Tag Archive: reston



Better known for playing rhythm guitar and being the brain behind the music and business end of pop punk giants COWABUNGA!, Ian Marsh from Reston has been working on getting back to his roots with a genre far from his pop punk project—county music. Raised by his step-dad on cowboys and southern twang, Marsh always admired country even as his band was at the forefront. Now, he is making his own path on the dusty trail and venturing to new musical grounds where he feels more at home. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Marsh about the ‘little things’ that inspire his music and his outlook on life.

How would you describe your sound?

I like to keep things simple. I don’t try to do too much. It’s just me and my guitar. It’s different, but its what I like to listen to so I try to emulate that. I try not to try too hard, its basically just me talking (laughs).

What country artists do you like to try to emulate?

Well I grew up listening to a lot of ALAN JACKSON, and when ERIC CHURCH came on the scene, I have been really focused on his way of doing things. I also incorporate any country songs i like that I hear on and off the radio.

How did you originally get into country music?

My step-dad pretty much raised me on it. Whenever we were driving in the car, it was on. When I got older, I got into hardcore, pop punk, and metal, but country was always universally appealing to me. Now, it’s my jam (laughs).

What is it about country music that makes it ‘universal’?

It’s not abrasive, and it doesn’t offend. Well…it doesn’t offend most people anyways (laughs). Also, it’s easy to relate to, and you can actually understand it, unlike some metal and hardcore music. I have always said that the most important thing in any good song is that someone can listen to it and instantly relate too it. Those are the songs that I like the best.


How would you describe your songwriting process?

It’s kinda evolved over time. I started writing songs when I was 15-year-old, and then it was based on the music first, and then the lyrics would follow that. In COWABUNGA!, I wrote both the music and the lyrics and then brought it to the guys, and we tweaked it as needed. Now, I start with an idea first, then I progressively write down ideas for riffs. Next, I come up with the lyrics, and then I write the guitar parts based off my ideas.

You have released four songs so far, but do you plan to record and release a full record or another EP any time soon?

Well I have eight new songs now that I’m still fine tuning, and I want to do another EP or two of four tracks each. The good thing about being a solo artist compared to playing in a band is that there is no pressure to get something out quickly, and I don’t want to rush it either.

Which of your songs has the most meaning to you, and why?

Of the stuff that I have put out so far, I like “Little Things” and “It’s All Good” because of the people they are about. I also have a new one that I wrote about my step-dad that’s pretty cool.

In the chorus of “Little Things”, you sing, ‘It’s the little things in life that stay important.’ What are the ‘little things’ that Inspired this song?

It’s basically about having someone there for you at all times, to text, call, go out to the eat, and just spend time with. I wrote it about my girlfriend Suzy.

I know that in the past year, you played your first show in Richmond, but do you plan to play any more shows in the near future?

Yeah some opportunities have come up, but it’s kinda nerve-wracking for me to play on stage by myself so I would really like to find a full band to play with. I also want to build up more material.

What venues in the area would you like to play?

I think Jammin Java would be possible, but I need to figure out where it would be appropriate because I don’t just want to play before pop punk and hardcore shows for the rest of my life (laughs).

Are there any other bands or solo artists from Virginia that inspire you?

I really like BRIAN GLENNON‘s solo shit. He used to play in COWABUNGA! and when he left to play his own music, he made it look pretty easy. We are still good friends, and it would be awesome to play a show with him.

For more updates on Ian Marsh’s music, follow him on Facebook and check out his self-titled EP on Bandcamp.




Inspired by the “go-go” scene of Washington DC and the hip-hop flair of bounce beat, RDGLDGRN, which is made up of Red the guitarist, Gold the bassist, and Green the lyricist, arose from Reston in Northern Virginia and have been on the fast track to success ever since. After completing the full 2013 Vans Warped Tour, the band is preparing for the release of their first full length record, the RDGLDGRN LP, which will feature some of their hit songs, including “Lootin’ In London” and “I Love Lamp”. I recently had the opportunity to talk to Red about how the band got started and what they have coming up in the near future.

You guys recently got back from playing the full tour of the Vans Warped Tour. Did Kevin Lyman personally contact you and ask you guys to play?

Our booking agents Jeff and Mike hooked it up. We didn’t talk to Kevin Lyman directly.

I heard that while you were on the tour, your band became close friends with THE STORY SO FAR. Do you have any memorable stories about your experiences with them on the tour that you can share?

Parker is a wicked futboller (soccer player). He has got a nice touch. We played with them as well as a few guys from some of the other bands like Austin the bassist of FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS, Matt the drummer of AUGUST BURNS RED, and the guys from BRING ME THE HORIZON on two occasions actually.

How did your band get started?

It came out of the ashes of another band called THE FIVE ONE, which had the three of us and a fourth guy named Blue. He went off to do his own thing. But we all knew each other from high school.

Why did you select the color red to represent you individually?

We decided to use colors as our identities not for any particular “it” factor, but they were just colors we have always identified with. I noticed 8 to 10 years ago that my eye has always been drawn to the color red. If I have the choice of picking something colored, I always pick red. So we just ran with that idea, and the nickname stuck. We even use our identities with our families. Its like we are Batman all the time and never Bruce Wayne.

Have you thought about legally changing your name to Red?

I actually have the papers (laughs), but I have not filed them yet.

Since you guys don’t have a drummer in your line-up, you had DAVE GROHL of NIRVANA and FOO FIGHTERS play drums on your record. Please tell us how that came about.

It really goes to show its all about who you know. He was at Sound City, which is where NIRVANA recorded Nevermind, filming a documentary while we were there recording. Our label head talked to him over a series of emails, and we got the chance to meet him. He was really impressed with our song “I Love Lamp” and offered to play drums on the track. He really liked that it was not your standard song, and it was really challenging and fun for him. So he asked us if we had any more songs, and we laid down all 15 of our songs with him. It was a perfect moment, and we are both from the NoVa area so it worked really well.

You also had PHARRELL WILLIAMS produce the track “Doing The Most” on your record. What was it like being in the studio with him?

In a word, it was incredible. When he came into the studio for the first time he introduced himself and shook our hands. He told us that he was very humbled and honored to meet us, which was not what we expected at all. He worked really well with us on listening to our vision as well as providing his own input to help craft the music into something much more dynamic. It was really a collaborative effort overall, and I can definitely say it was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

I read in an interview you guys did with MTV Hive that the songs on your record were inspired by old school “indie go-go music”. What elements do you take from that genre, and how do you make it modern?

Go-go is a form of regional music from the District, which is a combination of funk and rhythmic percussion, and the modern version of that is called bounce beat, which is what our music is. We also combine hip-hop, which I guess makes it more modern. Its got a lot of bass and a lot of drums. As for the indie part, the best example of that is the intro to “I Love Lamp”, which combines elements of surf rock and the style of early VAMPIRE WEEKEND.

It’s no secret that you guys are big soccer fans, and that your song “Lootin’ in London” is inspired by the sport. In what ways does soccer influence the band when writing songs?

In Europe and the rest of the world futbol is a global language. We draw influences from all over the world, and just like futbol, music is a common denominator. People in many different countries and cultures all love bands like BOB MARLEY, THE BEATLES, and THE CLASH. So at the end of the day futbol and music are the same.

Does your band have any pre-show rituals you like to do?

We like to get there before the set time (laughs). We don’t have a set ritual, its more a matter of hurry up and wait, but we try to keep the energy up between us. We are all very competitive so we usually carry a ball around with us, or we play Fifa on our XBox to pass the time.

Are there any other bands or musicians from Virginia you are into right now that other people need to listen to?

Yeah definitely smaller, more unknown bands like the NEW IMPRESSIONZ BAND. Also, all the go-go bands from the generation before us. Also, more modern stuff like MISSY ELLIOTT and THE NEPTUNES.

For more information and updates from RDGLDGRN, visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter. Also, be sure to pick up the RDGLDGRN LP, which comes out in the UK on September 2nd and in the United States and worldwide on September 3rd.

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