By Brittany Rudyck
EDMONTON – The guys in hardcore band Marla Maria credit their current line-up to a series of bizarre Kijiji encounters, even if vocalist Chris Delamere and drummer Andrew Creguer-Norgate grew up together. The duo cut their teeth in pop-punk bands, eventually working their way up to “dad rock cover bands who played in shitty bars.”
“The whole band was basically formed using Kijiji,” says Delamere, laughing.
“Before Nolan joined the band, I met some guy for drinks and immediately got a sketchy vibe. We went to pay for our beers and he didn’t have his wallet so I had to pay for it. That was weird. Needless to say we didn’t invite him for a jam.”
He adds, “We had tried out a few guys, but then Nolan and [drummer] Andrew just clicked.”
Guitarist Nolan LePage joined in 2015, in time to record a rough demo that would eventually become the basis for the bands’ first self-titled EP on Pinebox Records. Released in May, the EP sees the trio experimenting with groovy riffs but maintaining cutting vocals and husky bass lines.
In the last two years, Delamere estimates the band went through about 15 potential bandmates before landing on the current line up. Rhythm guitarist Steven J. Lagrange joined around a year ago; bassist Sean Hoff joined in the last six months.
When it came time to record (much like their search for reliable band mates), not everything went as smoothly as planned.
“We worked really hard on this EP; the songs have changed a lot since our first demo. But, our jam space flooded and that was a whole thing,” explains Delamere.
“It was in-between recording drums and guitar or something. So the jam space flooded and everyone had to move out. We stayed and had all this time to record without any other noise coming in.”
In their damp and dank recording conditions, Marla Maria have put together songs with riffs reminiscent of Every Time I Die and Stray From the Path. An edgy outer layer masks unassuming innards, deconstructing politics and depression through vocals that shred…. And it’s all thanks to a thrifty website.
Delamere cracked up when asked about their imaginary rating on Kijiji, hypothesizing about the website’s potential to do such a thing.
“There are a lot of people who would have given us one star!”
Marla Maria releases their debut EP on July 23 at the Mercury Room (Edmonton).Marla Maria, Mercury Room