A Conversation With FRANK MARINO
By Bob Nalbandian

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush are one of the greatest and most influential underground rock bands of all time. I had the extreme pleasure to chat with guitar legend Frank Marino, who is easily one of the most down-to-earth and sincere human beings I have ever spoken with. Below is an edited translation of our two-hour plus phone conversation...

Bob Nalbandian: First off, I have to tell ya, your new double-live CD RealLIVE! sounds absolutely incredible. The production, the packaging, and the performance...it's just one great jam!

Frank Marino: That's exactly what it is, one big jam!

BN: You just don't get that kind of performance on record nowadays. Back in the '70s, live rock albums were thee big thing and you really miss that experience. It's literally been years since a jammin' live album like RealLIVE! has been released.

FM: That's really all we do now. I really don't like being in the studio that much, it's sometimes a little bit too antiseptic. We basically record every concert performance; we bring a multi-track recorder with us everywhere. We had 27 hard-drives of live material when the tour was over that year, then 9/11 happened so no one was able to tour for a while [this CD was recorded live at Club Soda concert hall on September 8, 2001]. So we looked at what we had recorded and this show was actually the last of the 27. It was a good night.

BN: Is Club Soda [Montreal] a fairly small venue?

FM: It's reasonably small, but the reason I like it is because it is like a club designed like a concert hall so you get this 'arena sound'. The place is all metal and concrete so you get a very live sound, and I really like that bounce-back from the PA. So when mixing this Club Soda show I didn't have to use any reverb, I only really had to use the room so consequently it's an extremely accurate rendition of 'a night at the opera' so to speak. Actually, we had to cut an entire CD out of the show; our performance is three hours and forty-five minutes long.

BN: Wow! RealLIVE! is actually your first release in 3 years. Your bio claims that what prompted you to come back was the Internet site [www.mahoganyrush.com] which was created by a fan, Willy Parsons. Were you planning on retiring for good?

FM: Yes. I really didn't consider getting back into the touring business...I had a new family life with my children...things were different. The site really inspired me to go out and do some shows. The business had changed so much that you don't recognize it anymore. And in '93, I just wasn't into it, but a friend of mine told me I should just record an artistic album that I like, that album was Eye Of The Storm. And when I came across that site; that is what prompted the release of that album. So we put it out the best that we could independently.

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