Exclusive Interview with Musician Marnie Stern

Shalom Life sits down with the guitar tapping, sharp witted, and enchanting Marnie Stern

Published: March 3rd 2011
in Culture » Music

Marnie Stern
Pic: David Torch
Album cover for Marnie Stern

American musician and songwriter, Marnie Stern is best known for her unique tapping style of guitar play, wonderfully observant lyrics, and exquisite technical skill.


This Jewish songstress first hit the scene in 2007, with the release of her debut CD, “In Advance of the Broken Arm”.  The album received instant success, with The New York Times calling it “the year’s most exciting rock n’ roll album”.


The following year, Stern was named one of Venus Zine’s “Greatest Female Guitarists of all time” and was nominated for “Female Artist Of The Year” and “Punk Album Of The Year” for the Plug Music Awards.  At the end of 2008, Stern released her second album titled “This Is It And I Am It And You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It is It and That is That” which earned a spot on Pitchfork Media’s “Top 50 Best Albums of 2008”.


Stern’s latest album, the self-titled “Marnie Stern”, is currently being toured bringing her to Toronto next week.


I was lucky enough to chat with her before she got here to ask a few questions about the show in Toronto, her inspirations, and plans for the tour.




AB (Ashley Baylen): Fill in the blank: Marnie Stern is ___________.


MS (Marnie Stern): At Barnes and Noble in Bethesda, Maryland.


AB: When you have writer's block, where do you go to get inspired?


MS: Museums. I also try to read a ton of books.


AB: Do you have anything special planned for this tour?


MS: To have as much fun as possible.


AB: If you weren't playing music, what would you be doing?


MS: Trying to be a spy in the C.I.A.


AB: People-watching or people-talking?


MS: People talking. I can't shut up.


AB: Tell us something about yourself we might be surprised to hear.


MS: I can't drive and I love cheesy action movies.


AB: Can you provide a piece of advice to aspiring musicians?


MS: Keep going!!! There are so many humps in musical progression and you have to be patient and keep working on it. Society also puts a bunch of pressure on people who have 'real jobs'. Try not to let those pressures get in the way.


AB: How long will you be in Toronto for? Any plans while your here besides your show?


MS: One night unfortunately. Our plan is to pack as much fun as possible into a few short hours.




Check out Marnie Stern’s “Lawrence Of A-Labia Tour” at Wrongbar (1279 Queen St. West) on March 8th with special guests, Tera Melos.

Related articles: (Marnie Stern, Wrongbar, New York Times, Musician, )
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