By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
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From cracking his teeth in Little Haiti's Churchill's Pub to experiencing the spine-tingling rush of selling out Madison Square Garden, 37-year-old musician Mike Marsh has enjoyed a career that's been an epically rocking roller-coaster ride.
Spanning 20 years, Marsh's time behind the skins started when he joined Miami trio the Agency. But it was a fortuitous meeting with emo wunderkind Chris Carrabba (who briefly played second guitar for the Agency) that ultimately led to massive mainstream success as part of Dashboard Confessional. And though Marsh may be remembered for his ten years in Carrabba's soul-baring project, he's also spent time as a producer, songwriter, and engineer, even lending his rhythmic talents to progressive-folk family unit the Avett Brothers.
Most recently, Marsh has been preparing a forthcoming solo effort, Sunbeam, under the nom de guerre Paper. The first song Marsh wrote for the album was "Reach the End," which dealt with the traumatic experience of living in Los Angeles for a few tough years. But the record also features decidedly more uplifting ditties. "Songs like [title track] 'Sunbeam,' 'Color,' and 'Shine,'" Marsh explains, "speak more of love than dealing with hardships."
Indeed, the buoyant "Sunbeam" has an almost Buddhist leitmotif. "It deals with not needing an abundance of everything in the world — a little bit of love can be enough, a little bit of friends can be enough, a little bit of sun can be enough, a little bit of food can be enough — there is no need to be gluttonous all the fucking time."
Adding to Marsh's good mood is his warm relationship with Limited Fanfare Records, the Miami-based label that will release Sunbeam on vinyl. "This is my baby, and it came out of my ass for real," he says. "I appreciate how open and honest Limited Fanfare's label head, Brian Kurtz, has been with me through this process.
"Brian sincerely loves this record," Marsh says, "and that is much more important than anything else for me right now."