The Daily Gamecock

Band Profile: Charleston grunge band Marytree

For over two decades, the Charleston-based grunge band Marytree has been doing things its own way.  Although it was formed in 1995, it wasn’t until 2011 when Marytree began to take off.  The band consists of guitarist James George, bassist Brandon Hicks, and drummer David Dietze. Marytree tries to stay hands-on with its music as well as the fans' accessibility and experience. Over the past few years, the band has kept busy writing and recording new music, producing music videos and going on tour.This includes releasing videos such as “Marytree in the Studio” and “A Moment with Marytree” to help document its progress as a band. 

Marytree’s music videos have been a great way for the band to thematically brighten its songs with a visual aesthetic. “We love working with Docent Prodigy when it comes to producing videos,” Marytree said in a collective email. It also looks at the past to form something new within the present.

“We’ve also created videos out off slicing and dicing various videos and putting them together," Marytree said. "The first one like that was Don’t Ask Me How, and most recently the video for Duck and Cover was put together by slicing up nearly a dozen public domain archive films from the 40’s & 50’s about preparing for an atomic invasion.” 

With a wide range of influences that range from Jimi Hendrix, Dave Grohl and Metallica, Marytree tries to stay true to the core building blocks of rock.

“We prefer our music fast, loud and intense, with a nice balance of power and pretty,” Marytree said. In an age where pop, EDM and rap have begun to dominate the charts more than ever, Marytree is aware of its unique and distinctive sound. “We write and perform the kind of music that we ourselves enjoy, and with the pooling of our likes and influences, we really dig the outcome,” Marytree said. “We’re not concerned with topping charts or getting millions or anything like that, but we don’t want to sit and spin in circles, either.” 

Another source of influence and exposure has been the bands Marytree has opened for over the years, such as Theory of a Deadman and All That Remains.

“We appreciate the number of people we get to perform in front of, who get to not only hear, but EXPERIENCE our music,” Marytree said. 

Living in Charleston has inspired the band to grow musically and geographically.

“Charleston is more about the acoustic and Americana bands, so we are a bit heavy for the majority residing here. This has motivated us to write more mellow and melodic music, in turn adding to our versatility,” Marytree said. “The other thing, we are highly motivated to take Marytree on the road!” 

Marytree is building on the release of its studio album “Chipper” in January. The byproduct of two years of work, “Chipper” has been a high mark in the band’s trajectory. 

“Antifoniq Recordings (Dwayne Greenhill) produces our music, and it was recorded at Encore Music & Studios. It’s always nice and lax, and really it’s just like some friends get together (our families sometimes join us in the studio), cut up and have fun, and we just happen to be in there recording music,” Marytree said. 

When the actual recordings are made, even seasoned professionals can still be surprised at the process.

“I think what surprised me most about this album is just how dynamic it turned out being,” Marytree said. “The album can’t really be pigeon-holed into a particular style or speed — sure, some parts are raw and ‘grungy’, and some parts fast and heavy, but then some parts are more mellow and melodic. We definitely like how much this album breathes.” A national tour is planned for “Chipper”’s release.  

Marytree shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

“You know, we don’t really have many delusions of grandeur, but our sights and goals ARE certainly lofty,” Marytree said. It has multiple tours home and abroad planned, video filmings, singles and material for its next album “Splinter” already lined up. It will be coming to Columbia to perform at St. Pat's in Five Points in March. And one thing especially excites them about playing in Columbia: “Oh, man, that CROWD, hands down!”