Starting a career in music can be rough, and Marina City‘s story is no exception. For their first tour, an agent they had worked with previously promised they would play alongside a national act as well as four showcases at South By Southwest for $1,400. It was a great opportunity; so they paid the money, packed a U-Haul trailer with their gear, and headed to Austin, Texas. Upon arrival, they found the agent had cancelled their gigs months before, and had essentially stolen their money.
They were depending on the money from the cancelled shows to pay for their hotel and food; so they were left broke, hungry, and had no place to sleep. They ended up spending the night under a bridge, which turned out to be infested with bats. The next day they asked several venues if they could play a show, with no success. With little hope remaining they decided to take out their acoustic guitars and perform on the streets, hoping the pedestrians passing by would give enough money for them to get food and head home.
Their luck finally turned around when one of the people walking past was Amanda Palmer, a singer with a sold-out showcase that night. She let Marina City play at her show, and told the audience what had happened to them. The listeners were moved by the story and ended up donating enough for the band to recoup all their losses. On top of that, several agents invited Marina City to play at three additional showcases! With the extra profit they went on tour across the east coast and started work on their third EP.
When asked what U-Haul means to Marina City their lead singer, Ryan Argast, said, “The U-Haul name has become such a strong brand to this band because of all the memories we have had, the good and the bad. If this band never sees huge success it won’t matter to us because we will always remember the six best friends who took on the world with just their seven passenger van and a U-Haul trailer.”
Don’t forget to check out their music!