Go-Go Marc, Cary On! An Indigenous Person Tells his Story
Anyway, everything I'm doing and want to do is related to the concept of jazz-meaning improvisation, rhythmic inventiveness, dealing with rhythm... unfortunately, improvisation is not one of the key features in commercial music. I wish the general public was more open to artistic music. I don't want to change what I'm doing to get accepted, but at the same time I wan to make a living dong what I want to do.
You know it's a double thing. People say, "You're doing what you love." But I could say I'm putting too much pressure on what I love to keep me living. That has an effect on what you love. Say you try to use your wife to make to make money- put her out on the ho' stroll in order to survive. If she was willing to do it, that would still kill you inside. She'd come home every night and she'd be happy to see you but you'd be looking at her like...
AAJ: That's how intense it gets with the music?
MC: It can get like that . I haven't allowed that but that's been part of my fight. There are other things I can do to make money. But people say, "You're doing what you love. I wish I was doing what I love." Hey, what you love is what you lovesimple as that. Making money is a whole other monster. That is an issue because I have a family. I was never into money which is, culturally a whole other problem.
My parents never taught me about the actual importance of how to make money. They never taught me about having your money work for you, or things about finances. They were pretty much cool with me doing well in school or getting good grades. What does that mean?
On the upside, it's more important to find out what this individual is good at and what his talents are. They encouraged that and saw that early - that I had a talent for something and was pretty much going to do it, no matter what their recommendations. My stepfather gave it a lot of structure. He made me keep a weekly journal of my activities, including homework assignments, and they had to jive with the actual work. He taught me how to keep focused. I got tired of making things up, so I actually started doing it. His structure helped give me structure in another place. It wasn't what he was trying to give me structure in, but I translated that to music. I read, I write, I know music theory, etc.
I know what I want to do. Finding a way to do it has always been the thing for me. I want to do another trio-plus record. I like comping; that's a big part of what I do. So I would never do just a trio record, without comping for a great soloist, like Roy Hargrove and Ron Blake. Not to mention great singers like Abbey Lincoln and Betty.
I am going to do another acoustic record, without knowing the feeling or the direction- even though I will at the same time always be doing Indigenous records. I think "Indigenous People" will always be a project for me. I want that band to be like a corporation, with salaries. I would like this to be a working group, like festivals, clubs, private events, not to mention schools. It's totally about bringing ethnicity to the mainstream. I'll expand the concept and deal more with indigenous melodies, rhythms and forms. I'll also bring the Go-Go form even more into the forefront. There will be more commercial projects, such as electronica records in another identity.
I will continue to produce. It's not like I want to put my thing on other artists. As a producer, I want to bring the best out of them-what that person wants. At one point, I was going to produce Lizz Wright's record, but she didn't really have her direction fleshed out. I can't decide for the artist what direction they want to go inthat's more A and R. They got John Clayton, and that didn't work out. So finally, Brian Blade did it and brought out of her what she wanted. I've also done hip-hop tracks and movie stuff, HBO stuff.
AAJ: I'd just like to say for the record you're one of my favorite artists ever , that all your stuff clicks really deeply with me, and add that I think you're the greatest Rhodes player working today.
MC: The funny thing is, with people that like what I do, it's almost like I'm a part of them, or I touched a part of them, in a way. But I haven't touched a vast amount of people. There's hundreds, but not thousands or millions. They have the feeling like they discovered me, in a way, even though I've been around for a long time. It's like.. it's that personalized. Like that radio interview I referred to earlier. The cat assumed like I had this vast network of people who played my records! But it's still very gratifying and I feel a personal connection with the fact that they are interested in just what it is that I'm doin'.
Visit Marc Cary on the web at www.marccary.com .