What genre of music do you consider yourself to be a part of?
I don’t think about that too much. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say alternative. The only thing that really matters to me is that what’s coming out is a true representation of what’s inside. My stuff flirts with pop a little, but also keeps a good distance from resembling modern pop, which I don’t dig very much.
Who would you compare yourself too?
Is there anyone who has inspired you during your career?
Obviously all of the above, but moreso I tend to draw inspiration from what I feel on the inside – feelings that spring from observations of the world around me, experiences in that world and relationships with the people in that world.
You released your solo – live album “ Listen Close Live” earlier this year. Why did you choose to do a live album? How does it compare to a studio album?
It had been a long time coming. I can’t put my finger on it, but something happens when I’m out in front of a live crowd that is hard to replicate in a studio. There’s always been this disconnect for me, and I’ve known for a while that a live record was something I wanted to do to bridge that gap. It’s nice to let the songs stand there naked and be confident that they’re good just the way they were written.
What is your favorite song to sing live?
I tend to like the ones that are higher energy, songs like Fuck Up, Her, This Cigar, stuff I can really let loose on.
Has anything changed since the release of the album?
It was an important step for me before moving on to working on new songs, finally getting versions of songs out that I feel good about. I needed to close the book on some of those songs.
Is there anything new you can share with us? Either a possible new studio album or EP?
We’re getting close to that point very quickly.
You are only 24 years old; does this have any affect on you in the music industry?
Not for me. My aim is to just write better songs and play my instruments better, and deliver better albums for myself and my fans. What has more impact is that I’ve been in and around the music industry at the highest levels for 6 years now, so I know what’s up and there’s not much that I don’t see coming now. I really feel comfortable navigating it, and in my ability to get the most out of it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and the beginning of 2014?
Write, write, write, play, play, play. I’m constantly making new stuff and recording new stuff, and breaking it apart and putting it back together. This is the deepest I’ve dove into the pre-studio process, I wanna make sure I’m all the way there before we roll the tape.
Finally, is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?
That’s why I make albums.
By 2010, the demand for Marcus Foster started to grow with in the US, which led to musical appearances on the Jimmy Fallon Show, as well as tours around the country. In the following year, Foster finally released his debut album, Nameless Path which contains “timeless quality which was once appreciated”. Furthermore his second EP The Last House was released in late 2012, and contains some of most diverse work to date. So if you are looking for some calming folk/blues tunes that contain sounds rarely heard in today’s music, Marcus Foster is the man you are looking for.
His music is available on iTunes, as well as his website. Furthermore, Foster will be touring around the United States during March and April, whilst completing his second album, tour dates can be found on his Facebook page.
You guys have come a long way since releasing 2010’s Undeclared. What’s been the biggest change for you guys in terms of your music career?
Definitely the release of The Drive In. That was our breaking point and took us to a new level. The buzz we got off of that, an average artist would get from two to three well-marketed mixtapes.
When we released The Drive In and followed it up with the Pledge To Rage tour we got a sense of the appreciation for the project and really connected with our audience. It’s been a lot more personal ever since.
How did you balance school and music when The Dean’s List really started picking up?
It was definitely late nights and a lot of work. Some of us were still working one or two full time jobs as well. We really had to prioritize things and there were late nights with homework and what not, but it came to the point where we started to make a living off The Dean’s List and that became a priority.
We didn’t feel that the courses we were taking were really teaching us the modern music industry and were learning more on our own so we figured we should go more in that direction.
How hard do you think it is to stand out as an artist nowadays, when anyone can pick up a mic or a computer and start making their own music?
It is definitely really tough. People try hard to emulate an artist they look up and that often leads to copying them. A lot of people lack original material and just become a mimic of their favorite artist. We think you have to listen to a lot of different music and make YOUR music. It’s important to stay true to what you want to do and not be phony or fake.
What are you guys listening to right now?
Right now we are definitely listening to a lot of Florence & The Machine, Kanye & Jay-Z, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, classical music, Bob Dylan, The Beatles… and we listen to this type of music because there is more that goes into it and that is what we are looking to develop with our sounds. It’s more evolved than a rapper rapping over a beat.
What’s your favorite Dean’s List song so far?
Mik: I would have to say “La Vie.” I worked really hard on the mix for that, a lot of these techno tracks we can do a lot of production but it’s the mix that really brings it together.
Sonny: My favorite song to date is “The Dream” because it’s the most honest, and a very self-motivating song to me.
Mendoza: I would say “Burn It All” or “Dear Professor,” they have great stories behind them and were big songs for us. They are always great to perform and people recognize the song as soon as it drops.
If your new album Generation X were a person, who would it be?
It would be a hybrid between Will Smith, Steve Jobs and JFK.
Why did you choose to name the album Generation X?
The album Generation X really stemmed from the fact that we had the generation before us and we are a product of them and those that came before them. The melting pot that leads to us.
You guys just recently released “Youth”. How did you guys decide on using that song as the lead single?
It really fits what we are trying to accomplish. A big thing we discuss and stand for is the youth of our generation. Not giving a fuck is a theme of Generation X and this song represents a few sides of that mentality.
Will there be any samples on the new record? “Dear Professor” found a lot of love when it was released.
There will be songs in there that sound like there might be samples but they are actually not. We manipulated things to make them more us. There will be no samples on the album!
I’ve heard that a Dean’s List clothing line is now in the works. Can you provide any details about that and what we can expect to see?
We’re working with a lot of different artists. One of the main ones we’re working with is called Bandulu as well as Mendoza’s grandfather, who is an artist in a New Mexico. We are going to put a stylish twist on our merchandise and not make it just a “band store,” but something that stands alone and makes a statement. The clothes will be something our fans can feel a part of and represents them.
What are your next plans for your music?
There will be a lot of music videos off of Generation X. It’s all about Gen X now! We plan to do a video for every song.
Thanks for taking the time to talk. Any last words?
To kick off Thanksgiving, dream-folk artist Marissa Nadler has decided to give away two tracks off of her Covers Volume II album, which features Nadler’s beautiful renditions of 13 legendary songs. It’s always difficult to do justice through a cover and even more so when you’re covering such well-known artists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, but Nadler’s melancholic voice adds a splash of personal sorrow to each song. Check out two songs below and if you like what you hear, be sure to check out Marissa’s Etsy store, where you can purchase the entire Covers album as well as her new self-titled full-length.
Motel Blues (Originally by Loudon Wainwright III):
Learning to Fly (Originally by Tom Petty):