New Years with The Mark Inside

Interview with Toronto Band The Mark Inside By: Sheena Lyonnais
January 2, 2011

The Mark Inside first arrived in my inbox in 2010 and it is with regret we haven’t posted anything about them until now.  A band that encompasses both the allure of gritty indie and a great restitution for rock that seeps into your veins, steals some of your JD and leaves you scented with a lusty hint of intrigue.  If people weren’t so busy obsessing over lo-fi right now they’d see Toronto is oozing with powerful rock outfits determined to reignite the vigor that holds this whole thing together.  Guitarist/vocalist Geoff Bennett tells us how 2010 almost prevented the brilliant EP False Flag from happening, but alas the year of misfortune was no match for this band to watch in 2011. 

What stands out in terms of your progress, success and struggles as a band in 2010?

2010 was quite an eventful year for us, to say the least, and it’s interesting in that we followed a fairly straight path from struggles to progress to success.  In simplest terms, we started with struggles when our original drummer, Geordie Dynes, flew the coop very suddenly in early January to pursue other things. There was a period that followed where we really did a lot of thinking and the future of the band was potentially at stake. Fortunately, we stumbled upon Reade Ollivier in March and he clicked immediately, both musically and personally, and it’s completely reinvigorated us.

That led to progress in finally working toward releasing our second record, which had been a source of frustration. By June, we had tangible goals and deadlines for getting it out, and it was really fucking nice to feel like a working band again.  Finally, success; We released our vinyl/digital EP False Flag in October, and it’s been well received and we’re back on people’s radars. It’s a small success in material terms, but for us it really feels good, and we’re excited to keep building our little castle.

What did you learn?

I think we learned that our borderline-psychotic obsession with music is more powerful than we sometimes think, and these days more than ever, it is a very cathartic and healing force. We also learned to agree to disagree on the pronunciation of Jeff Goldblum’s name.

What is one misconception people had about your band this year?

That we were dead in a gutter somewhere.

How are you planning on ringing in the New Year?

With drinks, laughs and handshakes.

What is your band’s drink of choice?

A long-time favourite has been tall cans of Lowenbrau beer, to the point that we should probably look into a sponsorship. Also, a decent scotch tends to warm our hearts.

What’s your craziest New Year’s story?

This is far from the craziest story, but it has a reference point other than us obliterating ourselves: We all went to see the Sadies at the Horseshoe a couple of years ago, my first time seeing them personally, and audience and (I assume) band were decently loose by midnight. They had [Blue Rodeo’s] Greg Keelor come out for a couple of songs, and during a Neil Young cover (I think it was ‘Are You Ready For The Country’) I turned away at the bar, grabbed a beer, turned back and saw Gus, my brother Ryan and Chris’ sister Nicole leap onstage and belt it out with Mr. Keelor, totally uninvited but jovial. Rather than shooing them away he stepped back and kept on singing. I thought it was a pretty funny moment.

What do you have planned for 2011?

We’re aiming to release our full-length record entitled Nothing To Admit in the spring, so we’re excited for that. In the immediate future, we have a run of shows around Ontario and Quebec in early January (www.themarkinside.ca/shows ).  Beyond that we’ll do as much touring as we can and continue writing new stuff.  So far, it feels like it will be a good year.

Give us one piece of rockin advice to kick off the new year.

My advice is to never take advice from rock bands, as they tend to ignore conventional notions of good advice.

For more info on The Mark Inside, check out: www.myspace.com/themarkinside .

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