Music Interview: Wisdom from yon Marble Index

By Kyle Francis

Deep within the dingy bowels of Mount Royal College, otherwise known as Liberty Lounge, three men sit around a table. A stocky bald man, clad almost entirely in black, a quiet observer with cool blue eyes is the centre. To the right is skinny; with his knit toque pulled low over long curly hair, he nervously works on a pint of the bar’s finest. Then there’s the talker, with brown hanging loosely on the sides of his head to frame the stubble occupying the better part of his face. Talker may speak more often than his compatriots, but he does so only between drags of a cigarette hanging between his lips.

Despite what assumptions their description conjures, these men are the very portraits of their success. These three men around the table are Adam Nickel, Ryan Tweedle and Brad Germain-otherwise known as the Canadian melodious rock band The Marble Index. Since their debut album hit stores earlier this year, The Marble Index has reaped the benefits of good sales and now are on tour throughout Canada with a song commissioned for MuchMusic’s next Big Shiny Tunes compilation.

“[The CD] is doing really good I think,” says Germain, the vocalist of the trio, before sucking in some more tobacco smoke. “We’ve sold thousands-thousands upon thousands of copies. A bunch of thousands anyway.”

With success in sales and a foreseeable upshot in popularity with the release of Big Shiny Tunes 9, it’s a wonder what else an upstart Ontarian rock band could ask for. Though having droves of screaming fans and wads of dough is one thing, the band claims going on tour with other bands they idolize is the real reward for them.

“We’re doing a couple of shows with the Pixies right away,” exclaims Germain, while clenching a match between his teeth as he prepares another smoke. “I don’t think there’s a way we could tour with anyone more meaningful to us… Well, unless we could go back in time or something.”

Time travel aside, this comment suggests The Marble Index agrees with many modern music goers-modern rock is sick and dying, like a starving Ethiopian child wrought with malaria. With only a handful of good bands to prop up the mainstream, the Index suggests music lovers should look to the treacherous underground to find good music.

“There’s some really good music out today, but a lot of it is underground. But as far as mainstream goes, there really isn’t anything that good,” growls Germain. He goes on to throw a little hate down on emo bands like Dashboard Confessional. In a rare moment, Adam Nickel, the band’s drummer, pipes up to deliver an analogy complimenting Germain’s sentiments.

“[If rock and roll where a woman] Right now she’d be really ugly. She’d be a fucking pig,” ejaculates Nickel, rubbing his knuckles. “She used to be really hot like back in the 60’s, and sometimes, if you catch her from the right angle you can still see that old hotness, but she’s still a fucking pig. She hasn’t worked out in quite a while, she needs to get off her ass and go to the gym or something.”

After words depart their mouths, drinks depart their tankards and Germain runs out of matches, The Marble Index stand and swagger over to a nearby Buck Hunter arcade machine to “murder some doves” before their next interview. As they stand there, blasting away at the digital white birds, the average observer would certainly think that if these three were the portraits of success, they were certainly unassuming ones. Love them or hate them, with the resounding success afforded them by their first album, this Canadian trio appears to be here to stay.

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