Sooner or later, we will get in tune with the rest of the world… It just doesn’t look to be anytime soon.

Living in the here and now where “Idiocracy” feels more like a documentary than a work of fiction, music, and art have to soldier on. They have to soldier on.

A shard of light, that beacon of hope, flickering, illuminating these dark days: Marah.

Marah proves that reunion is possible and it can be better than before.

The little engine of a rock and roll band that could is finding a way. The band reunited with the 15th-anniversary vinyl release of “Kids in Philly.” They, since, have played shows from Millheim, PA to Spain and back again, in the mean time releasing the underrated, under-appreciated “Angels of Destruction” on vinyl.

The Swerve Magazine recently caught up with Dave Bielanko via email. Marah will play the Kollar Club (South Side) on July 26.

The Swerve Magazine: How is the reunion of the band going? You've toured a bit now as the old band, did the magic just come back or was there work to get to that point?

Dave Bielanko: I should say something more dramatic but no, it wasn't tons of work, I never stopped singing most of these songs, some of the others had but they quickly came bouncing back to life with minimal effort, we were all pleasantly surprised at that, in fact if it had been a ton of work to make the band sound great again we'd a probably just fucked off the whole idea knowing us.

Crawled away.

But the point is that we'd put in so much time and love and soul and stuff into it for so very long that the actual physicality of playing this particular rock and roll music was just lying there somewhere right below the surface, all we had to do was actually want to do it again. We had to actually miss it. We did.

SM: How was the tour of Spain? What is it about foreign audiences be it in England or Spain, it seems they appreciate music more, where we, in the states, seem to tack the art form of it for granted

DB: Spain was great, always has been for us, we also got to return to London and Ireland as well. Really fun shows but I dunno? rock and roll bands are about as valued as coral reefs in 2017...everybody loves them, or at least says they do, everybody would like to see them survive and flourish somehow but nobody is really tripping over themselves with brilliant ideas as to how to make that happen? These are confusing times. The infrastructure is gone, it's a free for all now...but that's OK too maybe? Who fucking knows?

Our audiences have been very great due only to the fact of a long and honest history between us and them. We made that, us and them, no one else. Our thing is not really a business plan at all, it's much more like old, like minded friends getting together to talk shit on the rest of the world. I love that about Marah. I hate almost all other things. :)

SM: With the lineup changes, do you go into shows with a set set list or is it a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants vibe? Like how does the show change up when it is the acoustic trio versus the full band?

DB: Sore point. :) I personally don't like set lists, I feel like we are better when one song triggers the next one. Reactionary shows, audibles, a shout, a look and on w the night. See where it leads you.

SM: I saw that the church in Millheim is acting as a church again. Is this the very church you recorded and practiced in? If so, where does all the practicing take place now?


DB: Marah's tenure at St. Luke’s in Millheim was a beautiful moment in time, dangerous fairy tales left the building for a minute there ...suddenly the music got exponentially better though, the children relaxed... Hmmm?

The vision during those years was one of community and music and learning and communication and trust blah blah blah...the door was wide open to EVERYONE....a community radio station was being built...how cool is that!?

People were working hard to make something out of nothing...no one was making it about money ...but apparently these are all virtues that will get you run out of town in a Trump leaning one traffic light rural American community in 2017. It's disappointing.

I'm not angry at any of my neighbors, in fact I'd help push any one of their cars outta snow banks or mud holes anytime they needed me, we'd laugh and be polite and find common ground too but the truth is I'm disappointed in them.

It seems to me that anyone who would spend a great deal of time and energy to shut down something for no other reason then fear of it...or jealousy or simply because they liked it better when it was nothing at all...less of a challenge to their own status quo... vapid, a void....nothing. draw your shades and tune into the "news" program that panders to their own tiny world views and interests. Making yellow potato salad then dumping tons of sugar in it. What the hell are you doing!?

Seems to me those people are going the wrong way as human beings.

It's sad. I feel bad for them... They are not participating. They stand for nothing. Themselves. Their grandfathered in cemetery plots. Endlessly riding in circles mowing grass that no family ever gathers on. Never has, never will.

But like I said, confusing times.

Acceptance, forgiveness, intelligence, self awareness. c'mon everybody. We all have to push.

SM: You have release "Kids in Philly" and "Angels of Destruction" on vinyl. Any plans for "20,000 Streets Under the Sky?"

DB: Ya know, 2005's "If You Didn't Laugh You'd Cry" is gonna be the next LP re-issue. I personally can't wait to spin that one some night very soon and experience that record and era of our band again. The New York City part...Plus the artwork will make a beautiful 12". Can't wait to hold it.


Eventually 20,000 Streets LP will come too....but it will all culminate with our debut record "Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight" which I'm pretty sure is the greatest album of any genre ever made ever.

Then we will finally win Rock n Roll once and for all and retire as gentleman/fly fisherman.

Bonus: With the band got back together and now it has many shows under its belt, is there a chance, and if so when, might we get another album from Marah?

DB: Honestly, I'm mortified that we are so behind schedule on a new album. I almost didn't even do this interview until I scanned ahead and saw this question. :)

So yes. All eyes on a new one now...it's just that our standards are real high and unique to only us now...the tape machines, the room, the personnel all of it is so important that it's taking a minute that's all. Tons of stuff goes into these fuckers. Do me a favor, hold your breath.