A Conversation With FRANK MARINO Page 9
By Bob Nalbandian
BN: Who are some of the musicians who have influenced Frank Marino, other than Jimi Hendrix?
FM: Even more than Hendrix, I'm greatly influenced by John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service - he's my earliest and greatest influence. Then there's Hendrix, Santana, and Johnny Winter for sure, also Duane Allman to a degree for the slide playing and blues. I actually don't play slide guitar, but I invented my own form of it in which I bend the bar and make it sound like I'm playing slide.
BN: You don't play any slide at all on your records?
FM: On songs like 'Slippin' And Slidin'' and 'Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame' [on the RealLIVE! CD] it sounds like I'm playing slide, but I'm actually doing that with my fingers. It's a technique I invented because I really couldn't play with a slide [laughs]...The great jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell was an incredible influence, Larry Carlton, Larry Coriel, Jerry Garcia...these kind of bluesy, jazzy and some rock guys. I'm also influenced by bands as well as guitarists, for instance, I'm heavily influenced by The Beatles and heavily influenced by The Doors...I don't care much for Jim Morrison's lyrics but I really love the way Ray Manzarek writes music and love the way Robby Krieger plays guitar. And from my early days before I played guitar, I grew up as a drummer - I was playing jazz drums by 5 or 6 years old. So Buddy Rich was a huge influence on me, big band/swing was an influence, and Elvin Jones, the drummer from John Coltrane.
BN: I recall a particular song you recorded with April Wine called "So Bad," have you recorded or collaborated with other bands and is this something you would like to do?
FM: I actually did a thing called the Fire Project with Aynsley Dunbar and Pete Sears, who was the bass player for The Starship. I think Michael Bodiker was the keyboardist, he worked with people like Michael Jackson, and I believe also a couple guys from Toto were involved. I did five or seven songs for a record, I was actually asked to be the producer but when they didn't have a guitarist, I was asked to play guitar as well. Then I was asked to play the showcases in LA, and I was really afraid that they would get signed because, to be honest, it wasn't something I would have liked to do - it was kind of like '80s rock. But I ended up doing that showcase and in the end they didn't get signed. So, that was a project I was involved in very heavily but, lucky for me, they never did anything. I've been involved with compilation albums like Blues Bureau, Hats Off to Stevie Ray, which I did for Mike Varney, Guitar Speak for Miles Copeland, and Fit For A King, which was a tribute to Albert King. I also did something with Derek St. Holmes once where I actually played the drums! [Laughs] But that never came out either.
BN: You talk about producing other albums...I've always noticed that the production on the Mahogany Rush albums sounded way ahead of its time. It has that thick, raw, real lively sound...
FM: I like to try different things in the studio. I've probably over-spent money and time learning the studio. When I do produce another artists, I never produce music of the same nature as my own. For instance, I produced a record for Barbie Andretti, who is the daughter of the racecar driver Mario Andretti. It's a 17-song romantic ballad tribute with all Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Barbara Streisand songs. And it came with a 120-piece orchestra. If you hear it, there's no way you're gonna think that Frank Marino, the rock guitarist, arranged and produced this...it sounds like Nelson Riddle! I get into stuff like that because it's a challenge for me.
A Conversation With FRANK MARINO Page 10