By: Sun Noor
I caught up with María and Josh who make up two fifths of the Los Angeles-based psychedelic pop outfit, The Marías before they were due to take the stage last week. The pair discussed their discuss the process leading up to the release of their sultry debut, “Superclean, Vol.I.”
You’ve just wrapped up your first headline tour, played South by South West a few weeks ago and are currently opening for Albert Hammond Jr. How has the road been treating you thus far?
María: It’s been great but it’s been a little difficult for me travelling with seven guys and being the only female in the van. That’s been a bit tricky but otherwise we’re super grateful to be playing these hows with Albert Hammond Jr and to be going to new cities that we haven’t been before, so that’s kind of the icing on the cake.
Josh: I feel for María, being on tour with seven guys is probably pretty tough but its really been a lot of fun and we’ve all had a great time ands gotten along very well and have been very healthy because of Maria. We’ve been eating vegan food and smoking less so from my perspective it’s been great.
Is it your first time playing a show in Canada tonight?
María: Yes, it’s out first time playing out of the country.
That must be very exciting, take me through the process of writing and recording “Superclean, Vol. I” How long did it actually take you guys to write the record?
Josh: It was never a record to begin with, Maria and I met and we just started writing songs together long before there was a “Marias” and especially long before there was a “Superclean.” The first songs we wrote together is “Déjate Llevar” and that was a few months after we met and we just kept writing and writing and we loved writing together.
María: We didn’t like expect to even release an EP when we started writing together. We were just writing for fun to see like how the chemistry was. He (Josh) had mentioned that he had always wanted to write a song in Spanish and I was like okay lets do it. Like he said “Déjate Llevar” was the first one that we wrote and so yeah it was just like an unexpected release and now we’re gearing up for volume two, which has some songs that we wrote in that process of getting to know each other and some that are brand new.
Why did you decide to divide the songs into multiple volumes as opposed to releasing one full length record?
María: Since nobody knew who we were and we’re a brand new band that is just starting to play shows, we wanted to give the audience a little tidbit of us to get to know us little by little. We thought that if we released a full record nobody’s going to care because nobody knows us so lets just give them a few songs and see how it goes and we’ll release the second set once a few people know about our music. We just didn’t want it to go into a black hole.
Josh: We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew so we just gave off a little bit.
How many installments of “Superclean” are there?
María: Just two.
Josh: Two as far as we know.
Why did you decide to name the EPs after the song “Superclean” or is it even named after the song?
María: It is named after the Song.
Josh: That’s because it sounded cool and we liked the name “Superclean.”
María: We felt that it described who we were without using like a common word.
Josh: It was something that was said in the studio a lot recording the record, like “Make the drums superclean, the guitars superclean,” minus a few parts. It was just used as term of description for how we wanted things to sound on the recording.
What kind of music were listening to during the recording process? Who are some of your influences?
María: We were listening to gosh I can’t remember but..
Josh: Mild High Club, D’ Angelo, Erykah Badu, Phoenix and Tame Impala.
María: I wouldn’t say that the EP is a collection of those influences but a collection of the influences that we’ve had just growing up. Yeah we’ve listened to artists that he mentioned but also growing up like we listened to a really eclectic range of music individually so when we brought it together it created something that was what it is.
What are your favorite tracks off the record?
María: Mine is “Basta ya.”
Josh: At the moment I would say “Déjate Llevar.”
What can fans expect from “Superclean, Vol II?”
María: Just another set of experimentation. The first set was total experimentation, getting to know each other and so the second is going to be you know we’re in this relationship, we’re doing this and we are more comfortable but we experiment every day so I think it’s going to be another compilation of experimentation.
Josh: “Superclean, vol I” was an experiment and it was a progression as well throughout the whole EP we were progressing and what we were listening to at the time, mixing it in with what we listened to in our childhood and it’s just going to go on like that forever.\
Finally, what are your favourite records at the moment?
Josh: Sam Evian, we recently discovered him and Triathlon.
María: Their new record is really good top to bottom, it’s really, really great.
Josh: A lot of classics, I’ve been listening to a lot of In Rainbows on this tour. I’m not depressed I swear, it’s just really nice looking at views and listening to it.
María: I’ve been listening to the best of Billie Holiday. We we’re driving through the snow today and I was listening to Gillian Welch, which is like super folky but it was really nice, she’s incredible.
Josh: The Boogarins, they’re this French or Norwegian band I’m not sure but our friend Max turned us onto them. La Femme, who are a French band that are also really cool.
María: Men I Trust and Erykah Badu, we’ve been listening to just everything under the sun really.
Click here to download or stream “Superclean, Vol. I.”
Follow The Marías on all social media platforms @themarias.mp3
Here are some photos from their mesmerizing and superclean set!