Who Do You Love?- The Appeal of Marianas Trench

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore the band Marianas Trench.

Apparently, so do a heck of a lot of people! It doesn’t seem to matter what your musical tastes are, you like Marianas Trench. For me, it makes sense; I love pop-punk bands like Simple Plan, Bowling For Soup, and Good Charlotte, and Marianas Trench fits nicely in that group.

For others, Trench is sort of an odd band out, but most people wouldn’t classify them as a guilty pleasure. Fans are fans and proud. Go on reddit to a discussion of music, and you almost always find someone mentioning them.

As their lead singer pointed out, they broke attendance records for the Coca-Cola stage at the Calgary Stampede. “And do you know who beat that?” He asked the crowd, before answering with a grin, “Us, it was us again.”

Why is that?

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Josh Ramsay

Out of Vancouver, BC, Marianas Trench consists of Singer/Guitarist Josh Ramsay, Lead Guitarist Matt Webb, Bassist Mike Ayley and Drummer Ian Casselman.

A big part of the appeal that their music is insanely catchy.  If you’ve never heard of them before, I guarantee you’ve heard the writing of their musical mastermind, lead singer Josh Ramsay. Ever heard of a little song called Call Me Maybe? If yes, you’ve heard his work, and love or hate that song, you can’t deny that it got stuck in your head at one point. It earned him a grammy nomination, something he memorialized in the form of a grammy tattoo on his shoulder blade. It’s even referenced in their song Here’s To The Zeroes  in the line “They say where’s the next hit baby/God how could I top Call Me Maybe?”

This song and video provides two more reasons; their lyrics, and their sense of humour.

While their songs are upbeat and catchy, their lyrics are real, relatable, and at times, very raw. The as mentioned Here’s to the Zeros mentions Josh’s struggle with addiction “Hey kids, do you wanna do what I do?/Got sick got kicked out of highschool/ guess then I kinda got arrested/with a car and a chase and a drug test/,” a subject referenced in other songs such as Push and Lover Dearest. Skin and Bones talks about his eating disorder, while Dearly Departed mourns a failed relationship.

Their lyrics are also poetic, and witty, and fun to belt along with. Take Stutter for example: “One for the money/Two for the show/Three to get ready/And four to go/For the life of me/I don’t know why it took me so long to see.” Or Astoria with the line, “On a good day/I’m the bad news/For the wrong girl/With the right wounds.”

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Their sense of humour earns them a lot of love. When it comes to the the Much Music Video Awards, you never know how they’re going to show up. One year it was in a hot tub, another it was in hamster balls. One year they came dressed for a pajama party (complete with boxes of cereal they were eating out of) and more recently, Josh in a whip cream bikini with the rest of the band dressed in balloons.

Their music videos are often ridiculous. From a Mister Rodgers Neighbourhood parody to a take on CSI Miami to a weird office romance, they are at their best when they’re not taking themselves seriously.

I’ve witnessed them start a show with a ninja battle. Once, they fed drummer Ian an entire cake on his birthday during a show. No antics this time, but Josh did have some fun with the audience, calling out a person on crutches and warning them to be careful, and a dreadlocked man – affectionately known as “dreadlocks” the rest of the show – on someone’s shoulders having a lot of fun.

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Matt Web
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Mike Ayley

They’re a band who clearly enjoy what they’re doing, and they come across as genuine. And, they sound just as good live as they do recorded! This should be an expectation of any band, but it’s unfortunately not always the case. With these guys though, it definitely is.

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They’re always worth checking out. If you’re new to Marianas Trench, I recommend starting with the album Masterpiece Theatre. It’ll introduce you to all the elements that made fans, the Trenchers, fall in love the first time.

Welcome to Trench.

(note: All photography is mine from July 11, 2017 at the Calgary Stampede)
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