About two weeks ago Amber Mark packed her bags, stepped out of her NYC home and headed out on tour with Glass Animals. To date, she’s played down the west coast and tonight hits the Aragon Ballroom stage in Chicago. With a couple more weeks left, you’ve still got time to see her perform music from her debut, 3:33 am, including her latest single, “Heatwave.”
From the road, she opened up about the significance of numerics, which stop she was most excited to cross off her bucket list, what she does during a hot day in NYC and more. Read what she had to say, and don’t forget to catch her out on tour now with Glass Animals.
Kendra: As a kid, you saw more of the world than most will in their life, and it looks like you’ve still got that wanderlust in you today. How much of your music is inspired by your travels both then and now?
Amber Mark: I definitely tried to incorporate my childhood into 3:33 am cause it had a lot to do with my mother. I was really influenced by our time in India since that was her favorite place. She’s from Germany but India was definitely her home. She would have lived out the rest of her life there. So it was really important for me to incorporate the sound of India Into the EP.
Kendra: No matter where you go you return back home to New York City. Going off that and your debut from earlier this year, what is NYC like at 3:33 am?
Amber: It kind of depends on the night of the week. But for the most part, it’s still very much awake, but quieter than it is during the day and evening. You get the occasional garbage truck pass by. Some wouldn’t be able to stand the sound of the city at night. It’s very soothing in my opinion.
Kendra: And did that have anything to do with the record?
Amber: I would write a lot in from the late evening to the early hours of the morning. For two weeks straight every night that I was writing I would be in the deep zone of production and then sort of jump out of thinking to myself that I should go to sleep I have to be an adult in the morning. Every time this would happen I would check the time and it would be 3:33 am. that sort of spooked me out.
The main reason I chose 3:33 am is that 3 has always been a very prominent number in my life. My mother was born the year 1953, my brother was born 1983 and I was born 1993. My Mother passed away June 3rd the year 2013 at 10:23 pm. So I felt it was some sort of sign that I name my EP 3:33 am. Plus my initials are “AM” so it fits very well.
Kendra: Time aside, you have noted that this album was a grieving process, but not the typical one we’re used to hearing about. You’ve got a couple new phases in there like isolation, questioning and overcoming. For you, which was the most significant of the process and what song is it associated with most?
Amber: I think sadness was the most significant phase for me. It was a feeling that all the phases I believe stemmed from. When I wrote about it, it was a very big turning point for me. As I began to acknowledge what I going through..and in doing that I wrote Monsoon.
Kendra: Where does “Heatwave” fall in all of that?
Amber: Heatwave doesn’t have anything to do with the EP. Heatwave has all to do with traveling and taking a break from the cold hard-working side of the world to just enjoy the heat.
Kendra: Also, just to go off topic just a bit. When NYC is having one of their sick heatwaves where can you be found?
Amber: I really love the heat so I try to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m most likely outside with friends enjoying the hot weather with a very cold beverage in hand ideally near a large body of water that I can jump into. But if it’s dangerously hot out. I like the Spanish way of doing things. Getting stuff done outside in the morning. Then siesta from about 12:30-3:00 pm as that is the hottest time of the day and then back outside to enjoy the weather.
Kendra: Which speaking of you’re going out on your first ever tour with Glass Animals come September. Have you gotten any sound road advice?
Amber: It’s quite funny cause this is my first time ever on tour so I’m learning as I’m going… You have to find a balance of keeping yourself hydrated but not too hydrated otherwise you’re going to annoy everyone with the amount of times you need to stop. My biggest fear right now is getting sick during the tour. So I’ve been taking a lot of vitamins and immune boosters.
I was super excited to have my sister come along with me to document the tour. However, I was told last minute that she was not allowed to come. I think our plan was to keep ourselves from getting too bored. So now we just have to do it through the phone. We watch shows together through FaceTime or play 2 player apps together. We both got back into that draw something app and words with friends. I think the most important thing is keeping my family close. Sending them lots of pictures and videos to make it feel like they’re here with me.
Kendra: That tour is stopping at some pretty significant venues from NYC to LA. Which ones are you looking forward to being on most?
Amber: Radio City!! It’s always been a dream of mine. I still can’t believe I’m going to be performing there! And on top of it, my family will be there! I can’t wait for them to see the show!
Kendra: The tour with Glass Animals has you pretty busy through October. Are you taking a break after that to recharge for 2018?
Amber: No breaks for me yet I’ll be writing for the next project.
Kendra: Being that you’re no stranger to traveling if you had to make a mixtape for a week-long getaway to your favorite place…first off, let us know the place and secondly…what five songs would have to be on it?
Amber: Let’s say this was an alternate world where I could do a weekend getaway to an island in Thailand.
“Yachts (A Man Called Adam Mix)” By Coco Steel Lovebomb
“Why Did We Fire the Gun” By Waldeck
“Darbari NYC (Diamond Turban Remix)” By Prem Joshua
“Everything is Everything” By Gabriel Garzon Montano
“Madiba Riddim” By Drake