By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Detroit-based singer-songwriter Tommy Marz has unveiled a new music video for the single “Summer Bummer,” which comes off his upcoming EP ‘Chasing Light,’ slated to release on Sep. 23, 2020.
His first solo independent EP in over six years, Marz produced/wrote all the tracks and performed all the instrumentation, with additional production from Jason Tucker. For ‘Chasing Light,’ Marz was inspired by artists like John Mayer and Harry Styles, as he hoped to deeper explore his singer-songwriter side.
Some highlights include “Stray,” which was written shortly after Marz’s father passed away, the title track, influenced by a Las Vegas trip and a quarantine version of the Stealers Wheel classic “Stuck In The Middle With You.”
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with Marz about ‘Chasing Light’ and more.
Music Bugle – What would you say are some advantages that come with being a singer-songwriter?
Tommy Marz – I’m able to formulate ideas and also execute them. To be honest, I cannot imagine being someone that just did one thing, like, just being the singer or playing guitar. It would probably drive me crazy to have to wait and hear the idea come to fruition. I’m way too impatient. (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What was it like making your new EP ‘Chasing Light’?
Tommy Marz – It felt great to be back in the studio laying down ideas. Sometimes, I don’t know if an idea will translate well after the song is put together, but early on, I was very happy with the way the songs were coming out. It was a long process, but I’ll definitely look back fondly on the recording of ‘Chasing Light.’
Music Bugle – What made you want to cover and release a version of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck In The Middle With You” as a single?
Tommy Marz – I’ve always been a fan of the song and a big fan of Gerry Rafferty. At the time, I was spending a lot of time on social media and I was sort of appalled at the way people were treating one another. I’m all about being able to express yourself and being passionate about something that’s important to you, but to wish ill or death upon someone else with a differing opinion, to me, crosses the line, so I felt like I was sort of “stuck in the middle” observing people and thought, “Maybe there are other people that feel the way I do right now,” so I started putting it together.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Tommy Marz – I’ve been fortunate enough to interview Stewart Copeland several times, so before I did that, it would have been him. Now, it would be his Police bandmate, Andy Summers.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Tommy Marz – I’ve been listening to a ton of Harry Styles, Jack Hues and Facing New York. I’ve also started down the BTS rabbit hole and I’m loving them more and more.
Music Bugle – What song off ‘Chasing Light’ was the hardest to write or compose?
Tommy Marz – “Stray.” It’s an old song that never felt right. I rewrote the lyrics shortly after my Dad passed away and the song changed from being about me chasing a girl to me chasing happiness. It’s the happiness that strays, not a relationship.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest moment as a musician?
Tommy Marz – It’s probably going to sound eye-roll worthy, but when I receive a message from a fan that felt a connection to a song or lyric and makes them emotional enough to write to me, that’s one of the best feelings I get as a musician. Don’t get me wrong, I love any achievement, but that connection makes me smile the most.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tommy Marz – Like so many others, it has changed the way of life. From the little things we take for granted, like hanging out with friends or just going to eat a normal meal at a restaurant, is much different now. Personally, not being able to play shows is difficult, but I’m optimistic touring can resume next summer.
Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?
Tommy Marz – Music-wise, it was recording the song and shooting the video for “Stuck In The Middle With You.”
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to go back to this past New Year’s Eve, what would you tell yourself about 2020?
Tommy Marz – “Enjoy your life as much as possible right now, because it’s about to take a turn.”