Inside the Mind of Marc Schuster: Music, Art, and Inspiration

Isn’t it strange that some musicians have the ability to “paint” your mind’s picture with their lyrics? Marc Schuster, as one of those guys, is unquestionably an inspiring figure. Whoa, this guy is truly the behemoth in the creative world; he rips apart singles, throws in beats, and basically defies the laws of creativity with his logic.

Marc actually does a million different things: a solo artist of course, group work with e. g. The Star Crumbles or Scoopski, he teaches at college, has his own radio show and he writes his own blog to report on the indie scene. His expertise tracks a wide range from enticing hardware of Elvis Costello to the cinematic mastery of David Lynch films. Marc intertwines and adapts to different genres from pop punk to indie and to so many others in his music that has this rich compositional and lyrical layers to it. Ralph is for sure coordinating with his own bagpipe-playing multi-patterned kilt.

Even his latest “Arguably” album which was released on May 1 is, without doubts, a result of the hard work Marc put into it. All the tracks are produced by and performed by him, that is writing and everything obviously. And he did not forget to invite Jim Lorino from the band Scoopski to rhyme on their song titled “Paul Giamatti”. Lyrically, Marc has such a gift when it comes to crafting raps that anyone would fall in love with his style. This is not only its faithfulness to the art, but also an album in its truest sense.

In this interview, we will explore why and what makes Marc the artist he is now, how he found his way through music as a profession, and of course, his dream in writing and making this song. If you’re ready for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the mind of a real musical multi-purpose agent who doesn’t hesitate to act outside the box, grab your headphones and head on over to our interview.

Listen to Arguably

Follow Marc Schuster on







Where do you find inspiration?

I usually find inspiration in the work of other artists—particularly artists who do their own thing and don’t worry about trends or popularity. I love the movies of David Lynch, for example. They’re not for everyone, and that’s the point. I feel the same way about music. A while back, my wife said something to the effect that I like “weird” music, and I took it as a real compliment. But I think I’ve always worn the “weird” label like a badge. Maybe it’s the Gen X-er in me or maybe I’m just antisocial, but if everyone likes something, I tend to shy away.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?

Music has always been part of my life. When I was really young, we had the Beatles’ White Album on cassette, and it was always on whenever we’d go out for a drive. I was like five or six, and I knew that album by heart. It was also a bit of an odd album because it’s all over the place, and I think that had an effect on the way I think about music.

I didn’t even realize there were four Beatles at the time. I figured there had to be like ten or twelve guys in the band considering all the different types of songs and instruments they were playing. It just sounded so big and sprawling to me. I feel like I’ve always had a sense of musicality, of appreciating the rhythms of certain words and phrases, and that probably goes back to listening to the Beatles on all of those car rides when I was little.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?

My first concert was the Monkees. That was in 1987. I think I was about fourteen at the time. I knew that the Monkees were never really four guys who lived in a beach house, but that fantasy is something that probably still informs my thinking about music to this day. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out with their buddies all day, making music and going on weird little adventures that get resolved in the space of a half-hour to the tune of your latest song? And their music holds up really well. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd. is a great album!

How could you describe your music?

My music is fairly idiosyncratic. It probably goes back to listening to the Beatles’ White Album so much when I was young, and I suppose it’s also a function of listening to all of that “weird” music I’m into. I just love experimenting with different sounds and trying to fit them together like puzzle pieces. It’s poppy in places, a little jazzy, a little funky, mildly cinematic, depending on the song you’re listening to. I draw on a lot of different influences and try to synthesize something new from them. I really like the term “art rock.” I’m not sure it’s what I make, but it’s a label I aspire to. If someone, completely unbidden and unprompted, heard one of my songs and said, “Oh, that’s art rock,” I’d take it as a massive compliment.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?

That’s an interesting question because I often wonder what it means to be a part of the music industry. I feel like I’m technically part of the music industry by virtue of the fact that I make music and people can listen to it on various streaming services and whatnot—and that I have a radio show and a blog where I interview indie musicians—but I’m pretty far out on the fringes of that industry, which is exactly where I want to be.

But to answer the question, I teach at a college with a musician named Mike Kelly. A while back—fifteen years ago or so—he was talking about how people were always asking him how to “break into” the music industry, and that he always told them that the music industry wasn’t something you break into. It’s something you develop a relationship with. That really stuck with me, and as I started thinking about what I wanted to get out of music, I realized that a lot of it had to do with developing relationships with like-minded people. People who like the weird kind of music I like.

That distinction between breaking into the music industry and developing a relationship with it changed everything for me. I went from thinking that the music industry was just this massive, foreign, nebulous entity I could never really have anything to do with to realizing it’s just people making music. Some make a lot of money at it. Most are people like me who build up relationships with other musicians and start their own scenes and movements. It’s just a matter of belief, I guess. I’m in the music industry because I believe I am—and because I believe I’m in the industry, I behave like someone in the industry by making music, helping other musicians make and promote music, and being an active member of a community.

Who do you see as your main competitor?

I try not to view music as a competition. To me it’s better when we all work together and find joy in each other’s accomplishments. This attitude may be a function of my age. If I were younger—and hungrier, I suppose—I’d probably be looking at other artists and wondering why they’re doing better than I am: why they have more followers on social media, for instance, or why they get so many plays on Spotify. But at some point, I just realized that all of my bases are covered. I have a job, I can pay my bills, and I can make the kind of music I like without worrying about all that other stuff. There’s a freedom in that. It’s like being my own patron, my own biggest fan. Which, hey, if I’m not a big fan of my work, why would I expect anyone else to be?

Why did you choose Arguably as the title of this project?

I was originally going to call it Arguably an Album because I’m always getting into conversations with fellow music lovers about what constitutes an album. Is it just a collection of songs? Do they have to share a theme? Tell a story? Or can they just be a random assortment of tunes recorded in roughly the same period of time? As a result of these kinds of conversations—not to mention my own tendency to overthink everything—I was hesitant to say with 100% certainty that I had recorded an album. But Arguably an Album felt a little clunky to me, so I switched it to just Arguably, which I liked because then I could write “Arguably Marc Schuster” on the cover, which, again, speaks to my tendency to overthink things. I mean, there’s an argument to be made that this is me, but who am I, and what does it mean to be someone? Maybe it’s all just a construction, my best attempt at assembling an identity at this particular point in my life.

What musician do you admire most and why?

I really admire Elvis Costello and Brian Eno. I’d describe them as restless souls, at least as far as music is concerned. They’re both always exploring new territory and breaking new musical ground, and neither gets hemmed in by genre or expectations. Part of it, I think, is an endless hunger for knowledge, a desire to learn. Both are known for collaborating with other musicians almost as much as they’re known for their own work, and I think a huge part of that interest in collaboration comes from a desire to learn something new from the people they’re working with. It keeps their music fresh, and I think it keeps them from seeing music as a commodity so much as an experience.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?

I always have a few irons in the fire. I play bass in Scoopski, and we’ll be recording a few songs in June. I’ve also been talking to Neither Could Dylan about a potential collaboration. I really just love playing music with other people. There’s no bigger thrill for me than getting an email from someone who wants me to record bass or drums for them—or even to try my hand at mixing a song. It’s incredibly flattering. And one funny thing I realized recently is that while I like playing live, I don’t necessarily like playing my own music live. That’s why playing bass in Scoopski is so perfect for me. I get to scratch that “playing out” itch without having to figure out how to translate my own music from the studio to the stage.

What message would you like to give to your fans?

More than anything, I just want to say thank you. We live in a world where so much mass-market entertainment is being forced down everyone’s throats all that time that it’s nearly impossible to discover new, independent voices. If you’ve listened to any of my songs—even just once—you probably had to put some work into finding it. No algorithm served it up to you. No one was playing it on the radio. You found it because you’re the kind of person who, like me, is always looking for something new and different. And the fact that you took some time to listen to my music means the world to me!

Mister Styx
Mister Styx
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

Latest articles

Related articles