Exile has been gracing the ears of country music fans for over 40 years. What started as a rock band and eventually transformed into playing country music, Exile has played music all over the world. At the Grizzly Rose we recently had the pleasure of hosting them for a live country music show. We had the chance to chat with bass player Marlon Hargis to get some more information about this longstanding famous band. Here’s what we learned.
Q: How was your experience playing at the Grizzly Rose? Have you played here before?
A: We played back in the 80’s at the Grizzly Rose. It was so long ago, can’t remember exactly what date. We definitely remembered the venue though. Although it was brief, we enjoyed our time here. The food was delicious and the staff were very helpful and friendly. We love the venue, it has a really nice and unique vibe. We would love the opportunity to come back sometime!
Q: Besides the Grizzly Rose, where’s your favorite venue you have every played?
A: This is a tough question because we’ve been playing a long time and had a chance to play all over the world. Playing at Wembley Stadium in London is definitely a place we will always remember. We also played a few different venues back in the 80’s in South Africa, and I remember a show we did in Capetown that was very memorable. We also played Farm Aid II festival out in Texas, near Austin, back in the 80’s not far from Willie Nelson’s ranch. There were a lot of great bands there with us like Willie, Joe Walsh, and many others. One other place that we will never forget was playing on the original tonight show with Johnny Carson. Seeing all those famous people watching us perform, that was something we will never forget.
Q: What is you favorite song to perform live?
A: This is another tough question to answer because it changes often. We’ve been in the music business so long the songs our favorite songs to perform have changed a lot over the years. If we had to choose one at this moment in time it would have to be “Kiss you all over.” This is because it gets the biggest reaction from the crowd. One of my personal favorites at the moment is “It’ll be me.” We have a lot of fun playing that song, but I’m sure if you asked me again in a few months there’s a good chance it could be different.
Q: If none of you were playing country music, what would be your professions instead?
A: If we weren’t still playing music, we would be working in the music industry. Honestly, we don’t really know anything else, this is what we’ve done for most of our lives. Back in the day I ran a music store, I was also a property manager at one point, and did some music management things too. I think music management would be most fitting for all of us nowadays due to our long tenure in the industry.
Q: Who are your main inspirations?
A: The Beatles were a major inspiration to us. The whole British Invasion really inspired us to want to be musicians. A lot of it had to do with timing because that was popular when we were teenagers. That kinda music changed the world in the form of politics, fashion, etc… Motown groups were also big for us like Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. We are from Kentucky and soul music was big there so it was another big source of inspiration. Some people compare us to the Eagles and that’s another group we admired and were inspired by.
Q: How did you all meet each other and become a band?
A: Back in 1963 is about when we started as ‘The Exiles’ (this changed over time to be simply ‘Exile’). We all started playing music in little bands in little towns across Kentucky. JP Parrington our guitar player had been around the longest, but honestly we all kinda started together randomly. At the time we were just high school kids who wanted to play music because it was a way to meet girls and have fun. We never would have guessed they would still be playing now. It was just kind of a dream that happened!
Q: Any advice to aspiring musicians out there?
A: If you don’t love music, don’t even get started in it, because it’s a really tough business and so many bands don’t make it. You must have passion for it. Always keep trying. However if you do truly love music than go for it and never give up. I had a friend who decided to pursue a career in business instead of being a musician and he ended up being very successful. However he always told me “there’s a hole in my soul because I didn’t pursue music.” So keep plugging away and make it work if it’s what you really want.
Q: Any other thoughts you would like to share with your fans out there?
A: There’s a great book written about us with an in depth history of our band. It’s called 50 Years of Exile: The Story of a Band in Transition (Click here for a link to the book on Amazon).