Studio A Review
A New Kind of Tiger Blood: Live in Studio A with Marco Benevento
Charlie Sheen claimed “tiger blood,” but the blood of rock/pop fusion artist Marco Benevento’s newest album Tiger Face claims a whole new phrase of experimentation.
So Marco, it looks like you’ve got a new band?
Yea, relatively new. We’ve been touring together for three years, Dave, Andy, and I. Dave is the bassist, and Andy is the drummer. They’re great guys, helping me run the record label Royal Potato Family.
Tell me more about your own record label.
Dave, Andy, and I wanted to know where all our money was going, you know. So we created our own record label, doing the work the old fashioned way for our bands on the label. It’s a “rootsy” label; we’re a tight knit group with bands whose sounds are not mainstream whatsoever.
So I hear that you’ve added vocals on a few tracks in your new album; why the change?
Well, it started out with my wife and I syllable singing. I had been sitting on a couple of songs on the new album that I had recorded two years ago. But then, one day, my wife and I were at the piano—we had been listening to those tracks that we had been sitting on—and started making syllable sounds that we liked.
These songs are first on the album; why is that?
We put the two vocal tracks first on the album to get them out of the way. No, I’m just kidding, we put them first to show a new addition to our sound.
Tell me more about this new sound.
Well, because my wife and I really liked our syllable sounds, we called up some friends to test them. We liked the syllable singing with them too. Without a doubt, I wanted some tracks with the “lyrics,” so I called up a good friend, singer of Rubble Buck Kal. I had played with her at show in Vermont. She agreed to do the vocals. We ended up recording in Brooklyn, and, I was like “woah,” the songs sounded “poppy” all of sudden! I couldn’t get over it. I wasn’t expecting that kind of change.
And I wasn’t expecting his explosive sound in Studio A that day. A fusion of sounds rushed around me when Benevento played his new sound in three poppy-inspired tracks. I almost would not have known that his sound hadn’t always been this way.
“ It Came From You,” “This is How It Goes,” and “Limbs of a Pine” are spacey serenades, beeping and uplifting nothing-short-of-soulful songs that also have this natural sound, a swarm of intentional sounds conglomerated in an unfamiliar yet reminiscent way.
The simplest way that I can describe my listening experience is to say that each song caught and held captive extraneous small sounds, many of which I hear in my everyday, and composed them together in an ambient blend. The sounds swell in a bubbly, fun, and poppy beat.
Benevento’s last song “Limbs of a Pine," off his newest album Tiger Face, is a dance hit phenomena. Benevento mentioned that there’d often be a man dressed in a tiger outfit out on stage when he would play the song, and after hearing it I understood why. The song needs that kind of funk to it and probably some disco lights and a fog machine.
So, sure, Charlie Sheen may have tiger blood coursing through his veins, but you get to experience the elements of an entire tiger face in Marco Benevento’s album.
Be sure to check out and listen for free to some of Marco Benevento’s new album Tiger Face on