Matt Filip (Marsellus) - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Matt Filip about his time in Marsellus. We discussed how he initially became interested in music, how the band got together, what band practice was like, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for taking some time to talk to me about Marsellus.

Thanks so much for asking about Marsellus! After all these years!

How did you initially become interested in punk and emo music and what made you want to start a band?


Always loved music - lots of country music and Billy Joel growing up - I think it was the perfect storm of 3rd wave ska and pop punk on mtv, and buying a Punk-o-rama/Epitaph Records comp at the PX when I was in middle school that really hit me.

As a young lad that really sparked my interest. That was my first inkling of there being “something else” as far as music goes. From the time I was 13 it was just a search for any and all kinds of music - punk, hardcore, emo, everything - living in a small town at the time, it was coming to Louisville for shows and hitting record stores up that made me realize I could start a band where I was at. I also traded a Limp Bizkit 3 dolla Bill Y’all CD for the Operation Ivy discography CD to a kid named Brent when we were in 7th grade - that probably did the trick more than anything.

Can you tell me how you originally got together with and formed Marsellus?

We all went to high school together. Joe Meredith, who sang and played bass in Marsellus, and Steve and Mike Williams, drums and lead guitar respectively, had a band called The Potato heads - I was in a band called The Chuckas - we mostly played gigs at a makeshift venue we built in my drummers parents garage. We would try to put on a show or so a month with whatever bands were playing in the county, and whoever else we could get from E-town, Louisville, Ohio County etc - occasionally we would head out of town for shows. Marsellus formed out of the chuckas and p-heads both having run their course I suppose.

The band had a great sound. Do you remember how you found/created your sound and who some of your biggest influences were at the time? 

The sound just sort of happened I guess - we were all listening to a lot of the same stuff at the time, lots of Weezer, Get Up Kids, Alkaline Trio, Modest Mouse, anniversary - but then we each had our own different tastes - Steve and I were big Misfits fans. There was never a discussion of how we wanted to sound - we just played a lot and listened to music a lot - living in a small town without much to do, having band practice was the best. We’d spend hours and hours and hours playing. Take a smoke break then play the same 8 songs ten times through.

What was your songwriting process like in Marsellus?

Joe was the songwriter - he would generally have a sketch for the song - maybe a verse and chorus and we’d all just play with that and see what felt right. Sometimes Joe would have a song that was completely fleshed out then the rest of the band would just work around that and come up with our own parts. Most of the songs just came into shape through repetition and lots of rehearsal - the more you play the song the more it makes sense. 

What do you remember about recording your demo? Where did you record it and what was the experience like at the time and now looking back on it?

Lol - ok, so without having to make some calls - we recorded it at this guys house a county or two over - I don’t remember his name, and I have no idea how we got in touch with him -he was a roofer by trade, he was married with a young kid or two, he had a little home studio in his basement, and he had to get around on crutches because he had fallen off a roof, stuck the landing, and broke both his legs a month or so before we recorded with him. He had gnarly stitches across both ankles that I guess kept the bones in. His musical tastes were more in the post grunge/nu metal zone, but we were able to find some common ground. He was very new to recording, and we were brand new to being recorded so we kinda figured it out together - I think we did that demo over 2 different sessions.

One of my personal favorite songs was “Fairbanks Alaska”. What do you remember about writing and recording that song?

As far as the writing that was all Joe - I remember that song being one we just always locked into real well. Always a fav to play.

I remember seeing the band perform many times. Do you have a favorite show you played?

At this point I think I remember the practices more than I do the shows - but there was a show at the Blender and a show soon after at the old brick house when I think we were at our tightest as a band.

The band eventually split up with some members going on to other projects like The Merediths and Black Sunday. Why do you recall the band breaking up and did you pursue anything else musically afterward?

We all just sort of went our separate ways - I don’t remember an actual break up conversation. Joe and I both moved to Louisville. Steve and Mike started Black Sunday, Joe started the Merediths, and I joined a few different bands in Louisville. After the Merediths broke up Joe and myself started Invaders with our buddies Drew and JC. We put two records out and called it quits after a few years. 

What are you up to currently and do you keep up with the other members these days?

After being in the service industry for most my life I own and operate two restaurants. I still play music when I can, mostly drums these days. I haven’t talked to the other dudes in the band in years to be honest. Wish them all the best we all just sort of drifted apart.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Shout out to the Dead Punks, Psychotic Squirells, The Pants, The AV Club, and all the other bands we used to play in garages and barns with.

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