John Wozniak is a pretty laid-back dude. While relaxing at a Toronto bar, the leader of the pop-rock band Marcy Playground was asked to take the karaoke stage for a version of his band’s lone big hit, the 1997 alt-rock smash ‘Sex and Candy.’ Wozniak decided to sing his song in the little watering hole.
It’s difficult to imagine how many of Wozniak’s peers would have complied. “Probably few would do something like that,” Wozniak said. “But I thought it would be good for a laugh. After a few beers, why not do something like that? It’s all in fun.”
But there’s certainly a serious side to Wozniak. It’s all over Marcy Playground’s fourth album, ‘Leaving Wonderland…In A Fit of Rage.’
It’s an eclectic work, which features some acoustic and some electric cuts. Wozniak, who originally planned to release the disc, as his second solo album, has written his deepest, most provocative and poignant cuts to date. Wozniak left the post-grunge world behind for a smart, modern-sounding pop-rock release.
“It was something that was in me that needed to get out,” Wozniak said. “I had to put this out and it made sense to not put this out as a solo (project). My wife and management suggested that I put it out as Marcy Playground.”
Marcy Playground, which will perform Saturday at the Sellersville Theater, will showcase ‘Leaving Wonderland’ and tracks from its entire canon.
“We have a lot to play,” Wozniak said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
The band, which also includes bassist Dylan Keefe and drummer Shlomi Lavie, is certainly more than ‘Sex and Candy.’ “I’d like to think that’s so,” Wozniak said. “There’s the good and bad of having a song that was as popular as ‘Sex and Candy.’ There’s way more good. Who doesn’t want to write and record a song that gets to be huge? I think people forget how popular the song was. It was massive. It was on the top of the (alt-rock) charts (for 15 weeks). That’s pretty good. It opened a lot of doors for us. So I have no problem playing that song when we get up there onstage.”
Or on the karaoke stage. “I guess I’ll do it wherever,” Wozniak said. “I have fun with it but I have fun with all of the songs.”