In the Spotlight with The X-Friends!
Written by Creative Reader on June 10, 2021
In today’s “In the Spotlight” I have the big pleasure of having a chat with The X-Friends own Marky!
Hi, and thank you so much for doing this for us.
Thank you very much C. Greatly appreciated.
1, What was it that drew you, not just to listen to Punk but also do Punk music yourself?
Growing up I was always surrounded by music. I’m actually the Cousin of German recording artist Ina Deter, who was pretty popular during the 80’s in Germany. Myself, I was born in Canada, so we have only met each other twice. My Father played a huge variety of music at our place, when I was a kid. Early on I was drawn to the rhythmic sounds and it didn’t matter what it was. Big Band, Jazz, Country and Rock n Roll. I guess that’s why I pretty much love all music. Playing Punk music just came from out of the blue. In 1979, my friend Ryan who was actually just learning bass, by his Brother, introduced me to Punk. He had a 45 record with a song called God Save The Queen from a band called The Sex Pistols. I never heard anything like it before. It was very raw compared to everything else. He had another album from a band called The Ramones. Again very simplistic but high energy. He also had a guitar and taught me some chords. I found it interesting and cool, especially when I heard distortion. It blew me away. At this point in our lives we were outcasts, misfits. Ryan said let’s form a band and be like these guys, they’re like us. Outcasts. So I asked my parents if I could get a guitar, which they did. We convinced our other friend Victor to play drums. At this point we were only 12 years old. We had cheap stuff but that’s how we started and completely sucked. But in Punk it didn’t matter. I started writing songs at 12. I learned by reading other bands lyrics. We recorded all our own music and never set a foot in a recording studio to this day. We wanted to keep our sound simple and raw like the early Rock and Punk records, so production was never a priority. Besides you can’t polish a turd..lol.. Over the years members have come and gone but all have been awesome. Especially Ryan, the founder of the project and my friend who passed away in the early 90’s. In his honor I have kept the project going. Our original first name was Deadbox but the name has changed over 30 times.
2, Which bands would you say have had the biggest influence on your music?
From the beginning until now, it was all the early Punk stuff. I would say the Ramones are our biggest influence. Musically we do the same thing they did. The music is all 4/4 time, no intros and if there are solos it’s like a three year old did them. We play within our means. We definitely are not virtuoso’s. Other heavy influences are, The Misfits, The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Joan Jett, The Dead Boys and of course my Cousin. We were never political. I like writing about people. Usually the dark side but from their perspective. Now after being on Twitter we get influenced by all the great Indie music I hear. I listen to everything in any style. I like to read other peoples lyrics. I’m always learning.
3, How do you see Punk evolve in the future? and will you keep playing it?
I’ve been in other bands that have not been Punk as have all the other members in this band but as I am a Punk this is the music for me and what I love doing. It’s simplistic but full of passion and it’s a great time and I love the energy. Nothing is taken seriously in this band. That’s what I probably like the most about it. If it is, well it’s no longer fun. Punk has evolved into different styles usually based on what Country it’s from. Will Punk ever go away, never. But neither will any other style of music. These days with the Internet, you can listen to whatever you want regardless. Of course some Punks are very Political and certain ones have been seen as a threat because they speak their minds, stand up for the people and don’t take any crap. Punk can just be plain silly or what I like to call a dragon slayer. I’ve heard some fantastic Punk music on Twitter. Will I keep playing it. Affirmative.
4, What is the one thing you would like to tell your fans?
Well for anyone that likes what we do, we really appreciate it. We consider fans as friends. In Punk Rock everyone is equal. The band is not any more important than the person listening. That’s what Punk Rock is all about. It’s not about being some kind of Rock Star. Statistics and awards mean nothing and the best critic is yourself. If you really like something, that’s all that matters. I think it’s cool if someone can connect with a lyric on a personal level or even the noise we produce makes them move or laugh. I think having a good time in life is all that really matters. The less stress someone has, the better. Other people who have seen us or heard us and started bands, well that’s the coolest when you can motivate someone. The number of song plays means jack to us. We consider ourselves Rockers not artists. There is a big difference. That’s why our music is all free and we still have a lot more songs in us to get out.
5, What is the one thing you would like to tell the Music Industry?
To be honest nothing really. We were always an underground band and never tried to get noticed by the mainstream. We never hated it, it’s because we don’t have the talent. There are tons of better musicians out there. I believe that new generations like different things and they become popular. Some people will say its record companies and the media. Record companies and the media usually latch onto something after it’s become popular. People forget that when they were young, their parents hated the music they listened to. Technology advances have also changed music. Lots of people use programs instead of instruments. Everyone has a different opinion on that subject. Many will disagree with me. There are no more music shows like MTV. Kids get their music off of streaming services. Albums are rarely bought, it’s mostly singles. Originality is very tough these days. It’s all been done. I will say this… There is a lot of great talent in the Indie scene. The Music Industry should take a close look. That being said, every band came from that scene, unless they were manufactured. But what is manufactured? People in that type of band still have to have talent. I can’t complain too much. I love all music. Rock On!
Thank you Mark for being on.
Keep it Punk!
From The X-Friends to all of you. Cheers & Beers.
Thank you very much for the interview C.
And YOU can find Mark and The X-friends here!