Interview

The Missing

A few words with front man Chris Marinin

Lisa Sanchez

Sometimes there are shows that come around that you just can't resist badgering every person you know into going. The Missing at the Grog Shop March 8th is certainly one of those occasions. The Missing, a Cleveland-based punk quartet, is amping up to return to the stage after a recent hiatus. "You can definitely call it a comeback show," stated The Missing front man Chris Marinin. I had a chance to chat with Marinin about The Missing's upcoming show, the band's progress throughout 2014, the talent in the Cleveland scene, and the community of local shows.

The show, which takes place Saturday, March 8th, at the Grog Shop, promises to be nothing less than a medley of eclectic artists. The lineup features rapper Zup, ambient/progressive act Houses, Rival Knives, Cicada Sunrise, and Third World Leader. "Every band has really honed in on its own established sound," commented Marinin. "Our shows are known for incorporating different genres and we like to expose people to new music."

The show at the Grog marks the first live performance The Missing have done in months, but March 8th will springboard The Missing into their full swing for 2014. Marinin stated that the band planned to do more local shows at smaller venues, specifically the Spitfire and the Foundry. "We miss playing smaller clubs," Marinin offered, "It's nice to scale back and get back to your roots." The Missing aren't stopping at local shows though, they will eventually move on to writing and recording new music as well as reaching out to do shows in Columbus, Chicago, and Pittsburgh.

Although big plans are in the works for 2014, Marinin plans to come into progress organically. "We just write to write and probably 95% of the songs we put together never get played. I just write straightforward songs people can relate to, but some of the new stuff is really aggressive. I'm not sure if people will like it," Marinin continued, "but, we have cool, open-minded people who listen to our music."

The Missing have been active in Cleveland since 2008, while Marinin himself has been prevalent in the scene for at least the last twelve years. That kind of presence doesn't come without insight into the city and the scene that thrives within it. "The city is so diverse, it's dense with a lot of talented bands from different genres" stated Marinin. "Cleveland creates its own genre, its own sub-culture. People don't have a lot to do around here so they end up playing music."

Despite the unique creative make-up of the Cleveland scene, people still often become discouraged and bands dwindle out of existence, stop playing, or just stop trying. Marinin had some interesting insight on how to keep a band going in the ever-changing Cleveland clime: "Some people quit bands because they don't work at it. From what I've seen, different pockets of Cleveland change about every two years from people moving on, getting married, or getting fed up with trying." Marinin continued, "It's really hard to retain talent because people get frustrated and give up. All you have to do is go talk to somebody, talk to a professional and figure out what you can do to help your band. I love talking to kids about their own bands and their music." Ultimately, Cleveland is lucky to have such a dense population of talented performers, including The Missing.

The Missing's live shows function as an exercise in punk-rock culture and community, even in the face of the somewhat myopic perspective of other bands. "I just want everyone to have fun and be a part of the show," Marinin explained. "It's just like a party; I'll call people out, invite them onstage; however I can facilitate people having a good time." The Missing pride themselves on their interactive shows, sing-along choruses, and anything-goes show atmosphere, however, the band doesn't need any gimmick to succeed on or off the stage, Marinin affirmed: "We just play happy songs for angry people and angry songs for happy people."

The Missing's March 8th Grog show will be nothing less than the hard-hitting, energy-buzzing gala only these Cleveland-bred boys can provide. With diverse opening acts in a laissez-faire atmosphere like the Grog, The Missing's comeback show is the best way to start out the approaching Spring season. Tickets are only eight dollars in advance and ten dollars on the day of the show. Seriously, you have no excuse not to go, you have nothing better to do. Stop lying. Marinin sums up the appeal with one simple statement: "Cleveland is still a really good city and we're just a positive, angry punk band."