Record Store Day will be celebrated all over the planet this Saturday. Special releases will be available for purchase, there will be cool events and happenings and it’s going to be a wonderful gathering of music fans purchasing records and congregating for the love and enjoyment of the sonic artform.
At The Telegraph on 137 Bank Street in New London, there will be an all-day extravaganza including a ton of local bands performing in the store. Starting at 10 a.m., the acts will include The Hempsteadys, Balkun Brothers, Slyne and The Family Stoned, NME The Illest, Pocket Vinyl and others.
Also appearing are Marvelous Liars, an electrifying rock and roll power trio consisting of guitarist and vocalist Nick Johns, bassist Nick Cancelmo and drummer Ben LaRose.
Johns and I had a chance to talk ahead of the event about how the band got involved, his stellar record collection, working on a new album and making sure everything is ready to go for its upcoming release.
RD: How did Marvelous Liars get involved with this unique hometown gig at The Telegraph?
NJ: We work with Rich Martin, who owns The Telegraph, as part of the store’s record label and he reached out while mentioning that he was working on having a big push to ring in the grand opening of the new location. It’s going to be really big and he really wanted to have us be a part of it, so of course we were down to be involved. We actually had to move a few things around to do it because one of the other band members had previously booked another gig. Unbeknownst to him, I had been talking to Rich about this one so we made some moves to make sure that we could be a part of it.
RD: What are your thoughts on the whole event? Has The Telegraph ever done events like this before where bands have performed live in the store? Is this going to be Marvelous Liars’ first time doing this sort of thing?
NJ: I remember seeing pictures of large acts playing in record stores from the ‘90s and stuff like that. I even remember seeing promo pictures of bands like Nirvana playing in some of these record stores and stuff. I think that’s always been something that’s been kind of happening for the last few decades at least, but over at The Telegraph it’s a great opportunity to have a lot of local acts come through. They’re either people who have worked with Rich or perhaps maybe have wanted to work with Rich in the past, but as far as this particular lineup goes it’s kind of like a throwback to years past of some of the festivals and stuff that he and other people involved in the local scene were putting together. As soon as I saw the lineup I was extremely excited to play.
RD: Do you have a wide collection of vinyl records?
NJ: I do, yeah.
RD: What are some of your most prized records? What are the ones that you love listening to the most or the ones that you hold dear?
NJ: I have a first pressing of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti. It’s absolutely flawless and it sounds incredible, it’s one of the favorites in my collection. I’m a history buff, so I love the history of music as well and getting the original pressings of albums for me is kind of a kick. I have a promo version of Neil Young’s Zuma, which is a radio promo pressing. Those are some of my favorite pieces that I have, I also have some unopened Stray Cats albums that have never been played. I grew up listening to that band, so wherever the opportunity is there to grab one of their albums I take advantage of it.
I have a massive Beatles collection of first pressings, Sgt. Pepper with the cutouts and everything. Those are being saved and preserved for my children.
RD: Awesome, that’s great. It seems like you have quite the trove of records. Speaking of records, it’s been a few years since Marvelous Liars released their self-titled full-length album in 2017. Are there any plans for any new releases with either a single, an EP or another full-length in the near future?
NJ: The plan is for us to release a full-length record and we’re hoping to release it on vinyl. We have 10 songs that we’ve worked on for the years just about (laughs). There’s been some ups and downs as far as motivation on my end from COVID and stuff like that during the shutdowns. We had done a lot of the tracking just before things started shutting down and it took me a little while to get my head back into it. I was going through some things mentally and it took some time for me to find the motivation, even when the band was red hot and ready to go.
I worked through a lot of stuff and we finally started honing back into it. We’ve been reaching out to folks for mastering and we connected with a company with some major history that’ll be doing that for us. More info about that will come when we release it and I’m pretty excited, it’s the little things. We’re also going to be working with Rich again, we do want to do vinyl and digital but I don’t think we’re going to do a CD this time around.
RD: I’m looking forward to hearing the album when it comes out. When it comes to shows and playing live, what are Marvelous Liars’ plans for the coming months after Record Store Day?
NJ: We’re taking it as it comes. We have a lot of stuff we’re still planning for when it comes to figuring out videos to go along with the album release and getting all of our stuff in order before we do a push. This includes merchandise, artwork and, as I stated before, mastering. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into it and each of us are tied up with our own lives as well. We are taking gigs when they work for all of us, we love playing together and we love feeding off the energy of the audience but the big thing is just making sure, since we’ve spent so much time on this record, that we don’t cut any corners at this point.
Our focus is truly on making sure that we have the best product that we can present to anybody before we start bogging ourselves down with booking shows and extra commitments at the moment.