Articles-Celeb In The Making



Marching Room is a Sydney based alternative-style band that incorporates sophisticated songwriting, soft pop melodies, Rockabilly influences and catchy beats to create well-crafted pop songs that bring to mind Revolver-era Beatles, the flair of
The Clash, and the upbeat feel of The Doors.

Ben Hassell: Vocals/Guitar
Matt Edge:
Jesse Porter:
Drums/Backing Vocals
Stephen Claxton:
Guitar/Keys/Backing Vocals

Although the musical tastes of the band’s members vary, having heard their music it’s not surprising that they share a love of
The Beatles and ‘70s and ‘80s bands:
“The Beatles are immortal!” says vocalist and guitarist Ben Hassell.

  Marching Room is a Sydney based alternative-style band that incorporates sophisticated songwriting.

Photo by Dan Boud

 Left to right:  Matt Edge, Ben Hassell, Stephen Claxton and Jesse Porter


Marching Room were previously known as Phonograph, until the group discovered an American band with the same name. After much brainstorming, Matt Edge (vocals/bass) came up with the current name, based on one of his own songs. The members agree that a name change is a good opportunity for a fresh start.

The band’s members have a solid history together and are firm friends. Ben is originally from England and contributes to Marching Room’s Britpop sound. The band weren’t always a four-piece however, and drummer Jesse Porter (whose dad is Sherbert keyboard player Garth Porter) explains how the line-up changed. “A year-and-a-half ago we were a three-piece band, and that was working great, and then Steve (Stephen Claxton) decided to play the odd song at our gigs. We really enjoyed it when Steve was on stage, so we ran the idea (of joining) past him, and fortunately for us he was keen. That was December 2005.”

Marching Room is a Sydney based alternative-style band that incorporates sophisticated songwriting  

All the band members contribute lyrics to the songs. When asked about their favourite tunes, Jesse mentions The Dark, from the new EP Run Rabbit. Ben jokes that his favourite song is always the one they’ve just written, since he feels that “the band is improving all the time!”

Although Marching Room have recorded previous EPs, Ben and Jesse agree that Run Rabbit feels like a first EP for the band. “We really put our guts into it,” says Ben. “To get the EP off the ground we promoted the hell out of it, and learnt from what we’ve done in the past.” Jesse feels that the band has improved greatly in the last half-dozen gigs, saying that Matt and Ben have been singing well and the band as a whole has been performing exceptionally, as well as interacting more with the crowd.

Photo by Dan Boud

Left to right:
Stephen Claxton, Jesse Porter, Matt Edge, Ben Hassell


As Garth Porter’s son, Jesse explains that he was never keen to follow in his father’s footsteps as a keyboard player–as a child, he hated piano lessons. He reveals that it wasn’t until the last year of school the he and his friends decided to form a band, and to avoid having to take on singing duties, Jesse became a drummer.

Marching Room have played three warm-up shows for Sherbet. “One of my personal highlights was playing a gig with my old man,” Jesse says. “It was really something…I got such a rush out of that, and seeing him do his stuff.” Jesse brought out a further family connection for the band when his sister Caitlin did the film clip for  Marching Room’s catchy single Sucker in the Cool, which was played on Rage. Jesse says that he’d get phone calls at 2am with people telling him “you’re on TV!” to which the groggy drummer would respond, “and I’m asleep too!”

Ben says that his highlight was playing the 2006 Come Together festival at Sydney’s Luna Park. “It was really good fun and there were loads of youngsters…the young people seem more vibrant and less critical than people of the same age.”

The band is keen to break into the demanding Australian music scene but they’re not prepared to compromise–which means no Backstreet Boys covers or nudity! “It’s a wanky phrase, but we wouldn’t want to lose our musical integrity,” says Jesse. “You have to draw the line somewhere, and of course you have to give a little to get a little, but you have to make up your mind where to draw the line.”

If you missed Marching Room’s recent successful EP launch at Sydney’s Candys Apartment you can check out the EP Run Rabbit at the band’s Myspace site at

Alternatively, log on to Triple J Unearthed www.triplejunearthed.com and request ‘Marching Room’.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for this up-and-coming Sydney act–with their rockin’ live performances and catchy songs, we’ll surely be hearing more from them.


Marching Room is a Sydney based alternative-style band that incorporates sophisticated songwriting
Photo by Chrissy Layton





Marching Room support the charity Aliv.  This charity works with the kids who were locked up in detention centres at Villawood in Sydney www.aliv.org.au

Article written by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative 4/12/06 

Associated article: 
Sherbet_Garth Porter  


Click TOP to get to top of page