Mars Electric: Moving forward out of diversity.

Matt and Jacob from Mars Electric talk about their new harder rocking album, their departure from Portrait Records and the future.

Hi guys...Mars Electric bounded onto the scene as one of the original new-crops of melodic modern rock acts and were signed to high profile Portrait Records.
Things went well in the beginning - how was the initial time with the label and the release of the debut album?
Jacob- We were really excited in the beginning. We were signed by John Kalodner and he signed all of our heroes. The label released our record, but the timing was weird. Radio at the time was playing almost nothing but heavy bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit. When "Someday" hit the radio, it just didn't fit in very well with what was going on. When "Someday" failed to meet the labels expectations, they decided to stop working the record completely. The reason they signed us was because of the song "Another Day On Top Of The World" so we were hoping that they would release that song to top 40 radio stations, but unfortunately in this business you only get one chance now days. If your first single is not a smash, you could have the next "Stairway To Heaven" on your record and they won't release it. It would be nice for labels to believe in the bands they sign and try to push the album more than just putting it out and seeing if it sticks.
Matt- Not a whole lot of great execution on the things they said and actual action! Later learned, though - we we're doomed before we started. People's pissing contests and egos in the way of our plans!!!

Were you happy with the response it got? Do you know how many units you sold of the album?
Matt- Of course we wished it would've sold better, but a lot of that was outta our hands. We always sold a lot at our shows! When we had the CDs that is!
Before the release date we were out developing a fan base and a lot of people wanted to buy the disc and we didn't even have a release date! Not the greatest plan!!! Especially in today's day and age if someone wants something they want it now. How likely are you going to tell someone, Hey! check back in the stores in a coupla months! People tend to forget about you fast!! Sort of "the carriage before the horse"!!!!

Were you holding on for things to change, or were you held from leaving by the label?
Matt- We we're busy fulfilling our end of the bargain, touring commitments etc., We were still promoting ourselves even though they pulled the plug! Talk about building character!!

How did you actually come to be dropped from the label?
Matt- We had to drive to ATL (our manager dropped the bomb!) and we still had like 2-3 months worth of dates, which we chose to fulfill. To this day it is my proudest moment in this band, because there was some inner turmoil in the band and we instantly bounced back like a fist and we're one!! No new release of a single, no more nothing really just us, four hungry bastards in a van showing the world who and what we ARE!!! Our only hope was they [Sony] wanted to hear some new material which we provided, in the middle or touring I might add. We did everything asked of us!!!!! They didn't get the new stuff-so the rest is history!!!

This must have been a crushing blow, but you have successfully re-grouped. How hard was it to find yourself without a label?
Matt- Life goes on and everything happens for a reason, I'm glad because now we have the chance for more people to hear Jacob's songs, they would've sat like the first CD and not as many people would've known about us!

When did Atenzia step into the picture? Were you recording a second album for Portrait, or did you record this new album yourself and shop it around?
Matt- I kind of touched on this before, we gave it to them and they didn't get it and thank GOD!!!
Jacob- Magnus Soderkvist from Atenzia E-mailed me several months after we parted ways with Columbia and asked if I would send him a copy of the new CD. I sent it to him and he got what we were doing and asked if we wanted to do a deal. Everyone at Atenzia has been really great to us. We're glad to have the opportunity to have our songs heard all over the world.

I much prefer the new album - I think it has a tougher edge to it and some fine songs. What was the plan going into writing this album?
Matt- We planned on laying them down as fast as possible with more of a live feel and just going for it! I listened to Beautiful Something not long ago and it doesn't sound like the band at all! It's still great, great songs-but it didn't capture us as a band. A little too, no a lot too polished for us, we are a RAWK band, now!!!! One big complaint from the label was, they thought we were better live than or CD represented us- that's confusing especially when you see some big bands that totally suck ass live!!!

Are you happy with the feedback and reviews from this release?
Matt- Yes and deed!
Jacob- So far the reviews and feedback have been great. Everyone seems to like this record better than "Beautiful Something". I wasn't sure what kind of response we would get, but we couldn't be happier. There are definitely some heavier songs on this album.

Will you concentrate now on Europe, or do you have plans to release the album in the US?
Matt- We hope!
Jacob- We would like to release the album in the states, but we don't have a US distributor. We will concentrate on Europe.

How about touring? Plans to play Europe or continue playing in North America?
Matt- We will have to see-I'm IN!!!
Jacob- We would love to play Europe. Hopefully we will get a chance one day. We have also never been to Japan. I think that would be a great time as well.

I notice that and .net still point to Sony. Nice of them to give you your URL back!! Are you going to change that?
Matt- We definitely need to get a site up and running to see the feedback and communicate with anyone who digs the new CD!

What's next for the band?
Matt- We MUST, MUST, MUST record again soon!!!! I've been bugging Jacob about his song "Lottery" that haunts me daily in my head!! We must record it!!!!

What avenue's do you have to promote yourselves in the USA these days?
Jacob- We really arent doing much in the USA. Our focus is completely overseas now. We don't have a US deal, so we have nothing to promote. We are all playing in different bands in the states.

Anything else you are working on?
Matt- The FaTt MiNn solo project that will probably never be heard by the world! But I'm fine wit that!
Jacob- I play in a band called Lynam. We have 2 CD's out and a song coming out in a movie. The movie is called Mission Without Permission and it will be in theaters this January. We have a website

Anything you would like to add?
Matt- Thanks so much for your interest and we LOVE you ALL or Y'ALL!!!!!!

Thanks for taking some time out to talk with me!
Matt- Thank you INDEED!
Where are you guys based (LA right?) and do you enjoy living there? What are the good and bad points?
Matt- In (LA right?) you are referring towards Lower Alabama!! Good points-less smawg and although there are large breasts here too (at least the ones I've come across (HEHE!) pardon me!!) they seem to be less plastic! Bad points- all the damn kids being born with banjos on their Knees!! What were we talking about??!!??!!?????
Jacob- We are based in Birmingham, Alabama, but everyone lives in different states. I live in Birmingham, Matt lives in Iowa, and Chris and Carl live in Texas. After we parted ways with Columbia, we all went our separate ways until recently. This new deal pulled us back together. We haven't played any shows since we parted ways, but hopefully we will get together soon and play.

Thanks for your time guys!