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It’s been four years since Brian Marquis released his debut album, Blood and Spirits, and while he’s strutted his stuff on an acoustic guitar since going solo, the desire to return to his harder punk roots — as he found himself playing bars and other environments and wanting to offer something a bit more upbeat than a finger-picked acoustic song — had him itching to turn up the amp. And with that desire, Marquis’ brand new single, “The Irish Goodbye”, was born.
When Marquis began writing the tune, he knew that he wanted to write something fast and simple. But he let the music dictate the lyrical direction of the song, and what came out of it was a reflective banger that, in some ways, creates a visual for the track’s theme, with its quick-strummed, driving riff embodying the urgency of the message he found himself wanting to relay with his multifaceted vocals.
“I wrote this song during a time where I found myself reflecting on past relationships and past jobs I had, and I started thinking to myself ‘Man, why didn’t I just pick up and leave? Why did I suffer through that for so long?’” Marquis tells Vanyaland. “I used to think that suffering through it was part of a relationship, but if only there was someone in those moments to shake me, and tell me to get the fuck out of there, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time in jobs I hated, or in relationships that weren’t positive for me. So the song is really me giving my younger self a pep talk, to give myself some courage and to stress that it’s okay to cut the cord and get out.”
The new track features the talents of drummer Will Noon (fun., Straylight Run) and Jon Berry contributing gang vocals, which has Marquis excited, as it adds a whole new layer onto the recording experience for him when he’s able to sweat it out with friends in a room again while they work out new material.
While he has appreciated the support he’s garnered from his previous solo work, the Berklee alum reached a point where he just wanted to try something new with his music, which in turn wasn’t really new to him at all, as it brings him back to his punk rock and hardcore roots established in the late 2000s with Boston’s after playing in Therefore I Am. Marquis just wanted to pick up an electric guitar again, and he wanted to make the new music nice and loud.
“Honestly, I just get creatively bored sometimes,” he admits. “So for me, I was just really itching to get back to playing electric guitar again, and getting together with other musicians, because I missed playing in a band. Ya know, once you’re older, it gets harder to wrangle up a band to record with or go on tour with, but I stopped letting that stop me from doing what I really wanted to do, and got together with some good friends to do this song, and ‘The Romantic’, as well as a bunch of other demos I have yet to finish.”
Although there’s no doubt he is having fun riding the wave in this not-so-new direction that his newest singles have brought him in, Marquis isn’t rushing to put out a full-length album or go on a full nationwide tour. Aside from the fact that he’s been trotting the globe as Billie Eilish’s tour manager, he’s also getting married this summer, so the Warped Tour veteran isn’t necessarily as quick to pounce quite like the rhythm of “The Irish Goodbye”.
“It’s really a write-as-I-go sort of thing,” says Marquis, in regards to the status of writing his next album. “I don’t want to rush myself, and I just want to do things when it feels right to do them. It’s fun and exciting for me right now to put out a song here and there, and I do plan on getting a band together to possibly do a run of dates later in the year, but I’m just kinda feeling it out right now.”
Featured photo by Dani Fresh.