As promised, SPLIT PEAK SOUP will be bringing you front and center into the minds of three band members who will be playing a hard rocking show, March 27th at the Catalyst. In this installment we chat with the prolific guitarist/vocalist, Marc Lewis, of Doors To Nowhere. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation regarding his inspiration and motivation to create the music he loves.
Tell me a little bit about the formation of Doors to No Where. I know you’ve played in several bands, what led you to focus on this current project?
I was looking to do something new, I had done Live Wire for so long that I was ready for a change. With Live Wire, there was so many lineup changes making it not feel like a band anymore. My favorite part about being in a band is that time you have with your bro’s in the jam room. It’s therapy and such a good outlet. When I was in The Fire Sermon we reached a level in our live performances that were so powerful and moving. When we stopped playing and Live Wire ended I was a bit lost and not in the greatest place in my own life. When I was looking to start D2N I wanted to find like minded people that just wanted to play music. I didn’t want to get involved with anything fake or with the goal of being a rock star. I reached out to Sean (bass) and we just started jamming. It was just a natural and easy process. Once Pete joined us on drums and we started writing Lucky You I feel D2N really kicked into gear. I started to get indescribable feeling music gives you. I started to feel that power and energy in our live shows that I had with The Fire Sermon and Live Wire. I was hooked again! Music does that to you.
If you had to describe D2N’s style of music how would you put your sound into words?
That’s is such a hard question. I have so many influences musically, it’s hard to nail it down. I would hope that D2N has their own style and sound.
How influential has the desert/stoner rock genre been on your own musical development?
Enormous. So many bands I listen to can be traced back to that genre. They either influenced desert rock or were influenced by desert rock. The four Kyuss albums are such a big influence on me even wanting to play music those albums are staples of my childhood. All the of shoots from that genre have also made a large impact. Just think about all the amazing bands that can be traced back to the desert scene in some way. That sound and style will never get old to me.
When you sing, I can sense a great deal of emotion behind your words. Are you the songwriter? Or does the band collaborate as a whole? Describe how you approach writing lyrics to a song, and how they reflect your personal experiences?
The songs I sing are all my lyrics. Sean who plays bass also sings and he writes his own lyrics. My lyrics definitely reflect my personal experiences. I always try to have a hidden meaning to my songs. I don’t wanna be too obvious but I usually have a point or a story I want to tell and if you have been in a similar situation you can definitely relate. I try not to be some prolific poet or preachy and just sing what I want and feel.
On the album Lucky You I touched a lot on the struggles that one could face and individuals that abuse power. The song Set Me Free was about someone who was made to feel worthless and weak unless they devote their whole life to a leader . The song Lucky You is about someone saying you can have it all as long as you you’re under my control and give up your free will.
Can you pick a song from Lucky You (maybe your favorite) and describe how it came together (from the riffs to the songwriting and lyrics and the gelling of the other musicians in the band) and what it feels like when all these elements come together?
I really dig the song Bones. I think Pete’s drumming really gives it such a unique and driving feeling that accompanies the main riff. Lyrically it is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s about being your own worst enemy and letting negativity break you down. It’s so easy to let life’s bad breaks destroy you. It’s easier to be a victim of circumstances rather than own up to them and accept responsibility for your own actions. The chorus is a reminder that everyone has dark days. I know I have had my share, but these day’s really make the good in my life even better. The love I have for my family, friends and the good I have just becomes stronger and more appreciated.
What’s it like playing shows with musicians you’ve looked up to like Clifford from Bl’ast and Nick Oliveri from Kyuss and Queens? Is it a surreal feeling, and does it make them feel more human when you are actually collaborating with them?
To me music is a surreal thing always. You can listen to a song and be transferred right back in time to the first time you heard it. Music can take you places for sure. When I listen to Blues For The Red Sun by Kyuss I can close my eyes and see myself right back in my dads car on the way to the beach. Playing with Nick is definitely a rad thing. I’m a huge fan of his music and we have become friends. I find that the musicians I have played with or met like Clifford and Nick that are doing this music thing because they have to or their life won’t be complete. Thats what I really respect because thats how I am. Over the years I have played shows with so many bands that are all about being rock stars. Everything is so formulated and over processed all way down to the clothes they wear. I don’t like to play shows with that vibe. Playing with bands like Mondo Generator, Bl’ast and You Know Who is what I want to be doing. We are friends and no ego’s are involved. Music is such a powerful communicator and source of inspiration. Nick, Mike and I could probably talk music all day and night.
What can we expect from this show on March 27th? How do you think the lineup compliments each other and what sets them apart?
You can expect to have a good time and see some kick ass rock n’ roll. It’s amazing that some one of Nick Oliveri’s caliber is playing a show for only $5 and at such a small venue. It’s gonna be a real intimate environment. We are pumped to bring this tour home to SC. All three bands are playing music for the love and passion of playing music. None of us are about gimmicks or playing for fame or money. We are not gonna hide behind make up, tattoos or hair cuts. We just show up and give it our all to the songs we have written and rock out. All three bands play with energy and drive. All three bands are gonna bring big guitars and drums! Nick and the Uncontrollable are gonna bring that dangerous side of rock n roll. You Know Who is gonna deliver some incredible guitar playing. Mike Pygmie who plays Guitar for YKW shreds! As far as D2N, we are bringing new songs and heavy riffs. If you’re a fan of stoner rock or punk music you can’t miss this show. You’re gonna see three bands that are friends and ready to melt beards with Rock N Roll.
What can we expect from D2N in the future. Lucky You is an awesome combination of heavy riffs and heartfelt singing, can we expect more of the same?
We are gonna put out another record. We pretty much have most of it written already. Like “Lucky You” you’re going to hear heavy riffs for sure. When I write songs I tend to do the lyrics last after I feel the vibe of the song. Sometimes Sean and Pete hear something different and put their touch on it and can really change the vibe. For instance one of the new songs I wrote at home top to bottom lyrics and all. When I brought it in to play with the guys Pete starts in with this slow driving beat. That was not what I was hearing, but it changed everything in an amazing. These new songs we have definitely have something to say and I can’t wait to start this new record.