– Hi Mark, I would like to thank you for answering to our interview. What are you curently up to?
No problem, my pleasure!
I’ve been really busy lately with my bands, the TANK tour, http://www.tankofficial.com, and plans for a new album in the winter time, the second release with OUTLOUD “Love Catstrophe” www.outloud-rock.com and TAINTED NATION’s www.taintednation.co.uk first release and upcoming tour in October!
– You have recently joined TANK, how did everything start?
Well, it all started at a local Pub Ale meeting we had with Cliff Evans in London past February. We were supposed to be with one or two friends and ended up with 12. A truly inspiring evening and here I am. The new kid in the Tank squadron.
– I guess you already knew the band but, were you a «fan» of their music?
Tank has been a great influence to many and belongs definitely to one of the outstanding British bands of the early 80’s! Call it Punk or metal, it
was just this cool combination and new Music at the time right after the Sex Pistols and Punk movement. It was the time of Priest, Maiden, Saxon, Motorhead and Metallica and there was Tank!
Honestly I wasn’t such a big fan back them, it was all just new to me, in 82 I was 17 years old and remember that I was more a Maiden and Priest fan, probably because they had more press and were in every magazine and on every poster, hahaha.
– TANK is a legendary NWOBHM band; what has meant to you joining them? Moreover, their style is quite different from other bands you have been in.
I am honored and really proud to have joined them! It’s not just because they are all great guys and musicians, but maybe it’s a long time dream come true to finally join a NWOBHM band, because that’s what I always loved.
Being among gifted Musicians like Doogie, Chris, Mick and Cliff is just great and their simplicity as human beings rules and very hard to find!
I lived many years in Germany and in Greece and now understand why I was more involved with bands of their local scene!
Believe it or not, I am no true power metal fan, I’m an old school rocker, it’s fun drumming fast double bass but musically not really my cup of tea! Shocking words? No, honestly, look at my influences and you will understand what I mean!
Now I live in London and everything is in place where it should be!
I remember a few years ago Nibbs of Saxon sat behind my drum kit supping beer and I heard they were looking for a drummer, but something went wrong and someone else got the job.
That would had also been a cool thing to do, but I guess the impression I left on the tour I was on at the time did not meat his expectations, hahaha for whatever reason! …..
– Due to this, I would like to know what does TANK provide you other bands can’t, how each band compliments each other.
They offered me a 1Million Dollar contract! Fair enough? 🙂
– You have joined TANK after releasing their latest album, so I would like you to tell us how’s been the reaction and feedback for the album…
Very well! We’ve done a few shows across Europe and the reaction was superb.
You know it’s always hard to convince your fans when you have made line up changes and present new members in a band, but from my point of these changes in Tank were for the better.
You know, looking at their early stage, you must see things this way: Then was then and now is now, if you want to move on and something holds you back you have to change and replace it!
These are hard words but true!
– And, after this great «War Machine», how does you and the band’s future look like?
It looks like we can work well together. Tank is a powerful band once again and ready to shoot canons!
We will be in the studio soon and write new material for the new album!
– I saw you have already played some shows; was it easy to learn the tunes?
Some I’d heard before and some I didn’t! I think the hard part is not only to learn the arrangements, but keeping each song’s originality!
But they made it easy for me and let me play the way I wanted!
– There have been (if I’m not mistaken) 8 different drummers in the band and, as they don’t seem to release a new album quite often; do you see yourself playing in their next record?
Yes I do! I think it will be a great album!
– And what are now the plans for TANK? As I said, after the reunion the band doesn’t seem to have a huge studio activity.
It’s like I said, every line up change works different, in our case I think for the better and believe we have found the right guys to build a strong future for Tank with more albums and great shows to come!
– TANK will play in Spain in just a few months so; what can we expect from you on stage?
A very honest and powerful set of Tank’s greatest hits I suppose!
There’s a lot of material and we’ve picked songs from each album and of course more from the War Machine. You know you can’t play them all and please all the fans at once, but we believe that everyone will be happy and hear also songs Tank has never played live before!
What will happen on the next tour is still written in the stars.
– Now talking a bit about yourself, you have played in several well-known Metal bands as METALIUM, FIREWIND, HELLOWEEN, AT VANCE or OUTLOUD to just name a few. What has been the best work you’ve done to date?
Each band has its own adventures and its hard to say who’s best, better …. I look upon all with great respect, they all left good memories. I think I am very lucky and fortunate to have played with so many bands and artists.
Metalium was great fun and I remember the most stunning shows in Spain, Helloween has been my most unfortunate experience due to being very ill at the time which forced me to leave the band, but kept 2 songs with me on Rabbit don’t come easy, Firewind was definitely a great come back but wrong band for me, Outloud is a great time with good music and At Vance the worst experience and disaster ever, people like OL should not be in this business!!!
– I read you started playing drums being really young; what drummers have influenced your style?
Haha, yes, I think I was six when I first got a pair of sticks and make noise in the kitchen.
My all time favorites are definitely Ian Paice, Jon Bonham (RIP), Neil Peart, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Nicko McBrain, Cozy Powell (RIP) and Simon Philips.
Great players, without you, I would have probably sold tooth brushes!! J
– After all these years into the music industry; what have been the best and worse moments?
Oh dear, so many, honestly…. I have played great shows, met nice people, I’ve always had a great time…..
Oh yes, joining Tank!!
Worse times? That’s easy…. The At Vance tour in 2005!
– And what’s left for you to get musically-wise?
Everything, every moment you play you discover new things, play and play better and enjoy doing it!
I’m the happiest man when I’m behind my drums and amongst my friends.
It’s a long way to the top…. If you wanna rock’n roll!
– Finally, what are your near-future plans into the music camp?
Finish the Tank tour and start recording the new album, play some shows in the UK with Tainted Nation in October/December and set a release date, tour with Outloud in November/December, launch drum clinics and prepare my online lesson camp at www.mcross.com
– That’s all, thanks again for your time. Now feel free to add any final thoughts.
This is no ordinary job, it’s a fucking adventure!!!
Stay off drugs, don’t let anybody make you afraid, fight enemies and rulers and be rock!
Cheers and see you soon! The Tank will get you!
Sep 29th, “MUSICBOX” Lisbon PT
Sep 30th, “RITMO Y COMPAS” Madrid ES
Oct 1st, “MARTOHELL FESTIVAL” Barcelona ES