Turning solo projects into bands – Interview with Mark Bartlett

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Mark Bartlett started in the best possible way – surrounded by friends who did the same and taught each other new skills, exchanged ideas and actually communicated. Grown up on a healthy diet of Korn, Deftones, Chevelle and Tool among others, pretty much like many of us, he’s all about the live impact of rock music and approaching metal from different angles. Without aspirations to become a rock star he’s here to have fun writing and playing the music he loves, we’re sure Drooble is the right place for people like him and want it or not if your music is good it will make you famous. Read our full interview with Mark below.

Hello! Tell the world about yourself. How did you become the musician you are today?

My Name is Mark, I play guitar and I study a BA in Audio Production/Engineering. At a young age, I always wanted to play guitar and after a couple years of nagging my parents, they finally got me one (Christmas of 2000). A lot of my closest friends growing up were musicians and we all in a way taught each other music. That’s how we all learned and how I developed my playing style along with my biggest influences which are Korn, Deftones, Chevelle, Tool and many more.

How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep writing and playing music?

Every day I somehow find the drive to keep going. I will listen to music or even certain songs and get so pumped up to play or write. It mostly comes from watching concert videos or live versions of songs and seeing/hearing how the crowd reacts to the music. I get goosebumps thinking about the rush of playing live. The biggest audience I’ve ever played in front of was about 500 people but it was great! I love playing small clubs but hope one day to do festivals as well.

Please, introduce your current musical projects.

My current music project is in the making. I started writing a solo instrumental album but decided I would rather be in a band so that is in the beginning stages. I showed a few of my songs to a couple of guys and they’re all for what I’m doing so it won’t be long until my project grows in a band.

How is your local music scene in your perspective?

The local music scene here in Fayetteville (a.k.a Fattenam) could be better. There are a couple of small clubs, the biggest one was shut down, but for rock music, it needs to be brought back to life. I’m not saying it’s really dead, it just needs to be better promoted. Hopefully, some friends of mine and myself can get local musicians a bigger fan base and get the love spread. Whether I belong here, that’s a little hard to tell. I’m originally from Cincinnati and it’s a whole different planet actually.

What is your all-time favorite record and how did it change you as an artist?

My all-time favorite record? I would have to say Korn’s ‘Follow the Leader’. Not just because they are my favorite band but because of the variety in it. Heavy guitars with melodic backing and the mix of rock and hip-hop. Although I’m not a big fan of the genre, Korn pulled that blend off pretty good with that album. It actually inspired me to get away from power chords and leads but find a comfortable place in the middle. Although I always use power chords, I try to be more versatile.

What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?

Currently, for recording, I’m using ProTools and my 18i20. My guitar rig is a B52 LS100 and various pedals. My guitars are my 2 Ibanez RG 7strings which I have named Beauty and the Beast (pics in my profile) and I plan to do more mods to them and my LTD EC-10. I also plan on getting a new amp within the next year.

What is your songwriting process like?

Songwriting for me is just goofing around on the guitar and if I play something I like, I play it over and over and then keep building on top of it. But my memory sucks so I have to record it just so I can go back and remember what I was playing.

Which is your most memorable live show and why?

My first show. I was 17 and we got a show at a bar in Cincinnati by UC. We only played 4 songs but the reaction we got from a crowd of maybe 200 was pretty awesome. We played 3 originals and a Deftones cover (‘Change’).

What is your biggest musical goal?

My biggest musical goal is to just play live shows and write original music. I’m not looking to get famous. Just want to have fun doing what I love.

How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?

I’ve received a lot of feedback from other musicians and I get really inspired by all the talent that is out there. Things like that help me grow as a musician myself.

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