Adam Marshall is one of the founding members of The Bazillions, a kindie rock band from Minneapolis. And today, we got to ask him a few questions about the band, music, and superheroes.
batteryPOP: When did you start writing music and what did you first write music about?
Adam: I first started writing songs when I was very young, probably five years old. I've been writing songs consistently since then. Eventually I started writing songs for children when I was working at an elementary school. I wrote about whatever I thought the kids would be interested in. Sometimes I would ask the other teachers at the school what their students needed help with. I'd write a song about it. I'd go to the classrooms and teach them the songs and we'd all sing them. I always think about something that is challenging for young students to learn and then from that I would write a song about it. I also like to think about things that kids might be going through and then write a song about it from their point of view.
batteryPOP: How did you guys decide to form The Bazillions?
Adam: I had been working at an elementary school Southwest Minneapolis for several years. I would have weekly get-togethers with the kindergarten classes, first grade classes and a fourth grade class and we'd play songs. In addition to classic children's songs we'd also sing the songs that I had written. Parents would ask me where the songs came from and could they get them on iTunes or something. I would tell them that they were songs I wrote. They said well you've got to put those songs on a CD. I decided to make a CD with my band, The Humbugs. I asked them if they would be interested in having an alter ego called the Bazilions. They all loved the idea. The first CD came out in 2010. We started playing shows and it just caught on.
batteryPOP: How do you decide what to write a song about?
Adam: I like to write songs about things that are difficult for children to learn. For example, the difference between a prefix and suffix or what a preposition is. Those concepts that we think are simple but are actually kind of tricky for kids. Or things that they may be going through as young people. Having to clean your room or getting in trouble. Also, my wife tends to provide ideas for songs. She's usually the one who comes up with the initial idea. It helps have kids of our own. We can just look at them and come up with ideas.
batteryPOP: What got you interested in music when you were young?
Adam: Music is a huge part of my family. My grandfather was a music teacher. I have an older cousin who is a musician. When I was really young, probably around 7 or 8 years old, we used to go and watch him play. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. And my father always had records on the stereo to play. Music has always been there for me.
batteryPOP: Who are The Bazillions' biggest influences (musical or otherwise)?
Adam: I am very influenced by pop music from the 1960s. The Beatles, The Hollies, The Zombies etc. I love that kind of music so much. Perfect two and half minute pop songs. I think everybody would like that kind of music and that's how I want my music to sound. I take that kind of music and write it for children. Other than that, children are a huge influence.
batteryPOP: Are there any songs you knew as a kid that helped you remember facts for school?
Adam: Not really. I don't remember my teachers using songs to remember facts. There were songs from TV like the Electric Company and Schoolhouse Rock that I watched on my own time that helped but I don't remember watching them at school.
batteryPOP: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Adam: I either wanted to be a baseball player or a musician.
batteryPOP: If you were a super hero, who would your sidekick be?
Adam: I would have a cat as my sidekick. We be able to communicate telepathically. He probably be a bit sarcastic, but he'd always help me solve the crime.
Thanks to Adam for answering all our questions. Be sure to learn about prepositions, perimeter, triangles, and more with the Bazillions' songs, HERE on batteryPOP!