Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mares Of Thrace return to lay waste to Cherry Street once more

A lot has happened in the Mares Of Thrace camp, since they last came through these parts a few months ago and scorched the eardrums of the select few at Cherry Street. Well, for starters, drummer Stef MacKichan is no longer in the band. She's been replaced by the equally awesome Rae Amity, and they have added a bass player in the form of Scott Shellhammer (American Heritage), who played drums on the United States dates of the bands last tour and even did the incredible album cover art for their latest scorcher, "The Pilmgrimage".

With all this going on we decided to send head Mare Therese Lanz some questions, pertaining to these various issues, along with a few frivolous ones, which she was kind enough to answer in her standard, sarcastic, dry wit. So if you like what you hear, come to the show. Don't miss them again, because that would be very lame. (As always, show info is at the bottom of this article.)

How did the last tour go? What did you learn (except not to order Mexican food in Connecticut) about yourselves?

Well, considering Stef decided to retire after that tour, what I learned about myself was "Shit, I need a new drummer". Scott played drums for the last half of the tour, and I learned that Scott and I are a wonderful, calm, sane partnership on the road, and he's really good at driving in Brooklyn, which gives me rage-nosebleeds. He's switching to bass for this tour and we have an awesome new drummer named Rae, so I guess this tour will be yet another learning experience. People are pretty divided on us being a two-piece. Half the people come up to me after a show and say "You guys totally don't need a bass player." The other half yell "Get a bass player, losers!" (Mostly bass players.) Still, we now know from experience to stay away from your tacos.

Are you a little surprised at the overall positive reaction "The Pilgrimage" has received, albeit pleasantly though, because it has made several web sites and media outlets "Best Of The Year...So Far" lists? Were you expecting this?

No. It's perpetually baffling to me. Don't get me wrong, I like my own riffs, I just never expect anyone else to... the way your ugly-ass child is beautiful to you, but other parents are giving you sympathy winces and other children on the playground cry when it approaches.

Do you think the positive press has lead you to be on the current tour you are undertaking? Why or why not? Also, are you doing the tour to get in some more live shows before you start school? You know, strike while the iron is hot.

I hope so, because booking tours is a giant pain in the ass. I don't know, do people care about positive reviews? I'm never sure. I firmly believe in the adage "don't believe your own press". I don't believe it, I just clip it out of the newspapers because it impresses my mom. And yes, I'm trying to cram in some shows before school starts and I have homework. Homework... blechhh. I haven't had homework since 2003.

Will Stefani be on the United States dates of the tour this time, or just the Canadian? Or neither, because of school? If not, who will sit on the drum throne for US dates? Will it be the same person as last time?

Awesome, I cleverly foresaw this question and already answered it in question #1!!!! Stef has sadly stepped down. It was an incredibly sad and hard decision for both of us, because we've been playing together for 10 years, and she is my best friend. But like the Yorkshire terrier that somehow manages to drag the morbidly obese woman out of the burning building, a young lady named Rae with shit-hot drum chops magically appeared in my life and hauled me out of my despair and into a new era of rocking out for 20 people in smelly basements. She rules. The way someone on my Facebook put it: "You lost one awesome shredder and gained another." This is the sort of blind, idiot luck that has gotten me to where I am today.

Scott (the anonymous "person" you spoke of), my long-suffering touring drummer and the amazingly talented painter responsible for our album cover, will be playing bass for this tour.

As witnessed at one of your shows, you get a lot of attention concerning your guitar and its tone. Do you mind talking tech with people who want to nerd out over your gear or would you rather just say it's "magic" and get to the after show drinks?

I'm a nerd. Nerds can and will talk your ear off about their nerdy topic of choice, at the drop of a hat. I never mind; I enjoy showing off my rig, in fact, because it's the result of a huge amount of time, love, and money! Also, being a woman, I can multi-task-- I can nerd out AND after-show drink at the same time.

Are there any recent video games that have caught your attention? Are there any coming up that you are looking forward to?


Ahem. Well, I beat the main quest in Skyrim right before we left for last tour, and now I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for the expansion to come out on PC. The aforementioned thumbs, however, are kind of sore because I've been playing a lot of Katamari Forever. Also I went in to Best Buy to get a webcam so I can Skype my parents in Canada and I ended up walking out instead with the Neverwinter Nights anthology, so I had myself a little flashback to 2006. The "still need to play" queue is getting pretty long, though... I still need to get caught up on the Mass Effect franchise (our album's last title was a subtle nod to Mass Effect, after all) and EVERYONE is yelling at me to get Demon's Souls when it comes out for PC.

After this tour, what is next for the band?

I'll be in school and Rae is relocating to Chicago and we're going to try and make a record that trumps the last one. What am I saying... Do or do not, there is no try. Right?

Manic Productions Presents:

Mares Of Thrace
Primitive Weapons
Womb Of The Desert Sun

Thursday, August 2
Cherry Street Station
491 North Cherry Street Extension
Wallingford, CT

7pm - 21+ - $10

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