Pink Cocoon Frontman, Marc Zolla on Paving his Path in Montreal's Underground.

In this article, Marc Zolla talks about Touring, Girls, and the State of the Underground Music Scene.

An Article by Alexandra Chartrand

In this article, Marc Zolla talks about Touring, Girls, and the State of the Underground Music Scene.

An Article by Alexandra Chartrand

Pink Cocoon- Marc Zolla’s project that began its journey in 2017 as a solo project. Marc set out to bring something different to the table. And by [so] far, it has worked. Serving you a melange of doom, blues, and a bit of pop sneaking into the mix, Pink Cocoon operates with a sense of cool, attitude and a healthy dose of rock’n’roll.

He’s been in the scene for a while, booking himself and others gigs, dabbling in everything from event promotion, DIY touring to graphic design. With firm opinions on our underground circuit. A casual character, embracing a sense of what it is to be a part of the modern hard rock scene, his thoughts intrigue me.

I ask him how he’s been and what he’s been up to. To which he responds casually, “I’m doing pretty good, I have my cigarette. It’s hot outside,” it is pretty hot from where we are sitting, “I just delivered some patches online to the US. All patches, all merch is sold for now until the new music comes out. Then there’s going to be a new merch catalogue.” He hints to new things coming our way. We should keep our eyes peeled and our attention fixed.

Doom Service: To start, let me ask you an utterly unserious question, What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked before? Any odd sexual advances or anything like that, If I may?

Marc Zolla: It’s probably not weird, but like, “what are doing tonight?” You know, with a flirty voice.

You’ve been on a few tours now from Canada to the US and back. What has been your favourite tour moment to date?

MZ: Favorite tour? Okay, so there’s two of them. One of them was playing with the Hazytones. We went down from Montreal to Texas, playing back to back gigs. In Texas, we did SX Stoner Jam, lots of stoner gigs. The second tour moment, when I did the six-day New York tour. I booked it myself, DIY. Some shows were in Manhattan, and some were in Brooklyn. I had my New York line up from there—my friend, Noah Amick on bass and my friend Joey Russo on drums. I have a line up for the states and a line up for Canada. I rented my bassist’s apartment for the week, but I liked it so much I stayed an extra three days to discover New York. I went to the skate parks’s an entirely different way of life since things are so expensive there, people don’t buy merch as much, and there’s a lot of good bands so if the crowd isn’t staying for your set, it means they don’t like your music. They’re way more critical, but if they like you, you’ll know.

And to follow up, do you like the DIY planning of touring? Do you feel it’s more or less stressful, more rewarding in the end?

MZ: I feel fine about booking my tours. I have some experience doing it locally, and for my tours in the past, so I know how it works. You have to pay [venue] rental costs, hire a sound man, make the set times clear, with a change over time between bands. The only difference between DIY and having someone do it for you is that you don’t have someone taking a 20% cut of your earnings. You have full control over your tour/show. Most [promoters] but not all, don’t promote much so I would surely recommend DIY booking. Shoutout to the real ones out there.

What happens to be your worst tour moment?

MZ:  Worst tour moment? There were two. I’m always worried about when you’re the only driver with a license, and everyone is sleeping in the van. It’s raining, and you have to make it to the next gig in one piece so you can rest and make sure you’re up and ready for load-in the next day. It’s slippery; no one else is awake. It’s just you. The second one, you were there, when we did the Sherbrooke show at the Murdoch, and I was driving 70 km in 100 km zone, there was black ice on the road. I started skidding, so instead of braking full force and losing control, I guided the van into a ditch and landed like an airplane. We’re lucky there were no poles, no electrical wiring. Thank god there were those [people] who helped, got us a tow truck, [his dad] owned a towing company, so I paid less for it, and what’s funny about all this, we still made it before the other local bands in town! After rolling in a ditch for an hour, towing the van and everything, the other bands were still late!

So let’s get serious for a moment and address a concern that a lot of musicians have had in my experience in the local scene, do you think that the music scene is slowly becoming gentrified? Along with their mainstay venues around it? A lot of places are closing. What are your thoughts on that?

MZ: I feel [the government] doesn’t care enough about its arts, music, entertainment, or cultural scene. In their cities and countries around. The rent and mortgage prices are going up, and there are not enough people going to the gigs. With all of these factors combined, a lot of venues are closing everywhere. There are fewer venues to play for local bands. What’s terrible about this is hypothetically in 15 years from now, local independent bands will have nowhere else to play aside from prominent places like the Bell center, the big stages [that] they don’t always have access [to].

Also, we're at a point in time where there’s no such thing as a local scene anymore with the internet. Bands can have fans from anywhere in a second. I' ve been told you should build yourself up on the [internet], before playing gigs. So there is almost noneed for a local scene anymore. I’ve played Katacombes that is now closed, Divan Orange that’s also closed down, Club Lambithat has closed a few years ago as well.

Not enough people care about their [local] scene, and the local scene is not promoted enough. There’s not enough marketing done. That also comes down to the way the venue is marketing itself and the bands. But it also comes down to which city we’re talking about and how high the cost is to run their venue. Some places just don’t care to promote bands; there is also a lot of pressure from the government and the cost of running [a venue] that is hard to pay for.

Fewer people are showing up [ to shows] because no one wants to go out and interact. We’re in an era of information overload. People just want to party. It’s also how the venue interacts with people, who they hire, what bands they want on their stages, and the people they let in. However, I believe that [the venue] should be more involved and help promote their [local] bands to show they care about the music scene.

Even though all of this may seem negative, the venues are still out  hustling and I won't stop playing local shows and supporting the Montreal music scene.

To follow up, Which of your favourite bars or venues have closed because of this?

MZ: I feel like Katacombes is a big one because I’ve booked many shows there. Most of them did well. It’s sad because I feel like there’s no metal and rock venue to compare it against with that kind of decoration, that kind of scenery. Shoutout to JanickVarning.

So on a lighter topic, let’s go ahead and get some laughs in, what job would you personally feel you’re terrible at?

MZ: I feel like fast-food jobs. I’ve tried Wendy’s, Cavallaro, I’ve tried Dagwoods. Your boss controls you. When you’re making music, your fans know what you’re about, but when you work in these places, you’re forced to be fake and put a smile and never express your opinion. But if someone is [a dick] to you at a show, they’re [a dick], and you don’t give them the time of day. In [all of these jobs], it’s hard to smile when you’re unhappy; you have to be fake to make money for someone else. I can’t be fake to regulars. I quit every single fast-food job I’ve had. You know, there’s customer service when you’re selling merch, but those are fans and fans are no problem, you know they enjoy your music.

Okay, so this is the last question, What are the sexiest names you’ve ever heard and the least sexy names you’ve ever heard to date?

MZ: The sexiest name I’ve heard would be Alexandra. There’s this girl in Quebec city one time. That’s all I’ll say about that! And the least sexy name, oh, I’m not sure. Probably this one girl at a hotel I was staying at on my [family] road trip, but I forgot her name. She asked me in a flirty manner to come up to her room and have some drinks but, I had to turn her down in advance because I was with my know family vacation.. but I kind of feel bad because I didn’t know her name.

You heard it here first. Marc is an eligible bachelor for whom no name isn’t sexy! In all seriousness, I thank Marc for this fun interview, and we part ways. Be sure to look out for his new merch and music coming soon and his music video for “It’s no Fun” via music and lifestyle platform mxdwn on August 7th, 2020.  The full track will be out on all streaming services and Bandcamp Friday, August 14th. Look out for the links down below!



© 2019 Doom Service by Alexandra Chartrand in Partnership with Stoner Rock Army