Interview: Bone & Marrow

Bone & Marrow Band Photo
Photo Credits: Mike Jonin

Bone and Marrow is (Band Members and Instruments They Play): Daimon Santa Maria – Vocals / guitar / flute / percussion samples / keyboards,  Jennifer Santa Maria  Vocals / bass guitar / ukulele / live percussions

We’re Based Out Of: Brick, New Jersey. We write and practice all our music in our upstairs corner apartment.The neighbors don’t seem to mind all the noise…yet.

You recently took part in Speak In My Good Eye’s 24 Hour Song Writing Contest and ended up on their EP — can you talk about the song you wrote, and the challenge of crafting a song in a short period of time?

“Making out like Bandits” was an unfinished song we had planned to record for the contest, but weren’t sure what changes would be made the day of recording. Daimon and I made a lot of last minute decisions just to make the deadline, and those decisions breathed new life into the song with harmonies and parts we never expected to record.We were inspired by a Bonnie and Clyde exhibit we saw at a museum and when we got home that was the first song we wrote, inspired by that story.

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You just put out a new record — can you talk about how this stands out from the rest of your other music?

We just released a more laid back, low-fi album titled Natural Causes and it is very different song writing from our more electric album, “Patterns,” which was released back in May this year. We recorded and mixed the acoustic songs in our home and didn’t have the same complications of writing with a loop machine, so you can hear the organic nature in those songs. Our songs usually are themed around societal observation, but the songs on “Natural Causes” are very intimately tied to the experiences in our personal lives. Their are so many layers to our louder electric songs and it’s easy to hide behind them, but when you strip away all those layers its very revealing. “Natural Causes” is a “one and done” . You might not hear something like that again from us for awhile but for now it was great to get it out of our systems.

What was a mistake you made starting out in the music business did you learn from the most?

Self sufficiency — learning how to be compact and portable. The more accessible you can make your craft the more you will get it out there. The easier it is to transport your ideas the easier it is to share with the world. Embracing the internet also falls into this category. Growing up in a digital age it was intimidating at first to fully embrace the internet as a venue but art thrives on accessibility.

Wildest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?

We’ve had the pleasure of performing with a David Bowie impersonator and a performance artist dressed in gimp. We also sang to a baby once. The baby really enjoyed it.

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What do you love about playing live?

We enjoy watching people enjoy themselves and their reactions to what we spend time writing and practicing. It’s also a social experience for us. The most important thing for us about the live performance is using the stage as a testing ground for the songs. Sometimes the songs don’t work live and sometimes they work out better than we ever expected.  Learning that is the part of the music writing process that is the most challenging and helps us evolve.

If someone hadn’t heard your music before what song would you recommend they check out in order to fully understand what you do, and why?

The song “Signals” would probably best describe what we’re doing, writing with the loop station. It’s one of our more complicated songs because it requires a lot of choreography and for loopers or musicians who watch Daimon’s footwork, it might be one of the more impressive songs just for how challenging it can be to play it. We incorporate more new songs into our set, that will be recorded in 2016, and those songs are a little more like “Signals” than other songs on “Patterns.”

There are so many bands out there in the Asbury scene, what makes you stand out from everyone else?

We have been told that we sound like a full band, even though it’s just the two of us. That is a pretty unique aspect of what we’re doing- we try to create as much sound as possible with the equipment we have.  It’s not uncommon to hear flute solos on top of looped guitar and drum samples. A few of our instruments are handmade as well.

Additionally, are harmonies are very unique in that Daimon takes the higher harmonies, and Jen usually takes the lower ones. We don’t subscribe to gender roles in that way. We are a married couple in this project together, but we are clearly individuals when we play together. We both have lots of energy for our performance despite the fact it’s just the two of us.

Plans for the rest of 2015?

We have been writing and finishing up all the loose ends with our songs for the next album, “Viewmasters”, which we’re looking to record as soon as January of next year at AntFarm Studio. We’re closing out the year with Remember Jones for a strand theater performance.

Bone & Marrow performs tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park with Tony Appleseed, No More Pain, Hunter & The Bear.

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