The latest installment of The Downbeat with Craig Reynolds welcomes Aaron Marshall, guitar virtuoso and architect of Intervals.
While the conversation would eventually get into a discussion about music and how Marshall has developed into one man creative force, the guys began their exchange with nearly 30-minutes of fitness talk. Given the physical rigors of their line of work, remaining fit comes with the territory. It’s likely why the guys immediately struck common ground when it came to the gym and how they have navigated that during the pandemic.
When the guys did begin the musical portion of their chat, the content was especially compelling as Marshall traversed back to the earlier inception of Intervals and gave a detailed account of the evolution of the project.
Marshall revisited connecting with Anup Sastry, Lukas Guyader, and Matt De Luca and how the creative synergy throughout their time together underwent an ebb and flow throughout the formative years of the project. As the collective began to gain momentum there was the occasional set back including a terrifying tour van accident and the creative debate of whether to proceed as an instrumental band - Nonetheless, the band was trajectory was ascending and Marshall understood time was of the essence.
it was around the middle of the decade and sometime after Marshall’s serious Wolf Parkinson’s White Syndrome heart surgery in 2015 that things became especially complex. Following the departure of vocalist Mike Semesky, Marshall recalled the collaborative communication becoming less frequent and rather than let their momentum slip, Marshall retreated to a familiar work pattern and made a record on his own. Despite his sound logic of capitalizing on the momentum that band was riding and not wasting time, the move led to the eventual dissolve of a conventional, communal band effort. Marshall contends there was an effort to salvage the crew but the path forward just never materialized.
Marshall shared that the part that stung the most was the split between him and Anup Sastry. Citing that it was he and Sastry that first played the music live onstage that Marshall had composed, there was a deeply-rooted connection that went well beyond music. Marshall confided that he in fact misses Anup and owes him very much given how integral he was to the development of Intervals. During the fracture both Marshall and his father made heartfelt pleas for cohort to stay the course to no avail.
Marshall found himself where he started. Composing and arranging everything himself. Convinced that Intervals was over, the virtuoso took a huge leap of faith and put out The Shape of Colour. With a significant departure in the sound that Intervals had become known for, combined with the album being essentially a solo effort, the expectation was that this was the final Intervals release and ultimately proved to be the start of a new chapter of Intervals.
For the latest iteration of Intervals, Marshall shared his creative headspace for his upcoming Circadian LP. Dissecting the norms and expectations of the world of prog, Marshall talked about Intervals thrives in the grey area in that he embraces influences that aren’t usually included when discussing the genre. Embracing his aggressive music roots, Marshall shared how using themes and motifs to craft new arrangements gives him the ability to showcases his musical DNA and steer clear of becoming repetitive.
The conversation ropes in a collection of topics that veer from morning the death of Eddie Van Halen, to microdosing psychedelic mushrooms, to the creative relief of writing music in lieu of touring. Stream the candid conversation with Aaron Marshall of Intervals on The Downbeat below.