What is your name?
Alistair and Jon Marsden, together we are the brother music duo Ministry of Mars.
What is your genre of music?
A combination of genres of Indie pop, Electronic, Synth-pop and Alternative.
Give us a little bio about you.
We grew up in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, for our early childhood and in 2008 moved to Brisbane, Queensland, where we now currently live.
We both enjoy songwriting, producing and performing. Having both worked on solo music projects for a few years, it was about time for us to collaborate together and put out a project that represents us together. Our debut single for Ministry of Mars was released November 30th 2018 called ‘Breaking Me’, available on all streaming platforms.
What made you go in to music?
We grew up sort of surrounded by music in general. Our parents have a huge CD collection of albums so music would always be on in the house. It was kind of inevitable that going through our schooling life that we would get into exploring music for ourselves and develop our own skill sets such as; playing instruments, producing, song writing and performing. We both went in different directions of musical development, but both those paths have realigned for us to use what we have learnt individually from our experiences to create this new project.
Are you a signed?
No we are currently independent artists.
You set to release your new track ‘Recognise’, tell us more about the single.
It’s our second single being released April 26th 2019. The song was written and produced at Abbey Road Studios in London when we were on a overseas trip in January 2019, writing music in the UK and Asia.
What is the meaning behind the Single.
Recognise is about coming to the realisation with a battle in your own head caring for someone that doesn’t appreciate what you’re trying to do for them but ultimately needing/wanting them back in your life. People want to be in a state of mind being in a place emotionally or physically that they recognise.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
This song was heavily inspired by seeing The 1975 at their concert at the O2 arena in London, the night before our studio session. We wanted to recreate that feeling listening to their songs that night of nostalgia, youth and emotionally deep.
What was the recording process like?
We started with layering down guitars and arranging out the structure of the song. Jon got in the booth to record a chorus vocal melody. Alistair layered down some rhodes and backing synths to accompany the guitars. We recorded everything in that studio session at Abbey Road.
Who did you work with on the Single with?
It was just the two of us writing and producing the track. We had an assistant during our session, Andy Maxwell, who was an absolute legend. Shout out to him!
Will we see a music video with this track?
Maybe in the future. We would love to write and direct our own music videos. This year has already gone so quickly and we want to focus on anything creative we put out into the world and need the right amount of time to do it properly.
Will we see a new EP or Album this year?
Probably not an EP or Album this year, at least 2 more Singles before the end of 2019. We may start 2020 with an EP, who knows. We are definitely taking it track by track that we finish and want to put out our best material.
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
We plan on debuting our live show midway through this year in our hometown Brisbane. It’s hard to say which month this will happen in but after that initial debut we will be planning a tour.
What else can we expect in 2019?
New music, the live show, possible festival appearances.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
We have worked with a bunch of artists but nothing has been confirmed for release and others haven’t been finished yet for us to announce. We did have Jad Lagoon in the studio last week, he’s rapper/singer songwriter from Brisbane. Really cool lo-fi hip hop style and writes amazing lyrics. We are also working on a few remixes as well which may be exclusive to the live show. They may be released, we’ll see.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
For sure! For collaborations or remix enquiries they can contact us directly on our Facebook or Instagram @ministryofmars or they can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, between the two of us we play a vast array of instruments which people will see during the live show.
Who are your influences?
Between the two of us for Ministry of Mars: LANY, The 1975, John Mayer, The Japanese House.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Inspiration can come from many different things. It could be from going to gigs, listening to our favourite artists, playing around with synth sounds in the studio, reflecting on past experiences, our childhood. It can come from a lot of different places.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Our aim is to have toured Australia and toured outside of Australia, whether that be Europe, Asia or the US. Having at least an EP out with an Album in the works that may be released within five years.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
We work on music a lot so it’s rare to see us not doing something music related. In our downtime we watch movies, catch up with friends, drink coffee.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Jon – SOS by the Jonas Brothers
Alistair – Let’s Dance by FIVE
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Subtractive EQ before additive EQ.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with sounds and to look up to your influences
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Make friends first, make sales second, make love third. In no particular order.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Arrivederci Pizzeria, best pizza in town.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
Parents and our brother Chris.
3/What do you eat first?
Some form of pizza from anywhere.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Water, stay hydrated.
Music equipment needed to perform the gig.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
We do indeed!
Link to our single Recognise: