Interview: Doors To No Where [with Marc Lewis]
Words by Simon Hadley.
Photos: Doors To No Where.
Doors To No Where, hailing from Santa Cruz, California consists of guitarist and vocalist Marc Lewis, drummer Alex Ross and bass player Sean Sandford.
They are members of the RRise family and count hardcore punk legend’s Bl’ast as friends. Doors To No Where is a band that is ready to take the world by storm.
I caught up with guitarist Marc Lewis to find out more.
How did the formation of the band come about and how did you guys meet?
Everything kind of fell into place. I had just moved back to the area of Santa Cruz. I knew I wanted to play music again. I thought about getting my old band Live Wire back together for a show or two, but really I wanted something brand new.
I really love writing my own music. I learned how to play the guitar being in a band so I knew in order for me to be happy I needed to be in a band. I thought about getting my old band Live Wire back together for a show or two and there was even talk of a Fire Sermon reunion, but I really wanted something that was brand new. I had done some work with drummer Alex Ross in a project called ‘King Nothing’. In my time away from Santa Cruz I kinda got lost and fell of the map. I had not talked to Alex for about year.
He probably thought I was crazy cause I just called out of the blue and said let’s play some music. The direct quote was: “You’re alive?” classic Alex, but it worked out perfectly.
We got in a room and just jammed. I booked us a show at a local club. We had no songs, no bass player and no name, but it was a total kick start, it kind of helped create a local buzz about the band, like it was some sort of secret project.
That’s when Sean came into the picture. I grew up with the guy and I knew he played bass. I got his number and gave him a call. He showed up plugged in, cracked a beer open and just started ripping. Five weeks later we were on stage.
Who are you main influences?
I have so many its not even funny. I grew up loving punk rock, bands like: Bl’ast, The Germs, Black Flag, but I also love Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. I also listen to a lot of Kyuss and Megadeth i am really all over the map as far as my main influences are concerned.
I originally started out as a drummer, but I have always loved the guitar. There is a Chili Peppers song called I Could Have Lied on the album ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magic’. The solo on that song just pushed me over the edge. I wanted to do that. Just be able to melt faces with a guitar solo. John Frusciante is one of my favourite guitar players. I love bands and players that separate themselves from the pack.
You’ve described yourself as: ‘Party Rock’ on your Facebook page, how do you feel about people drawing comparisons with yourselves and other ‘desert rock’ Californian bands (I use the ‘desert rock’ term lightly!).
The party rock thing is really just an inside joke with the band. We all love to party and have a good time. It’s funny as I am such a joker and laid a back guy. People who know me trip out a little on my music and lyrics. I’m not surprised we get lumped into the desert rock scene. I listen to that stuff and we are friends with a lot of those bands. It’s not a bad category to be put in, I mean any time you can be lumped with a giant like Kyuss, it’s got to be a good thing.
How does it feel to be part of the RRise family, alongside bands such as Bl’ast and Fu Manchu?
RRise is our home. It’s by far the best merchandise company I have ever been involved with. It’s more like a family, plus they are legit, that company knows how to do it and having Fu Manchu and Bl’ast on the roster is great. I love both of those bands. We are planning on doing a lot more with RRise in the very near future.
What kind of reaction have you been getting in and around California?
We have had some great shows. The crowds have not let us down and I hope we have not let them down. I take playing live very seriously. Music needs to be in the moment, live energy. Too many bands are worried about how cool they look that I think they forget what music is about.
How useful have websites such as Facebook and Myspace been in getting Doors To No Where to a wider audience?
Social sites make the world go round. It has been a great way to get our name out there and reach the fans, but I don’t want to be just another Myspace band. In a way it takes away some of the magic.
I mean there is magic in getting in a crappy van with your bro’s with no money and hitting the road with nothing but your music to back you. The whole digital world can make this happen for a lot of bands. Your connections can be clicks away, but that can also help spread a lot of crap.
California has always seemed to have been a hot bed for rock and metal bands. What do you think the reasons for this are?
I think it probably has a lot to do with L.A. and San Francisco. California is a very open state, very excepting of all sorts of art and music. It’s full of culture and personality, not to mention it’s the centre of the entertainment world.
Are there bands locally that you guys are currently influenced by or could recommend for us to check out?
Vincent’s Ear just put out an album entitled: ‘Earth to Space’. It was produced by Kyuss bass player Scott Reeder and was recorded in Reeder’s studio, it’s a must have.
Dusted Angel is a force, my buddy Jared Hajduk, formally of the band Del Rio, has a yet to be-named project coming out soon that will be mind blowing. Jared is such an exciting and dangerous guitar player, you never know what you’re gonna get.
Are there any plans to tour the rest of the US in the future? Personally, I think a joint tour with Gusto would be awesome!
I’m with you on that one! Mike from Gusto and I will be playing together real soon. That’s a killer band, and I’m sure that when our next album comes out we will be doing some heavy support for it. I’m a huge believer in bringing it live; there are so many bands that can’t perform live, that is just not right to me.
I really think music has gotten so far away from its roots. It should be about the music and my idea would be to have Gusto and us hit the road and a film crew to record it all and see what comes of it.
Also, on the subject of touring, are you guys eventually looking to one day bring Doors To No Where to the UK and the rest of Europe?
I would love to and when the time comes we will be bringing are party any where we can. If we make it over there you better be ready to have a beer! It seems like the UK and Europe are way ahead of the U.S when it comes to rock music. Orange Goblin and us, let’s do this!
You’ve released an EP entitled ‘I’m Alive’, are there any plans to release a full length album in the future?
We sure did. We actually recorded ‘I’m Alive’ about six months into the bands life. The title track ‘I’m Alive’ was the first song written. For the most part that whole disc is about getting back on the horse in a way. The past four years or so we were kind of lost in translation for me, but I’m back and I’m feeling good. I’m in a great place and surrounded by great people.
As for the future of the band, we just started tracking and writing new tunes. I’m so excited for the future. We will be hitting the studio in June and will be working on a full length album.
The band is ready and the band is pumped. The new songs seem to have a new energy and a life of their own. I’m not sure I have ever have been so excited about my own music. I’m always my worst critic, but with these new songs I’m just feeling like it’s the best stuff I’ve ever written.
To check out the bands ‘I’m Alive’ EP, visit their Myspace page at: http://www.myspace.com/doorstonowheremusic