Mondo Extra
The James Marsters Interview

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Couch Baron: A+ | Grade It Now!
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"I Almost Punched The Preacher, Man."

CB: Man! So outside your acting, you're a professional musician. Have you been interested in music as long as you've been into acting?

JM: Um...well, I started learning guitar about the same time -- maybe like two years after that. And I was playing in bars when I was thirteen, fourteen, and I was with a band called The Vandals for a while. But when it came time for college I decided to study acting, so guitar was just in my personal life. And then I got on TV, and then clubs found that out, and knew that they could sell tickets whether I sucked or not, and I played and I sucked, and they sold their tickets and I kept trying, and I met a guy, started a band and learned a lot, did that for two years, at which point I went out just playing solo, which was terrifying. [laughs] But ultimately, people said they liked it better, because ultimately I was just singing my own songs, and everyone sounds better when they're singing their own songs. Frankly, Charlie's stuff was just too high.

CB: That was Ghost Of The Robot, right?

JM: Yeah! Yeah. That was a great band 'til the fuckin' singer started singing! Then it was horrible! [both laugh] And it's just a terrible feeling when that guy is you! And you're like, "I don't have the notes, dude!" Finally, we were recording the second album and I finally had the notes required for the first album. I was working on it, 'cause you know, he's a tenor, he writes for himself and then makes me sing it, but I'm like, a baritone. But you know, I finally had the notes for the first album, and he added three on top! I'm like, you fucker! I can't! I can't!

CB: Heh. You're not the only famous actor to tour professionally. Without speaking for anyone else, do you find part of the appeal to be the performance aspect, especially in front of a live audience that you don't get when you're doing TV?

JM: Yeah. Definitely. There's a danger and also a freedom, that you definitely don't get with TV.

CB: So I'd imagine you don't get the same sort of thrill out of recording an album in the studio, either.

JM: Uh, no, but luckily I'm working with such good people that I'm more nervous in the studio than I ever have been in front of an audience, and I've been terrified in front of an audience. I'm working with Ben Peeler, a guitarist from The Wallflowers, for a couple days and he's just so fucking amazing! I think he's going to be working with us all through it. Also Blair Sinta, who's just an incredible drummer who's worked with Alanis Morissette, and Curt Schneider, the bassist ["from Five For Fighting" -- CB], and GOD, he's amazing. And I'm working with Ryan Shore as a producer, who does a lot of soundtracks for movies and stuff. I had a lot of different sounds that I wanted to kind of try to make into one holistic album. [laughs] So I needed a guy who understood a lot of different kinds of songs. So ultimately, in a recording studio, no matter how wonderful it is, it's a different sort of pressure and it's a different sort of experience; it's really fun, and in its own way it's dangerous. But when you're in front of an audience, you know, you're entertaining, more than anything else you're entertaining them, and you're using either your music or if you're doing a play you're using your words, because you're trying to make a conversation with the audience, basically, and you're using whatever medium you have at the time to do that. So that's the cool part of it. And sometimes, the audience will want to talk back, you know? [both laugh]

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Mondo Extra

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Mondo Extra
The James Marsters Interview

Episode Report Card
Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
"I Almost Punched The Preacher, Man."

CB: Man! So outside your acting, you're a professional musician. Have you been interested in music as long as you've been into acting?

JM: Um...well, I started learning guitar about the same time -- maybe like two years after that. And I was playing in bars when I was thirteen, fourteen, and I was with a band called The Vandals for a while. But when it came time for college I decided to study acting, so guitar was just in my personal life. And then I got on TV, and then clubs found that out, and knew that they could sell tickets whether I sucked or not, and I played and I sucked, and they sold their tickets and I kept trying, and I met a guy, started a band and learned a lot, did that for two years, at which point I went out just playing solo, which was terrifying. [laughs] But ultimately, people said they liked it better, because ultimately I was just singing my own songs, and everyone sounds better when they're singing their own songs. Frankly, Charlie's stuff was just too high.

CB: That was Ghost Of The Robot, right?

JM: Yeah! Yeah. That was a great band 'til the fuckin' singer started singing! Then it was horrible! [both laugh] And it's just a terrible feeling when that guy is you! And you're like, "I don't have the notes, dude!" Finally, we were recording the second album and I finally had the notes required for the first album. I was working on it, 'cause you know, he's a tenor, he writes for himself and then makes me sing it, but I'm like, a baritone. But you know, I finally had the notes for the first album, and he added three on top! I'm like, you fucker! I can't! I can't!

CB: Heh. You're not the only famous actor to tour professionally. Without speaking for anyone else, do you find part of the appeal to be the performance aspect, especially in front of a live audience that you don't get when you're doing TV?

JM: Yeah. Definitely. There's a danger and also a freedom, that you definitely don't get with TV.

CB: So I'd imagine you don't get the same sort of thrill out of recording an album in the studio, either.

JM: Uh, no, but luckily I'm working with such good people that I'm more nervous in the studio than I ever have been in front of an audience, and I've been terrified in front of an audience. I'm working with Ben Peeler, a guitarist from The Wallflowers, for a couple days and he's just so fucking amazing! I think he's going to be working with us all through it. Also Blair Sinta, who's just an incredible drummer who's worked with Alanis Morissette, and Curt Schneider, the bassist ["from Five For Fighting" -- CB], and GOD, he's amazing. And I'm working with Ryan Shore as a producer, who does a lot of soundtracks for movies and stuff. I had a lot of different sounds that I wanted to kind of try to make into one holistic album. [laughs] So I needed a guy who understood a lot of different kinds of songs. So ultimately, in a recording studio, no matter how wonderful it is, it's a different sort of pressure and it's a different sort of experience; it's really fun, and in its own way it's dangerous. But when you're in front of an audience, you know, you're entertaining, more than anything else you're entertaining them, and you're using either your music or if you're doing a play you're using your words, because you're trying to make a conversation with the audience, basically, and you're using whatever medium you have at the time to do that. So that's the cool part of it. And sometimes, the audience will want to talk back, you know? [both laugh]

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Mondo Extra

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