AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK McGEE
By David Iozzia
Mark McGee is an American guitarist who was born in Oakland, California. His musical jorney has travelled down many different paths, and Mark has played in many different musical genres. He was a member of the progressive rock group Starcastle, when a re-formed version started up on the West Coast. Mark played in the power metal band Vicious Rumors. He and I met when Mark was a touring guitarist playing in the band Gregg Allman and Friends. After a New Jersey performance with Gregg Allman a few years back, Mark told me about his band Luvplanet. I checked them out in cyberspace from time to time. After buying their latest CD "Luvolution," I chased down Mark for this career profiling interview.
Dave: Hello Mark. Thanks for phoning from California and for giving me the opportunity to interview you.
Mark: My pleasure Dave. Thanks for the interest.
Dave: When our paths first crossed out on the road a few years ago in New Brunswick, New Jersey, you were the lead guitarist playing with Gregg Allman and Friends. Gregg just toured on the East Coast in mid-January. Are you skipping this tour or have you ended your musical affiliation with Gregg Allman?
Mark: Gregg and I played together for about nine years straight. He has a lot of personal tastes that he tries to achieve with his band and the sound of his band. He likes to change things up now and then. There was never a falling out between us or anything like that. Gregg wanted to try something different and that was fine. I wish him well in everything he's doing. It's all good and he's out there on the road as we speak with a real good band.
Dave: What was your favorite songs to play live with Gregg Allman?
Mark: "Melissa" was always my favorite. I could call the ending on it, playing until I felt it was the right moment. Playing guitar with Gregg Allman is a dream gig. A lot of guitar oriented things go on in his songs. With Gregg Allman solo, as opposed to an Allman Brothers gig, there's more of a balance with piano and saxophone. Gregg expresses more of his R&B roots and Ray Charles influence. I had a great time playing with Gregg and I know he enjoyed playing with me. I guess that's why it lasted over ten years.
Dave: When you and I were a few years younger, Petaluma, California annually hosted the World Arm Wrestling Championships. But you and I aren't here to talk about that. I want to introduce a band from Petaluma named Luvplanet to readers at my music website. How and when did Luvplanet get started?
Mark: It goes back a ways. When I was still in Gregg Allman's band, he was living in northern California. We often used a place called SRS Studios to meet up for a week of rehearsals before we'd fly out for the start of the tour. I was invited by the guy who ran that studio, through a mutual friend, to play some sessions with a lady called Nicole Sutton. He also brought in the rhythm section of Stu Hamm and Jeff Campitelli to play on some tracks and take a band arrangement approach with Nicole and her music. We worked on her music for a good part of 1999. Then Stu and Jeff were out on the road with Joe Satriani. Nicole and I continued to work on her music. Nicole and I both write all of the music in Luvplanet. We also sing and play guitar. We're kind of the founders of the band. In 1999 though, it was an unnamed musical project. When Stu and Jeff got real busy, Nicole and I decided to take it further and move forward. We started to look for an actual band that could perform the music and move it forward. I had the sense at that time that anybody else we worked with should be unknown to us. We auditioned a lot of interesting players but none of them really fit. After second guessing myself, I got back in touch with bass guitarist Tommy Sisco, who I worked with in Vicious Rumours, and Scott McKenzie, a drummer I played with in Starcastle in the mid-80s. That proved to be the perfect lineup. We started playing shows in California and we hit the studio together in 2004 to work on our record "State of Mind." Since then it's been an ongoing process. We released "Lucky One" in 2008 and "Luvolution" in late 2010.
Dave: Since you've already introduced your band, can you speculate on the band's musical influences?
Mark: In my life in music, in every band I've been in, there are always some musicians who are creative forces. Others, although they are proficient on their instruments, are more likely to fill their role and take direction from the singer, the songwriter, or whoever the guiding force in the band is. A good band member is someone who is a team player and who is open minded to other people's ideas. They are open to learning in the process without letting ego get in the way. Nicole never played covers; she never learned other people's songs. She never played in bar bands. From the minute she started to play guitar when she was young she started to create things. Nicole was born in Detroit so she grew up on Motown and the music that came from that part of the country. She lived in southern California during high school and she lived in Lake Tahoe when we first met. Her influences range from Willie Nelson and the Grateful Dead, to classic rock of the 70s, to Motown. She even likes Black Sabbath and more metal stuff. You won't hear her sing like a metal singer; that's not her approach. The common ground with the band members in Luvplanet is that we're all into many different types of music.
Dave: When listening to Luvplanet's CDs, or seeing them play live, are these influences apparent?
Mark: Our influences do not jump right out. Luvplanet has a lot of harmony vocals between Nicole and I. The vocals are the sonic thread. With those vocals, we have a way of making and different style of song we do sound like Luvplanet. The more a band palys together, the more we sound like a well-oiled machine. Our drummer Scott and I have played together on many different projects through the years. I can play something and he'll play something right afterwards that makes it feel like we're talking without looking at each other. Nicole and I also have a real strong chemistry. We see eye to eye on a lot of things. Our voices mesh well together. We create a sound that's stronger than one of us singing at that time. In this band, the history and connectivity facilitates a nice creative flow.
Dave: Which bands influenced you the most when you were growing up?
Mark: The great bands of the 70s like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and The Who, as well as a 60s band like The Beatles, are my ideal bands. They blended acoustic and electric instruments. They had no only heavy moments, but moments where it was light and soft. They had a real wide dynamic range. Bands like that held my interest because they covered a variety of styles. For me growing up, rock music was all about incorporating different styles. The rock part was just the energy and the attitude behind it.
Dave: I also gravitated to bands that had range. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, as well as Queen, were two of my favorites.
Mark: A lot of people get stuck in a monotone way of listening to music. I have friends that love the blues that won't listen to anything else. I have friends that love metal that won't listen to anything else. Anybody who likes soulful music, or music that's honest and organic, will dig what were doing. Fans from my days in Vicious Rumours still write to me. They are fans of the shreddy guitar playing I had in that band. Yet I truly feel that my best guitar work is in Luvplanet. Somebody that's open minded will hear that. Some people just want to hear guitar; some want to hear a song. Luvplanet is all about the song first. The song tells the guitarist what to play.
Dave: How about on the other side of the glass? Since you produced all of the Luvpalnet records, who's influenced you most as a producer?
Mark: George Martin would be an obvious one. Mutt Lange was also great. For me, the most important role of the producer is bringing out the best from the individual. I'm intertwined with the music of Luvplanet. I'm in the bubble so to speak. We've brought in engineers to get a different perspective. It always comes back to that nobody knows more than we do or what we should sound like. Unless they've seen us live, or listened to every record all the way through, they won't have the full picture. When I hear our songs recorded, I want them to sound like they do to me when I'm in the room playing with the band. At the same time, I want a slickness to it that doesn't rob the song of its emotion or attitude. I want some type of polish that makes the song still sound good after the test of time. I like to thing that Luvplanet's songs will. As the producer, I have to ensure that the sound of our records matches what Luvplanet sounds like. That's not the easiest thing to do.
Dave: The Internet, with social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook, gives music listeners an immediate way to listen to new music. I'll include links to Luvplanet's sites and hopefully readers of this interview will take the next step of giving your band a listen. Since my website is text only, as a way of enticing readers to listen, how would you verbally describe Luvplanet's musical direction?
Mark: This is the dreaded question; the question that is so hard to answer. It's also the question I'm asked all of the time. If you tell somebody you're in a band, their response is always what does the band sound like? Answer that question has never been more challenging when it is asked of Luvplanet. It's not because I think our music is something so different that people will have to get used to it before they'll like it. I've come to a place where I don't like to describe Luvplanet before people hear it. I like when people tell me what they think because of all the surprising answers I hear. If you like rock music the way it once was, with a totally fresh young sound to it, with killer vocals and soulful guitar playing, I think you'll like the music of Luvplanet. There's something for everybody. A musician will respect it because of the quality. I have friends who's nine-year-old kids know the words to the songs. We're reaching across borders and tapping in to different demographics. Luvplanet is a high energy rock and roll band. Don't let the name fool you. People tell us they love our name but I feel some people perceive us as softer than we are. Love is pain; love is anguish. Love is a lot of different things.
Dave: Comparison is inevitable. As far as what you've read about your band, which bands has Luvplanet been compared to in the media?
Mark: Journey and Heart. Rush also comes up a lot. I've also heard things like Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac. I've also heard The Coors and country influences. The music that is marketed heavily today is not music that is diverse. It's music that's easily packaged and presented in a simplistic way. A lot of it is based on image or a gimmick. With Luvplanet, there are no gimmicks. People get something extra special when they're in the room and we're playing live. They feel the energy of the music. We see the proof of that when we look into the crowd.
Dave: On the band's website, you boldly proclaim that Luvplanet defines a new era of melodic rock music. How?
Mark: By not being afraid to being diverse, by playing from the heart without premeditating any type of musical genre or target audience. Luvplanet is a band that's writing all of the time. We already have two or three albums worth of material for the next record. We don't feel like we have to change to what's popular or what's being pushed. We feel that we can continue doing our own thing. When you're a band that's leaders and not followers, often it's a slow cook. Things take time. But the people that get it early are super loyal. I think that's what's happening with us. When I was playing guitar with Gregg Allman, there were certain sounds or approaches to striking a note that I couldn't do. It wasn't something that Gregg's into or it wasn't appropriate. I had to respect Gregg's vision and honor it. But I still had to try to put my own stamp on it. There were limitations. In Luvplanet, I have more freedom then I could ever hope to have. In Luvplanet, there are no throwaways. Every song we write is worth working up and completing.
Dave: The Internet could also be a blessing in disguise since it also offers an endless amount of new music for listeners to choose from. What is Luvplanet's approach as they try to stand out in the crowd?
Mark: That's a good question Dave and I don't know if we are standing out. I do know that we try to portray ourselves in a clear cut honest way. We want people to get a sense of who we are maybe even before they hear our music. That's kind of our angle. The only thing controversial about Luvplanet is that there is absolutely nothing controversial about us. Our angle is based upon sincerity. Trying to be unique without following trends is Luvplanet's approach. Many people reunite with an old band and it's 1982 all over again. That's not what I'm interested in. For me, to do anything other than what's in my heart right now would be a sell-out. We have a song on the new record called "Be Myself." When we listened to it after it was mastered, we were thinking that that song could be our theme. People always come up and tell you what they think you should change. When Nicole and I write, it comes from somewhere else. It's like there's a channel that always open. We're trying to receive the information and keep it coming out.
Dave: The old-school approach of building a band and getting your music heard is to pound the road and sell CDs. The new school approach is social networking. Let's talk about both. How active are you and your band members on the social networking websites, and how does one prevent the time spent on the computer from interfering with the creative processes of songwriting, recording, and rehearsing?
Mark: It's a necessary evil, like driving a car. You need to have a presence out there. Your brand has to be visible. How much everybody works it is another story. I can log into Facebook, write a few things, answer a few messages, and I'm gone for the day. It doesn't interfere with my creative processes. We have books full of lyrics and hours of original songs that haven't been on any record yet. It doesn't feel like Luvplanet is going to run out of creative flow at this point. Part of me still believes in the old school adage. In the 70s, when you had Creem or Hit Parader Magazine instead of MTV, all you had was a song you heard and maybe a promo photo of the band. There was still mystery. When that band came into your town to play a show, it was a huge deal. That mystique is gone these days. But you can't resist YouTube and Facebook. You have to embrace them as ways of getting your band out there.
Dave: Luvplanet plays a lot of regional shows in northern California. Do you have any plans in 2011 to try branching out into other music markets?
Mark: Absolutely. We're always trying to put things together. We're always looking to lock down the right booking agent. I'm putting out feelers myself. Our main goal is getting out of California and reaching areas where we know people want to see us.
Dave: I'm based in central New Jersey, minutes from Asbury Park and about an hour from both New York City and Philadelphia. I'm pretty well-versed with regard to those music markets. Tell me a little about the music scene for live music in northern California.
Mark: We're in Sonoma Country, thirty minutes north of San Francisco and the "summer of love" scene" and all of the Grateful Dead leftovers. Everybody has a Jerry Garcia story. Much like Florida and Wisconsin where I have musician friends, our area is down to three or four quality music venues. There was another time when there was no shortage of them in this area. Younger bands are challenged. They have to play in little dive bars just to get a gig. Plus, there's competition from tribute bands and novelty bands. There is so much of that here. I don't see that as a positive in the music industry. I wish people had the patience to discover something new.
Dave: What about FM radio in your area? Have they embraced Luvplanet?
Mark: We've gotten some spins on some FM stations in California.
Dave: Luvplanet's latest record is called "Luvolution." When was it released?
Mark: October, 10, 2010. The best spot for fans to get a physical copy is through the band website, www.luvplanet.net
Dave: What's your favorite cut from "Luvolution" to perform live and why?
Mark: That's a hard one to answer. The title track is great to play live. It's got a wide open feel about it. "Forever" is fun because of all of the guitar. The songs I sing lead vocals on are also a lot of fun because of that. "The Stone," which is the final cut, is also the longest. It runs nine and a half minutes. Luvplanet has an ethereal, spacey, progressive element so we don't surprise people when we play a long song. Live, it's great to uncork a song like that. There are moments within the song that are free-form with improvisation going on. We try to have an epic song on every album.
Dave: How many songs from "Luvolution" does Luvplanet feature in a headlining set?
Mark: If it's "an evening with" set, we like to play the whole record. We'll pick a few songs off of the earlier records, add in a couple songs that haven't been recorded yet, and we have worked up a few fun covers to throw in. We do a version of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." We cover an obscure Paul McCartney song called "Keep Me Rolling." If Luvplanet is headlining and there are two or three opening acts, we'll do about two thirds of the new album.
Dave: What about in a shorter, support act set?
Mark: In that situation, every song in the set may be from the new album, except for one or two possibly. You know how it is Dave. Give us a choice and musicians like to play the new stuff the most because it's fresh.
Dave: As you sat in the studio producing "Luvolution," how much "evolution" have you seen in Luvplanet?
Mark: Quite a bit actually. When you're in a band together, you're basically in a relationship together. The only way that you can have a successful band, at least personally, is to be there like brothers and sisters through whatever we're going through in our personal lives. We've gone through a lot of things together while playing under this moniker. I lost both my parents. We've lost pets. We've faced the challenges of a bad economy and the current music scene. As a band, we solidified. We're on a whole new level now as far as being one when we all play together. Scott and Tommy as a rhythm section have morphed more and more into a unit. It's tricky for me being a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer. I have this freedom where nobody's going to be telling me what I can or cannot put on the record. I have to use my own business sense to. What's best for the song is primary but in the back on my mind I have to be aware that they all can't be nine minutes long. You can't give it all up on the record. You have to leave something for the people to get live that isn't on the record. The ultimate compliment is when somebody says that your record is great, but the band is even better live. Nicole continues to blossom as a singer, songwriter, and performer. She's a huge part of the spirit in this band. She's insightful. She's not afraid to call people out on things. Her view of life and society adds a pretty clear cut perspective to our formula. She tends to write words that don't pin the song down. Different people going through different things can connect with what she's saying.
Dave: I love your vocals on "Can't Say No" from the record "Lucky One" where you vocally interact with Nicole. Is a song like that written that way or does it take shape once you're in the studio?
Mark: The person who starts writing the lyrical content of a song is usually the person that ends up singing it. There have been songs where I've written the words and I don't sing them. The same goes for Nicole. There is no prerequisite. On our records, it's pretty much me singing harmony to Nicole when she's singing the lead and vice versa. That process kind of unveiled itself with us. It gives the vocal part of our band a specific sound that's recognizable. There's always a male and female singing when there are harmonies.
Dave: Do you spend a lot of time and effort sequencing your records?
Mark: Absolutely. That's one of the trickiest things. It's about an energy flow and how songs reflect off of each other. Sometimes one song doesn't come off as strong as it should because of the way the song before it ended. You have to consider obvious things like tempos. If we have three fast songs on the record, you want to spread them out instead of bunching them together. You want to kept the listener sucked it. These days it's all about the song; back in the 70s and 80s it was all about the record. I think "Luvolution" has the perfect running order. Yet when Ty Tabor, the guitarist from King's X first mastered the record, it wasn't exactly how I wanted it. Going back and forth with Ty to fine tune the mastering, I found a spot in the sequence that was jagging me. So I had the ability to change the sequence at the last second.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark and I could've chatted all day but I had a prior time commitment. When I mentioned e-mailing my final questions, Mark suggested getting his bandmate Nicole Sutton involved, so a few more Luvplanet questions were directed to her.
Dave: Hello Nicole. A few years ago, I met Mark when he played in New Jersey with Gregg Allman. When he told me about the self-titled debut record "Luvplanet," I was attracted to the acoustics on "Not So Easy" and the rich harmonies throughout the record. Yet it was eerie hearing you whisper one of my philosophies of life when the song "Reach" opens: "the more you reach, the further you get." What is Nicole Sutton's philosophy of life and how is it reflected in your music?
Nicole: Wow, that's one hell of a first question! My philosophy on life.....I believe that we get what we get and then it's up to us to choose how we spin it. I'm a lover. I don't like to be miserable. I make a conscious choice to find the good in life because I want to feel good. I think this comes through in the music. I am writing pop songs which are a reflection of personal experiences and what I am seeing in society but somehow the overall feeling of the music gives people a sense of joy and hope, even in the sad songs. I am not sure exactly why that is except that that is what is being channeled from the source.
Dave: My opinion is that Luvplanet's 2008 record "Lucky One" was salt and peppered to showcase the band's range. Generally speaking, I've read more than one music critic state that salt and peppering a record is indicative of a band searching for its identity. Do either of those opinions apply to Luvplanet's "Lucky One"?
Nicole: We have a diverse range of influences and one of the things we all love about being in this band is that we do not put boundaries or limitations on our music. I think that our sound is naturally evolving just as we are as people and the world is around us. Music executives want to put you in a nice package so they know how to market you but we do not fit into that narrow scope. We need someone with a broader vision. "Lucky One" is a great collection of songs that all reflect who we are. Imagine all the music we would have missed out on if the Beatles didn't stretch. Once you find yourself, you change and that's the fun part.
Dave: Your latest record is titled "Luvolution." Love is an obvious theme in many of the songs, but my question is about evolution. I asked Mark, from his view as he sat behind the glass as a producer, how has Luvplanet evolved since its inception. What are your thoughts on the band's evolution?
Nicole: The band has naturally streamlined our sound. It's gotten easier for us to just listen to the song and do what it tells us to do. Even though most of the songs are written initially on acoustic guitar we realize more now than ever that we have a really big sound. I think we are all better musicians for working together all these years and playing such diverse material. Luvplanet will continue to grow, change and challenge ourselves. It's more about revolution, getting back to where we started from and choosing a side, love or hate.
Dave: In the previous musical era, record sales were a good quantifier of a band's progress. How does a band measure progress and improvement in today's musical era?
Nicole: I think if you are an artist in this day and age, success is based on creating a body of work and having the tenacity to continue to create through these changing times in the business. I believe you are successful if you are able to do what you are passionate about and you keep reaching and do not give up. I think things will balance out in the business at some point. We have people buying and checking out our music from all over the world on a daily basis because of the Internet and I think that will continue to grow as long as we keep going. People need to continue to go out and see original live music ad support the music they love.
Dave: Some days my musical mood calls for something really heavy, with a theme of doom and gloom. On another day, Luvplanet fills a void when I need something melodic, and something that accentuates the positives in the world we live in. Thank you Nicole for keeping alive essentials in life like spirit, passion, and love.
Nicole: I appreciate the fact that you allow the music to let you feel something, Dave. If it makes you feel good, that's even better, as long as it makes you feel something. I will keep reaching and giving you all I got. Thanks for the interview and making me think. Hope to see you at a show sometime!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark and I finished the interview via e-mail. I fired up the rockets and left Luvplanet's orbit to visited a different part of the musical universe.
Dave: You played on four studio records and two live records with the American power metal band Vicious Rumors. Like many metal bands, Vicious Rumors toured more in Europe and Asia than in the United States. Is that frustrating or just accepted as a fact of life for bands playing that genre of music?
Mark: Actually, if you add in EPs, videos, and dvd releases, the total is twelve. I played on and co-wrote four of the bands most popular CDs from 1988 thru 1995. I also guested on five songs for Sadistic Symphony, and most recently I made a guest appearance on their brand new release Razorback Killers for two songs. Regarding the touring and territories etcetera, it was great everywhere we went! Yes, the shows in Europe and Japan were bigger and we did tour there a lot. We actually did just as many shows throughout the USA, just in smaller venues. But we met many loyal die hard fans on those travels as well. Obviously, the metal scene in Europe is a strong and devoted scene which does make a difference in any genre, and they were very kind and supportive of Vicious Rumors' music.
Dave: Geoff Thorpe's vision and guitar playing has been the only constant in a band that has had so many personnel changes. You replaced Vinnie Moore and Steve Smyth replaced you. Contrast the guitar styles of you, Vinnie, and Steve.
Mark: When Vicious Rumors went into the studio for their first CD "Soldiers of the Night," they were in need of a second guitarist since their previous member had recently quit. They asked Mike Varney if he knew anyone and Mike recommended Vinnie Moore. Replacing Vinnie was a very natural, comfortable and really a pretty easy transition for me, being that he and I had a lot of the same influences. Regarding the contrast between myself, Vinnie and Steve, based on the music of theirs that I've heard, I think there are similarities in some of our influences.You can hear it, people like Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth and others, It seems that perhaps Vinnie comes at it with the guitar being the main focus, Steve from more of an aggressive place due of course to the genre he has remained in, and I've grown to a place now where the guitar is really just one ingredient that ultimately has to serve the song or piece of music I am working with. I am a big fan of singers and the nuances that the human voice can bring. There are very few guitarists that I have gotten heavily into or been inspired by in recent years. Mike Stern is definitely one, Gerry Leonard for his Ambient approach and various jazz guys but most music I listen to has vocals. I don't listen to too much instrumental music at least not intentionally. My iPod has anything you could imagine from Willie Nelson to Kiss to Sarah Brightman to Arabic music. Singers are a huge influence in the way I will attack a note or shape the tonality of a note. To make it expressive and speak in a deep way is what I always go for. It's always about bringing out the emotion in whatever I am doing so that the listener is moved in the optimum way.
Dave: Obviously, you're still contact with Geoff Thorpe. What songs do you play on from the upcoming Vicious Rumors record "Razorback Killer"?
Mark: Geoff and I have always been close and stayed in touch. The original Vicious Rumors members will always be like brothers because we've been through it all together, believe me! Regarding their new CD, I played lead guitar tracks on two songs, "Blood Stained Sunday" and "Pearls of Wisdom."
Dave: As I'm sure you've heard, we lost another great guitarist when Gary Moore passed away on February 6, 2011. I'm lucky to have seen him play live once with Thin Lizzy and another two times on Greg Lake's solo tour. Did you ever meet him or see him play live?
Mark: Gary was one of the very best EVER! It was such a tragedy when he was taken from us this year! I was crushed! I did see him play live in 1979 with Thin Lizzy at the Oakland Coliseum Stadium (Bill Graham Presents - 'Day On The Green') and then again in 1984 opening for Rush. Both times he was amazing! I never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Dave: How did Luvplanet get involved with the Gary Moore tribute CD "Give Us Moore," and why did you choose to cover the song "Don't Take Me for a Loser"?
Mark: I was tipped off by a friend of the label Lion Music that they were doing this CD and I, also a huge Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy fan, reached out and they agreed instantly to have Luvplanet involved. The reason for picking "Don't Take Me For A Loser" as the song was that it was the very first solo Gary Moore tune I had heard, so it seemed like the obvious choice. That was a tough call though because there are so many great ones to choose from.
Dave: Night Ranger finally played a New Jersey show last year and your friend Brad Gillis still sounds great. My favorite cut on his solo record "Alligator" was a song you co-wrote titled "Chain Gang." Have you ever played that song together live with the Alameda All Stars?
Mark: I think we did it one time. Brad is a cool guy and we both grew up in Alameda, California. The Night Ranger guys are cool people. I was invited to join Night Ranger back in 2007. I went and played with Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy, it went great, and I was in. However, on that very same day I received a call from Gregg Allman to do some shows. I tried to work it out so I could do both but the schedules overlapped and I had to choose. I decided to go out on the road with Gregg Allman and had to graciously bow out of the Night Ranger gig. Big thanks to Brad and the guys for giving me that opportunity; they are great guys and a great band!
Dave: The next time you play with the Alameda All Stars, please tell your drummer Preston Thrall that the owner of the world's most rockin' collection of autographed drumsticks says hello.
Mark: Okay, I will.
Dave: What's the status of your solo record "Gem"?
Mark: I have it about half recorded, but I have been so busy with Luvplanet that its been delayed. Of course, now there are new ideas and such that I will probably re-think it a little bit so that it is a true representation of where I am at now. Their are a few tracks that are definite ones, like the song Stu Hamm and Jeff Campitelli played on called "River," and the track with Tony Franklin called "Dream of You." They did an amazing job and people are gonna freak on their performances when they hear it. My dear friend and fantastic drummer Jamo Van De Bogert played a good portion of drums and he is just awesome!
Dave: Thanks for all the time you've given me to profile your career with this interview Mark. Feel free to close it with a message to your fans.
Mark: I just wanna say thanks for all your continued support and all the great messages I receive every day from all of you around the world, it means so much to me. Keep on rocking!!