Marshall Seese is a unique talent. First of all, the singer – the CMChat One To Watch for November – marches to his own drum beat, serving up a unique musical blend that is as much Americana than it is Country. The singer also does not go by his given name, opting for the stage name of The Tin Man.
At first, Marshall Seese, who hails from Atlanta, attempted to launch his career the old-fashioned way, but opted for another try. “I first started playing music under my own name, and it was very much singer-songwriter stuff. I was still learning and evolving, so it never got traction. At first, I thought it was country, so I went out and bought new cowboy boots and started writing. I came to Nashville, recorded a Country EP at Ocean Way, and did all the things I thought I was supposed to do. As it turned out, I never released the EP. It just never felt authentic. I knew I loved writing, and I’m the kind of person who can write songs in a lot of different genres.”
A former attorney, he found that an unexpected heartbreak would serve as his inspiration to make his music – his way. “In 2014, I went through a rough patch in my life, and felt like I had my heart ripped out from me. I tied my identity up in my girlfriend at the time, as well as this company that I had started after being a lawyer. I lost both in the span of a month, and turned to music in my time of despair. I started writing more.” He added, something had changed. “It was coming out differently. The songs didn’t sound like anything I had written before. I was playing them for my friends, and they said ‘Wait a second. What’s that?’ It was the first time I felt like I was connecting publicly. I was writing about the things that were stuck to my heart, I was being ‘real,’ or being me. I just felt that it needed its’ own identity, and I wanted to shed the past of having my name attached to it. I always thought the best band name would be The Lions. I concluded that no one has done that because they know it would be the best band name ever, so it never gets used. That got me thinking of the cowardly lion, which I thought was funny. Then, I thought of the Tin Man, and how he was on a quest for a new heart — which was what I was on. I felt that name captured what gave birth to the music, as well as the vibe of the music, and it stuck.”
How does his new EP– Too Many Lines — differ from the music he previously recorded. “To me, it feels night and day. To someone else, it might not feel that different.” In trying to describe how his musical approach has changed, he said “I think the old stuff was more polished. It was like you were hiking, and you found this rock. It just really caught your attention. You pick it up, and it’s like you can’t be without it. It was rough around the edges and kind of dirty. You polish it and polish it, and it begins looking beautiful. With the music of The Tin Man, I just picked up the rock, and thought This is great. This is real.”
When asked how much his degree has helped him gain a foothold in the crazy world of the music business, he said “I wish so badly that I could say I had never gone to law school, and it was a waste of time, but I can’t. It was great training. I think with the experience I’ve had with legal contract, I can look at a contract that has to do with my music and know everything that it’s saying, and everything that it’s not saying. That’s a school that not a lot of artists have. So, it’s definitely been beneficial,” he says, stressing that the major thing about the business is that nothing happens overnight. “It all takes time. It’s just a matter of focusing on what matters to you, and what’s important.”
One of the highlights of the disc is “Please Don’t Let Me Go,” which was about? You guessed it! “So, the relationship that ended that gave birth to The Tin Man, we connected on a spiritual and soulful level. Even post-breakup, it was the hardest time I’ve ever had letting go. There was a time about six or seven months after, I thought there was a chance still. We were still talking. I had gone to Spain to get some perspective on life, and she was addressing some of the things in her life that she was needing to. It was my pleading song. I felt her cutting some of the last threads, and I wanted to hang on to that last one. I was still in the middle of the heartache, and sitting on top of this mountain. It was what needed to come out. When I came back, I found out that she had started dating someone else. So, she let me go. But, I got a good song out of it,” he said with a laugh.