it. Even the darker stuff like Pagalin Penny seems to cheer me up. Do you ever want to make a sad song and bum everybody out, or are you comfortable making uplifting music?
Magical Merk: I try really hard to write music that is NOT negative. Im ok with songs that arent necessarily positive, but writing something that has a depressing feel or sentiment is something that I always try to avoid. I try not to have preachy songs, or complaining songs, or even personal songs. I feel like theres enough stuff out there already like that, so I would really add that much by just repeating it.
Mars: The peculiar habits of Rala Rose is my favorite song of yours I love the sound effects and the lyrics tell a fun story. What gave you the idea for that song?
Magical Merk: I first had the music ideas all on the piano. I really liked the melody and the way it was harmonized in a kind of funny zany way. When I went to write the lyrics I thought it would be fun to make a character that was just ultra quirky..really weird but also surprisingly fun and unabashed. I thought it was funny that she drank hard liquor and smoked. The sound effects were fun to put in there, I got them from my synthesizer. My favorite was the walking footsteps and the door slam.
Mars: Your one of my new favorite singers and you have alot of fans. Have you thought about doing collaborations?
Magical Merk: A little, but I feel like Ive got most of the instruments I need in my synthesizer, even if they sound kinda crappy, and its just easier to do it all myself. I think it might be really interesting to write a song with someone else, but no one has approached me with that yet. Im pretty engaged at the moment writing and recording myself.
Mars: Who is your favorite musician?
Magical Merk: Probably Tchaikovsky. I think he wrote beautiful music that was straight from the heart. I love the way his melodies are simple and thematic, but he still has all the musical chops to flesh things out and make them interesting. Also, I like the big dramatic emotional sentiment that his music often has. One of my friends told me that Tchaikovsky is the rockstar of classical composers, and I think its true.
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