It’s Thursday, which means we have a special guest for you. Today we have the band Marizane.
Lolita Suzanne: Welcome to Steamed! We’re so glad you could come on. Tell us about yourselves. Have you always wanted to be musicians?
Todd Jaeger: Marizane consists of Todd Jaeger, Debbie Shair, and Jim Laspesa.
I have been playing music since I was about four years old. I started on the piano and then eventually took up the guitar and bass and then the Theremin. Debbie has also been playing music since childhood starting on the piano and was an early adopter of electronic keyboards given that her parents were involved in the home computer and electronics business in the early 1970s.
LS: Tell us a little about your band? How long have you been together? How did you come together as a group?
TJ: Well, Marizane was originally one of my projects (Todd). I originally intended to write a full “rock opera” with the fictional character would be named Marizane. I completed two songs that made specific references to this character but ultimately just adopted the name for the band that I was playing with at the time. This was around 1988. I met Debbie in 1992 by answering her add in a local paper for “Keyboardist seeks band for therapy and gigs”. I thought that was a great heading and immediately called her to set up a meeting. She was the only person that I had met with that understood what I was trying to do musically and she had a very unique style of playing that fit right in with the theatrical vibe of my songs at that time.
LS: How did you decide on this particular sound? It seems so different from anything out there. To me it sounds like Steampunk lounge music—something you might hear while sipping absinthe in a club full of air pirates with ray guns…
TJ: Well the sound of the music today is the result of our collaboration through the years. You can hear elements of it in the earlier songs that I recorded by myself but it really developed between the two of us.
LS: Is there a story behind your band’s name?
TJ: No, I just wanted the character to sound sort of like a classic B movie alien invader.
LS: Nice. Who doesn’t love alien invaders? So, what’s the best thing about being in a band? The hardest?
TJ: The best thing about it is sharing the blame when things go south, the hardest is not being able to take all the credit when it goes well.
LS: Can you tell us more about your most recent album? Does it have a back story? Do you have any favorite songs? Where can we buy your music?
Favorite songs: “Monsters of Karri Mia”, “Fiddler’s Green” and “Ship for Brains”.
LS: Very cool. So, where can we hear you live?
TJ: Playing live can be tricky in terms of scheduling. Debbie is also playing keyboards for Heart and is frequently out of town on tour. However, we are just finishing building our new studio and rehearsal location “TomorrowLabs” with our partners (Wondermints and Brian Wilson members Nick Walusko and Darian Sahanaja). So playing some local shows is not out of the question in the near future.
LS: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at a performance?
TJ: Well, we do have the distinction of having played at a club that had two dead bodies on the premises, one being the displayed corps of a clown from the 1920s, and the other a taxidermied girl in a wheel chair at the foot of the stage. We also did a show for Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco on the night of September 11, 2001 because as he told us “just because Madona canceled her gig doesn’t mean you have to”.
LS: Do you have any new projects?
TJ: Right now we are just getting the new studio ready for recording, we will then be working on new material.
Thank you so much for visiting us. We really appreciate it. You can also find Marizane on Facebook.