Carl Shane has been making music under the moniker Kal Marks for over a decade, exploring topics of life, death, failure, and the edges of humanity. Based in Boston, MA, the heavy-hitting post-rock / art-rock band (if you had to attach a genre to them) is known for their tireless work ethic and propensity to push themselves harder, reshaping their formula and expanding their sound with every release.

Like many bands, they’ve taken a hard hit from COVID-19. Plans to record and tour have come to a shrieking halt, and they’ve lost their day jobs. They’ll be releasing demos and home recordings to help pay off their van on Bandcamp soon, so keep an eye out.

As we recorded this episode last November, we don’t talk about their current situation. But we do talk about their songwriting process, the influence of literature, the impact of algorithms, their wide range of influences, what to expect from their next record, and more. Listen above or on iTunes or Spotify.

In this episode, we talked about:

  • where lyrical inspiration comes from
  • the dream of not having a day job and whether that’d actually be beneficial artistically
  • the impact literature has on his writing and everyday life
  • other jobs that could be fulfilling
  • spotify’s negative impact on record sales
  • how algorithms can lead to narrow music discovery
  • how films can be a great tool for discovering new music
  • what drives him to share his music
  • where his love of entertaining people came from in his childhood
  • the pressure to interpret his lyrics for the listener and how some songs don’t have a meaning
  • why questions are more important than the answers
  • singer-songwriters who influenced him early on
  • their wide range of influences on the band
  • the financial realities of being a band
  • what to expect from the next Kal Marks record
  • handling criticism specific to him and his voice
  • what success means to him

Resources mentioned:

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