Wily and wickedly gifted guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern drops her self-titled third album on October 5, via Kill Rock Stars, and has lined up a slew of North American dates. She'll be playing Brooklyn's Rock Shop on October 5.
The New York-based musician, whose last album possessed the excessive title This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That (which rivaled Fiona Apple's second album When The Pawn ... in overly enthusiastic verbiage), recorded this more simply christened record with longtime drummer Zach Hill, bassist Matthew Flegel of Women and Mars Volta collaborator, mixer Lars Stalfors.
Stern, whose florid, passionate riffs snagged her the honor of being named by Venus Zine as one of the greatest female guitarists in history, revealed in a recent interview with Impose magazine that her latest album, and singles like the shredded lament "For Ash," came out of a difficult time in her life after the suicide of an ex-boyfriend.
"I carried this person with me, for the whole time, and so, it was such a strange feeling to think that there was one person that you loved and then they were gone," says Stern. "I mean, the myriad of emotions, I was still in my rut, and I sat down, and it was just him, and then the song came right away, because I wasn’t blocking, it had nothing to do with me, it was just him. I did that song and the 'Cinco de Mayo' song at that time, they’re both him."
In the interview, Stern is also bluntly honest about her conflicting feelings about what succeeds in music - and what doesn't. Currently baffling this self-taught, low-key queen of the fretboard is the interest buzzing around Best Coast, whose light-and-fluffy lyrics she deems "unacceptable."
"I really think that it takes crisis to grow," Stern tells Impose. "It takes failure and pain. I have this life where everything is always unknown, I never have any money, I have no partner, no security, it’s all unknown, career unknown, question mark. Question mark. Question mark. And while that’s exciting because I never have to question whether I took the safe route at the same time it’s exhausting. Sitting there writing, coming up with the song is the security, trying to nail down something good, when I do it, I’ve done something."
Stern will be touring with drummer Vincent Rogers (Tera Melos), guitarist Joseph Tirabassi (The Darlings), and bassist Nithin Kalvakota.
Marnie Stern Tour Dates:
Oct 01 – Portland ME – Venue Music Bar & Grille
Oct 02 – Montreal QB – Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
Oct 03 – Toronto ON – Wrongbar
Oct 04 – Ithaca NY – The Haunt
Oct 05 – Brooklyn NY – The Rock Shop
Oct 25 – Philadelphia PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Oct 26 – Washington DC – The Red Palace
Oct 28 – Atlanta GA – 529
Oct 29 – Mobile AL – Alabama Music Boc
Oct 30 – Houston TX – Groundhall
Oct 31 – Austin TX – Red 7
Nov 02 – Tucson AZ – Club Congress
Nov 03 – Los Angeles CA – The Echo
Nov 04 – Oakland CA – The New Parish
Nov 05 – Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
Nov 06 – Seattle WA – The Vera Project
Nov 09 – Minneapolis – 7th Street Entry
Nov 10 – Chicago IL – Empty Bottle