Against All Odds
'Against All Odds' is not just the name of Marz's new album, but an accurate description of his life leading up to it's release. Growing up in the utter poverty of rural Croatia with dirt floors, no gas, electricity, or plumbing was only the beginning of the many adversities Marz has been forced to overcome. While struggling to survive in conditions that make the Chicago ghettos look like Beverly Hills, he also struggled with a drunk and abusive father. 'My pops has done so many crazy things, it's hard to know where to start. For example, one day he came home drunk and shot three holes through our front door while we were all sleeping in the house. Another time, he came home drunk with my uncle and started shooting my mom's angel statues in the living room. He also hid a gun in my waist-line when I was six or seven because my mom and uncle searched him before we went out to a carnival.' Much of Marz's childhood experience still affects him strongly today. None perhaps more than a nearly fatal auto accident, leading to an out-of-body experience that happened when he was just seven years old. 'I was riding in the back seat, and my uncle was driving drunk. He turned around to hand me a cassette tape and must have swerved into another lane, because he ended up hitting a pile of bricks on a construction site. I flew from the back seat through the windshield and hit the pile of bricks with my face. While I was out I remember floating and having a conversation with somebody. They were telling me everything was going to be all right, and that this was just a dream. The next thing I remember was hearing my uncles voice calling my name from the car, and when I came to this construction worker was carrying me to his car to take me to the hospital.' Although Marz still carries around the scars from his experience, everything would in fact prove to be all right. Shortly after his out-of-body experience, Marz and his family fled Croatia, eventually settling in the West Side of Chicago. Marz was again forced to overcome incredible odds to keep surviving. Faced with a new country, language, and the reality of the Chicago ghetto, Marz soon found himself in a position where he had to take charge of his life. After a few years of resorting to drug dealing in order to make ends meet, he began to right himself and get back on a positive track. He immersed himself in Kung Fu, books, and music. Using the positive influence from the books he was reading and the discipline from the Kung Fu, Marz began focusing his efforts on music. By the time Marz had reached his early twenties, he landed a job at Chicago Tracks, a prominent studio in Chicago. 'I basically got the job by hustling. I called them every day until they finally let me come in and start working for them. During the day, I worked as an engineer just so I could have the studio at night for free to record my version of Hip-Hop.' While working at Chicago Tracks, he ended up meeting Al Jorgenson from Ministry and became part of the band for a number of years. 'Even when I was in Ministry, my heart was never into the rock scene. I've always loved Hip-Hop, and knew that's what I wanted to do. I used the situation with Ministry as a way to get myself into the industry and get ready to do my own thing.' As Marz began his solo venture into Hip-Hop, it became clear that he was going to be a unique force in the game. After receiving offers from both Tommy Lee's and Marilyn Manson's upstart labels along with thirty-one other major and independent labels, he decided to sign with indy label E-Magine Entertainment, where he released his debut album, Lung Fu Mo She, in 1999. As he began to prepare for the release of his sophomore album, interest continued to grow within the industry. Marz ended up negotiating a deal with Jonathan Davis from Korn's record label, Elementree Records. This move took him from living in Humboldt Park, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago, to living the life of luxury just one block off of the world-famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. Unfortunately, the new label folded before they had a chance to release Gorilla Pimpin', the album Jonathan Davis co-produced. Marz now found himself homeless. 'I was literally living in a tent on the beach, but ironically, I felt like I had gotten control of my life and career back.' 2004 marked the release of TGZ Nation the Mixtape. While almost every Hip-Hop artist releases a mixtape, Marz took a drastically different approach to this release. Instead of putting out a regular mixtape, he created actual songs over the borrowed beats. 'I just knew that I wanted to work with the best producers in the game, and I figured the way I could do that would be to just use their beats, but create actual songs over them instead of just freestyling.' This new approach created a huge underground buzz and again had labels across the country looking in his direction to see his next move. Against All Odds brings Marz's songwriting abilities to the forefront. With the wide variety of songs on this album, Marz proves his versatility as an artist and songwriter. The overwhelmingly upbeat party-friendly tracks accompanied by Marz's signature spiritually inspirational tracks, all framed in a perfect Hip-Hop/pop-song aesthetic, will leave hooks stuck in your head for weeks. 'The last couple years of my life have completely changed my view on life and songwriting. I've worked with everyone from underground Hip-Hop artists in Chicago to Peter Gabriel. This album is an accumulation of what I've learned from all these people. As I've grown and matured, so has my songwriting and it's ability to appeal to a far greater audience.' 'I'm coming for the top. I've had to fight for everything in my life, and I'm not going to stop now. I'm going to be doing this until the day I die; it's just in me. It's my life.' If you haven't heard of Marz before, that's because the masses are finally catching onto something that's been kicking in the underground for several years. 2005 promises to be the year that Marz truly succeeds, Against All Odds.