Marc Ribler has worn many different hats: guitarist, producer, songwriter, benefit organizer, film composer and, for several years, musical director of Steven Van Zandt’s Disciples of Soul group. He has also shared the stage with many artists, ranging from Elvis Costello and Carole King to Paul McCartney, Ian Anderson and Bruce Springsteen.
But now the spotlight is on him as he releases his third solo album, The whole world is waiting for you, a 12-track set co-produced by Van Zandt which arrives today.
Although he originally planned to release the record shortly after releasing his last album in 2008, several side projects, including recruiting into the Disciples of Soul, led Ribler down different paths. It took the pandemic to give him time to assemble the new LP. He had a whole range of materials to work with; some songs were written over a decade ago, others were written while in lockdown. The whole world is waiting for you sums up much of the post-pandemic optimism the world is feeling now, even though many songs, like the title song, were conceived years ago.
âI often find that as a writer and artist you sometimes connect with things that are happening upstairs,â he told UCR. “You fight for it, but you can’t plan it. It just happens when it happens. And when it happens, it’s magic.”
Watch the video “The whole world is waiting for you” by Marc Ribler
The songs on the album also span, ranging from outright rock ‘n’ roll to introspective ballads like “Fly Away,” which highlights Ribler’s West Coast influences with a 12-string Rickenbacker reminiscent of both the Byrds and Tom Petty. Even though he was born in Brooklyn and spent most of his teenage years in New Jersey, Ribler grew up with the sounds of Southern California on the radio. Eagles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jackson Browne were a regular part of his musical education.
âIt just goes into your DNA when you start playing music,â he notes. “Funny how, as you get older, it comes in pure form. I’m a rock and roll history student.”
Much of Ribler’s career has involved writing songs for other artists, films, and commercials, which requires investigation before the writing actually begins. “I would need to figure out what their vocal range is, what subjects they’re writing about,” he explains. “You kind of have to study a bit before you dive into writing a song for the person.”
But when he’s working on songs for himself, he takes more time. “I don’t necessarily have deadlines or I don’t have an agenda, it’s much more open,” he says. âI think I just let the muse direct what something wants to be on any given day. Not that writing a song for another person isn’t a spontaneous and organic experience, but I just like to give myself the freedom to. don’t have to fit certain guidelines. Keep it out of the box. “
A good example of this creative freedom can be heard in the last track Ribler wrote for his new album, “Manzanillo” with Latin accents. Prompted by Van Zandt, Ribler recorded and built the track from a distance due to the lockdown, and tapped into a sense of optimism with an appropriate metaphor.
âWhen Steven asked me to write a song, I was just looking at the world,â he explains. “You can consider that they were in the same place as the Roman Empire or the Aztec Empire or the Mayan Empire – they had amassed such wealth, and, because of their greed and their growing quest for power, they destroyed each other. I just saw our country as being in the throes of this tremendous change and emotional upheaval, and like every dark part of our tissue and the disease that exists below the surface, it all happens. is like it’s an opportunity to go to a higher place and history teaches us. “
Van Zandt also contributed to the LP’s last track, “This Is How the Song Goes”, which leaves room for the sequel. âWe didn’t know it would be the last song on the record,â notes Ribler. âI had almost everything sorted out, but Steven brought some really good stuff to the table, and at the end of the song he said, ‘Try to find something where it’s like it just keeps going, it just keeps on going. go up, it continues to accelerate. ‘”
Watch Marc Ribler’s “Shattered” video
Ribler’s collaborations with Van Zandt are piling up – he’s produced several Disciples of Soul albums – as they’ve built a level of trust that makes collaboration easier. “We always had a similar goal in every musical project we worked on, not together, but separately, in that he was the guy Bruce always relied on to make sure he had the right one. group and that the productions sounded good, ânotes Ribler.
As a child he met the E Street Band a few times in clubs, but did not develop a professional relationship with Van Zandt until the guitarist invited Ribler to work with him on a Darlene Love album. Ribler showed up for what was supposed to be a three hour session – he stayed 10 hours. âI guess he really saw how much I intended to take care and integrity about it,â he says.
In the future, Ribler hopes to turn behind The whole world is waiting for you, especially after the end of the pandemic last year. âI would really love to run my music, this record and the music I’m working on for the future,â he says, âand somehow affect people’s lives in a positive way. “
Top 100 classic rock artists
Click to see how they rank, as we count the top 100 classic rock artists.