Sunday, March 13, 2011

From the Archives - Mazarin Interview

Songs To Learn And Sing - Quentin Stoltzfus of Mazarin Interview

Mazarin - We're Already There (2006, Bella Union Records)

Mazarin played the Sugar Club, Dublin on April 5, 2006 in support of their amazing third album We’re Already There. Before the gig I interviewed Mazarin’s principal member and songwriter, Quentin Stoltzfus. We chatted about Quentin’s background, his work with other bands in Philadelphia, his approach to songwriting and collaboration, the Mazarin open door policy of band membership and his mother’s time in a Gospel trio with her sisters.

“They used to sing a lot of traditional songs Cater Family songs and traditional gospel songs and a lot of that stuff has been popping up in the last five years,” explained Quentin. “When I started getting into that stuff I got one disc in particular called American Primitive which was put out on the Revenant label. When I bought that record I was amazed by how many of the songs I knew, because my Grandmother used to sing to me as a kid also.”

American Primitive Vol. 1 (1997, Revenant Records)

Quentin was a real gent, you couldn't hope to meet a nicer interviewee and Mazarin went on to play a great gig later that night in the Sugar Club. It was a really memorable gig not least for the fact that I even got to meet Kevin Shields at the bar!

Mazarin would eventually play their final show later that year on December 2, 2006. Bizarrely another band called Mazarin had formally issued a cease and desist. Quentin’s Mazarin didn’t have the resources to retaliate so suggested both bands should simply co-exist but the other Mazarin and their attorney decided: either cease and desist, or we go to court. Eventually Quentin’s Mazarin and their management concluded “the whole predicament was so sad and despairing that instead of dragging out a lengthy litigation, which they had neither the time nor money to commit to - fuck it.”

Quentin currently resides in Philadelphia, where he is working as a recording engineer and producer in addition to still creating his own new music.

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