A Q&A with Michael Marquart of A Bad Think

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Big City Thoughts: You play most of the instruments on your own album, as A Bad Think is a solo project. Have you been able to play multiple instruments since the beginning on your music career. or is that something that you’ve picked up along the way through your experience in different bands?

Michael Marquart: I started playing multiple instruments when I was young. I started playing drums at 8, guitar at 14, trombone at 15, and the stand up bass in the orchestra in high school.

BCT: In the past, you have mixed tracks for other artists. Has that experience helped you to hone in on what you want your sound to be like? Have you been inspired by any of the artists who you’ve worked with?

Michael: It has helped me to focus on how to get the sounds that I hear in my head. All of the bands I have worked with has inspired me in one way or another. You can’t help but learn working with great musicians.

BCT: It took almost three years to write, record, and release “The Tragic End of a Dreamer.” Why such a long process this time around?

Michael: Actually, it was only around two years, but this one is a double album, so that slowed me down a bit.

BCT: Did the fact that your previous release “Sleep” was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 make you feel more pressure on this album?

Michael: It does in a way, but I really don’t worry about that kind of stuff. I make music because it is what I need to do. It is always nice to be recognized for your work but that is not what drives me.

BCT: The overarching theme of your album is dreamers/dreaming. Did that theme play an important role when it came to the music videos that you’ve released thus far?

Michael: It was not done on purpose. I give the entire album to the director and he listens to it over and over and notes what rises to the top and then we discuss the concept.

BCT: The most recent video that you’ve released was for “Walk Away.” It’s a really cool concept and must have taken a lot of work because you were in space! What was the creative process like for that particular music video? Who did you work with?

Michael: Derrick Borte is the director on that one. It was his idea to put in space. I wasn’t sure about it when he pitched to me but it came out great. I was shot on a green screen with three cameras. One in front and one on either side. He told me not to move my head, just sing and move your eyes. We will stitch you head back together on post and move your head for you. That was a new one for me.

BCT: You own Windmark recording correct? And that’s your record label as an artist? How does having that much control over your career effect how you handle things? Have you had this sort of opportunity in the past?

Michael: It is very liberating. I can create the art I need to make without answering to anyone. I can see the books anytime I like. The artist pays for everything in the end anyway, so I am fortunate.

 

A Bad Think’s newest album, “The Tragic End of a Dreamer,” was released in December 2016. You can catch up with Michael on Facebook and Twitter or check out his website here.

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