Music and Me with … Randy Carrier- 01 Mar 2019 -
Image: Randy Carrier, aka Here on Mars, electro rock artist from Kansas City, US
When were you first introduced to music?
My mom taught piano in the house for years. She owned what is now a 100-year old baby grand piano. My dad had Elton John records and other stuff like that. There are certain songs I have from memories of that time, but it would be some time before I really got into enjoying music.
Tell us about your favourite teachers
That’s a tough one. I’ve had guitar and music lessons here and there for a year or two at a time growing up. I always think of these as the times where my “technical” skill improved, I learned how to play my instrument better. However, I always feel like the best teachers are those random things that come along that influence the style of what I have created. So that would have to be my favorite musicians such as Devin Townsend, end of story, Immortal, Deadsy, King’s X, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Nirvana, Kraftwerk, Rammstein… and probably a hundred others. To me, anyone that shows you something is possible creates a stepping stone for you to build upon and forge your own path, whatever that may be.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Finally being able to play the riff to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at 12 years old after having got my first guitar. Discovering “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath by way of Beavis and Butthead. Going to a recording studio for the first time and making a demo. Seeing TOOL for the first time in 1998. My dad explaining the meaning of “Cats In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin to me as a young kid. Playing to a thousand people in my hometown. Any time later in life that I discover a new band that really wows me, including some of my co-indie musicians on Twitter that I spend lots of time talking to. My son singing my songs.
What is your favourite TV theme tune and film soundtrack?
Favorite TV Theme song is a draw between Trigun and Night Rider. Film Soundtrack would easily be Clerks.
What was the last download/ CD you bought?
RedBlueBlackSilver: Desert Journeymen
Imagine you’ve been given GBP 250.00 to spend on equipment, downloads, vinyl, CDs, DVDs or concert tickets. How will you spend it?
Honestly, I would have to put it toward new gear. I would try to get a hardware synth such as a MicroKorg, or perhaps an Akai Timbrewolf. I use a ton of software synths and really want something that is dedicated and on its own.
How do you balance music with your other obligations?
I work 40+ hours a week and I have an amazing wife and son who support me in the need I have to continue making music. They know it’s not a hobby, and even though it doesn’t bring in money, it’s part of who I am and I’m grateful for that. I have tried several times in this life to go to school and get a “real” degree for stronger job prospects, but I end up miserable because I lose the precious time I have to work on music. I really want to make sure I’m enjoying enough time with my family because you can’t get those moments back. So basically, I work, then I come home and hang out with my family and when they go to sleep, I come alive in the dungeon where my music space exists. That being said, I feel like the best ideas come to me when I’m doing “normal” people stuff. Not when I’m sitting with a guitar in my hands or at my computer. I’ve also said that I feel like people who get to a point where they only do their music for a living tend to start making music that isn’t as good. I feel like the best, most relatable music always comes from people who live a life that their listeners can relate to: work a job, deal with the trials and tribulations that this world throws at you. Once you are basically doing nothing but music and having everyone tell you how great you are, the art suffers.
What is Happiness?
It’s being able to conquer your fear, being content with what you have, and the good you reap from sowing into others whenever you’re reminded to not be so selfish. It’s looking at my wife and son, family and friends and being thankful for the life I’ve been able to live.