Leigh Marble: Ten Questions We Ask Everyone

Leigh Marble - Not a great farmerLeigh Marble’s sophomore album Red Tornado opens with an ode to the dirtiest band in the world. Musically and lyrically, Marble pay hommage to the Rolling Stones with a sleazy slide guitar, Hammond organ, and a sly namecheck with “I don’t see no shots of Charlie Watts.” But don’t think for a moment that Marble is a cut-rate Mick Jagger reinventing Exile on Mainstreet on digital gear and ephedrine. No, Marble does for 70s rock what Beck did for anti-folk in the early 90s. There are strange juxtapositions that walk a fine line between the warbly vocalization and stumbling rhythm of Bright Eyes and the hazy lyricism and story telling of Josh Ritter. The fact that I can’t easily pin this kid to the alt.country world who worships at the alter of Gram Parsons and embarrasses itself with self-conscious faux alcoholism is a very good sign.

On “Salt In the Wound,” a song Marble describes as “a memoriam to a number of slow-suicide cases I’ve known in Portland. Frustrated artists that forget their beauty and drink themselves to death”, Marble pulls no emotional punches in his pursuit to speak his mind and let his voice be heard. See what I’m saying?

We suckered Marble into answering our dopey questions and found that he ain’t cut out for farming so took up the lazy life with a guitar and a strong cup of coffee.

#1 What’s the last CD/Download you bought with your own money? Was it worth the dough?

The last CD I bought was the new Two Gallants album. They’re a guitar/drums duo on Saddle Creek, and I’m a sucker for duos. It seems pretty good so far, though I’ve only scratched the surface of it.

#2 Best/Worst part about being a professional musician?

Worst part is spending more time on the business end of things than on playing or writing. Best part is when people assume that because you’re a musician you must be batshit crazy or have a heavy drug habit, and then it’s easy to impress them when it turns out that you’re not and you don’t.

#3 Worst “real job” you’ve ever had?

Well, the most back-breaking job was when I was on a farm one summer, though it’s hard to call it the “worst” since the owner was a really nice guy. But the shape I’d be in by the end of a day – especially if it was a planting day where I was crawling up and down the rows, planting seeds on my hands and knees – I’d be a mess.

#4 Who is the worst band member to sit next to on the van/bus?

Me in the morning before I’ve had coffee.

#5 Most embarrassing music purchase?

Hmmm, the “Pour Some Sugar On Me” cassette single? Paradoxically (or not), also the most rockin’ music purchase ever.

#6 Build the perfect musician:

Perfection is boring, but here’s a musician I would pay to see:

  • Voice of: Nina Simone
  • Songwriting of: Elliott Smith
  • Musicianship of: Charles Mingus
  • Personality/Image of: David Bowie.

    #7 Biggest twat in the music biz?

    It’s a toss up between Navarro and Kiedis. I feel more let down by Navarro, since he was a big hero of mine when he was in Jane’s Addiction, so he had farther to fall.

    #8 When I hear_________I want to stick a hanger in my ear.

    “Judy Blue Eyes”

    #9 The greatest Founding Father is________, because_________.

    The greatest Founding Father is “Fightin” James Madison, because he knew kung fu.

    #10 I love Glorious Noise because_________.

    I love Glorious Noise for lots of reasons, but the simplest one is because I stand in agreement with your tagline that “Rock and roll can change your life.”


    Leigh Marble – “Lucky Bastards”

    Leigh Marble – “Salt in the Wound”

    Leigh Marble – “Gave It All”


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