Alex Maryol is probably the nicest person I have ever met in my life—take that, grandma! That he’s so nice makes it hard to hate him, though I’ve tried. He’s one of those people who is so good at what he does that I kind of want to hate him. I mean, believe me, this guy is so good at the guitar and so good looking that I’m calling him “Shreddy Prinze Jr.” from now on.
Amid rumors of Maryol leaving Santa Fe forever, I thought it might be a good plan to head over to El Paseo and check him out. Truth be told, I can’t remember the last time I saw Maryol play, and I have to say the show at El Paseo was different than I thought. The music was decidedly less bluesy than one might think when they hear his name.
Homeboy was super busy playing his show, fixing the lights and gearing up for the music video he was shooting that night, so I only got a couple minutes to talk to him about his sound, his life and why I hate wanky blues. Give me one guy with an acoustic guitar, and I’m all over that shit. Sorry Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Well, mostly sorry to SRV. Y’know…’cause he’s dead. But what I thought was going to be a boring old interview actually evolved into a pretty cool conversation about music and money and life and stuff.
Right off the bat, I was curious about Maryol’s feelings on being pigeonholed as a blues guy. I knew him only as such but, listening to him play, I noticed a lot of other influences: funk, rock and even indie. According to Maryol, he did indeed spend the first part of his musical career playing blues. It was the passion that drew him to it. For me, if you’re going to sing the blues, you should have a reason. You know, like you’re blind or poor or something. However, my eyes were opened to another aspect and reason for playing this music. It is passion. It is human emotion. And truly none of us can presume to know what kind of hardships people have had.
I brought up selling out to Maryol, not because I think he is a sellout by any means, but I was just curious. We both agreed that either one of us would sell out in a heartbeat. It was at this point that he brought up Beethoven and Mozart. He told me that while they were writing, they had to adhere to certain rules and such from their governments, but still managed to pump out some of the most killer songs of all time. So in a way, they were kind of sellouty, but it all worked out. Now Beethoven, there’s a guy who could sing the blues. A deaf musician? Damn. That’s rough.
I was bummed that our time together was limited because I am pretty sure our conversation would have been lengthy and awesome. But you know how it is being a rock star. Or, in my case, you know how it is when you really wish you were a rock star. I actually don’t know what it’s like to be busy or famous. Or cared about.
If you leave Santa Fe, Alex, you will certainly have left a legacy behind. I am pretty sure that everyone ever knows your name and has seen you play at some point. But if they haven’t, they are stupid. And there’s no room for stupid people in my life, or yours.