In Conversation with Marlow Grey, Part II

Marlowe Grey is an alternative band based in Brooklyn, known for passionate vocal expression, sensitive soundscapes, and meticulous songwriting. They’ve just released “Sugar Plum Fairy,” a preview track from their EP, Midnight in Brooklyn, which will be released this fall. The band will be following the EP with an LP in the next year.

Says the band’s singer, songwriter, and guitarist Anthony John Pietro the song’s title refers to old Beatles bootlegs in which John Lennon would start his takes by saying “sugar plum fairy, sugar plum fairy,” instead of the traditional “one-two, one-two.”

Recently Pietro took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about songwriting, the new EP, and the inspirational power of The Big Apple.

Your band is definitely a motley crew in terms of taste, training, and style. How do you make all that come together?
We make it up as we go. We have no idea what we’re doing or how to be a successful, sustaining, established rock band with a twenty-year career (which is what we’re shooting for). we’re just working hard, being as practical as possible, and respecting one another tremendously. We are all different, however we all come from similar backgrounds and families.

What’s the formula for the songs you create?
They have to have a feel. All the chords have been played. All the melody has been written. The voice and emotion, for me, is all That’s left to vary with music today.

What do you love best about your new EP, Midnight in Brooklyn?
It tells a story. The EP takes place around a single evening in New York and passes through different cultural aspects of the city. The listener is taken for a bit of a ride sonically.

The title of your new single, “Sugar Plum Fairy,” was inspired by John Lennon, who repeated this name at the start of a recording (instead of the usual “one, two, one, two”). Did he ever say why he did that?
I’ve read a handful of books on Lennon and during that time (The Beatles circa 1965) he was clearly torn between their success and the drag of their success. He never spoke about “sugar plum fairy” from what I’ve read, however I get the sense that he was really trying to keep his humor and wittiness through all the stress, pressure, and chaos.

How did you come up with your band’s name?
Haha . . . That’s a secret.

What influence has Brooklyn, or New York in general, had on the development of your sound?
New York, and Brooklyn in particular, has had an incredible influence on our sound. Everything happens here. There’s a ton of culture around and there are so many stories that are crazy to hear (from friends, experiences, etc.) and write about.

It’s also pretty darn safe, the city, and visually stunning of course, yet the powers that be are really trying to use some of the very limited space to create as much nature as possible for us. So yeah, you gotta hop on a subway to get to Brooklyn Bridge Park (which is gorgeous), or to the Highline or Central Park, but It’s really worth it when you get there!
(to be continued)

Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.