Mad the Martian consists of Ron E Raygun (a.k.a. Bob Marsh, lead and rhythm guitars/vocals) and Cap'n Jack (a.k.a. Jack Marsh, keyboards/vocals) along with Ajax Ray O Vaque (a.k.a. Anthony J. Resta, percussion/guitars/keys/vocals). The three originally got together with the idea of writing a single song—that song eventually turned into an album’s worth of material titled Blast Off. Scene Point Blank got together with Bob Marsh to discuss the new record and the band’s future with an animated series coming soon.
Scene Point Blank: What is the back story on you guys? I know from reading your website that you reunited with longtime friend Anthony Resta (producer - Duran Duran, Perry Farrell, Missing Persons, and John Cate to name a few) to do one song. Was it during those recording sessions that you guys just hit it off and decided then and there to form an actual band?
Bob Marsh: We first worked with Anthony in the 1990s. we did the EP with him and Bob St John. We have known each other for quite a long time and we knew it was going to be good, but–after the first few tracks, we realized something special was happening–really good chemistry.
Scene Point Blank: I've listened to "C'mon C'mon C'mon" several times now and from the first chords I am jettisoned back to the ‘80s rock sound. What bands do you list as being the biggest influence?
Bob Marsh: The track was influenced more by early ‘70s–mid ‘70s Elton John (if we must nail it down). But, for sure, I was a kid of my generation: Queen., Aerosmith, the Beach Boys…Zep, Floyd.
Scene Point Blank: Another tidbit I picked up from your site is the band’s commitment to all things analog and the organic sound of older electric guitars from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Can you explain your feelings and how that shaped the sound of the band?
Bob Marsh: Can anyone explain their feelings? We like what works best, and authentic gear really makes us commit to our sound. Using fantastic gear helps create nectar from fruit, if you know what I mean.
Scene Point Blank: First off, could you give us a bit of a story synopsis of the animated series you have in the works and then update us with whatever new details you're allowed to spill on the progress?
Bob Marsh: Okay. From a far-off galaxy, we came to Earth. Our mission: to save rock ‘n’ roll! It’s basically about nothing, like, “What did you do today? Go to work? Get coffee?” It’s about nothing. But just to “spill” a little, Ronny rips his pants in Episode 3.
Scene Point Blank: The tune "Extraordinary Love" is another great one off of the record, with a beautiful kind of Pernice Brothers meets The Beach Boys feel. When you write a song like that, is there a point in time where you say, “Hey this sounds like ___ and then intentionally move in that direction with the production, or is it organic?
Bob Marsh: Who the flip are the Pernice Brothers??
As far as organic is concerned, sprinkle a teaspoon of Chia seeds on us, you tell me. The sound is definitely influenced by the Beach Boys, specifically Brian Wilson–but on that track, I would say it was more influenced by the band Badfinger.
Scene Point Blank: You don't try to hide the fact that you guys feel that Autotune is the beginning of The End (which I totally agree with) and reports of "artists" just lip syncing. Are there any other of the new common practices you feel the same way about?
Bob Marsh: We are careful to say “autotune abuse” is the culprit–it goes too far when, rather than enhancing the sound, it becomes a sound in itself. But used right it can be a very useful tool.
As far as lip syncing (like the Chili Peppers for the NFL), I totally get where they don’t have time during a 15-minute halftime show to set-up and soundcheck a band, when at the same time they want top product and sound quality.