Marvelous 3 ‘Freak’ Over Marvelous Fortune

After 10 years in various incarnations, Atlanta-based rock trio finds success with 'Freak of the Week.'

Butch Walker of the Marvelous 3 thinks the success of his band’s song, “Freak of the Week,” is nothing short of cosmic.


“It was all in the moon and the stars,” singer-guitarist Walker said. “The Falcons got in the Super Bowl, and ‘Freak of the Week’ got on the radio everywhere.”


A buoyant anthem for the disenfranchised, the song has made the melodic-rock trio an “overnight” success story… after 10 years of performing around the Atlanta, Ga. area in various incarnations.


“Freak of the Week” (RealAudio excerpt) — taken from the threesome’s second full-length CD, Hey! Album — has steadily climbed Billboard ‘s Modern Rock Tracks chart since entering three weeks ago. It’s resting this week at #29.


Bassist Jayce Fincher said no one in the band is losing any sleep over the meteoric rise of the song. “[No one’s] going, ‘God, I wish that song was never released. There goes our [artistic] credibility,’ ” he joked.


Not that anyone in the trio expected the song to be a hit, Walker said. “We’re not complaining,” he explained. “We think the whole album is that strong.”


A 22-date tour with fellow pop-band Eve 6 is set to begin Wednesday at the Respectable St. Café in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Marvelous 3 are looking forward to touring in style.


“We’re traveled around this country a thousand times, doing it the hardest way possible,” Walker recalled, “…with a van that breaks down every five seconds and a hotel room to sleep in that’s nasty and infested with fleas.


“Now it’s so much easier, so much better. This is the payoff.”


Now in their 20s, the members of Marvelous 3 crystallized as a group a year and a half ago, but Walker, Fincher and drummer Slug (born Douglas Mitchell) have played in bands together since they were kids growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta.


The musicians released their 1997 debut, Math And Other Problems, on their own Marvelous label. They released the follow-up, Hey! Album, in October on Marvelous as well, before getting picked up by Elektra and re-recording the LP with producer Jim Ebert (Meredith Brooks, Jason Falkner). The latest version of the album was released Tuesday.


Unashamed to embrace a pop sensibility — honed by childhoods spent listening to Cheap Trick, the BeeGees and Kiss — the trio packed anthemic pop hooks into the album’s 12 songs, such as “Freak of the Week” and “Write It On Your Hand” (RealAudio excerpt).


Walker said the feel-good vibe on the album was an intentional leap away from the angst-ridden gloom-and-doom-rock that dominated the early ’90s.


“It’s actually getting redundant, lashing out at your parents and your friends because you’re so weird and strange [that] nobody can identify with you,” Walker said. “I think there’s millions of people out there that can’t relate to that, because they actually grew up having a pretty good life.”