Words by Mark Dalbeth
This Goes To 11 is a weekly column hosted by Mark Dalbeth. Mark was born in New Zealand and now lives in Los Angeles, and would be better known in Australia as having been part of the band Bellusira. Following his dreams, Mark moved to LA and has been working on Rav Medic plus an exciting new project he has in the works. As a performer, Mark has been the subject of many interviews and as a result of often being asked the same generic questions himself, has come on board with HEAVY and plans to conduct interviews with an edge.
No bullshit questions, no boring anecdotes and definitely no soft edges, This Goes To 11 is a column where the musician finally gets to turn the tables with hard-hitting questions you won’t hear anywhere else.
This week Mark catches up with Lane Steele from Worldwide Panic:
Let’s cut straight to it!
MD: Your biggest fear right now with the music industry?
LS: Fear is a daily thing in the industry to deal with. That’s before covid, during and surely to be after as well.
My fear is being able to make a living in music. Particularly in terms of making singles, videos and records without being able to go on tour and service the releases. For us we had a fighting chance touring hard and getting your fans to interact buy merchandise and the venues for paying out. Touring has started again in certain parts of the USA however. We toured in August with Flaw and Tantric in the Midwest. So ultimately in summation, it comes down to two things. How hard do you hustle? and learning that “it is what you make of it.”
Why do you think Rock Music is always the genre fighting for commercial acceptance?
I think that mainstream culture loves our style but they hate our game ya know? Meaning you got Kayne having mercy with logos that look like a “metal band” etc. Or a person wear say a “Slayer” shirt and you know they don’t know what the hell any of that is.
I think the esthetic is what’s appealing but at the end of it we are the “Black Sheep’s” of the music industry.
Was there a moment in your career that you thought about throwing it all in?
The moment I started… Not to sound cliche. There was a certain long term traumatic situation where music more so, singing saved my life. From that situation forward I dedicated my entire life to music. Graduating music college, making records, and just learning and adapting. It’s funny I don’t look at it as if I, “threw it all in”. I look at it in a weirder way. I look at it as though I owe my life to it and it is an endless debt I will never fully repay.
What is your typical writing process?
Nothing is typical around me lol.
There is no “norm”, “Tricks” or what have you. Some start with a really interesting title that’s all. Some start with just everything at once and full band demos get made in hours. I am limitless as to how I start writing. Sometimes I go weeks with listening to only talk radio or my own songs just to become absorbed in the universe of the song or songs. Some are one riff that becomes a drum beat that just like a puzzle gets completed. As a songwriter/producer I think it’s important to through conventionality out the window every time you write. What feels right usually is.
Is there still value in printing CD’s or do you believe the digital world has taken over completely now?
No and Yes. I drive a car that does have a CD player lol… But do I enjoy making something and holding in my hands? Hell yeah! Plus, for touring bands we need to sell physical copies. People want that connection so in that there is purpose.
Are you prepared to sacrifice money and comfort in order to progress your career?
Hahaha, I think I have done that a few times over already. As well as whatever is left of my soul, I am sure the devil owns a good portion lol. it’s a hard game and it comes down to do you have what it takes to tour 4-6 months a year or more make a record tours repeat. Sleep on planes, in vans, in tour busses. It’s not all fun and games it’s a huge effort.
Can you see modern Rock music returning to (commercial) radio in the near future?
I think with people like my homie Jose Mangin on Sirius XM and the national stations that still do give us some hope for a future of that sure!
Was Lars Ulrich right?
My favourite part of “Some Kind of Monster” the documentary and he’s showing his dad what was to become “Saint Anger” Which has some cool songs not the best snare lol. Lars dad hears it and looks at him and says “If I were you, I would delete that”.
Has Rock Music become too safe?
There’s no more rock stars I feel. People are scared to say what they think and play it safe. Me I the last of dying breed. I believe that shaking things up a bit is a good thing. So is taking people out of there comfort zone at times.
Do you think it’s important to play in multiple projects or solely focus your attention into one?
It’s what you want to do. If you’re not in “Metallica” or “Guns and Roses” then sure I suppose. I do what I feel I want to do and yes that’s often different things usually at once I think a diverse approach for me is best. Bottom line my life is Worldwide Panic, my veins bleed green and black for life. I am always keeping my eye on the prize no matter what I am doing.
What have you got going on or coming up that we should know about?
You Bet!! We are gonna release the first single off the upcoming LP with a video very soon. Please keep an eye out for that!
My project Rammstrum (yes, a tribute band has a single) were looking forward to sharing that with you all soon and it was mastered by Howie Weinberg who mastered Rammstein’s “Mutter”.
My Death Metal studio project, Honor Amongst Thieves is going to release a second single ASAP.
And to all the WP Crew Internationally I love you all. Thank you for believing in this band and this message and I promise that this new record will surpass your wildest expectations! See ya on the road! And thank you Mark and Heavymag for this time!
Watch “Panic” below: