Beth Wesche and Darren Guyaz are the members of the duo March to May; here is a link to the website:
Q: Where does the name March to May come from?
A: “March to May” is a nod to our formative period, back in 2013. We wrote our first song together in March (shortly after meeting) and decided to move forward together as a professional duo in May. It was a magical time for us, full of new beginnings, possibilities, and tremendous growth – we wanted to capture some of that feeling in our name. Coincidentally, it’s also a reference to our birthday months – Darren was born in March and Beth was born in May.
Q: What is the overall theme of The Water’s Edge?
A: Much like our name, The Water’s Edge captures the idea of new beginnings – which is appropriate, since it’s our first release. That said, the stories and experiences we sing about hit on some pretty quintessential human experiences – love, loss, happy relationships, unhappy relationships, your relationship with yourself, how you deal with solitude. We wanted this album to feel very personal, very human, so we focused telling stories that hit on these universal themes.
Q: What inspired you to write the song Embers?
A: Embers was loosely inspired by the aftermath of Beth’s grandfather’s death, and watching members of Beth’s family move through their grief, pick up the pieces of their lives, and learn to be happy again. We wanted to touch upon the idea that nothing you love that deeply can ever truly be lost – it stays with you in memory, in the way that you lead your life and view the world. That love is a gift, and memory is its own kind of immortality.
Q: Who are some of your musical influences?
A: As a duo, we’re hugely inspired by the Civil Wars, the Swell Season, and Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan. Unfortunately, none of them are playing together anymore! But they certainly set the stage for music like ours. We’re also huge fans of artists that don’t necessarily fit our mold – everything from Tori Amos to Made in Heights to Macklemore.
Q: What is your oddest backstage story?
A: Hmm, that’s a tough one. One of our strangest show experiences happened last year. The morning of the day we were supposed to play the show, Darren woke up sick. As the day went on, he got worse and worse, and by the time we got to the venue he had lost his voice entirely. Given that we both sing lead vocals, and we base our writing on strong vocal harmonies, this was a serious problem! Beth ended up singing lead vocals for the entire set – including vocal parts she had never sung before going on stage that night. We’re still not sure how we pulled it off! It really reaffirmed our partnership, and trust in one another, musically – we couldn’t have managed it without an incredible amount of in-the-moment support, on both ends.
Q: What is your process for writing a song?
A: Usually, one of us will come up with an instrumental part we like, then start building melodies, then harmonies, then lyrics. We co-write all of our songs, which is actually a really interesting experience. We have to be in the right mental space for it. But luckily we’ve had a pretty great track record so far – we’ve finished over 25 songs together in the past two years, and have over 60 more in various stages of completion. It’s exciting!
Q: Do you ever argue about your songs?
A: Not usually. Occasional creative differences definitely come with the territory, but we usually move through them in a good way. We really do view our music as a collaboration.
Q: What do you like about the Seattle music scene?
A: Seattle has a really vibrant music community! There are so many different kinds of music being produced here – it’s really inspiring to be a part of. Another thing that’s great about Seattle’s community in general is that people have a really strong appreciation for live music. They actually go to shows, and listen broadly, and generally support the art that’s being made here. It’s nice to see. You can go out on a random Tuesday and find venues packed with people out to see a band no one’s ever heard of. It feels like people are listening to your music for its own sake, not just because of what other people have said about your music.
Q: What would you change about it?
A: It would be nice to have a stronger industry presence out here. It’s not that that presence doesn’t exist – it’s just that it’s a little smaller, and a little more underground, than in some other cities. But then again, maybe that’s what gives Seattle’s music scene its character.
Q: What folk song is the theme song of your life?
A: Dust to Dust, by The Civil Wars.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)