Bradford-based rock band Marshmellow Overcoat is preparing to release its next studio album Friday.
“Jumping Sharks” is the title of the band’s sixth studio album, and band members (Tyler Calkins, Dave Verbocy, Alan Hancock and Anthony Cavallaro) put in over six months of writing, rehearsing and performing to bring it together.
“We tossed around a few different names, and my original ideas weren’t going over well with the fans. We wanted to think of something funny,” Calkins said. “This is our sixth studio album, so we have been doing this awhile — we’ve been ‘jumping the shark’ like Fonzie in Happy Days.”
Calkins noted the credit for the album’s artwork, which is based on the jumping the shark theme, goes to his significant other, Samantha Yohe.
Jumping the shark is also a phrase that has come to represent something that is “past its peak” but refuses to acknowledge that fact. For Marshmellow Overcoat, that seems to be far from the truth. The band has been popular for events in the area like the recent Swig & Swine, a YWCA Bradford fundraiser, and also performed Saturday at The New City Line for an album launch.
Calkins, who has been committed to music full-time, noted that the timing for the new album was perfect as a result of various factors coming together.
“A few things contributed to it; it has been about two years since the last album,” Calkins said. “My great friend Dave Verbocy was moving back into town, so we could resume our writing partnership. That, partnered with Alan (Hancock) our drummer, had heard how great GCR Audio and Mammoth Recording are up in Buffalo (N.Y) — we put all that together and said ‘Let’s go do this thing.’”
GCR Audio in Buffalo is a professional studio owned and operated by Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls. Engineer Brad Lauchert of GCR Audio and Mike Santillo and Justin Smith of Mammoth Recording helped the band shape the recordings.
Lead singer and songwriter Calkins pointed out, “This is the hardest we’ve worked on an album project. It has been a couple of years since our self-titled album was recorded in Pittsburgh, and we wanted to raise the bar and give people a reason to pay attention and get excited. We kept the Classic Rock feel we’ve always loved, but this time we added more instrumentation and modern influences.”
Two singles from the sessions, “Smoke Screen” and “We’ve Got To Roll” are already available to stream and download, and have gained more airplay than anything the band has released over the past decade.
“Some of the songs, we wanted to make reference to this area a bit — in fact, the song ‘We’ve got to Roll’ is inspired by Marilla Reservoir out West Washington Street,” Calkins said.
When asked about feedback regarding “Smoke Screen” and “We’ve Got to Roll,” which have already been released and are available through streaming platforms, Calkins said opinions are very positive.
“We have gotten feedback from our musician friends from Pittsburgh and longtime fans from the Bradford area,” Calkins said. “We have been told those are some of our best songs, Smoke Screen in particular.”
There are more events scheduled in the area in the coming months.
For an acoustic taste of the band’s sound, Calkins and Verbocy will be performing at Beefeaters Restaurant on Thursday.
Other upcoming performances include a set at the Otto Township Old Home Days on July 27, beginning at 3:30 p.m., and a performance at the McKean County Fair on Aug. 13.
The entire album will be available Friday, and it can be found on streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play.
It will be available on CD and as a limited vinyl run as well. The CDs will be available at all Marshmellow Overcoat shows, on the band’s website (noted below) and through CDbaby.com starting Friday. Meanwhile, vinyl fans will have to wait a little longer, as Calkins said the vinyl will be available closer to Christmas.
For more information and the full schedule of upcoming events, visit www.marshmellowovercoat.com — note the “e” in mellow.