Interview with Mark EG - 2008
You have been DJ'ing/producing for 20 plus years now how did it all begin?
Just through a love of music really. First discovered electro, then techno, then Chicago house and acid. DJ'ing was not such a huge thing back then, and I kind of fell into it through pirate radio. Best thing I ever did!
What was the first record you bought?
Cybotron 'Clear' by Juan Atkins.
How would you describe your music?
Some people might say I play hard trance, some say hardstyle and others say techno or electro. But when I'm in a club I just play what I like. I suppose whatever type of club I play in, I try to break whatever moulds you're not supposed to break, within reason.
When you're not spinning the tunes what do you listen to in your free time ?
I listen to everything and anything that makes me think. Music is such a wonderful thing and if there's something I'm not understanding, I find it a real challenge to try to see what people are seeing in it. I can't honestly say I really dislike any forms of music that's been made with a passion.
What artists do you rate?
I rate anyone who has developed a sound or style for themselves, because in this industry it's very easy to clone or copy something someone else has made, especially with recent advances in computer technology. I also respect people who have got time for others, to say hi to their fans when they can and not moan about the fact they haven't had a stretched limo from the airport.
How does the UK scene compare in other parts of the world you have played?
I love seeing how different cultures and countries dance or listening to music. It's one of the best things about this life. But when it boils down to it, even though one culture seems to be be more 'animated' than the rest or another culture prefers to 'play it cool', you just can't get away from the undeniable power that music holds over us all. Every place I play has good points.
What's the maddest thing you have ever done after a gig? Or want to forget you have done after one?
I've done some pretty whacked stuff in my time but one time that scared the living shit out of me was when I was in Croatia in the middle of a war zone. I'd been up for two days solid at an after-party and it all got so messy that I ended up wondering off into the Croatian countryside for a snooze. I remember laying down at the side of a road in a grass verge miles away from the party. A day later and I found myself waking up back at the party with absolutely no recollection of the past 24 hours. But of course, I was told all sorts of horror stories. I honestly have no idea how I got back there that day.
What's your studio set up?
It used to be totally analog based but recently I've been able to strip it back to the bare minimum. I still have the old trusty Mackie desk but we're able to keep things to 4 or 5 channels rather than the old way of working - 16 to 32 channels! The studio we have it really cool, it's tiny, it's in a old basement and you can crack the volume up as loud as you want. A dream come true really for me.
Your sets are known not just for the tunes that you spin but also the energy and madness you put into it. Have you ever done yourself an injury loosing it jumping about during your sets ?
Oh god yeah, it happens most weekends. Probably one of the worst was when I broke my nose DJ'ing about 10 years ago. A particularly banging bass line came into the track and I couldn't control myself. And then recently I was DJ'ing on a boat in Newcastle and I skewered my head on a fire sprinkler when a 303 sound came through the speakers. Spent the rest of the night in A+E.
When your not behind the decks, travelling from gig to gig what do you do to chill out ?
When I haven't got the laptop open making tracks, I'll switch the radio on. No honestly, some of the stations you find on your travels are hilarious and believe it our not you actually learn a thing or two. I'll read a book too if I get a chance (usually some nerdy synthesizer manual lol). I also spend a lot of time listening to CD albums and stuff I've been sent.
In four words describe yourself?
Non-conformist. Real. Musical. Happy.
The scene is UK has grown from strength to strength over the last few years. Do you think the scene is now bigger than a few years ago? And how do you see the scene moving forward in 2008?
To me, the scene has stayed consistent over the last 20 years. People will always want to go out and let go, express themselves through music. People will come, people will go. The only thing that has totally changed really is the music and at the end of the day it has to or else we'd all become bored. I've seen so many people 'grow' out of music or 'the scene' because of an unwillingness to accept change. I say, bring it on, switch it the hell up and roll on 2008!
What can we expect from Mark EG in 2008? Your plans, gigs, production?
I just want to keep doing what I've been doing. Play music, make people have a good time and try to take music forward and present something different.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
10 years is not a lot of time in this small life we lead. It was only 10 years ago when I was playing at the huge Helter Skelter and Dreamscape events down South. So hopefully, providing I haven't been knocked down by a bus, I'll been doing nothing different. When you've been doing something for 20 years there really isn't a lot else you can do. Music is the only thing I know!