Homer brings us a beautiful rendition of Danzig’s “Sistinas.”
Homer Marrs is an indie rock musician who gets compared to They Might Be Giants but sounds more like David Sedaris tickle-fighting R.E.M. His sound is catchy pop/rock with seriocomic lyrics: fun, melancholy, fierce. In Chicago he performed as Homer Marrs and the Excellent Adventure, touring regionally and releasing the EPs “Fun Size” and “Ending Songs.” Today he is based in Los Angeles and prefers to rocks solo acoustic.
Homer performed his “Facebook Song” live on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in support of the first National UnFriend Day. He has had video and concert sponsorship from hirsute hookup sites Bear411, Bearwww, and BearGrind; performed at Pride Festivals and bear runs; and his music video for “A Prayer for Julian Sands” was selected for promotion by the editors of Buzzfeed. In 2020 his single “Happy Pride from the End of the World” was ranked #1 on AltQ’s Alternative Queer Radio Top 20, and also made it into that station’s Top 40 of 2020.
The soft-spoken acoustic rendition of this track is surely one to remember. Homer delivers every vocal melody perfectly, where we can hear all the raw emotion in his voice. I really adore Homer’s vocal textures throughout the entire song, but especially when he hits those higher notes! It feels as if Homer really made this track his own. From the powerful vocal delivery, to the slow paced instrumental that compliments him the entire song, this cover is a must-add to all your acoustic indie playlists!
I had the privilege of interviewing him about the song, check it out below!
What inspired you to make this song?
To keep sane during the shutdown I started doing a series on my YouTube page called “Quarantine Covers.” It was a way to stay busy and present some of my favorite songs to people who might not know them. Learning these tunes felt like a way to connect with the artists who created them, even in a removed capacity, which was such a welcomed feeling considering the shutdown was the most isolated I and many people had ever felt. Of the ten songs I covered in this series, “Sistinas” by Danzig was the one that most encapsulated what I was experiencing. I also love to cover songs out of my genre, and many of my listeners don’t know Danzig either because they are too young or his sound is too outside their library. It’s been really cool to share it for that reason alone.
What was your favorite part about making this song?
Probably figuring out how I was going to play the chords (specifically where suspensions sounded right and where they were overkill) and tinkering with the structure so I was putting my own stamp on it. The original song has full instrumentation yet was the quieter moment of a very loud, big metal record. I always thought it could work in an even quieter, more intimate way given the poetic lyrics and melancholic tone. So it was awesome to be bringing that idea to life.
What was the hardest part?
Probably trying to sing something originally done by such an iconic singer. I mean love him or hate him, Glenn Danzig has an incredibly powerful, rare voice. So people who know the original and are hearing my version already have a really really high bar in their head for how the vocals should sound. And stripping away the drums, organ, and other guitars gave me less to bury them in. I was nervous about that but thankfully a lot of people who’ve heard it didn’t really know the original, and those who did have commented that the changes I made make it enough of a different version that it’s not asking for a direct comparison (thank God).
Was this release cathartic for you?
Oh Lord, yes. Probably more than anything I’ve put out before. I’ve usually written more from my head than my heart, which I am trying to change with my new songs, so something this blatantly emotional with the refrain “I’m lonely deep inside” was both outside my comfort zone and hella cathartic.
What keeps you motivated?
TBH, the joy of connecting with other artists. It’s great to talk music with anyone, but talking about it with people who also make it is different and inspiring. Every time I meet another music-maker I am surprised to hear who their influences are based on what I know of their sound, and I learn a little deeper what makes people tick, and I love that.
What can we expect next from you?
I have a new original song and music video out September 10th! I cannot wait to share it. It’s a bittersweet tune called “Ben” that for me is a step into more emotional songwriting. That made filming a video very hard, as I’m way more comfortable joking around, but I had a talented and experienced director (Oleg Zayanov) on board and shot it in a beautiful space at Precinct DTLA, one of the biggest homes for the LA gay community. So it was good vibes. Anyway, that song and more in the same vein to follow.
What other artists are you listening to right now?
Well I started curating a playlist on Spotify for Bear World Magazine, so I’m listening to indie music by fellow queer men of all genres. I have heard a lot more rap and pop in the past couple months than I ever used to and am developing a better appreciation for that. I love DDm and Big Daddy Karsten, Brit hip-hop duo Graver Ekow and new pop voices Joe Hythe and JR Price. For mainstream music I’ve recently discovered Adam Ant’s back catalogue and still listen to 90s alt bands like Local H and the Lemonheads on the daily.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer those questions for us, Homer!
Be sure to check out Homer Marrs’ cover of “Sistinas” by Danzig on all platforms now, and follow him on social media below!
Written By: Bryce Quartz