AngelAngel’s James Marsters Rocks On
By Daniel R. Coleridge
Tuesday 6 January 2004
Angel’s James Marsters Rocks On
by Daniel R. Coleridge
After Buffy the Vampire Slayer bit the dust, creator Joss Whedon hired James Marsters to join Buffy’s spin-off, Angel. How does he like playing Spike, the semi-reformed British bloodsucker, on a whole other series?
"I’m really pleased they have a TV show to put me on, baby!" Marsters tells TV Guide Online. "I like acting. I’m so happy I don’t have to go look for projects like all my friends from Buffy do. I’m sure they’ll find them, but I’ve got my plate full right here and I love it."
When he’s not on Angel’s set, the actor performs with his band, Ghost of the Robot. His appearance on stage - leather jacket and slicked-back platinum hair - isn’t much different from Spike’s look. Does his easy recognition as a TV star help Marsters lure rock and roll aficionados to concerts?
"We were afraid of a double-edged sword, which is that people will come listen to you, but no one will take you seriously if you’re a celebrity band," he says with a smirk. "But we’ve toured all over the U.S. and Europe, and everywhere we go, people say, ’Right on, dudes! Your music actually is good!’"
Life as an almost rock star isn’t all a joyride. It takes work. "I’m the lead singer," Marsters says. "I write about 40 percent of the material. In the beginning, I played rhythm guitar, too, but to play and front a band is hard. Because the frontman has to connect with an audience. You have to give them permission to release and exalt, even though they’re standing in the middle of a crowd of sweaty strangers.
"I also have new respect for bands who sound good live on tour," he says with a grin. "I didn’t realize that, singing for rock, you have to sing loud. My singing has improved enormously because it’s a physical effort. I’ve got to stand a certain way, spread my ribs and really let it out!"
Ghost of the Robot are currently at work on their second album. More info is available on the band’s Web site.