Q: We here at Rising Artists think you have an incredible message behind your band. Can you elaborate further for our audience.
JUSTPEOPLEWATCHING: Justpeoplewatching began as a solo project to help document my struggles and journey with mental health, transitioning to adulthood and coping with reality. My goal was to tell folks that they were not alone, and maybe my story can impact the people who need to hear it. Even more, I hope that when the kids I teach music grow up, they can listen to my music and realize that music is a way to cope. If I can help a kid who is struggling by teaching them how to use music to their advantage my job is done both as a musician and a teacher.
I believe that being open with yourself and your mental health is a top priority even if we don’t understand why, we feel the way we do all the time.
I think that the cool thing about justpeoplewatching is that the name become a character. Justpeople is someone locked in his own mind. Justpeople is someone who feels like a bystander in his own life watching the time pass. The idea that I Justpeople can be anyone who feels that way. I chose the name because I have always felt that way about myself. Watching others who have it together while I fall apart.
When I wrote this project, I was dealing with the weight of newfound responsibilities and expectations. I chose to use Superman as the central character because of the incredible weight he carries protecting an earth he does not belong to, with millions expecting to be saved. I think that a lot of people including myself feel like they must be superhuman to achieve everything they need to in a day. The song really become a study of those who fail to live up to unrealistic expectations and goes through harsh reality of what they might think and the self doubt that they might put themselves through. The song overall is an extension of the message and serves as a chapter in the over arching story of becoming an adult.
I think that these are stories that people need to hear, I don’t like being too on the nose with anything, I like people to derive their own understanding of the story. That is why we hide a lot of things in metaphor.
Overall, we hope that people hear the music when they need to at the right time to know that they are not alone, even for a few minutes.
Q: What is your biggest musical challenge as a band?
JUSTPEOPLEWATCHING: The number one struggle for Me is maintaining my vocal health, I am a trained piano player and have been singing for some time, but I have never had the opportunity to be singing consistently every single day. So musically that is where I would say I struggle the most.
The other things have less to do with the music and more to do with experience, as a new band it is hard to know the exact sound you want so you end up tweaking things late in production which usually helps the project. Also of course with so many moving parts in a rock track and being the lead singer and instrumentalist it can get complicated. Having K, (Kira) Conch, Dunna and Rheo helps a lot with that though.
Q: How is the music scene in Edmonton, Canada?
JUSTPEOPLEWATCHING: I think it is incredibly rich in talent, there are not a lot of bands like us though. You kind of have 2 extremes Heavy Metal or Rappers. There is a growing scene for Folk music as well. I think that you just have to look, and you will see hundreds of artists from Edmonton who are Amazing.
The Pandemic has hit us hard over here with venues closed in Alberta for over a year. The music industry in Edmonton has been hit very hard and but its cool to see people bounce back. I see a lot of us kind of going on huge training arcs and building up a library of music they are proud of. There was not really a better way to have spent this year given the circumstance. What I find about artists in this city is that they are honestly all willing to help you and I think we have gained a mutual understanding that everyone is just trying to make the best stuff they can. Collaboration has always been the key to making good music, and I think Edmonton has that in spades if you look the right way.
Q: Where was your current project recorded?
JUSTPEOPLEWATCHING: All of my music so far has been recorded at Resonate Studios here in North Edmonton. I think the studio is wonderful, everything was mixed and mastered there as well by Okayconch (Conor Wharton) he brings an awesome energy to the studio and is an artist himself. I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Q: Would you like to collaborate with anyone? If so who and why?
Marc: Besides local artists, like Shaq Bruce who I believe is one of the best artists in Edmonton, a dream of mine personally would be to collaborate with Pheobe Bridgers, she has been a huge influence in my journey as an artist and I think she is incredibly open and talented. Authenticity has always been a top priority and I think Pheobe bring that to the forefront excellently.
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has always been a person who I admire for his perseverance and unique vocals I would love to collaborate with him.
In terms of Bands, we are super influenced by bands like The Fray and Coldplay. Now that I think about it Chris Martain would be top of the priority list, I grew up listening to parachutes, the song has a lot of personal meaning for me.
Kira: Sam Smith. They are one of my favourite artists, and I’ve always loved their music. I think our voice styles would mesh well and I would LOVE to sing any harmony on their songs.
Q: What is coming next for you?
JUSTPEOPLEWATCHING: The future for us is very exciting. After the recoding of Superman Kira and I sat down to talk about a lot of what the plans were, and we have been on a huge “training arc”. We have plenty of tracks that are written and ready to record. We are planning a new single for August and are moving full steam ahead with a little side project. We also have a series of Live studio session performing some of our tracks and covers coming out in a few weeks.
The big project that we have on the go as of now is the music video for Superman which starts filming in August. We are super excited to share this story with you. While it might take some time, we are committed to making this the best we can and can’t wait to share as much as we can.
As far as for the two of us and the band I am sure this is just the beginning.
Interviewed by Stephanie Pankewich