WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN: Prog-dance party music and video game shredding.
GENRE: Progressive Rock & Electronic Music
HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
Chicago guitarist Marcus Rezak takes us through a typical week in his life – four nights touring the Midwest with his band Digital Tape Machine, a Sunday night gig with his band The HUE, and then a work week full of studying at DePaul University and teaching private lessons.
How were you feeling on your way back to Chicago?
I felt really great. I thought [Champaign, Illinois] was the best show we’d had of the three. I was feeling very amped to get back to Chicago and play the Park West. It’s one of the venues I’ve wanted to play for a while. I was really looking forward to that, especially with a group that I feel so confident about musically.
The very next night, you played a HUE show.
Yes we did. The HUE is my original band that formed in 2007, an all-instrumental progressive rock group. We’ve been touring all over the Midwest for almost five years. Going back with The HUE the day after DTM was awesome because I can shred as much as I want. With Digital Tape Machine I have a purpose. [I’m] one of seven; it’s a different kind of formula. The HUE is a little freer. There are fewer instruments, and the music allows for more improvisation.
That was Sunday night.
Yeah, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and now we’re on Sunday.
During the week, you teach and you’re a student. Take me through that week.
I had a big project that was going to be due the following week that I had not started yet. I like to prioritize where I can just do one thing, focus on it 100%, go to the next thing, and focus on that 100%. I don’t like to do 50-50. That was for a jazz styles analysis class. We had to do a presentation on a selected artist, and we had to give a transcription with a verbal analysis as well, present about the artist himself, and perform the solo piece that we were transcribing. A lot of elements to have ready. And then I had a few other classes at school that are performance-based as well, and compositional-based. I’m there four days a week.
My teaching schedule begins right after students get out of school, so from about 3:15 I’m teaching until about 8:30, most nights. That’s enough for me right now. That’s the average weekly schedule. Sometimes I’ll have a show on a Tuesday night, like a Tonic Room, [something] small like that. I’ll play just for fun; go out to play any jam or something like that if it seems right to do, and try to get some sleep somewhere in all there.
I’ve always wanted to make people dance and have fun. That’s the best thing to see from a stage perspective. Hopefully I can do that and just keep meeting more great people along the way and learning from those who I’m working with in the band. Everyone’s got something really awesome to offer. It’s very exciting. Hopefully this isn’t as good as it gets.
Photo by Charles Izenstark