The mastermind behind independent Canadian prog-metal band Intervals talks tone on the road, the importance of good merch, and how to thrive as an unsigned act.
Intervals bandleader Aaron Marshall joins Rhett and Zach for this installment of Dipped In Tone, which is essentially a crash-course in touring, merch design, road-ready rig planning, and keeping your head above water as an unsigned act.
The trio start off with a deep dive into Intervals’ focus on high-quality merch, and Marshall outlines his design and marketing philosophies. Increasingly, these elements are the lifeblood of any band that wants to make a living in music: “A touring band is just a traveling T-shirt shop that gets to play music for 40 minutes,” Marshall quips.
Marshall expands on his DIY expertise—Intervals has self-released all four of their full-length records, and still managed to thrive and build a name for themselves. Obviously, that requires a lot of hard work before outsourcing things like management and booking. “You have to take it to your wit’s end,” says Marshall.
Marshall explains how Intervals has managed to maintain a top-level live production without label backing, and why, after literally tucking his tube amps in to a tour van bunk bed, he won’t take them on the road anymore. (“Glass is crazy to be touring with,” he says.) Part of the band’s low-frills magic is a “go along to get along” attitude as an opening act, which includes foregoing specific pieces of gear to make their lives—and the lives of everyone involved in a tour production—more easy.
While Intervals leans toward the gnarlier side of the rock spectrum, Marshall connects his playing back to the classics, and shares why he thinks it’s important to keep a healthy, back-to-basics musical diet: “Playing the blues and learning how to play rock is like eating broccoli at every meal.”
Stay tuned til the end to get the details on Intervals’ upcoming 2024 release.