Australia’s MARK MY WORDS, mentioned in our recent interview with Destroy The World Inc., sat down with us top answer some questions about their recent outing, labels their work with, touring in Australia and Europe and their future plans. Read about this and more in our chat below.
Hey! Welcome, guys. Please introduce you pack to our readers.
Hey Karol, thanks for your time mate!
Our band consists of Ryan Russel (Bass) Michael Mathews (Vocals) Jason Tzeeganoff (Drums) Jordo White (Guitar) and myself, Luke McComb (Guitar).
Can you tell us about the history of MARK MY WORDS? How things got started?
Well Ryan, Michael and I all went to the same high school, those two in the year above me. They asked me to join their band around 2001, and lucky enough we all had similar tastes in music so we went on to jam in a few outfits. When our last band together disbanded in 06, I decided I wanted to do a pretty straight up hard riffing style hardcore band with a kinda youth crew feel, so I written a few songs, asked those two to be part of it and found a drummer in an old friend of mine. We recorded a demo 4 weeks later and were lucky enough to score supports with the likes of MILES AWAY, PARKWAY DRIVE, TERROR and heaps of others on the back of that.
Diving even deeper in the past, how did you get introduced to hardcore, and then begin playing it and actively supporting it?
Like a lot of kids on the coast here, I got into punk and hardcore through watching bodyboarding and surfing videos, stuff like PENNYWISE, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, FRENZAL RHOMB and PRIDEBOWL. It would get me totally amped when I was like 13, but it wasn’t till my late teens that I started actively going to shows and playing guitar. Being from a pretty secluded part of Australia means you really need a car to get to any shows, as most were an hour or two away, so as soon as I got my license, a few of us would jump in a car and spend most weekends travelling to Newcaslte/Sydney to catch bands. Having had a couple of years behind an axe by then, I think starting a band that emulated something that spoke to me so strongly was just the next logical step for me.
You’ve recently signed with a brand new European label called Destroy Your World Inc. Tell us about how they tapped you for your “The Indicators” CD and about your cooperation in general.
The two guys who run Destroy Your World – Alessandro and Domineco – are our good friends from Roma’s STRENGTH APROACH (Alessandro their singer actually does a guest spot on one of the tracks on Indicators). Having known and toured with them both here and in Europe, working together with them on the release there seems like a no brainer for us really. They are great guys and we are really appreciative of the support. Together we are organizing the release to be pressed on vinyl, so I’m stoked on that too.
Yeah, I know Alex. He was so nice to give us a cool interview. Check it out here.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of writing and recording that record? What was it like to work on that joint?
When I started writing for this record we had just come back from touring Europe and parted with our second drummer Corey, so I spent a lot of time jamming with our singer Mick, just coming up with riffs. I ended up with about 30-40 ideas to choose from in the end so I had riffs coming out of my ears [laughs]. When our new drummer Jason got on board, we recorded two songs for a split with SUFFER SURVIVE, played a few shows then went in to record ‘Indicators’ a few months after that. We lucked into a good room for cheap, it had this awesome old desk from the US once used by NWA, PUBLIC ENEMY and a few other huge hip hop names. The actual recording process wasn’t too bad, I wanted everything to be raw, no drum samples and no crazy studio trickery, which made it all a pretty quick process, but getting it mixed from there became a nightmare that lasted 6 months, its kinda lucky we got anything in the end at all really. I guess that’s what you get when you haven’t got a million dollars to get everything done but, we don’t give a fuck really. It’s out now and I’m stoked with it so as Rick ta life would say, let the prast, be tha prast.
Ok, let’s talk distribution for a while. Which parts of the world does Skull And Bones Records cover? What other labels are you working with?
Skull and Bones are a label from Queensland, Australia. They got a hold of our LP and were excited to help us put it out. Being there are very few labels that can get your stuff into larger distributors like JBHI here, we decided to give it a shot. We also released a split 7’ with Germanys SUFFER SURVIVE on Arrest (AUS)/Farewell (EU) Records last year and I run a small D.I.Y. label called Pause Break Records which we put our demo and EP out on.
Cool. What does a hardcore band like MARK MY WORDS need a label for?
I don’t think any hardcore band actually ‘needs’ a label. We done fine without one for 4 years, we self released our EP ‘Wasting Time… Pushing Buttons’ in 2009 and that sold 650 copies, which we thought was pretty good considering. As far as Skull and Bones is concerned, its just a small indie label that can help with pressing and distributing the cd, hopefully it will help make this more ready available to people outside our local area. We all work full time and none of us really have the time to be giving it our full attention without pissing off our bosses anymore [laughs]! I can understand people pointing the finger and labeling us as sell-outs or whatever, but for me, I am just really proud of what we represent as a band, our lyrical content etc, so I feel its good to be able to give more people the opportunity to judge for themselves that may not have had the chance to before.
How many European shows have you played so far? How do you remember them?
We were lucky enough to tour Australia with STRENGTH APPROACH in ‘08 and being the great people they are, asked us if we wanted to go there with them for a run of shows, something like 20-25, which were totally amazing. We played all kinds of venues, in squats, in clubs and a few larger shows, including; a support with GOOD CLEAN FUN at Cassopeia in Berlin, a slot on Liberation Fest in Roma with NO TURNING BACK and an all age show in Belgium with THE MONGOLOIDS and SOMETHING INSIDE. The band had a blast there, I think we were lucky to fall into the right scene, they were all very DIY shows where we were fed and looked after, given tours of most cities by locals so it was really cool, nearly everyone was really warm hearted and accommodating. Some of the best times of my life for sure!
How different is Australian scene, comparing to the ones you saw while touring Europe? Discuss people, venues, bands, etc.
Its very similar in a lot of ways, having met so many people that shared such a similar view of the world to me that lived on the other side of the planet was a very cool experience. We all share the same difficulties; everyone is a slave to money no matter where you go, so a lot of the context between bands is very similar and totally relevant. I mean obviously some things were different, sadly I think a lot of the yard show, back alley hardcore vibe has been lacking recently here. There is the odd one, but not like I heard it was like before I was a part of the scene in the 90’s/early 00’s. So it was great to see such a close knit community of people working together to keep it alive there.
I’d very like to go to an Australian backyard show, but my wife hates spiders and probably will never go to Australia [laughs].
So you’ll be hitting European roads next spring. Could you please reveal some details of this trek? What are your expectations for these shows?
Nothing set in stone yet bro, just talk of it… fingers crossed but!
What does the future hold for you guys as a band? What else are you planning in the near future?
Hopefully some more travelling and just more good times! I’ve started writing a few riffs again and we are back doing shows after a 6 month break, which has been great, but as far as anything in the future holds mate, we just take everything as it comes. As long as this band is still relevant to us and we still enjoy doing it then we’ll still be kicking out the jams!
Any cool zines and local hardcore punk initiatives you’d like to recommend?
Considering this is the internet, ill stick to online material. Anyone interested in the Australian hardcore scene should check out Rest Assure Zine – features tons of great info on the history of Aussie hardcore and current news and interviews. It’s a wealth of great information on the scene here.
[laughs] Well, from my perspective, it seems as though Harley is a bit of a headcase, and is probably just jealous, but I don’t know the guy so I can hardly talk. All I can really say is that I seen this CRO-MAGS line up a few months back and it was a lot of fun. Its obvious John is a really passionate guy and I think it’s good to see the older generation still being a part of the scene.
Did you see a shark when you were surfing? [smiles]
[laughs] yeah I’ve seen a few over the years, but honestly they don’t really bother me. That’s their domain and I’m just a visitor to it. They have as much of a right to be there as me so if I am unlucky enough to be mistaken for a seal or whatever then so be it. Truth is, I’m 100 times more likely to be killed on the drive to the beach than by a shark when I get there. It’s the Drop Bears you really have to be wary of here…
Dude, this is awesome [laughs].
Thanks for your time. Please fill in with anything you want to talk about and I was too ignorant to ask about [smiles].
That’s about it mate, anyone interested can download our new LP ‘Indicators’ from Itunes or check out our bigcartel page.
Karol, really appreciate your time and your page is great, much love from Australia, hardcore lives worldwide!