From their expansive acoustic epic “Mountaineering” to the cascading fusion intimacy of “Chapel,” Marathon(pa) summons everything from Stone Roses and The Verve‘s Richard Ashcroft’s breathless swagger to Stanley Clarke’s Animal Logic project with Stewart Copeland and Deborah Holland to form one of the most exciting releases we have heard in 2014.
In selecting the band as our Indie Artist of the Month for October, we naturally wanted an excuse to learn more about whence their dynamic, enthralling and enigmatic sound springs, particularly because it is a month often tinged with melancholy and strange dreams and things bumping around at twilight.
MusicZeitgeist: Who is Marathon(pa)?
Marathon(pa): We’re partially a family band – Erich and Zach are brothers, and I (Paul) am their cousin. Andy and Rob have been friends with each other and us for years. We’ve all jammed together as well as connected over music we like, so that has made our friendship and musicianship tighter. We’re lucky in that fact that we have a long history as a group of friends, as it makes working together so natural.
MZ: How do these incredible arrangements come together?
Marathon(pa): Our band began with Zach, who writes all of the music. Honestly, it started as his own solo project, but over time it matured into a full-scale band. One of the best parts of being in this band, in particular as a group of friends, is that the line between who we are outside of playing music and who we are in the band is blurred. We don’t have to pretend in one scenario or the other, we are just ‘Marathon’.
A general way of describing our music is calling it Indie or Alternative Rock. While those are broad descriptions, we’ve been compared to a lot of other artists, including Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Circa Survive, Cursive, and quite a few others.
MZ: Your songs are deeply ambitious and gorgeously executed. I even hear Shudder to Think, Slowdive, At The Drive-In – all sorts of comparisons – but really it legitimately feels like something all its own.
Perhaps your roots, geography will give us a stronger clue as to the nature of the sound?
Marathon(pa): We’re from Lebanon, PA. Though some of us have lived in Philadelphia as well, Lebanon is our hometown and is where Marathon began. We came together the summer of 2013 as a serious band, however we’ve all been playing music since we were young, and since then have collaborated on other projects. Some of the first times we actually bonded were over albums we liked or just to jam.
There are a lot of threads from our personal lives that have intertwined over the years. So, the official formation date is in 2013. It just feels to us like it’s been longer than that.
MZ: So what’s next? What does a terrific indie artist like you do these days to take over the world?
Marathon(pa): We’re in TouchTunes’ Breakout Band competition as one of the top 10 finalists out of several hundred competing for the number one spot, so that’s exciting, and the winner will be announced at the end of this month. We have two festivals that we’re looking forward to playing as well, one of which is Electric City Music Conference in Scranton on the 12th, and the other is CMJ in Manhattan on the 23rd.
CMJ is of course a big deal for us, especially since it’ll be our first time performing at it. Music-wise, we’re working on new songs right now for our next album, which we want to have ready to release in early 2015.
Music Streaming & Download:
Marathon(pa) at bandcamp
Listen now to “Chapel” by Marathon(pa) and other artists we have featured at the MusicZeitgeist.com’s free Indie Music Jukebox
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