UK’s The No Marks play unbelievably catchy, undeniably loud punk rock. The No Marks are heavily influenced by 90’s punk. This isn’t your artsy highbrow Fugazi type band though. The No Marks play everyman style punk rock for the working class, the way it was meant to be. Try to imagine what it would sound like if The Swingin’ Utters covered the first Face to Face record and you get an idea of the kinds of sounds The No Marks blast out. They have a few EP’s and an LP under their belt, all are most certainly worth checking out.
Interview by J Castro
Let’s start out by telling us who is currently in the band and what instrument does everyone play:
Mark Murphy plays guitar and sings, another Mark Magill plays bass and sings, Andy Mason plays guitar and Marc Maitland plays drums on the records and Morgan Brown is kind enough to play drums when we've played live.
|Light of One LP released Sept 29th on Brassneck Records|
How did you all meet and decide to play music together?
MARK MAGILL: We've known each other for a long time, through playing in bands and all that kind of stuff. We came together via Marc, who wanted to do a song for a Chopper compilation album and we all did our bits remotely, via email and the like. It was a fun process so we decided to send each other some songs and ideas and before we knew it we had to draw a line under that as we had so many songs. This turned into some people wanting to put records out by us, which is crazy.
What band or musician first inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and learn how to play and/or write music?
MARK MURPHY: Buddy Holly. My Dad was a huge fan and that’s what I grew up listening to. They were the first songs I ever leaned on the guitar.
MARK MAGILL: Debbie Gibson, the 80s singer. I liked her first album and she wrote songs. I started writing songs and thinking about arrangements before I could play an instrument or had any way of figuring things out, apart from in my head.
What sorts of things typically inspire your song lyrics? Are there any subjects you purposely try to stay away from?
MARK MURPHY: Mine are either personal things that have happened to me, or they are characters which I like to make up stories for. You’ll have to work out which ones are real for yourself though!!!
MARK MAGILL: Either very specific stuff to me, or sometimes I'll make it vague so the listener can fill in the blanks.
I’ve heard from some people that playing music is therapeutic to them. Have you ever found this to be true for yourselves?
MARK MAGILL: Yes. It's a good way to relax or get angry, depending on what music you're playing. Either way, it's good to express yourself in some way. It can have an effect on other things too, as I have been really ill at times, but as soon as I get on stage, the pain and discomfort can disappear.
The band is currently based in Liverpool is that correct? What is it like playing in a punk band there these days? Is there a supportive “scene” out there?
MARK MURPHY: The Liverpool scene is great. Like any town or city’s punk scene its popularity goes up and down with certain trends, but there is always a hardcore of people who regularly attend gigs. Sometimes there are too many gigs for people to go to, and sometimes two gigs on the same night which is really frustrating for me, but the logistics of putting on a touring band are sometimes out of a promoter’s hands. Sometimes I can flip from gig to gig depending on what band is on at what time.
MARK MAGILL: It's good here, although we could do with some more venues. Technically, we're not based anywhere, as our drummer Marc lives on the Isle of White, and we write and record via the magic of the internet. It's like War Games, but with music not thermonuclear war.
A lot of the press you guys have been getting describes No Marks “sound” as being very heavily influenced by 90’s melodic punk. Do you guys agree with that?
MARK MURPHY: Yeah that is definitely true. The main reason for that is that every single member of the band was in a punk band in the 90’s.
MARK MAGILL: And we all look like we're in our 90's.
Tell me about the most unforgettable No Marks show, good or bad and what about it made it so memorable to you guys:
MARK MAGILL: We haven't played many gigs. As I said, we formed and mainly exist over email, but we thought we should play a few gigs when our album came out. They've all been fun, even when there's not been many people there or stuff like that. We played a couple of gigs with The Spoilers, who we've now gone on to do a split single with and they're good lads and it's great to watch them play.
Tell me about a record that you own and love that you feel a lot of No Marks fans may be surprised you like:
MARK MURPHY: I love classical music. I’m a big Prokofiev fan. I also love musicals!!!
MARK MAGILL: I listen to a lot of jazz, mainly Sonny Rollins and Paul Chambers at the moment. Lots of other stuff too, like Kanye West, Morbid Angel, Ice-T, The Streets, Insect Warfare. Anything!
If your band could tour with any other band from any era of rock n roll history (either supporting or headlining) who would you guys play with and why?
MARK MAGILL: Poison Idea for the rider.
Where are the best places for people to go or log on to hear No Marks music?
MARK MAGILL: go to the Brassneck Records Bandcamp page and you can hear some of our stuff there. There's also stuff on Spotify and iTunes and all that kind of stuff. If you've got the internet I'm sure you can find it somewhere.
Our album is here -https://brassneckrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-no-marks-light-of-one-2
What lies in the future for the band? Any recording or touring plans in the works?
MARK MAGILL: No touring plans as of yet, but a few gigs here and there. We're currently recording a few songs for a split single we're doing with a really good band and we have a lot of ideas and demos for the next album, which we will start recording at some point soon!