Volume 93, Issue 44

Wednesday, November 17, 1999


Dogma lightly bites at traditions

Pokemon is totally okey-dokey, mon

Marcy not a playground bully

Bush perfects derivative formula

Marcy not a playground bully

Gazette file photo

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

Some days, you wake up and fame splashes cold water in your face. Some days, after years of toiling in the rock 'n' roll underground, radio DJs hop into bed with you and want to cuddle. But is there anyway to foretell when that happy day may come knocking on your door?

"Of course not, of course we didn't. I don't think any band does and if they think they do they're fooling themselves," explains Dylan Keefe, bassist for Marcy Playground, the band who gave us "Sex & Candy."

"It doesn't happen much. A song isn't played that much for practical purposes. There's no way you can try to [write a song for radio] and even if you did try, it would be disingenuous. Who knows what it takes, it just kind of clicks with certain people."

It seems things didn't always smell so sweet for the American band now engaged in the promotional push for their second album, Shapeshifter. Marcy Playground's overnight success was a long, sometimes sleepless night which left them tossing and turning through the pitfalls of rock.

"The funny thing is now that people have heard [Sex & Candy] 10 thousand times they say that it's such an obvious hit. The reality is when we released it to radio stations, a couple picked it up and the only feedback we got was that it wasn't going anywhere and it wasn't anything of value," Keefe explains. "And a year later, after our first record label [EMI America] had fallen apart and people were falling all around us, suddenly everyone wanted to take credit for breaking this band. It's ridiculous."

As EMI toppled around them, Marcy Playground kept pushing forward. But the turmoil caused by the collapse of the now defunct record label appears to have caused more than enough stress for musicians.

"The worst part of it was things weren't going very well with that label, even though there were people who we really loved and who were going through brick walls for us – all of those people left their jobs and – boom – the company shut down," Keefe remarks. "It was really kind of traumatizing that some people would have that much power over the lives of others."

Despite the trauma, Keefe and his mates managed to keep their composure. As a band labelled by many as unassuming, humble young men, this may have been hard to do. Stereotypically, the world of rock is a place where only the strong survive.

"There's definitely a myth that goes along with rock 'n' roll, that you have to be tough and extravagant. There's the Oasis' who trash their hotel rooms and fight on stage. But we don't have that. In a way that has worked to our detriment, because bands that have [those characteristics] tend to get more press," he explains.

"But what we do, we do because we love it. When you're doing interviews or talking to fans or interacting with the public – you have to think, how hard is this job, really? It's not worth complaining about. We get to play music every single night and that's totally amazing. There are tons of bands and tons of musicians who don't get to do that. How hard is it to socialize and be yourselves?"

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Copyright The Gazette 1999