Marvel Years: Pushing the Limits
Cory Wythe, also known as the incredibly versatile Marvel Years, has been rising in the ranks of the glitch-hop/electro-soul music scene, steadily touring the festival circuit and playing venue shows, most recently earning a coveted spot at Basslights 2015 as a supporting act for electronic heavyweights Bassnectar and Pretty Lights. He is more than just a producer/DJ, incorporating his skillful guitar playing into his tracks creating a unique hybrid of EDM and classic rock. His music has a distinct, soulful sound coupled with retro-funk tunes and hip-hop beats that gives his audience a robust, multi-genre experience.
Sensible Reason sat down with Marvel Years at Euphoria Music Festival to talk about his recent accomplishments, future plans and what drives him to make the music he loves.
SR: So, your name was originally Wonder Years. What made you decide to change it to Marvel Years?
MY: I actually had to change it because there was a pop band named The Wonder Years and the TV show named The Wonder Years. I was 18 when I named myself that; I had no idea. Then, the first day I got my manager, he called me up and said, “Hey, there’s a band and a TV show named The Wonder Years, you should probably change it,” and so I changed it because “marvel” and “wonder” mean basically the same thing, and it’s got a superhero vibe so I kind of dig that.
SR: Where are you originally from?
MY: Vermont. I went to college in Burlington and now I live in Charlotte, temporarily.
SR: Since you’re from Vermont, are you a Bernie Sanders supporter?
MY: Yes. [laughs]
SR: What was one of your most memorable shows?
MY: My favorite show as Marvel Years was Basslights because that was such a big show for me. But the most memorable show – not even my own show – was me playing guitar for Manic Focus at GRiZ Red Rocks last year. It was a dream come true to play guitar at Red Rocks. That’s probably my most memorable show… ever.
SR: Do you draw inspiration from anywhere for your music?
MY: Totally, there’s definitely inspiration that comes from a bunch of different artists that span many years. I grew up on classic rock and then I got introduced to DJ Premiere, 9th Wonder, RJD2 was a huge one, so that kind of got me into beat making. Right now I’m doing my own thing with the live guitar. I want to bring in drums and so far I’ve been playing new tracks and the crowd’s been really liking it.
SR: What are you currently working on right now?
MY: I just released the first track off my new EP, and the second track is dropping next week, and then the full EP is dropping a week later. I have a couple of collaborations with some recognizable artists so I’m excited about that and I also have a new EP coming in the fall as well.
SR: What are your tour plans for this year?
MY: I’m excited for Shambhala, which is a magical experience from what I’ve heard. We have some other big shows coming up that I can’t wait to announce. We’re going all out, releasing a ton of new music this year, and we’re having a big fall tour as well.
SR: How did you initially get into music?
MY: My uncle was a musician – he played piano – so he was always big into music and that wore off on me at a young age. My parents got me a guitar at nine years old and that’s where it kind of took off. I was in some bands in middle school, produced in high school, and then in college I took a leave of absence to tour and do this, and I haven’t looked back since; it’s been a dream come true.
SR: How did you get your name out there?
MY: I was totally unrecognized, so I made songs and put them on YouTube, and I would be that annoying kid commenting on other videos, you know, “Hey, check out my music.” Then, I began to put my music on Soundcloud and got a manager, played my first shows and then got an agent which has been a huge turning point for me as far as my career.
SR: What is the biggest challenge you notice aspiring musicians struggling with?
MY: If you’re making music, you’re not gonna like what you’re making at first, and I feel like a lot of people give up within the first couple of years because they don’t feel like their music is good enough to them and that they don’t have a future in it.
SR: What would your advice be for those aspiring artists who are struggling with the decision to keep going or drop it?
MY: Just keep grinding. Because sooner or later you’re going to start making music that you think is really dope and other people are going to think its really good too, and then you never know where the project could go. You could blow up overnight with the Internet now. Another thing is, try to support yourself solely from your music and playing shows. Doing that just boosted my own work ethic 300 percent; that’s how I finished an entire EP in two months.
SR: What would you say is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned so far?
MY: To not give up on yourself. I know it’s the most cliché answer you could ever have but I had a three month period where I was seriously considering quitting music; just giving up, going back to school and hunting for a job. My parents were the ones who told me to keep doing it. If I had given up, I wouldn’t be here today.
SR: Who are some of your favorite artists to go and watch in your free time?
MY: Lettuce. Hands down. I did a fall tour with Lettuce last year; that’s the first time I actually ever heard of them, saw them perform, and hands down my favorite band to ever see live. I think one of my next favorites would be Tycho; who I am seeing tonight, so I’m really stoked on that as well.
SR: What are some of your other hobbies besides music?
MY: I skateboard, but honestly, I really don’t have much of a life outside of the music; I’m either touring or at home creating music. I used to be big into snowboarding for a while because I grew up in Vermont, so yeah, I would say skateboarding and snowboarding.
SR: What is your ultimate goal?
MY: I want to be able to live off of the music that I’m making. I don’t want a regular nine-to-five job and I couldn’t really see myself doing anything but playing music.
ABOUT MARVEL YEARS
Cory Wythe, the producer and guitarist better known as Marvel Years, has found a welcome place for himself within the increasingly popular glitch-hop/electro-soul dance music scene. In just a short period of time, his progression has become outright impossible to ignore. Marvel Years is also an incredible guitarist that shreds well beyond his years. His approach to blending electronic beats and soulful guitar on his original tracks and remixes creates a sound that is a unique hybrid of EDM combing glitch, retro-funk, classic rock, soul, jazz and hip-hop.