As Marianas Trench is a band, so too is the other variation of its name: The Mariana Hollow. So let’s see what makes this one tick.
Richie and I (Spinky) are from the UK and Gabriel is from Portugal – though we all live in Greater London.
How did you meet?
We met online – and luckily it’s worked out really well! Richie was one of the founding members of the band, along with our old guitarist Danny, and I answered an advert for the vocalist position. We all hit it off right away, and luckily they liked what I had done with the initial vocal ideas – so the rest is history! When Danny decided to leave the band we again advertised online for a new guitarist and we held audition sessions. Gabriel absolutely blew us away, and it was a bit of a no-brainer inviting him to join the band. He had such natural charisma and passion on the guitar, and we all got on instantly.
How long have you been playing as a band?
It has been 11 years, unbelievably! Time has really flown by. We’ve had a few ups and downs along the way, what with losing band members who have moved onto new things (guitarist Danny, drummer Adam and bassist Scott), however we have always wanted to move the band forward, and have always had that drive to start what we finish – hence this third album, The Abandoned Parade, which took a long while to come to fruition but which we feel was totally worth it.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The Mariana Trench (or Hollow) is the deepest natural trench in the world, and is about 11,000 metres deep in the ocean. We kind of stumbled across its name online – and it really just seemed to suit us perfectly. We liked the way it sounded, and looked on paper, and we felt (and still feel) that it evokes a sense of mystery and interest – which we hope people will have with our music!
What are your influences?
We all grew up on – and really enjoy – heavy music (rock and metal) so our main influences probably come from those genres, but we also like other things such as classical, folk and blues. In terms of bands I would say these ones are key influences to either one or all of us; Alice In Chains, Faith No More, Gojira, Anathema, Ghost, The Haunted, Type 0 Negative, Pantera, Opeth, Metallica, A Perfect Circle.
Vocally, I grew up idolising singers like Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Phil Anselmo, Devin Townsend, Aimee Echo, Jessicka Addams, Mike Patton, and more recently Fia Kempe and Tatiana Shmailyuk.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I’m not quite sure why we’re unique – but many people have commented that we are, and I think often it’s hard to find a bill of bands that we really fit in with! However, I love this about us, and to be labelled as unique is a great thing.
We always aim to write songs that come from a deeply emotional place, and that hopefully can touch/reach others. We care very much that our songs are not just a random collection of ideas, but are carefully formed works – which we explore at great depths together. The central song element is very important to us, as when you strip everything away the song is what you’re left with, and this is what we hope is memorable and enjoyable for our fans.
Also, I like to think our vocal parts are fairly unique in style, especially over the type of music we write. They are heavy and fraught at times, without being all out screaming, whilst being very sensitive and delicate at others – and I think this gives us a unique edge.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
My lyrics deal with a lot of different issues, and it really depends on how I feel on a given day. They cover aspects such as relationships, personal demons, my observations of those close to me, and also wider themes such as economics, politics, environmental and social injustices.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I couldn’t say exactly how many shows we’ve played but it must be 100s. Our live show is very passionate. We really throw ourselves into what we’re doing and we care a lot that we perform and play well for those that have come to see us. We want the experience of seeing The Mariana Hollow to be an entertaining yet intoxicating experience.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
This is not from one of our shows – but what always stays in my mind is when Sid from Slipknot jumped off the balcony at their first UK show at the Astoria. Crazy bastard!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
On the record we used a Kemper for all the guitar/bass sounds. Guitars wise it was a variety of instruments, for the sections that required a 7 string we used a Schecter KM7 and a Schecter Blackjack ATX, and for the rest of the album Richie used mostly an EVH special (made in Japan – with a dimarzio crunchlab in the bridge) and Gabriel used a PRS SC245. Towards the end of the process of recording guitars we used a LTD Eclipse fitted with an Evertune bridge to re-record the sections that we felt were slightly out of tune. As for the bass, Scott used a Dingwall ABZ (5 strings). We also used a Digitech FreqOut for the sections that required feedback or an Ebow type sound.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are promoting our third album – The Abandoned Parade. We’re extremely proud of it, and so far it’s been received really well and we’ve been getting some great reviews. It’s been a long road to releasing it, and we’re stoked that we can finally share it with everyone!
What are your plans for 2019?
Well, it’s going to be a bit of a diluted second half of 2019 for the band as I am about to have a baby in a few days time but after everything has settled down a bit we hope to get back in the rehearsal room to prep for some live shows, and also to potentially record an EP as we have some great songs that didn’t make it onto the album, but which we’d love to record.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you?
There are so many – and the guys would no doubt have their own opinions on this, but I would love to support Ghost, as they’re one of my favourite all time bands, and to support us I would choose my husband’s band IAmWarface – as they are fantastic, and always put on a great live show.