A first impression seeing Marc Collis’ handsome pop-star pin-up looks might be he could be a prime candidate for Australian Idol. The moment he starts singing one of his songs you know how very wrong that would be. This isn’t someone who should be molded for fame on a public "journey" through other people’s songs. Marc Collis has already been on a journey, a far more important, meaningful and significant journey.
His own life. His own music. It’s a journey that brings him to the release of his debut solo album on Empire Records. High time for the rest of us to join the ride. Marc Collis was raised first in Elmore, a country town near Bendigo, and then in Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong, a classic case of having to find yourself and invent yourself away from the opportunities and stimulus of the Big City. The Beatles came from Liverpool, not London. Nirvana came from Seattle, not Los Angeles.
Isolation is the mother of inventiveness. Music was always part of Marc Collis’ growing up. The family tells tales of Marc singing rock songs in the middle of packed restaurants when he was three. He doesn’t remember that personally, but Marc does remember his mother buying a toy keyboard at a garage sale when he was around five. He immediately took to it, and his mother was encouraged to find him music lessons. When Marc became frustrated with not being able to take his teacher’s piano home he took up guitar. Inevitably that led to wanting to play with others, and Marc enthusiastically enlisted the services of anyone available - family, friends.
He would have been happy just playing guitar. He also became singer. And songwriter. Marc Collis always had a talent for music. Importantly, he also had a need for music. "It was something in my life I could turn to when my life wasn’t going where it was supposed to." Marc had hardships to overcome. "Music was my release." "I’ve always written about personal experience". The group Marc assembled around the music he was playing and the songs he was writing became a popular fixture in Geelong and the surrounding area. Marc and Plunja recorded their first independently released album in 1999. They were all still teenagers.
The music industry started paying attention. Changing their name to The White Room they recorded an album for a major label – Roadrunner – with a big-time producer - Phil Mckellar , famous for his work with Grinspoon and Silverchair – and toured Australia with Nickelback. They were making an impact. The rest of the world was beckoning, but the band was coming apart. It happens. They’d already been doing it for a long time, since they were very yery young. Instead of the end, for Marc Collis that was the real beginning, the beginning of what we’re now hearing on his solo album. The break-up of the band was a realization. He’d been writing songs for the band, writing songs to play live. That part of his life was over. "I could write what I was thinking about and feeling. "I took the next step in my writing. You can hear it in everything, in the melodies and the lyrics."
That’s where we find Marc Collis today. Obviously there’s much more to come. The journey continues. "I’ve never thought of music as a career. I’ve always thought of it as what I want to do forever." (Bio with thanks to Ed.Nimmervoll).
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