The five members of MCG share a love of creating and playing music as well as a love for each other that is easy to see both onstage and off.
Words By Camille Smith Photos By Ashley Haguewood
It’s January in Texas, and the audience at the outdoor venue is dressed in parkas and huddled together under a lone patio heater. Onstage Mariclaire Gamble, MC to her band mates, bounces around in a coon skin cap, panty-hosed legs seemingly impervious to the bitter cold. She alternates between pounding on the synthesizer and belting out loaded lyrics. Behind her, the guys in the band exchange grins and slap their respective instruments; a palpable sensation of excitement fills the air. It is hard to know whether everyone on stage is in high spirits because of the cold or in spite of it, but one thing is clear: they are enjoying what they are doing. As the band plays on, a lone dancer hitch kicks his way into our collective memory, the band beckons the crowd closer and the energy builds. People trickle in, the cold is harsh but it doesn’t subdue the vibe. Everywhere you look you can see heads bobbing, shoulders bouncing, and fans being born. This is a night for MCG to be proud of.
The five members of MCG share a love of creating and playing music as well as a love for each other that is easy to see both onstage and off. Watching the boys in the band gather around Mariclaire is like watching planets orbit a humble sun. Mariclaire is tall and stately, but “a passive leader” by her own definition; she is seemingly shy and unassuming. She is the founder and front-woman of MCG and the curator of the current lineup. Mariclaire started playing music with her brother Evan, but when he left to pursue an acting career, she stayed to see her musical dream to fruition. After writing and releasing her own songs on guitar, she started craving a bigger sound and a more collaborative process. “I was tired of having my own self to bounce ideas off of …I just knew I needed to gather these guys together,” she says, “but then I had no idea what to do next. I need you to be in a band with me, then I need you to teach me how to be in a band.” The guys she’s referring to are Cesak (bass), Andrew Bennett (guitar/synth/backup vocals), Drew Silverman (drums) and David Tenczar (rhythm guitar/backup vocals).
“We all joined this band because we all really believe in Mariclaire,” says Andrew. “Since this band came together, we have been actively building this new sound that represents all of us,” he adds. The sound itself is born from a blend of shared influences including Fleetwood Mac, Metric, Jamiroquai and the Cardigans. It is pop rock performed with passion. The band just recorded their first EP together titled The Outside, and the experience has only deepened their commitment to each other and their musical goals. “Of all the bands I’ve been in, this band has the best work ethic and the most care for each other,” says Andrew. “We hold each other accountable as friends but also as musicians,” adds Mariclaire. “The song comes first.” The band sees music as a “celebration of life” in the otherwise mundane daily details. “When I think about music, I think about it in a very personal way. I remember the first time I walked into a cool record store I was blown away, ‘I want something that I made on that shelf.’ Now we do that, that’s part of our life, so that’s what I think about when I think about music,” says David.
“It’s nurturing to your soul, it’s part of being human,” adds Andrew. “In practice [we’re] wrestling through those ideas, putting our heart on our sleeve…you get on stage and you see people dance and laugh, and it’s very humanizing. But if we could come down from the clouds,” Andrews says with a chuckle, “we really just want people to buy our albums, enjoy our music, and come to our shows.”