Mars and The Massacre
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Mars and The Massacre

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Psychedelic




"How to Make Your Bandcamp Page as Effective as Possible"

Mars and the Massacre is just one band that's found success using Bandcamp. (Image via

In the past 15 years, there has been an online revolution for independent music producers. With the aid of social platforms and DIY distribution sites like Bandcamp, the need for a traditional record label to "make it" is becoming a thing of the past. But how do you stand out? With the tools readily available to anyone with a computer, there are more and more musicians trying to have their message heard.

Here are a few tips and tricks that I've found work the best for setting your release apart on Bandcamp.

What sells you as an artist is cohesion, a constant level of quality that's always met, and imagery that's familiar. Before your release is even uploaded, I feel this has to be addressed. Make sure your page is an accurate representation of you, your music, and even your presence on other social networks.

bandcamp tips

If you already have Facebook artist page with your logo, use the same images you have there to start. What you're looking to do is create cohesion between your site and social networks. You want make sure your fans have no doubt they landed at the right place.

This is a very common issue I see with a lot of artists. Make sure you have links to and from your pages. The idea to have all of your social links visible and easy to access. A great way to do this with Bandcamp is by using the "image map" option in the "design" tab. An image map is HTML that lays over an image in order to turn parts of a picture into links.

how to be good at bandcamp

Here's an example from my site. What I did was recreate a small bar with all my links and save it as a part of my header image. Then I used HTML to turn the text in the image into links.

bandcamp tips

If you're unfamiliar with how code HTML, there are a number of great sites that will automatically create the code for you. Here's one example.

Is the work you want to upload ready? Could it be better? Do there need to be four 1980s-style power-ballads in a row? Every time you feel like it's time to fire up the ol’ internet browser and start uploading your release, you must ask yourself this question: would I buy this? Would my fanbase love a 70-minute epic with B-sides and extra studio records, or would they prefer a concise 30 minutes of really solid work?

Being the filter on your content is often one of the most difficult things for any green artist. When you're still establishing who you are as band/artist, you don't want to overload newcomers with content. In the end, it's for the greater good. Do you want to be known for constantly putting out great music, hit after hit, or for having a few good riffs in a sea of filler?

You have your music ready, and it sounds amazing, but you don't have any visual content to go with your masterpiece. What do you do? You could try your hand at making some artwork, but then you run the risk of looking amateur or unprofessional.

Like it or not, anyone who's coming to your site is going to judge your music even before he or she has even heard it. The old saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover" unfortunately doesn't apply in the competitive online marketplace. Making sure your work is engaging and standout is key.

branding examples

A great and cheap tool to get small art jobs likes this done is Fiverr. This site offers just about any type of freelance job you can think of for only $5. Here, you'll have a good chance of finding someone to help you on the cheap.

Tagging/keywording your work
I know what you're going to say: "This is common sense – everyone knows to do this!" But the reality is I see it far less than anything else on this list. Some people think when posting your releases to a site like Bandcamp the fans will just flood in. This can be the case, but you have to make it easier for new fans to find you first.

how to be better at bandcamp

Bandcamp has this really handy tagging section called "tags" when uploading releases. You can put any keyword you think people will search for and your results will show up when the Bandcamp database is searched. If you're having a hard time figuring out what to put down, take a look at some other artists' pages and see what keywords they're using. That way, their fans will be able to find your work by typing the same things.

Anthony G is best known for being a master of customer support at CreativeLive. He is also a successful DJ and producer. - Sonicbids Blog

"PREMIERE: Mars and the Massacre — "Basset Case""

PREMIERE: Mars and the Massacre — "Basset Case"
Via PureVolume Aug 13

Having only been around Los Angeles —via Indianapolis —for a couple of years, Mars and the Massacre are clearly on the rise. Despite nary an album to their name, group were voted the best live act in a LA Weekly poll in 2014. However, that's about to change. The group returned to the Hoosier State to record their first full-length, and the result is a psychedelic sound that's clearly influenced by their new home. We're excited to premiere "Basset Case," which also happens to be the title track from the new album. Breezy, wistful yet retaining a garage rock edge, it's clear that the California air has had a positive impact on the band.

Mars and the Massacre's Basset Case will be released later this year. - Pure Volume


Our judges were unanimous in their decision: Mars and the Massacre has a live show that is so explosive and so much fun, there was really no contest. To get a sense of what one of their performances is like, check out our original video above, and be sure to read our profile, as well.

Live, they switch from punk to metal to jazz to whatever they're feeling at the moment. To make a long story short, they simply shred: "We're really loud and fast," Ethan Walden told Artemis Thomas-Hansard - hence the "Massacre" part of their name.

"But we're really spacey and psychedelic, too," he adds - thus the "Mars."

At different times, Walden plays both drums and bass, trading off with Peter Doherty, who also switches off with John Newell on the vocal lead. It's exciting to watch, and works better than it sounds, considering that each multi-instrumentalist member can really play.

But they also don't take themselves too seriously, and aren't afraid to experiment with their live show, whether adding samples, using a looping machine, wearing odd costumes, pouring fake blood on themselves, or simply jamming out to a 23 minute Pink Floyd cover. - LA Weekly

"What I Learned at Bandcamp: Mars and The Massacre"

Mars and The Massacre began in Los Angeles in late 2012 and has since been named one of LA’s “Top Live Bands” by LA Weekly.
The three-member psychedelic rock band, comprised of Peter Doherty, John Newell and Ethan Walden, released its sophomore EP, Blackout, in March and has plans to release singles and more EPs in the near future.

Blackout and the band’s debut, EP A, can be streamed and purchased on Bandcamp.

The Spec interviewed the members of Mars and The Massacre, read what they had to say below…

Tell us a little about yourselves…
John: Hey, I’m John and I play guitar and sing in the band. When I’m not playing music, then I’m probably skateboarding or playing video games. Something else noteworthy about me is that I also have a healthy obsession with bacon.
Peter: I’m Peter, I sing, play bass and drums in Mars and the Massacre. I’ve lived in LA for four years but I grew up in Indianapolis.
Ethan: My name is Ethan.I love music and TV! I’m not a big fan of the outdoors. I get bummed when it’s super nice out in LA, which is like almost everyday, because then its harder to think of an excuse to stay in and watch TV. Is this supposed to be about ourselves personally or more about our role in the band? Anyway, I play drums and bass in Mars and the Massacre. It’s fun. We’ve been known to send some concertgoers to the hospital for accidentally melting off their faces with our music. Oh, and I have a little french bulldog named “George, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” He is literally everything that is right with the world, but he still bites a lot.
How long have you been making music?
John: I started playing guitar and making music when I was around 11. In high school is when I started picking up more chops and really started to connect some dots. We weren’t a band, but a small group of friends and I would play for hours after school each day until my dad got home. The first band I was in was a cover band with a horn section. A lot has changed since then.
Peter: I’ve been making music for awhile, since high school, 10 years plus.
Ethan: I’ve been making music since John was in diapers. So I’d say about 12 years or so? I remember my friend, Joey and I made this CD on my computer when we were in like 5th or 6th grade. We recorded the whole thing using the default sound recorder on my computer. Needless to say, it was brilliant. Our single from that album was titled, “I Don’t Believe In Dinosaurs, No More.” I started playing drums around that time and picked up guitar from just watching my friends play in high school.
Who/what are your influences?
John: I don’t know. I believe everything I do influences me. So life is my influence. I get a lot from listening to music, but I think listening to music mostly helps to expand my musical vocabulary.
Peter: I was raised on a large mixture of different artists, but I’ve always been influenced by anything rhythmic and melodic, especially anything remotely experimental that is able to retain a level of accessibility, i.e. Radiohead, Beatles, Pink Floyd. On the other end of the spectrum, high volume music has always been something I’ve been heavily influenced by, especially melodic loud groups like Nirvana, Pixies, and Queens of the Stone Age.
Ethan: My dad was huge into Elvis Costello, Pearl Jam, and REM, so those are some of the artists I grew up listening to. Also, David Bowie. I think our whole band takes a lot of inspiration from David Bowie. I also love punk music. Actually, not to sound cliche, but I really love everything. I create playlists every month of what I’m listening to and it very well could include rap, country, rock, etc. My mind is all over the place.
What is your favorite song on the new album and why?
John: I have a hard time answering this because each song is special to me. I think the most challenging song to play is “A Mind of Its Own” and so in a live setting, I really enjoy that one.
Peter: It’s been back and forth, but personally I like the very end of the EP, the blackout finale. It has a really uplifting and anthemic feel to it, and it’s a thrill to play live.
Ethan: “Blackout III” for sure. It gets so hyped and anthem-y. I listen to it a lot during pregames, before we go out to the bars.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
John: We have a few singles and more in the works, but a focus of ours is not to pre-meditate the music we create. That said, I’d like to do one or two more EPs before we release an LP. Other than that, I’m not sure.
Peter: Well I want Mars and the Massacre to expand as far as possible. Every member of the band has a broad range of musical tastes and ideas. I’m excited to see where the project will go from here. I don’t like to have very concrete ideas for the future. I find that spontaneity and organically making something new provides more genuine and often better results.
Ethan: I definitely want to get on the road. We’ll always continue to make music and I’m excited to release a full LP, but I think getting out on the road and having some kickass shows is going to be the bees knees. Or as John says, “the cats pajamas.” Or as Peter says “the frightened boy’s bonnet.”
If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
John: I would open a restaurant where I also grow and raise all the food served in it. Or I want to be an astronaut. That would be badass.
Peter: I’ll always be doing something in music. Whether it be playing or writing or engineering or whatever, music is what I want to do.
Ethan: I personally would love to be a stay home dad to my dog George. We would have so much fun. I would take him to the park, we would watch TV, we would give each other high fives. In the unlikely events of that happening, I think I would like to get in film. I have a passion for creating. I think it would be fun to write for TV.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
John: So many bands. I’m really influenced by bands in the local LA scene and by all the friends we’ve made playing music together. In terms of national acts, I’m kind of on a Danny Brown kick.
Peter: Wayne Coyne, Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Damon Albarn, and Jonsi are a few artists I admire a lot. They’re all artists that have evolved over their career, and become more famous and renowned for it. Those are the types of people that stand the test of time.
Ethan: Recently I’ve been into bands that are just making stuff happen right now. Now Playing: FIDLAR, The Orwells, Nobunny, Parquet Courts.
Why do you make music?
John: Music is like therapy to me. I make music to express myself and because it feels good. The feeling from playing a high-energy show is like no other.
Peter: It’s what I like to do the most.
Ethan: I love creating. It’s definitely an outlet. When I feel sad or happy or funny or tired or angry or pervy or wild, playing music helps me deal with that stuff. When I’m sad, I can pout to my guitar. When I feel wild or angry I can bang on the drums. When I feel tired I can go to bed. Also collaborating with people and hearing new ideas and things you hadn’t heard of or thought of, that’s pretty “bonerjams” (John Newell, p.231).
Anything else you’d like readers to know that we haven’t asked you about?
John: I want them to know that I’m willing to drink a beer with them at any time and that I think they should come see us play.
Peter: No comment.
Ethan: Yeah, I guess there’s a few other things I would like the readers to know about me. - The Spec Blog


Still working on that hot first release.



Mars and The Massacre (MaTM) is an LA-based Psychedelic/Garage Rock band originally hailing from Indianapolis, IN. Formed in early 2013, the group of Martians has already gained a strong following in Los Angeles, being known particularly for their entrancing and unpredictable live shows. A mere year after their formation, MaTM was selected as LA Weekly's Best Live Band of 2014. 

MaTM just released their first single, "Basset Case," from their debut LP of the same name. Recorded at Indianapolis' legendary PopMachine with producer Eric Johnson, the LP was mastered by the famed Andy VanDette.

Band Members