“It’s interesting because we are still a relatively unknown band. We get these opportunities to play with people who have had successful careers in music, and it’s awesome to be at the bottom and look up and see our potential”
If I was going to introduce Marcus to other people it would go something like: “Remember back in the day when we were living in the same apartment and we used to hang out and stuff, but then you got really big and started being too cool for school?” And I would try to say it with as little bitterness as possible. As a guy who dropped out of college to start a rock band, I’m a little jealous/happy for people who have made it.
Marcus Anderson is the trombone player for the Str!ke. While with the Str!ke He has shared the stage with Kelly Clarkson, Carly Rae Jepson, Jason Scheff (Current bassist and lead singer for Chicago) , Vertical Horizon, and Macy Gray. Editor Note: As of last week, you can include Journey to this list. Marcus Anderson is in his last year at Brigham Young University getting his Bachelor of Music Performance with a Brass Emphasis. He has toured with BYU’s premiere Jazz Ensemble “Synthesis” in Brazil and played in all of BYU’s top bands and ensembles. He currently freelances as a trombonist, music composer and arranger, and teach lessons when he has the time. Marcus also teaches part time as an instructor of the Freshman Sophomore rock band at Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts in American Fork, UT.
“They realized there wasn’t much satisfaction that comes with playing other artists’ songs at parties where most people don’t really care.”
Michael Bacera: Okay first off, Journey and Lindsey Sterling? How cool is that?
Marcus Anderson: Yeah next Wednesday editor note: last Wednesday for a private event in the energy solutions arena. Oh shoot. we opened for Lindsey Sterling a couple weeks ago too. you could put that in there if you want.
MB: I know you guys did! At Sundance too! Okay, explain the inception of Str!ke, according to Marcus.
MA: So our Lead Singer, Chris was playing in a cover band with our former keyboard player. They realized there wasn’t much satisfaction that comes with playing other artists’ songs at parties where most people don’t really care. So they started getting together to write songs. After that they got several players together ( I wasn’t there yet.) To start jamming. The first couple of gigs were really small stuff but they immediately got recognition from the local music scene. Soon after the band was formed the guitar player and the drummer quit, leading them to get new personnel. (I’m still not in the band yet. Though I knew about it because I was in a ska band called She’s Got a Gun with the Trumpet player, Sax Player, Bass player, and drummer. I was actually burning with jealousy because I hadn’t been invited to jam yet.)
THEN! FINALLY! my opportunity came. The trumpet player for the Strike had to go out of town for another gig and they needed another horn player. I learned the 5 tunes that they had and did really well at the gig. Chris asked me if I wanted to stay on permanent. That’s how it started for me. Unfortunately throughout that next year we lost our guitar player and bass player for various reasons and we replaced them. Now only 3 people remain from that first jam: Chris, the lead singer, Myles on sax, and Austie on trumpet. But even in the last couple of years we feel like we’ve actually become the Str!ke
MB: That is so cool! Okay, as far as music and collaborating and writing, what is that like for a really large group of people. Do you have set rolls, or is it a free for all collaboration?
MA: Anyone in the band is welcome to bring ideas to the table. However we have kind of found where each of us fit. Chris has consistently written most/all of the songs (there might be one or two that came from someone else, I’m not sure) Chris then brings these infant versions of the songs and the rest of the band arranges them. The guitar players take Chris’ chord progressions and alter them or create patterns that fit. The Bass and Drums come up with a suitable groove. The horn section comes up with awesome horn parts. Sometimes the ideas cross sections. The horns will come up with something nice and then the rest of the group has to adapt. Or Chris will come up with a horn line that fits well with one of his songs.
I’ve even written a verse to a new song we’re working on!
MB: Hahaha, man I already love this interview so much. All right, tell me the process and work to make strike the hit it is now. What did you guys do to promote yourself? And also, how much luck was involved?
MA: So its been an interesting process. up until about a year and a half ago The Str!ke lacked momentum. We had played some small local gigs and gained a small local following. It was the Stadium of Fire competition that really got us some good momentum. We were competing against a lot of bands, some local, some in other parts of the country. This was for the chance to open up for Kelly Clarkson. We worked hard spamming all of our family and friends on Facebook and twitter for support and votes. We made it into the top 4 showdown and then we won that competition too!
So that was our chance to open in a huge huge venue! Something that really was a game changer for us was getting our manager Todd Schwartzman. He was like us, just starting out, not really knowing how to break into “the biz” as a manager, but he works his butt of to get us gigs. He really is the reason for our advancement as a band. Another HUGE HUGE HUGE opportunity we have right now is to pair up with a company called Gigg.com headed by Scott Warner. He’s got some amazing ideas about how the music industry should be run. He also recognizes the opportunity because the record and music industries are in complete chaos right now. A lot of our current success is knowing or getting to know the right people, and working our butts off to make sure we deliver an exceptional musical product.
MB: I actually applied to be a writer at Gigg.com. They rejected me lol. But, you guys definitely have momentum now! So you’ve worked some really amazing people now. In terms of being professional but also developing your showmanship skills and expanding your platform, how do react to meeting and playing with these amazing celebrities
MA: It’s interesting because we are still a relatively unknown band. We get these opportunities to play with people who have had successful careers in music, and it’s awesome to be at the bottom and look up and see our potential. What has been cool is to see how these celebrities or influences react to us! They love our sound and they wish the best for us.
MB: Last question, promo time. Tell us what fans of the strike can look forward to, any big projects coming up, and cool scoops? And of course, drop all your social links, website to follow the strike, and where we can buy MERCH!
MA: So we’re currently in recording mode right now. We’re searching for our hit. Something that’s really sure to hit a national and worldwide audience. We just recorded some songs this last week and they’ll be released soon! We aren’t really going to focus on releasing an album until later on the road but fans can look forward to frequent single releases over this next year. This process is cool because it really gives the fans an opportunity to determine our future. We make the singles, they decide which ones propel us into the national and worldwide spotlight. It’s the same as it’s always been but in this social age and with platforms like YouTube, the control is with the fans, the lovers of music, and not so much the recording industry.
The Str!ke is: Chris Crabb: Lead Vocals. Chase Baker and Brady Bills: Guitar, Josh Larsen: Bass, Matt Millington: Drums, Austie Robinson: Trumpet, Myles Lawrence: Saxophones , Marcus Anderson: Trombone,
The Writing Process
“A lot of our current success is knowing or getting to know the right people, and working our butts off to make sure we deliver an exceptional musical product.”
1. What does it require to “make it big”?
“We’re searching for our hit.”
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