There’s no better introduction to Seasick Mama than the sprawling video for her single, “Man Overboard.” Directed by Jay Bulger, the clip is quite literally an escapist fantasy that has the indie-pop songstress fleeing a captor who’s keeping her as his prisoner in a mansion-compound. Like her music, the clip is playful but also showcases darker emotional currents that elevate the work to something deeper than just a good time by the pool. Seasick Mama, who’s real name is Marial Maher, put out her second EP, Tip Top Shape, last November, and the record, which got production boosts from the likes of TV On the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Phantom Planet’s Sam Farrar, and MNDR’s Peter Wade, is worth checking out. We wanted to get to know her better, so we asked her a bunch of questions about her life, because that is what you do.
Where do you live?
Right now I live right across from a McDonald’s in Brooklyn. I am pissed about it.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I am still trying to work on that. For starters, sexy!
How did your career get started?
My music career got started by fucking around with the idea. I was working in a record studio and my friend Mark Turrigiano was the in-house engineer. We would stay late after the workday was over and make music together. We did a Tom Waits cover of “Going Out West.” Then, a new label found the Waits video and all went to hell after that.
Where do you hope to be professionally in 5 years?
I hope my band and I are touring and traveling the world playing music. But I also hope we are still playing music for our friends. I also want to be writing music with/for new emerging artists.
What’s your next project?
I just put out a new EP in November called Tip Top Shape, so I am letting that sail its course at the moment. My next focus is getting the band and I on tour in February to start playing some shows outside of New York City. We got asked to perform at the Brite Music Festival in Cleveland. I hope it’s snowing!
What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
I am proud of our live performance. We have received negative feedback from high-strung booking agencies saying, “It doesn’t sound like the record” or “the rhythm section needs to improve.” But in my head, fuck that! THERE ARE NO RULES IN MUSIC. That is why I chose this career path. We have so much fun performing live, and if the audience can feel that energy, the definition of music has been satisfied.
What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
What is your favorite driving music?
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
I admire the path that Karen O has taken.
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
I would have really enjoyed hanging out with my father in the ’60s or ’70s. It seemed like he was a pretty insane guy being involved with music, drugs, travelling, etc. He has never been completely vocal about his past.
What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
Thrifting, driving, masturbating.
How do you wind down before bed?
At the moment I’m watching Breaking Bad with my boyfriend, Will Fegan. Sounds lame, but it’s my favorite place to be right now.
When are you most relaxed?
I am most relaxed right after I have paid my rent.
What kind of person were you in high school?
I was pretty alternative. Had my small handful of friends, excelled mostly in the arts. Had lots of parties at my house when my parents went away. We had a half pipe in our backyard. Rode horses.
Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I am caring and very considerate of people’s feelings.
Do you have any phobias?
Fear of heights. This one time William and I were “hiking” in Los Angeles and we decided to take a short cut and it was the steepest hill ever. I curled into a ball. Not my most attractive moment.
Which artists inspire you?
Little Dragon, David Byrne.
What’s a serious side of you that people are unlikely to know about? Either in terms of interests, hobbies, or personality?
A lot of people don’t know that I am a big computer nerd. I know how to build websites and understand HTML.
What most bothers you about life in NYC?
Just like everyone else, the general price of living. Restaurant managers on power trips. Alternate side parking.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I wouldn’t mind taking on some new physical strength hobbies in the new year, like boxing.
How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
I hope my voice grows and people start noticing my lyrics.
If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life what might it be?
PMA, Positive Mental Attitude.