This January, a Raleigh band with buzz named Coastal Vision had a good ep and a show lined up at Kings. When the trio broke up before the show, one of them, 18 year old Marc Kuzio, decided to play the Kings show anyway and the band he scraped together was well received. During the following months Kuzio deliriously worked long days in a kitchen that wasn’t his own recording what would become GHOSTT BLLONDE‘s debut album, which dropped this week. Initially TrashPop//DoomWop is a lo-fi rock and roll record shaped by the Doo Wop tradition. The vocal harmonies are pretty, but some of the guitars are weird, and some of the track transitions are nervous. And this makes TrashPop//DoomWop fascinating. A dark tale of fireworks and burnouts told from a kid giddy with frustration. But in those tangley moments, during the warbley waves of reverb and echoes, GHOSTT BLLONDE is most self-assured. On “Beach Glass Comedown,” when Kuzio calmly croons “the summer was made for sometime lovers,” it’s a reminder of how confusingly wonderful love/hate relationships can be, and also how fuck-ups can be fun.
Anagram of Marc: Maleficent Attitudes R Cool. No, let’s do Magnificent Attitudes R Cool, for the 5th grade positivity.
First local album I owned: Looking For Bruce by Hammer No More The Fingers. Around 2007 when I was still living in New York, I heard Vodka Grasshopper on Myspace and became obsessed with that EP. So the next year after I moved to North Carolina, When Looking For Bruce came out and I bought it immediately. It was definitely a cult record for me and my friends in high school too. We were at every Hammer show and even made a stamp that said “hammer approved.”
Ghosts? : When I was younger I used to believe there was a spirit world and I was all of a sudden some kind of shaman and I could access it. I was the bridge between the spiritual world and the real world. I was in 4th grade and I’d tell my friends to come over and meet me in my basement. And they’d be like, “Can you show me my dead cat?” I’d put myself in a trance and I actually believed that I was doing it. I’d breathe really fast to exhaust myself and then I’d shake and make myself dizzy and say I saw spirits. In the real world I was like 10 years old but in the spiritual world I was like 17, because for some reason I thought that it was cool to be 17.
Morning routine: I wake up right before I’m supposed to be anywhere. And then I’m really stressed out but I go get it done. I set my alarm an hour and a half before I’m supposed to be at work but I hit snooze until I have 10 minutes to get ready. I get up and quickly wet my hair, towel dry it, wet my hair, towel dry it again, comb it down, and put this cream in it. I’m such a diva. I hate my hair. The waves are obnoxious. People always say they love it and I’ve always wanted straight hair. I look like Screech from Saved By the Bell.
What I would always bring to show & tell: My casts. Growing up I had osteogenesis imperfecta and my bones wouldn’t absorb calcium properly. I broke bones very easily. I’ve broken 6 bones. In 1st grade I got a huge spiral fracture in my leg trying to do a karate spin kick. So I was in a wheelchair in a cast starting at my waist. And literally a year later, I fell off a table and broke it in the exact same spot. Later I got really into skate boarding and during a skating accident I fell on my wrist and when I looked down, my fingers were bent back and touching my arm. No breaks since then, but skating became such a huge part of my life. Starting in 6th grade me and my friends would skip school and skate all day. My friend Adam was really into indie music and he’d tell me about bands to listen to. I’d also watch skate videos all the time. I’d even buy them on DVD. And they weren’t just point and shoot. They were thought out artsy montages. I remember the first time I heard Arcade Fire, M83, and Gang of Four was in a skate video.
If I could hang out with a member of Kiss …: I’d have a bromance with Peter Criss, the Catman. I would pretend like I had all kinds of money and then we would go to the Harley Davidson store and I’d say, “Let’s buy some hawgs, man!” I’d say it just like that. And I’d manipulate him into actually buying mine. We would spend our time riding around and being badasses. We’d take a trip out west, go into saloons and bust open doors. And on the way back to North Carolina, to the Outer Banks, because I’ve never been there, my motorcycle would break down. I’d get on the back of his motorcycle and give him one of those hugs from behind with my head rested on his back all the way to the beach. And as the sun went down in the ocean, he’d paint my face with cat whiskers.
Food I haven’t tried: I had an orange for the first time about a month ago and it was amazing. I tried asparagus for the first time last year. But I’ve never had a plum.
Favorite spot in the triangle: I have a spot that’s out towards Cary and Morrisville that I used to go to a lot in high school. You’d park your car and you’d walk out about a mile into the woods until you got to this huge clearing, kinda like a lookout point. I’d go parking with ladies. None of it was successful though. I wasn’t very suave in high school. I’m still not suave now. But I’d also be lame and shoot fireworks out there during the day because I had nothing else better to do. And it took me awhile to figure out that you can’t see fireworks during the day.
Dream travel destination: London. After I made the transition from emo to indie I had an intermittent phase where I was obsessed with Brit rock, the Arctic Monkeys, the Kooks, the Fratellis. I wanted to dress like them so I started wearing cardigans, v-necks, women’s jeans and black boots. I got made fun of a lot because I was listening to Brit rock so much that I was emulating it in my own playing. I would kind of sing with a British accent. People would get on my Formspring and say, “Stop trying to be British, you muthafucker.”
Dream band: Kevin Barnes would be the frontman, with extra flare from Annie Clark on guitar and David Bowie on keys. George Harrison would be lead guitarist. GHOSTT BLLONDE’s bassist, Chris Bennett, would be on bass. Peter Criss would be on drums, of course. I would be on extra percussion, tambourine, bells, anything extra they told me to do. I’d just be there to support them. I think that’s a solid lineup.
Last book I read: Women by Charles Bukowski . As soon as I opened it, I could not put it down and that hasn’t happened to me in a while. I really admire Bukowski’s Beat poet inspired writing. And this might sound really cheesy but when I was reading it I was going through a string of bad girl problems. When you analyze the book it’s basically him talking shit about all the women he’s ever slept with. And it seemed to me that every character was a girl that I had known.
First song I cried to: “Pale Blue Eyes” by Velvet Underground. Growing up my mom was really into hair metal and stuff like Metallica. So I looked up Velvet Revolver and came across Velvet Underground instead. On the cover of the album was black and white and it seemed different than the radio-cliché-simple-top 40 hits that I’d been exposed to. I remember hearing “Pale Blue Eyes” coming on and for some reason I just cried. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t happy either. The way the chords swerved and the way the not so perfect voice sounded, the simple imperfections of it was something I didn’t know was possible in music.
What I wanted to be when I grew up: In kindergarten I wanted to be a scientist. But my grandfather told me that they take samples of poop. I didn’t know he was joking, so I thought that was gross and I never wanted to be a scientist again. Then I wanted to be an author, but not just any author. I’d tell anyone who asked me that I wanted to be a famous author. Because all I did was write stories. One story took place in the Civil War era and the main character found a time machine and came to the present. Some 3rd grade stories were about monkeys in space. Later stories from middle school were more angst ridden and I would take a lot of time developing the personalities of the characters. They’d have love interests and some would die. But the main character in all my stories was always who I wanted to be, the cool, mysterious outcast.
GHOSTT BLLONDE’s album release party is tonight at the Mattress Fort in Raleigh. Free Clinic open. Find event info here: