Marina City: Chicago's "lost boys" are finding their way
Think about four-year growth in terms of high school. By the time senior year rolls around, there’s a good chance that things have finally sorted themselves out.
Like those high school years, Marina City has four years and three EPs under their belt. With their fourth release set to drop this summer, the band has made it clear that their “senior year” is proving to be their year on top.
The self-proclaimed “aggressive pop rockers” have a list of impressive feats and are included on almost every must-see list for both Warped Tour and Riot Fest. But that doesn’t mean that they have it all figured out. "I think we're getting closer to what we really want to do," Ryan Argast (lead vocals) says. "It's just evolving every day right now."
In fact, the past four years have consisted of trying, and trying some more. Their sound blends A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out theatrics with Infinity On High's powerful melodies, proving that Marina City has found its roots in the scene. But the band doesn't want to be pigeonholed into one specific genre, and after giving their discography a listen, it’s a valid argument to make.
Eric Somers-Urrea provides driving beats, Todor Birindjiev and Brian Johnson supply addictive riffs, Matthew Gaudiano’s use of keyboard bestows a magical melody, and Aaron Heiy’s bold strums on the bass are all directly complimented by what sets them apart most: the group’s three vocalists. Argast and Gaudiano’s silky smooth vocals combined with Johnson’s rough-around-the-edges sound truly defines the six piece's aggressive pop rock sound.
The group just finished an East Coast run with pop punkers and fellow Chicago natives Sleep On It, and it’s the windy city scene that has helped them get where they are. In fact, they took home the 2016 Band of the Year award at the annual Chicago Nightlife Awards. “We’re very into being Chicago-ans, and everyone around us is like that,” Argast says. “The local scene has been absolutely amazing. It’s getting stronger and stronger every day, so we are very lucky to be a part of that.”
And this success has spread much further than their Chi-town home base. They claimed the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands champions title in 2015—and got all the opportunities that go with it.
One such Ernie Ball champ reward? A run on Warped Tour come July. “We’ve all started working out regularly, like no joke,” Argast says. “We learned that we were going to be on Warped Tour in October, and since that it’s been nothing but preparing mentally and physically about how we’re going to do it. Because it’s an opportunity that you get once in a lifetime, and we want to take over.”
Expecting East coast or Midwest tour stops—the band’s typical treading ground—they weren’t expecting a West Coast run. “I think it’s actually a positive that they gave us all West coast Warped Tour dates because it’s a challenge for us, and we love challenges,” Birindjiev says.
And just like their senior year Warped win, the guys have also had the chance to work with the likes of Craig Owens (of Chiodos fame) and John Feldmann (who’s worked with the likes of Panic! At The Disco, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, All Time Low—the list could go on) this spring.
“In one month we recorded with Feldmann and Craig, and it was so eye-opening,” Argast says. “We learned more in that month than we did in about four years as a band. Both of those guys are amazing individuals and incredible musicians and producers.”
And their exciting year isn’t over yet.
Looking at their successes, it’s clear that the challenges they’ve taken on have paid off. As they prepare for a release of their fourth EP, Lost Doesn’t Mean Alone, it's obvious that these guys really aren’t lost at all. They’re well on their way for something bigger. “We work on this band 24/7,” Argast says. “Be prepared for Warped Tour and Riot Fest, and we’ll see where the band goes from there.”
Want more Marina City? Preorder their EP here, and be sure to check out their social links below.