Interview: Grand Mariner

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Grand Mariner Is (Band Members, Instrument Played): Matt plays bass Griffin plays guitar, Justin plays guitar and Jon plays the drums. We all sing for the most part but Justin does most lead vocals.

The Story of Our Name: There was a bottle in Jon’s basement the first time we got together to jam. We actually read the label wrong and thought it said “Mariner.”

We’re based out of: Howell, NJ

Any new music coming out: Yes, working on a record/game plan.

You’ve seen us before [in other bands]: Aches, Touchdown Boy, Beaver Brothers, Los Huevos

Our sound has been likened to: Don Henley, “Showing You the Ropes.”

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How often do people call your band Grand Marnier?

Never. We get “marine-er” a lot.

What bands have inspired your sound? In the same vein, what people from your life inspired you as a musician?

We’re inspired by the Beach Boys and other pop music. From our own life – our friends, Laura, Matt’s parents, and probably some other people too!

You describe yourselves as the #2 butt rock band on Band Camp. For all the informed out there – what is butt rock?

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That was a joke we put in the bio. I dont know what butt-rock is. (Editor’s Note: To get a better idea of  what “butt rock” is and what mainstream bands qualify as such, click here.)

There are so many bands that are playing the Asbury scene right now – what separates Grand Mariner from all the bands out there?

We’re probably the only band that sings about dolphins.

What is one of your favorite and/or most outrageous moments you’ve had performing with Grand Mariner?

We’ve been lucky to play with/meet a lot of amazing people and bands over the past year

What do you love about being in Grand Mariner?

Griffin: I just joined the band a few months ago. I’ve never worked too well with people (hence why I had a solo project for so long) but when I met these guys the first times our bands played together in some dudes garage I knew they had something special in their heads. whether what i saw in them was their modesty in light of actual talent or their impeccable style, they’re great musicians and I consider every song I get to play with them a privilege.

Justin: That was beautiful Griffin. You are what I love about Grand Mariner.

Jon: I’m just in it for the beer.

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Matt: Same.

If someone read this interview and never heard you before, but decided to check you out, what song would you recommend they listen to in order to understand what Grand Mariner is all about?

Stuff that’s not out yet! But of our songs on the internet probably “Unforgiving Sun” or Max Milwaukee”.

What do you have planned for the rest of 2015?

A new record and getting our music to reach new places! And gnarly partying with freaks like us.

Grand Mariner performs tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey with Dollys and The Heavies. Admission is free.


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Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites