When you think back to your teen years (unless you’re still in them), you may think it was, at the same time, the best and the worst time of your life. There are so many ups and downs, and the proximity between exhilaration and devastation can be razor-thin. These are some of the reflections at play in Tommy Marz’s brand new single “15,” a collaboration with the extraordinary Jeff Schroeder, guitarist for the illustrious Smashing Pumpkins.
Marz and Schroeder have become close friends and collaborators recently, uniting last year for the virtual benefit concert For The Crew, an effort to raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. “15” is an upbeat, catchy, pop-oriented song produced by the highly touted Electropoint who has been working with Marz on songs for a new EP that will be coming soon. “15” is the third new recent release from Marz, after his recent single “Summer Treasure,” and cover of Harry Styles’ “From The Dining Table.”
Offering his thoughts on how the song took shape and the joy of it all, Marz tells us:
“Working on ‘15’ has been one of those rare musical adventures where I felt little to no stress during the writing and production process. As Electropoint and I got further into the track, we both kind of felt we had something special. His attention to detail and wonderful mix made the track feel warm, sonically. When Jeff came back with his guitar tracks, I was completely blown away. In my opinion, he took ‘15’ to another level. I couldn’t have dreamt up the guitar solo any better than it is.
“My biggest struggle with a song is usually writing a story that feels descriptive enough but not overly wordy. I spent a month studying artists I feel to be amongst the best songwriters in the world. Taylor Swift, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, and Brian Vander Ark. Those artists can paint a perfect picture of any size. That was my goal. Paint a picture, frame it and let it go out into the world. I hope I was able to bring back some fond memories for people that will potentially hear the song.”
Both Korean-American artists, Marz and Schroeder share a lot in common, musically and when it comes to their youths and influences. Schroeder was interested in teaming up with Marz for his ability to cleverly translate human experience into the framework of a catchy pop song. Pop songs are oftentimes known to be superficial, but not with Marz, who emphasizes the importance of actually saying something when he writes a song.
”15” is about the innocence of young love that is suddenly disturbed when the father of one of the teens needs to uproot his family and move. Defeat overcomes you and while you may first consider running away, the more you think about it, the more you realize that that’s probably not the right course of action. But you’ll never forget that last moment together, which will stay with you for the rest of your life.