In 2000, in the studio and sometimes on tour, Marz feature two former Ministry comrades, drummer Rey Washam and guitarist Louis Svitek. They along with Rob Hill who does a wicked job programming, Troy Gourley on bass and Kaos (aka Pat de La Garza) on guitar, all bring the aggressive, intense songs to a new level. Now in 2001, after extensive touring with Insane Clown Posse, and winning over the unreachable ICP fans known as Juggalos, Marz makes his presence live with threateningly opaque KAOS and together, are sinister menaces of hip-hop.
In the Spring of 2001, in between touring, Marz went into the studio with the clowns (ICP, Blaze and Twiztid) to do a long talked about collaboration, the result is a track called " Fuck Dem" dedicated to all of the non-believers or as Marz puts it, " 'Fuck Dem' is for the media and people around us who have slept on us and hated on us." The track was used on a Psychopathic Records promotional sampler that was handed out to Juggalos on their Bizzar Bizaar Tour featuring Marz, ICP and Blaze) Summer 2001 tour.
ICP invited Marz to join their Psychopathic existence as a member of Dark Lotus, "We all vibed out and got along so well on the tour we all relate. "On the first day of out Tour with ICP, Violent J walked into our dressing room and told us how much he loved our CD, we like each others shit - I think they are very original," Marz states. Dark Lotus plan to tour in the fall of 2001. In summer 2001, Marz recorded with ICP two new tracks to be added to the repackaged re-release of Lung Fu Mo She, its release date is around Christmas 2001.
"Much of my music and lyrics are inspired by dreams," begins Marz, who was born in Croatia and lived in a two-room house with dirt floors until the age of 9. "I would say the two main things I write about are sexuality and self-empowerment. I'm a believer in both." Marz practices ritual magic and mysticism since an early age, and make every life decision from an internal place. "The only thing in life you are obligated to do is save yourself," he says. In fact, a Jackie Chan autobiography inspired the album title, and the Chinese term refers to empowerment..."Lung Fu Mo She translated is the most powerful thing you could ever imagine - doubled," explains Marz.
The Chicago-based Marz is an expert at progressing---and creating his own destiny. After high school, the young musician worked several odd jobs to make money while formulating a clever plan: "I worked for a year as a mechanic, and my plan was to get fired, get unemployment and use that money to make music and records." And? "It totally worked," laughs Marz, who despite his spiritual leanings, is also grounded, funny and ambitious. "I built a studio in my garage out of my unemployment money, but in my band at the time, nobody was as dedicated as I was. So when people didn't show up to record, I'd do their part. That way I learned all the instruments, drums, bass and guitar, and learned how to record and engineer."
But he wanted more. So MARZ opened the Yellow Pages and called every studio in Chicago. Chicago Trax took his call, and after two months of nearly daily phone calls, the studio relented. In 1991, Marz began working in the studio as an intern. "I literally spent 23 hours a day there," recalls the enterprising artist. "From 8 in the morning to 8 at night, I'd work other people's sessions--blues, rap, rock, whatever." At night, during the studios down time, he'd track his own music, Marz material. Then, in 1994, Ministry came to the studio to record their "Filth Pig" album. "I was just an assistant, the youngest guy working at the studio, but after five minutes, Al asked me to engineer his record." That night, Marz bought a book on engineering. Then, several months into the project, Marz was playing some of his own songs on the guitar. Jourgensen was resting on a nearby sofa, eyes closed. "He didn't open his eyes, but said, 'who is that playing guitar?' 'Do you want to be in the band?' Playing with Ministry from 1994 to 1999, gave Marz the opportunity to see the road, and to see how a band as a machine works. Marz has great respect for Jourgensen. "I got a lot of love for him. He gave me a chance when I had no experience."
After touring with Ministry Marz hit the UK to produce the Sister Solei record at Peter Gabriel's studio. Peter Gabriel heard some of the stuff we were doing and asked if we could do some work with him. So we did on five songs on Peter Gabriel's forthcoming album. Peter was super, super cool," Marz enthuses. "I learned a lot from him: I was Peter's producer, engineer, programmer, writer and opinion guy."
It was following the Gabriel record that Marz returned home to Chicago, followed eventually by Hill, and the two began work in earnest on Marz' debut, delivering the Lung Fu Mo She album. Over the years, Marz music, as a white guy with a heavy rap influence, was thought to be too "different" by close-minded record labels. By the time major labels were getting a whiff of Marz in '98-'99, the industry had come around to Marz's industrial rap vibe and were clamoring for Marz and his music. By then, Marz was set on doing his own record without interference. In fact, Marz toyed with starting his own label, not liking the idea of being an "employee" of a record company. Enter E-Magine Entertainment. The strong start-up company, also home to Danzig, offered Marz a revolutionary deal structure, which Marz found ideal.
But much of what Marz does is revolutionary. The singer/guitarist confesses that he often has pre-cognitive dreams-he had one about Jourgensen prior to meeting the Ministry front man, and he even had a dream that resulted in the cover art for the original rare pressing of Lung Fu Mo She." "I know it may sound strange," he laughs, "but this whole record is very spiritually driven. It was guided... sometimes it feels like I didn't do anything on the record," Marz confesses, before adding with a laugh: "It might sound cheesy, but it's totally true at some level." That said, Marz is a prolific writer who began keeping a journal as a troubled teen. And while the band name, Marz, arose from some of his early journal writings, many of the songs on Lung Fu Mo She, written over the last few years, came about less romantically. "If I'm in the bathroom taking a pee, I can write a whole fucking song. I have bags and bags of napkins and matchbooks with songs on 'em!" he admits. "I'm not a tortured writer!" Out of the 30 songs written for the record, Marz chose his favorite dozen.
Kicking off the album is "Steal My Shine," a song that exemplifies Marz's beliefs about strength and self-realization. "One of the challenges in life is if you get a direction, people try to squash or change it, teachers, relatives, peers or whoever. And the word 'shine' is a sort of synonym for 'soul,'" he explains. "This whole world, every culture is based on 80 percent lies. We lie to kids then wonder why they're fucked up. Or, as Marz sings in "Fly'": "I don't give a fuck what they say, it's all love." And on Lung Fu Mo She, "it's all love."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Steal My Shine
3. In The Mud
4. Fo Sho
5. Horray for the bad guy
6. Third Eye
9. It's All Love
10. She's Home
12. Sarah Beth
14. Step Aside
15. Piece of the Lie
16. DJ Juggernaut