Eugene Marks Band
Members: Eugene Marks, bass guitar, lead and backing vocals; Mark Sutherland Sr., guitar and vocals; Timmy Bigler, drums
Who we talked to: Marks
How did you guys meet/how long have you been performing together? The guitar player (is) my father. He's been playing his whole life. We just kind of had trouble finding a drummer (who) we thought would fit the project. The end of last year . . . we decided we were going to put something together. I missed playing music so much, we hooked up with the drummer and away we went.
Describe your sound/style: It's really difficult to pigeon hole our style. We try to stick as close to the rock 'n' roll formula as we can (for our originals). If you had to fuse rock 'n' roll together (to describe us) it would sound like something as radio-ready at 3 Doors Down (and) as punch-your-neighbor-out as Jet. My guitar player's phenomenal, so I love to give him a chance to tear songs up. I don't think you hear that as much on the radio anymore.
Who are your influences? I had phases, like, all through my life. I was raised on Kurt Cobain . . . through the '90s and I was, like, really heavy into Pearl Jam. I'll get more into, like, bluegrass music and I'll start hitting all these festivals, and I'll start checking Phish shows out. When the time's right, I love country music. I liked hip-hop for a while. I guess you could say I'm still searching for my music identity. The guys (who) I jam with . . . were raised on, you know, like Deep Purple . . . and they were singing Black Sabbath.
Do you think the growth of online technology has been helpful to artists? You know, that goes both ways. It's such a tool that, like, anybody (who's) creative and talented can just put something together and meet any musician. If I'm just trolling MySpace and friending people and hooking up with fans and inviting people to shows, I'll come across some talented (people). It's like a superhighway of sound now. On the flip side of the coin, I think it's difficult . . . because there were people who, like, mastered their instrument first. They would go learn everything they could know about their instrument, everything they could know about the sound they were reaching for, put a project together around that, and then, take it out. In today's world, there's so many people doing it . . . it kind of saturates the market.
Where do you like to play? I'll go anywhere people will listen to my music. I'll go to a Bar Mitzvah with seven people there (or) anywhere I feel like I can get my groove on. I love the (local band) Smokin' Gunnz. I pay homage to those guys. I'll give you a $100 bill every time they miss a note. We had a chance to go out and do a show with them (recently). If anything were to happen, lord willing, and I were to get some kind of contract . . . I would really be excited at the fact that I could come back and play some of the dirtiest bars . . . and just to go in there and smash them out and have a great time.
Is there a lot of potential in the York Scene? So many of my musician friends are like . . . "you need to get out of York." I just really don't agree with that. There are so many bands that already came from York. York is so centrally located. You're 45 minutes from Baltimore. You're two hours from Philly. You're four hours away from New York. All these shows can be reached in a one-day drive, and (you can) get back in time to have your girl pissed off that you were there the night before. We're so lucky to have the York Fair. It's like a little a Cortisone shot in your music gene. You get in there and you get a chance to see a great band . . . and you're ready to go set the world on fire again. It's important for musician to do that.
What shows do you remember from the York Fair? I was there to see 3 Doors Down and Nickelback I guess, like, four years ago. This was before Nickelback was really hammering. A lot of my music friends . . . think their stuff is too radio-ready. I remember seeing that show and thinking, "that's what I want to do." They have a really great grind. They have really great solos in their music. Chad (Kroeger) can really write a song like nobody's business. They knocked our heads off.
What do you think sets you apart from other bands on the scene? Our show is the thing. If you want to go listen to your favorite covers . . . then you just go take $5 or $6 dollars, you pump it into an online jukebox at any bar you want in the area, and you throw a couple cold ones back. And when you're ready . . . to just watch it explode in front of your eyes, then that's when it's time to come out and see our band. We're very animated and wireless. We're out in the crowd. There's not much of a barrier from where we're playing to where the crowd's rocking. There's going to be a whole slew of music on the scene. You really have to do something different. You've got to really bring you're a game every time you're out.
What's coming up for the band? I just launched a new Web site. We're looking for representation. You can be the best band in the world, but if you don't (have) somebody with a business mind behind you, you're not going to get into these (big) shows. We're working on a new album. Our eighth original is in the pipes now.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
Check them out
For details, visit www.myspace.com/eugenemarks.
To listen to the interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.