Domestic Groove: MARCEL THEE

Singer, Songwriter, Record Label Owner

What music are you into at the moment?
There’s a couple of local bands I’ve really been enjoying, such as Jirapah, Vague, and Polka Wars. There’s also a couple of Sandro Peri albums that’s kept me company on long drives, as well as a slew of mid-90s “slo-core” bands such as Rex, Codeine, and Bedhead I have really been getting into again. The global tape music scene has also given us so much great stuff that it’s also overwhelming. Just off the top of my head: Lee Noble, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Pierrot Lunaire. Endless.

What was the first record you bought—any interesting story behind it?
It would have to be a gimmick bootleg tape of Japanese late 80s anime/mecha drama in audio form. I had many—so many of those. My parents would buy it for me literally every Sunday after we visited grandpa, near a shopping mall where he lived. Remember malls? Anyway, it’s amazing how fun listening to those things were, it encapsulated and entertained the wildness and enormous power of the imagination to a child’s life more than a Flash game on an iPad ever would, I’m certain—not to sound jaded.
What are your all-time favourite albums? Why?
Difficult. Maybe Guided By Voices’ Under The Bushes Under The Stars or Nirvana’s In Utero. Nostalgia plays a lot into both. I remember the purchase, the first listen, the sleeve notes (as minimal as they were) vividly. I suppose Bedhead’s Bedheaded, Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock and Tortoise’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die would be runner ups.

What was the worst record you ever purchased?
Too many to mention. I had the Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince tape as well as an All-4-One tape at some point. But those are boring, obvious choices, so I’m going to go with that Pungent Stench album from 1990, I think, Been Caught Buttering which title is the most entertaining thing about the whole album. Also, any pop punk I might have mistakenly thought was “rockin'”.

Who do you want to be, other than yourself, next time you reincarnate?
I really don’t know. Either a Pope or some local tycoon from the late 80s; living without a soul sounds fascinating.

What book are you reading now and what’s the score (1-10)?
Having a 2-year old doesn’t really leave much time for heavy book reading. I re-read music bios everyday, that’s really it. I alternate between that Everett True bio of Nirvana and that Motley Crue biography, which is one spectrum of evolved-to-devolved music for sure. Oh, that Bonnie Price Billy book is incredible too.

What new movie should people see? Why?
Gravity probably, but everyone’s seen that. So let’s go with that new Dragon Ball Z movie.

What tunes do you choose to start your weekend?
I have boxes of self-made mixtapes filled with horrible 80s and 90s hits for long drives on the weekend. My favourite track to start each of those tapes has always been Peabo Bryson’s “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again”.

And tunes you choose to end your weekend?
Some Korean Death Metal or more Peabo.


“Why preach only to the converted?” exclaimed Marcel Thee back in 2005. He’d named his band Sajama Cut because it sounded weird and would leave casual fans guessing as to what kind of music they played. He stood for no ideals and just wanted his music to be listened to by everyone. Fast forward that tape; it’s 2013 and Marcel’s self-report card for this here year has been marked. His own label, The Bronze Medal, released—mostly in tape form—his solo recordings under the Strange Mountain moniker, re-released Sajama Cut’s second album on vinyl and also, his other project, Roman Catholic Skulls, has released their first album through Elevation Records. His solo record, as himself, With Strong Hounds Three, shall be re-released in vinyl by the end of the year.

Roman Catholic Skulls
Rock-n-Roll Exhibition: MARCEL THEE
Melepaskan Progresi Mental Secara Digital dan Gratis
Five Men, Pop-Manoeuvres & Manimal
Q: Are They Not Manimals? A: They Are Sajama Cut!


This interview was firstly published on The Beat (Jakarta) #91, November 2013
Co-editor: Lauren Shipman
Photos courtesy of Marcel Thee
Check out also his Facebook fanpage—and free download songs—here
Watch the official video of “Xanadu House”, from his solo album, With Strong Hounds Three

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