Crystal Douesnard (vocals) and Thomas Moore (guitar/bass/production) met on the road while touring with other bands and soon discovered they shared a passion for creating something new. Shortly after, they traded the road for a cramped, downtown LA apartment where they could begin writing and recording. In late 2019, MARNEY hit the studio to finalize their debut EP Feelings. Their music captures a sense of nostalgia and explores dark emotions fused with modern sounds. The duo recently released their debut single “Conversations” and will release Feelings in April. You can follow MARNEY and stay up-to-date on all upcoming band, music and tour news via the following links:
You both met on tour while with other bands and decided to start playing music together. You’ve said that you have similar but unique music tastes. Who would you both count as your biggest musical influences? How have you gone about combining your influences to create your own sound as a band?
Thomas: Crystal comes from loving more theatrical pop and rock and I grew up listening to heavier rock, metal and 90’s alternative. It’s cool because since we met, we’ve been able to open each others eyes a lot to tons of music that we maybe wouldn’t have ever discovered before and find inspiration in them. You can really hear our personal influences in our single, “Conversations”. It’s fun to listen to and is catchy but also touches on some darker subjects. For MARNEY, we are really inspired by bands and artists like Oasis, Michael Jackson, and Phil Collins. We also really love Meg Myers, Grouplove, and The Killers (just time name a few). Overall, we just really want to write music that grabs you right away, is unique, and is meaningful.
You incorporate more modern pop rock sounds with a nostalgic twist. What do you enjoy about the more nostalgic sounds that led you to want to incorporate them into your own music?
Crystal: Something we both love about our childhood favorite songs is the way they make you feel when you hear them. There’s something about certain songs that we grew up with that just tug on your heart strings and immediately evoke a memory. Though we don’t really sound like artists from our childhood, we hope that our music can provide that same feeling of understanding and can evoke emotion in people the same way.
You initially started writing and recording music together in 2017. What led you to the name to MARNEY?
Thomas: To be honest, we messed around with different names for a while but MARNEY really just clicked for us kind of randomly!
How would you each describe your songwriting styles and why do you you feel they work so well together? Do you prefer writing alone or do you hope to collaborate with other artists in the future? If so, who would be your dream artist(s) to collaborate with?
Crystal: Thomas really takes over a lot of the song structure and musical parts and has a great ear for helping with production. I usually provide more of the lyrics and melodic stuff, but we definitely trade off. Thomas tends to be more analytical in how he writes and I tend to run with my feelings, so we get the best of both worlds. I feel like we work so well together because we really push each other to be our absolute best at all times. We aren’t afraid to tell each other when something doesn’t sound right while still respecting each other’s creativity, even if it takes 100 takes or re-dos.
All that being said, we definitely are never closed off to collaborating with other people. It’s good to always keep learning and experiencing new things in music. We would love to write with Meg Myers. She is super rad.
Crystal- I read that you have a background in musical theater. Did you grow up in a musical/creative family? How did your interest in musical theater develop and what led you to start performing in bands rather then staying in theater?
Crystal: I grew up absolutely loving and dedicating myself to musical theatre. I spent my nights in high school rehearsing with my theatre troupe (shoutout to Troupe 1096) for various musicals and plays, my weekends dancing and singing with a performance arts group, and my summers at theatre camp. My grandparents were both a big part of my interest in music. My grandpa loved to sing (especially at our Bastille Day celebrations after some champagne), and my grandma grew up being a first-chair violinist. The rest of my family provided a ton of support for everything I pursued, but weren’t the musical or creative types. What I loved about theatre is that it taught me about the importance of comradery, dedication, and how to have a thick skin (but have fun). It really made me realize that I loved the feeling of being on stage. But ultimately, I want that feeling while being able to express my own feelings and emotions through my own music. And that’s why I decided to be in a band instead.
Thomas- I read that you started playing guitar at a young age after hearing Metallica! Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in music? What do you feel it was about metal, as opposed to other genres, that was such an influence for you?
Thomas: When I first heard Metallica when I was about 11. I didn’t know what pursuing a career in music really meant, but I knew I wanted to pick up a guitar. I went to college for music straight out of high school and most people there wanted to be sessions musicians. That wasn’t really my thing because I wanted to be in a band writing my own music. As a kid, I was drawn to metal because of the bombastic nature of it all and the insane musicianship. It constantly inspired me to get better.
You have both talked about how important it is to have a connection to your audience. How have you gone about trying to cultivate that relationship and connection with your fans? What can you tell me about your live show and how you’ve gone about developing it over the years?
Crystal: We have definitely done a lot of performing as individuals. The main thing we’ve learned is that it’s always incredibly important to engage with and appreciate your fans. That could mean at live shows, social media, or on the street. They’re ultimately the reason for success and should always be acknowledged and appreciated. The idea of our live show is to make everyone feel empowered and able to feel connected to everyone else around them.
Your new single “Conversations” was just released! What can you tell me about the song and the inspiration behind it?
Thomas: We initially came up with the idea because my best friend had been going through some really serious and difficult mental illness. The song was essentially us trying to put ourselves in his shoes, but also looking inward. It’s very near and dear to us. “Conversations” is really about those voices in your head that may be a constant battle, and about addressing the parts of ourselves that we try to hide from others to fit the norm.
You will be releasing your debut EP ‘Feelings’ later this year. What can you tell me about the process of making and recording the album? What can people expect?
Crystal: Recording the EP was such an incredible experience. It took a lot of reflection to write these songs and they’re all very personal to us, but we feel that people will definitely be able to relate to it. The process was a really important growing experience for us as people and as musicians. We decided to call it ‘Feelings’ for that very reason. People can continue to expect more “feely” songs!
What’s next for MARNEY?
We just hope the music continues to connect to people and we get the chance to keep doing what we are doing!