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 Gary Martin from LA band The Claws.
Let’s cut straight to it!
MD Your biggest fear right now with the music industry?
That rock music will become so popular that I’ll become famous. A death worse than fate, really.
Why do you think Rock Music is always the genre fighting for commercial acceptance?
I think that rock music is commercially accepted. It seems like a monolithic genre that can withstand and survive all comers. Rock music may not be a part of the zeitgeist, but that’s ok, I’d rather not hear it in a TV commercial selling some horrible stuffed crust pizza nonsense anyway.
Was there a moment in your career that you thought about throwing it all in?
When I received these questions, yes.
What is your typical writing process?
I have scribbled themes, lyrics, and ideas onto everything from notepads to receipts, to cardboard boxes – whatever was handy. I go through these scraps often, try to make it rhyme, and there ya go, lyrics. I hum a lot of melodies whilst strumming a guitar & record it on my iPhone. If it seems worth developing, I’ll demo it in my little home studio.
Is there still value in printing CD’s or do you believe the Digital world has taken over completely now?
CDs are digital, correct? The cost of printing CDs is currently pretty inexpensive, and older formats tend to make comebacks, so why not? I know of quite a few people who still prefer CDs to anything else. But yeah, streaming and downloading has taken over (for now).
Are you prepared to sacrifice money and comfort in order to progress your career?
Please explain “money and comfort”. I’ve never experienced such things.
Can you see modern Rock music returning to (commercial) radio in the near future?
I hear modern rock music quite often on LA’s KLOS FM radio. Do I see good, interesting modern rock returning to commercial radio? Remains to be seen.
Was Lars Ulrich right?
As a rule, yes. Lars is always right. Except about Fred Durst’s talent. People that bashed Lars on the Napster/file sharing issue refused to accept nuance into the conversation. They often equated cassette taping in the and trading in the ‘80s as the same thing as illegal file sharing. It wasn’t. Lars was correct in my opinion; but let’s not let the corporate music industry off the hook, as if they were some victims here. The corporations fucked with the consumers to the point of the consumers turning on the industry. They never learned, obviously, as the corporations continue to treat the consumers as suckers.
Has Rock Music become too safe?
Absolutely. Not from a lack of pseudo-rebellious middle-finger rockers, but in regard to the songwriting and vibe of the band. Way too much formula & forced image.
Do you think it’s important to play in multiple projects or solely focus your attention into one?
I’m trying to get The Claws to the next level. To dilute my efforts into other projects would be counter- productive, so no multiple projects for myself.
What have you got going on or coming up that we should know about?
The Claws second LP, yet untitled, is in the final mixing stage. It should be out by this autumn. We may also release and EP by the end of the year. If you haven’t heard our debut from 2020, please check out ‘No Connection’. Gonna need to shoot a video or two, and our video guy moved away, so if anyone out there knows someone, please send ‘em our way.