Alan What are your
first musical memories?
Mark Listening to my mum's
record collection, a lot of blues in there.
Alan Did you
always was to become a musician?
Mark Most definitely yes.
Alan How did you
get started in music?
Mark Always been music around
the family, it was a natural progression for me to be involved in it, and I
worked in a record shop when I was 16 and heard so much stuff working there.
Alan What kind of
material were you playing in the early days?
Mark I started playing the guitar at 14, and taught myself mostly, I'm a man
was one of the first things, so it was the blues I started playing, and than
covered a lot of stuff from rock to jazz, but blues is my first love.
Alan What first
attracted you to the blues?
Mark I loved it and felt it
when I first heard it as a teenager, and when I saw Muddy Waters in Manchester
when I was 16, that was it.
Alan Who are your
favourite blues artists (both old and new)?
Mark Muddy of course, Freddie King, T Bone Walker, BB, Buddy Guy to name a few
of the older generation, but there are too many to mention, and of the later
generation, Peter Green Clapton, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and again many more.
Alan Who has
influenced you the most in your writing and playing?
Mark Freddie King, and Clapton
have been an influence in my playing and writing among others, other influences
in my playing have also come from the rock world like Paul Kossoff and Jimmy
Alan What was the
best blues album you ever had?
Mark Too difficult to answer to be honest.
Alan What is your
Mark Without doubt the
Alan Are there any
particular songs that you play that have special meaning to you?
Mark One I wrote, 'Play The
Blues and Sing'. It is about getting over bad times and to keep doing what
you feel you should be doing in life, thatís what its all about for me.
Alan Tell me about
the time you were support for Peter Green and Cozy Powell.
Mark That was with The
Healers, it was a big honour for me to be asked to support Peter, being a big
fan of his early work and it was a pleasure to meet him and to grace the same
stage, and Cozy Powell was a pleasure to meet and chat with, sadly not long
after he crashed his car. The night was great, a special occasion for me.
With the Red Handed Band you recorded the 'Handful of Blues' album in one
day, tell me about it.
Mark We had seven tracks ready
to record, went into a studio and the guy just got what we were about straight
away. Once the drum sound was sorted and we were set up, we just did them all in
one take and then mixed them and that was it, the quickest recording session I
have been involved in, and it turned out well. We started recording at 1 in the
afternoon, and had finished all the mixes by 11 that evening.
Alan Tell me about
The Mark Thornley Band, when did you get together?
Mark We have Paul Randell on bass and the excellent drummer Mick McDonald on
drums full time now, and we have been together about 10 months. I decided to
front my own band after Red Handed and take on the vocals role which I have
never done before, but it seems to be going well, and we want to take this as
far as we can go.
Alan Some music
styles may be fads but the blues is always with us. Why do you think that is?
Mark The blues is the roots,
and from the roots comes the fruits.
Alan How do you
see the future of blues music?
Mark Hopefully becoming more
prominent as a genre of music, and with Joe Bonamassa filling the Albert Hall
that can only be a good thing for blues. Long live the festivals.
Alan How is your
university course going?
Mark I have one more year to
go and it is going well thank you, The Degree course has an emphasis on
Experimental compositions, and explores differing song writing techniques as
well as other aspects of the musical world.
Alan What are your
future plans / gigs / tours / albums?
Mark We want to play as
many blues clubs and festivals as we can, and get over to Europe, anybody who
can help in that department feel free to get in touch.
Shortly we hope to record an album and take it from there.
Thank you Mark, I really appreciate your time.
Alan White - earlyblues.com
Click here for the Mark Thornley Band biography
the Mark Thornley Band
on the British Stage (Radio Lancashire Night)
British R&B Festival Friday, 28th August 2009.
Blues Interviews List
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