Mark McGee on new Father You See Queen album and Ronia collaboration with Nona Marie Invie
Photo By Erik Hess
If you regularly attend local shows in the Twin Cities, chances are you've seen Mark McGee perform at one time or another. Whether he's bringing the noise with Marijuana Deathsquads, giving an electronic edge to Votel, or leading his ethereal bands To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie or Father You See Queen, McGee's musical fingerprints are all over the modern musical sounds being generated throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In addition to putting the finishing touches on the highly anticipated debut full-length from Father You See Queen, McGee has also just started up a new group with Dark Dark Dark's frontwoman Nona Marie Invie called Ronia, who recently shared the first inventive taste of their collaboration on the group's Bandcamp page and on a new split cassette with Collin Gorman Weiland. We were able to catch up with McGee to ask him a few questions about his new project with Invie and how that came about, as well as how progress in going on the new Father You See Queen album.
Gimme Noise: How did Ronia come about, and how did you get Nona involved?
Mark McGee: The Ronia thing came about in the summer after the Basuketto shows at the Red Stag. We talked about doing something very simple, with no pressure. We decided we wanted to release a tape. It was a secret. I think we both wanted to do something synth based, so she came over one rainy day and played around with the MS 2000. Songs were made. I've known Nona for awhile and have always wanted to work with her. I've been a huge fan of DDD for years now. We come from the same school. There is something about her voice that carries you through this state of passion, love, and pain all tied together.
What role did Collin have in shaping the sound of the project?
DREADBAG! Cole is one of my favorite artists in the cities. Camden is something that everyone needs to own, not just for you, but for your children's children. Collaborating on a release always made sense, even before I knew him. I just didn't know what that project was going to be until Nona and I made Ronia. I think we decided to do the tape with Cole the night Nona played at the Icehouse. It would be him on one side and us on the other. I couldn't think of a better match to a package. He also helped us mix it and do a general clean up of the tracks without loosing any rawness we wanted to keep. Nona and him also did the artwork on the release--Industrial.
The tracks are both rather expansive and ethereal, and take quite a while to reveal themselves. What was it that you wanted to capture with these numbers?
Well, they do take time. I like that. Certain things shouldn't be so direct. I've always been interested in repetition, things need to breathe a little. This project is honest emotion.
Are there any plans to record with Nona again?
We plan to make an album. So, yes we plan on doing more.
What specifically draws you to female vocalists that perfectly completes the sonic vision you have in mind for your sound?
I'm not sure. I don't want to come across as an artist that always collaborates with female artists, but I guess given my resume, that this seems to be the case. All I have to say is that I am driven to artists that resonate a true and genuine voice, if that happens to be females, then so be it.
What does the immediate future hold for Father You See Queen, and how fun was the TGNP Party for you?
Father You See Queen is finishing up an album. I think the songs are the best songs we have written. We are going to do video with Maria Juanic for the song "Ocean" and release a 3-song EP along with it. I think people will be surprised with what Nicole comes up with. I'm very excited.
I had a lot of fun at the TGNP party, besides the fact I was violated while playing with MDS.
Any timetable for when the Father You See Queen album will be released?
FUCQ recording is almost done. Last thing we gotta do is record vocals at Andrew Broder's studio. As far as a release date... We are shooting for winter.
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