Music has a habit of reaching those who need it.
Take Marineris. Growing up in a small Ukrainian industrial town, he felt isolated from the off – until he began to build his own world.
Music played a key role in that. Whether biting indie rock or classic punk, he was able to patch together a mosaic of sounds that reflected his own emotions.
It’s those feelings that he wants to conjure in his debut album ‘My Band Could Be Your Home’ – out now, it’s a feast of emotive songwriting driven by a pop-punk leaning palette.
He comments: “There is no safer place in the world than the place you can call ‘home’. When we feel that we’re safe; when we feel that no one is judging but accepting us for who we really are – that’s when we can become the best versions of ourselves. We can feel, think, and act from our heart. We can give to the world everything we’re here for.”
“This album became my way of dealing with the pain, fear, doubt and judgement. It became my opening to happiness, love and my calling. This album became my home, which I looked for in all the people I’ve met and all the places I’ve been to, but never found. If while listening to it, you even once feel the inner strength to act upon things you were scared of before, if you even once start crying and dancing at the same time with a smile on your face, all by yourself, then all the thousands of hours I’ve spent on making it will not be in vain not only in my life, but in someone else’s too.”
Aiming to give something back, this album is a provocative, revealing listen. Here, Marineris reflects on his own coming-of-age soundtrack for Clash…
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I grew up in an average industrial town in Eastern Ukraine. Most of the people worked either in the industrial facilities, or in the service sphere. For a long time, my dad was a shuttle bus driver, and my mom worked as a lawyer for one of the factories. When my parents gave me a small 256mb Transcend player as a gift for my seventh birthday, music entered my life and became a big part of it.
The first “full-blown” concert I went to was a live performance of a Ukrainian pop-rock band SKAI on New Year’s Eve, on the night transitioning from 2009 to 2010. I only started to learn how to play a guitar back then, and I remember thinking: “I don’t know how to sing, but I will play a guitar on stage!”
We came back home with my parents at around 3am, and in a flash, I started downloading all the songs and albums of the similar-sounding bands that I could find. Unfortunately, only local pop-artists played gigs in my city, and I wasn’t even interested in them. But at least I had the internet.
Internet is the reason why I’m confused when people of my age, but who grew up in other countries, automatically suggest that we had a dramatically different information space when we were teens, or that we were watching and listening to completely different stuff. That’s simply not true. Of course, I was heavily influenced by some Ukrainian music bands like Boombox or Okean Elzy, as their music was everywhere and I feel connected to it, but the bands I was listening to every day and the ones I looked up to were from the UK and the US.
Oasis were the biggest revelation of my teenage years. I actually think that the atmosphere of Manchester of their youth was very similar to the one in my city in Ukraine. Their debut album ‘Definitely Maybe’ became not just a favourite piece of music for me, but also provided somewhat of a guidance. All these lines like “I need to be myself I can’t be no-one else” and “You can have it all, but how much do you want it?” in ‘Supersonic’, or “Maybe you’re the same as me / We see things they’ll never see” in ‘Live Forever’ – all of this resonated with me, and still does to this day. Maybe some of their words might seem nonsensical to others, but for me, they had a huge meaning. Seeing the dullness and the lack of interest in people’s faces around me, I suddenly realised that a better life is indeed possible.
The debut album of The Subways ‘Young For Eternity’ was sort of a quintessence of all pop-punk music I was listening to. Of course, for some while I was crazy about Green Day, The Offspring etc., but it was The Subways who became the focal point for me. When you’re 14 and you see the dubiosity of the world around you, there is no better music to unleash your energy.
When I first heard ‘AM’ by Arctic Monkeys, I realised that the world of guitar music would never be the same. It seems to me that it was this album that finally erased the border between alternative and pop music within the mainstream itself. Terrific sound, stunning songs and witty lyrics. “I wanna grab both your shoulders and shake, baby” in ‘Snap Out of It’ or “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner / Breathing in your dust” in ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – those are really brilliant and comprehensible images. I also don’t remember any band before having drums sound so stylish and sexy! “Crawling back to you!”
At almost the same time when ‘AM’ came out, I accidentally found a live performance of ‘Modern Jesus’ by Portugal. The Man. Their chorus just blew my mind away. I started listening to the whole Evil Friends album, and all the other songs were just as good. It was on this album that I understood how I would like my own music to sound like. On that album, they remain a predominantly guitar band, but at the same time they use quite a lot of other instruments that make everything sound different.
The second time I was amazed about how a guitar band can sound was ‘Wiped Out!’ by The Neighbourhood. Their first album was a hit because of a song-known-to-all, but this album is beyond comparison. The sound of everything is extremely stylish and wholesome. And the songs, how beautiful they are – ‘The Beach’, ‘R.I.P. 2 My Youth’… I think ‘Daddy Issues’ was my favorite song for several years straight. As guitar is my primary instrument, I did not want to exclude it from my arrangements, but was always looking for ways for it to sound different.
Right now, it is much easier for indie artists to be heard in Ukraine in comparison to previous years. There are quite a few cool music media outlets who support the releases of young musicians including myself. Unfortunately, commercial pop is still taking up the majority of information space. Despite this, the amount of independent music being produced is spectacular and I hope that in time it will be heard more internationally. I hope that local artists will not try to adjust themselves to trends, but continue doing what they really believe in.
My debut album ‘My Band Could Be Your Home’ just recently came out. No doubt it would sound totally differently if it was not for all the albums I’ve talked about earlier, as they accompanied me and shaped me all through my teenage years. Without Oasis, my album would not have the messages it does. Without Arctic Monkeys and The Neighbourhood, I would have a completely different idea of ballads and lyrics.
At some point in my life, those albums became a “home” for me. A place where I could go regardless of the good or bad things I’ve been through. Sometimes, this music gave me the emotional answers I needed, sometimes support. Right now, I can only hope that my album can play the same role in somebody else’s life in this world. I believe that Marineris can become a home for those who are looking for it.
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‘My Band Could Be Your Home’ is out now.
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