Rockstar Drummer Marc Jones Says His Music Career And Passion For Jesus Go Hand In Hand
Marc Jones regularly drums in front of thousands of people, rubs shoulders with film and rockstar celebrities and can be found on a sunday playing drums as part of the worship at Bath City Church.
Band member of internationally acclaimed band, Kill It Kid, Marc talks about his surreal life experiences so far, becoming a rockstar and how for him its always been an audience of one... Jesus.
(PICTURES: MARC JONES)
Marc as the 'drummer aight'.. for Kill It Kid you tour, you rub shoulders with celebs.. you ARE a celeb.. What have been the high points for you so far? And has it felt 'surreal'?
Ha, celebrity! Perhaps rubbing shoulders with celebrities, yes... but I’m not sure I would be deemed a celebrity myself, maybe a D lister. That is the joy of being a drummer, you get all the benefits and none of the hassle.
It is definitely a privilege to meet some of my heroes, one highlight was meeting Jack White in a hotel lobby in Austin Texas and discussing the finer points of blues music. Another was drinking cocktails with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. I have also become friends with Foy Vance (a singer songwriter) who I have listened to and respected for years, we also toured with him which was fantastic. I’m yet to meet Dave Grohl, I would likely be a quivering mess...
An embarrassing moment was bumping into Sarah Jessica Parker at a Burberry VIP event and almost knocking her over, she was very small but very forgiving!
How did your music career come about?I have played drums since I could physically hold sticks. My first influence was my father who was a professional drummer (drummed for 10cc and other dad like bands...) this definitely gave me the vibes for drumming. I didn’t excel at school and remember telling the music teacher I wanted to be a “rock’n’roller”, they dismissed it and said it wasn’t a viable career choice.
Growing up I played with lots of bands from heavy metal to jazz I did everything. I even did some odd session work. My first tour was with my band Tree Finger, we got the opportunity to tour with The Mystery Jets, which was the dream come true at 17.
At the age of 20 I met some of the members of Kill it Kid and we decided to form the band. We recorded our first demo with producer John Parish, and it was soon picked up by One Little Indian Records (Bjork, Paul McCartney).
The band grew very quickly and within three months of forming, we had quit our degrees and were flown to Seattle America to record our debut album with Ryan Hadlock. He is known for working with Foo Fighters, Gossip and many others. We did two albums with One Little Indian, after the release of our second record “Feet Fall Heavy” a man called Seymour Stein contacted us!
Seymour is known in the industry as a legend, who signed The Ramones, Madonna, Talking Heads, The Smiths and is the founder of Sire Records. He is also the Vice President of Warner Records and the only industry type to be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. He immediately loved our music and signed us up to Sire records and Warner worldwide, and honor that I will never forget. Just to meet the man was enough.
We have toured many of the world’s premier venues and worked with some of the worlds top producers. Even sharing the bill with the likes of Bob Dylan, Seasick Steve, Mumford and sons plus many others...
It still blows my mind traveling the world and hundreds of KIK fans turning up and digging our tunes! For me this was the dream.
You also drum at Bath City Church - does your passion for Jesus go hand in hand with your music career?Definitely, for me my passion for Jesus is the root of my passion for drums. Drums are a huge noise and one that God loves when it’s aimed at him in worship. Drumming without love is just a resounding gong. The following psalm means a lot to me: Psalm 150:4 “praise him with tambourines and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute”
How does your faith work or help you in the context of your career? Do you face challenges sometimes?
There are definitely challenges but it is also my source of strength. I believe music is something you’re called to do because the industry can be a very demanding and difficult place to be; conversely it also can be very rewarding. I personally try to keep it simple, to deal with what’s in front of you, to enjoy the moment, believe for bigger but remain constant in your integrity and values. As a person of faith it’s comforting to know that ultimately God will open and close doors according to his will, in this I trust.
The people I am surrounded by are also important for example I have accountability with a group of good brothers of faith, and an incredible mum and sister who will always remind me who I am. I also have a girlfriend who is very supportive and knows when to rein me in if I’m hyped after tour.
How do you feel when you are drumming? (I'm thinking of that Chariots of fire quote when the Christian runner says 'when I run I feel God's pleasure')
I love drumming, all aspects of it. I recall some shows where I have played to thousands of people and feeling that sense of “I’ve made it!” Then coming home and simply playing on my own, learning grooves or whatever and feeling as much elation. I think this is the key for me to remain excited about drums, is retreating to my drum cave and being before my king. To me it is always an audience of one.
What are your hopes for the future for your career?
My hope is to continue playing music for a living. To see Kill It Kid go higher and further, but also session drumming and teaching I’m quite keen to do it all.
My dream is to one day own a warehouse that houses creativity; music, art, skateboarding and if I’m dreaming big to have a wakeboard and water-ski center attached to it. The heart of the mission would be to encourage young people to come and have the opportunity to explore these avenues of life. I was lucky to have these opportunities offered to me and it has brought me great joy and fulfillment and even a career.
What are your hopes as a Christian?
To equip and inspire musicians to play to their full potential but also be totally routed in the love of God. Music was created for worship and somewhere down the line this has been confused. Years ago the church would create worship filled music and the secular world would copy. Now it seems the secular world does something and worship tunes follow their lead. I believe a day will come when music will be fully restored back to the righteous.
Any thing you wish to add? Or any words of encouragement for musicians and creatives looking for THAT break?
Always concentrate on the music first. Fads and trends, I believe have polluted music and cornered musicians to conform to certain patterns and genres. If you love playing jazz then be the best jazz musician, if you love Pop be the best Pop musician (you’ll probably make a lot of money) or if you love metal sweat it out and wake up with a bang-over or if your passion is to teach then be a music teacher.
My point is to do what you love and don't compromise to please tastemakers and the like. Jesus I believe bucked all the trends of his day! Nirvana, The Beatles, Elvis plus most infamous music always said something or did something that was new and different. If God is going to call you to be a “rockstar” doors will be open for you to push.
First pursue to be faithful and then see what the fruit is. Never believe the non-sense that if you’re not a professional then you’re not a success. Matthew 25:23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness.”
I’m endorsed by a drum company called Risen Drums, who not only make the best sounding drums on the planet but also build with intention to glorify God.
They have an annual conference called Drumset and the Kingdom, which in essence explores what it means to be a drummer and be called to mission through your playing.
For more details about Risen Drums Click Here.
For more information on Marc's projects Go to Marc Jones Drums and Marc's Facebook page
And Kill It Kid's Myspace page
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