The Marble Index
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The Marble Index haven’t exactly blown up, and it’s hard to figure out why that is. Their self-titled debut was chock full of catchy, post-punk numbers that should have turned the Hamiltonians into overnight successes. But with the Strokes on the radio full-time, and the Waking Eyes becoming Canada’s next big thing (although that ended prematurely too), there just wasn’t enough room for the Marble Index. The group’s second major label disc, Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives might just be the thing to catapult them to worldwide stardom. This record of Cure/Hot Hot Heat influenced numbers is again saturated with plenty of sing-along dance tracks and singer Brad Germain’s brooding vocals are out in full force. While Watch Your Candles is a lot livelier than it’s predecessor and the songwriter has improved tenfold, there’s a good chance the band will be victim of timing again. Franz Ferdinand are still on the radio and the Killers are still making headlines, which, like last time, will leave the Marble Index on the outside looking in. - Exclaim.ca


The Marble Index's passports might say Canada, but their music says "crumpet" and "mind the doors" and a bunch of other blatant Brit-isms. Produced by former Joe Strummer sideman Scott Shields, Watch Your Candles Watch Your Knives -- the Hamilton trio's sprightly second major label release -- vaguely recalls Anglo-rockers like The Clash, The Jam and almost any other group packing a definite article and an accent. The Index's punchy beats, hollered background vocals and percussive, occasionally reggae-influenced, guitar stabs are enough to push Franz Ferdi-fans off the dancefloor. But it's singer Brad Germain's unstoppable melodies and arena-ready brooding that have landed them in the middle of our favourite Big Shiny Tunes compilations and, inevitably, our big, bloody hearts. - Eye Magazine


Hamilton's The Marble Index have been making substantial noise as of late. Amid all of the hysteria, they're just about to wrap up a lengthy European tour.

The Marble Index have in the past two years escaped the confines of their humble Hamilton, Ontario beginnings and are on the cusp of becoming not only local heroes, but full-fledged worldwide rock stars.

The three-piece alt-rockers — Brad Germain (guitar, vocals), Ryan Tweedle (bass) and Adam Knickle (drums) — are currently out on their fourth European tour. Hardly strangers to the old country, The Marble Index have already toured there three times before. Hell, they even recorded their debut record in The Verve's hometown of Wigan, England. This tour, however, was their largest tour to date and the guys couldn't have been more excited as they prepared to leave for it.

"It's kind of similar in a way," Germain says in regards to the fan response in Europe versus the Canadian response. "They tend to be a little less worried about themselves [in Europe]. They kind of let loose and kind of enjoy the night. They don't have to fold their arms, and debate whether it's important or not."

Also helping their cause is the fact it's good to be a cool Canadian rock 'n' roll band these days.

"I think it's as good here, if not better, than any other country in the world right now," Germain says. "There's just lot's of good stuff like your Arcade Fire's, your Dears, Royal City and The Constantines."

The band have already commenced preparations for their follow up album.

"We're demoing stuff right now, just kind of getting ideas together," Germain says. "[We're also deciding] producer-wise who we want to work with."

But most importantly, The Marble Index are primarily concerned with producing the best damn music that they can possible make.

"I don't really have one of those world domination plans that people try to come up with," Germain says. "I try not to look too far into the future. We're just going to try to make records." —Justin Krever
- Chart Magazine


Associations can be deceptive. "The Marble Index" is a legendary album by Germanic Warhol/ Velvets acolyte Nico: a doomed, smack-addled heroine who went from superstar to lowlife to oblivion and made a couple of the doomiest albums ever commited to vinyl en route. "The Marble Index", from 1969 (if memory serves) is quite probably the last word in non-more funereal black.

None of which prepares you for an aggressive, tough-but-tuneful trio named THE MARBLE INDEX, who hail from Hamilton, Ontario and make a seethingly healthy racked during the course of the four tunes on this EP.

Opener "I Believe" is the obvious A-side. Coming across as an unholy alliance of Big Star and UK modsters The Chords, it's like a summit meeting of classic UK new wave and US power pop and reverberates with one of those great, whiplash, pull-me, push-me riffs you feel you've heard a million times before, but is still as bracing as hell for all that. Singer/ guitarist Brad Germain has a screamy, emotionally-leaky voice perhaps best described as 'expressive' and would surely be charismatic live.

Promisingly, things stubbornly refuse to go downhill from thereon in. Both "Days Seem Longer" and "That Day" muscle their way in with staccato riffing and massive drumming and are cut from the same drama-pop cloth you'd associate with Razorlight and The Morenas. Throw in some nice jaywalking harmonics from bassist Ryan Tweedle on both tunes; the livid chords that ram the point home on "That Day" and Brad's willigness to go into emotional meltdown on a tune-by-tune basis and you're onto something pretty damn good.

Actually, if anything, final track "A Lot Of These Things" is even better. It's a classic stomper, with economically broiling riffs, more counterpoint melody brilliance from Tweedle and drummer Adam Knickle's splashy Moon-style cymbal vandalism spurring Germain into driving blind and taking them right to the edge. It's a real killer, with heavy, Sugar-style overtones and would be the ideal way to end a live set, though I imagine they've probably already worked that out for themselves.

Fine first effort then. The pages of The Marble Index will be well-thumbed before long if they can maintain the confidence and, er, belief contained within "I Believe" and its' attendant assortment of goodies.
- whisperinandhollerin.com


An addition to Canada’s rock renaissance

Brad Germain, frontman for the Marble Index, is giddy because he recently received an email from maverick producer, Frazier Mohawk. Mohawk is intrigued by the band, which borrows its name from one of his most celebrated endeavours, and wants to check them out.

The band lifted its name from the 1969 solo album by the Velvet Underground’s Nico, produced by the legendary Mohawk. Germain calls Nico’s Marble Index the darkest album of all time. According to Germain, the name is indicative of their sound. “I like the mood of that record and I wanted to take some of that mood and put it into us. It’s dark but I like to think that there is some element of darkness in us.”

Mohawk is just one of many who have started to take notice of the Marble Index. It started a year ago in January when the band scored a worldwide licensing deal with Universal Music Canada on the strength of an indie EP and an energetic live performance in Toronto. This kicked off a triumphant year.

Hailing from the musical hub that is Hamilton, the Marble Index is a welcomed addition to Canada’s rock renaissance. The Index came to be in 2001. The trio – vocalist/guitarist Brad Germain, drummer Adam Knickle and bassist Ryan Tweedle – had all played in various bands since their early teens but found common ground and mastered an emblematic sound that is, the Marble Index.

The Index relocated to the working-class town of Wigan, England to record their major label debut. The self-titled album was released in August 2004. “I never thought that being in a band could put me in England for recording purposes. I though I’d have to go there with a backpack on. It was definitely inspirational,” Germain said of the recording process.

The first two singles off the Marble Index, “I Believe” and “Not So Bright”, have been getting good play on rock stations and their video is in regular rotation on MuchMusic. And last year was a busy one for touring – most notably, the Index was hand picked to support the Pixies on their cross-country tour, a gig most urchin indie bands pine for.

The Index, popular with industry people and fans alike, were nominated for a string of local awards in 2004 including the coveted Favourite New Artist award at the CASBY (Canadian Artists Selected By You) Awards. The band performed for a fervent crowd at the CASBYs but didn’t walk away with the award, which was won by Billy Talent.

Germain said the band was flattered by the CASBY nomination but feels no rivalry with the other artists. “It’s been a great year for Canadian bands,” Germain said, “There is no competition. The general consensus is everybody wants everybody to do well. We all wish each other the most success. There is definitely a good camaraderie among us.”

In fact, playing with Billy Talent on New Year’s Eve in Halifax was a year highlight for the Marble Index. “When the clock struck 12 we were standing on stage in front of thousands of people, something I wouldn’t have believed a year ago,” said drummer Adam Knickle.

The Index is currently playing a handful of dates in the U.K. They will be back in Toronto on Feb. 9 to kick off a cross Canada tour.
- 411


The Marble Index, The Marble Index (Death of Records/Universal)

Oh the thrill of the three-piece! Hailing from Hamilton, The Marble Index brings the joy of simplicity, pushing instruments to the limit. This band plays hard, from the big chords of opener “I Believe.” Ryan Tweedle twists and snakes his bass through and around each tune—do his fingers bleed? Adam Knickle kicks ass on the skins and Brad Germain tops it off with said power chords and cooler-than-the-Stills singing. Hopefully they’ll journey to Halifax soon. —Sean Flinn
- The Coast


I went into this show not knowing The Marble Index at all and left knowing I had most likely just watched the best live show I'll ever see. The songs and the energy of the music are incredible. They burned through their set like they were on a mission. They're a three peice energetic rock band that sound like they're a thirty piece.....and no effects pedals from what I could tell. The most surprisingly fantastic show I've seen ever! I hope these guys are around a long, long time........and their album is boss too!
- Hour.ca


The Marble Index – Walkabout, 8.45pm Monday 20th September.

What more can you ask for from a live show than a front man that dashes through the crowd, starting up handclaps and climbing on bar furniture, before returning to the stage to deliver energetic rock and roll? Not much, actually. The Marble Index are a sparkling, true blood rock experience with a stream of Strokes-like excellence streaking through them.
- BBC Online



Taking their punk cues from The Clash, Hamilton's Marble Index know what rock is and how to make it sweaty and unapologetic in much the same way sugar and spice and all things nice certainly aren't. This isn't your SoCal emo-façade for power-pop power-chords, but the real raw meat of early-80s underground Brit menace - no preppy frat-boys, not soon to appear in Rolling Stone. These guys have swallowed the sound and turned it out for these times of factory falsified MOR rubbish. In-your-face guitars and punch-drunk drums threaten to flood angry lyrics. Another of Canada's newest under-the-radar aces ready for take-off.

- Daily Herald Tribune


Discography

2003 - Self Released EP (Canada)
2004 August - Debut Album - Death Of Records/Universal (Canada)
2004 Sept - "I Believe" EP - Death Of Records/Universal (UK)
2005 May - "I Believe" EP - Embryo/MGM (Australia)
2005 August - Debut Album - Embryo/MGM (Australia)
2005 August - Debut Album - Imperial/JVC (Japan)
2006 August - Debut Album - High Coin (UK)
2006 August - Debut Album - High Coin/Soul Food (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
2006 August - Watch Your Candles Watch Your Knives - Death Of Records/Maple (Canada)
2006 September - Watch Your Candles Watch Your Knives - Imperial/JVC (Japan)

Photos

Bio

For some, living the rock ’n’ roll dream means fame, fortune and all the excess that comes with it. The Marble Index are living a different dream. It involves the proverbial blood, sweat and tears. It involves perseverance and effort. It involves working like sons of bitches and making the most of opportunity.

If this dream doesn’t sound as sexy, you’ve read too many magazines. This is good, old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll spirit, with nothing airbrushed, steroid-pumped or collagen-enhanced – but sexy indeed. In fact, if you compare The Marble Index’s self-titled debut and their latest, Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives, you’ll hear a band who haven’t lost an ounce of muscle, but have gained a remarkable amount of finesse.

Even as their album was landing on new shelves in new countries, the Index had regrouped at home to record Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives. They hunkered down for several weeks at Hamilton’s Catharine North Studios, with producer Scott Shields (the Mescaleros, G.U.N.) at the helm.

“He was good at roping us in and making us a little more focused,” Germain says of Shields. “He mixed our debut, and I think he was stoked to get his hands on our recording from the ground floor this time. We feel like he kind of helped us step up a level.”

If the Index stepped up a level, Germain’s songwriting was a major driving force. From the opening shout-along salvos of “Everyone Else” and “All That I Know” bring to mind the Damned or the Clash in militant mode, with a wiry tightness that generates its own electricity. The reggae-suffused “Let Me Be The One” uses dub as a springboard to leap headlong into its dynamic chorus. Later, the Index get down with their magnificent selves on “I Don’t Want to Try to Change Your Life”, and keep the kids on the floor with the bounce of “Anytime” before returning to the straight-forward guitar-driven dash of “Not Impressed”. All the songs are easily as taut as those on the debut. Yet Watch Your Candles is ultimately more memorable, side-stepping convention and including hooky melodies to create a sound that’s thoroughly modern but not entirely unfamiliar.

“It wasn’t really premeditated,” says Germain, “but I wanted to write songs that showed us form different perspectives.”

The lead single is the outstanding guitar pop of “Same Schools”, which opens up to a wall of guitars and a deceptively simple chorus that embeds itself permanently in your brain after only a spin or two. The song, an indictment of the educational system and the conformity it breeds, suggests that there has been a maturation of lyrical content as well.

“It’s more about where I am in life,” Germain explains. “The first track, ‘Everyone Else,’ is saying you know, I’ve been bullshitting forever, trying to stay away form responsibility, but now I’ve realized it doesn’t really matter what people think. Everybody takes their own path. So it’s partly a coming of age tale for me…Brad grows up and fuckin’ has something to say, finally.”

That coming of age happened in Hamilton, Ontario, where Germain, Tweedle and Knickle had been part of the music scene for years before uniting to become The Marble Index in 2001. They combined the lean, melodic sounds of their favourite musicians – The Who, The Smiths, The Jam – with the lean, pretension-free attitude of their hometown, where keeping it real equals waking up in the morning. It just happens. Some may have called the Index “garage rock,” but that label never gave credit to the wealth of ideas and influences in their music. While so many “garage bands” have proven themselves flashes in the new millennium’s pan, The Marble Index continue to burn hotter.

The group’s first EP and early live shows showed enough of that potential heat to capture attention. For such a young band to get signed these days may seem like the ultimate prize, but again, The Marble Index weren’t ready to start buying yachts and gold teeth just yet. To them, the deal was merely an opportunity; an opportunity that came dressed in overalls and looking like work. So they headed to Wigan, in the United Kingdom, and rolled up their sleeves to record their debut.

The success of The Marble Index’s self-titled release was not just the result of a strong record – it was the also result of hard work and the way music fans responded across the country. From the release date onward, the band toured – across Canada with the legendary Pixies, and elsewhere around the world on their own. After touring the globe over the past two years, all of The Marble Index have come of age. You can hear it in their songs, in their performances, and in the spirit of the new album. Watch Your Candles, Watch Your Knives is the work of a band who already knew who they were, but have learned how to express it on a new plane.

The Marble Index may not be on the lookout for brown M&Ms, but they have a new version of the rock’n’roll dream. “This year will