Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pheaturing Mark Dean From Dark Mean

Hello there and welcome to another entry of the Phile from bloody cold Central Florida. It;s like fifty degrees right now. Well, what is going on in the news? There's the Iowa caucuses... They say the Iowa caucuses are very important because they are predictors of the Academy Awards. Forty percent of the people of Iowa are undecided about who to select as a Republican candidate for president. Thank goodness we have three dozen debates. The new ruler of North Korea is Kim Jong Il's son. That's an amazing coincidence. The elections must have gone very quickly. Well, this is sad news... Sinead O'Connor has split from her new husband, ending her marriage only 18 days. Yep... looks like Gay Marriage is ruining the sanctity of marriage again. Frank Sinatra's probably laughing his ass off about now! So, my son is really into Nerf guns right now. He has like 15 of them. I was really surprised when I saw Nerf has put out an inspirational poster. Check it out. 

This is the Vulcan gun I believe. He doesn't have this one yet, but he really wants it. Well, it's 2012 and it's election year and it seems the last few days more and more people are running for President. Check out this new campiagn ad that came out today.

I'd vote for Chuck. Wait... I am not an American citizen I cannot vote. And if I could I would vote for Ron Paul, just because Kelly Clarkson says so. 

I got an e-mail that said I spelt months wrong. I don't think I did, and I checked and I didn't. I spelt 'fall flat' wrong, but not months. Crazy. Anyway, here is the next item that will phall phlat.

I don't get that one bit. Maybe someone will e-mail it to me and explain. LOL. Anyway, speaking of e-mail... the other day I received an e-mail from a Rick Wiley who is an RNC political director thanking me for all my hard work last year in helping the RNC. I don't think I helped anybody, but that's not the point. He wanted to come on the Phile and talk about this year's campaign. I said what the hell, why not. So, please welcome to the Phile, RNC political director... Rick Wiley in a pheature I call...

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. So, what did you wanna say? 

Rick: On behalf of the RNC I wanted to take a minute to stress how much we value the importance of online and social media, and blogs like yours.

Me: Thanks, I guess.

Rick: You're welcome. And starting today, we're busy building new ways for supporters to harness the power of the Internet and spread our shared message of fiscal conservatism and economic freedom.

Me: Yeah, it's a big year being election year and everything. Voters will start voting this week, right? 

Rick: Yes, this week, the First Votes against Barack Obama will be cast.

Me: Meaning what?

Rick: Meaning the 2012 election season is officially underway. 

Me: An election race that is gonna be different then any before.

Rick: There's no doubt that the 2012 race will be unlike any election we've seen before. More than ever, online media and social networks like Facebook and Twitter will play a pivotal role in empowering supporters like you to help make Barack Obama a one-term president... and send a Republican to the White House.

Me: And what do you want me and this little blog to do?

Rick: Together, we can strengthen our online fight against Barack Obama and the Democrats. 

Me: Anything else? 

Rick: You can text "RESULTS" to 91919 (Data & Msg rates may apply) to receive real-time Iowa Caucus results.

Me: Ummm... thanks, sir. I think. Rick Wiley, everybody. I am sure he'll be back on the Phile soon. 

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Ten Donald Trump New Year's Resolutions
10. Buy the White House and evict the current residents. 
9. Commit wife's name to memory. 
8. Spend an extra $10 for a decent haircut. 
7. Pay more attention to "Trump Tower," if you know what I mean. 
6. Spend a little more time talking about Donald Trump. 
5. Steal Rosie O'Donnell's girlfriend. 
4. Form a committee, see if I can run for God. 
3. Get the media out of my life by marrying one of those publicity shy Kardashian sisters.
2. Stay in the Presidential Suite of one of my hotels... so there.
And the number one Trump new year's resolution...
1. Less bloviating, more pontificating. 

The 9th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is musician and artist Christine Leakey, and this is one of her pieces...
Christine will be a guest on the Phile soon.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the Canadian indie band Dark mean whose new self-titled album is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Mark Dean.

Me: Hey, Mark, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Mark: All is good. Thanks for having me.

Me: I have to say I first wanted you on the Phile when I heard your EP "Music Box" which I downloaded from iTunes, but for some reason the interview never happened. That was years ago, and now you finally have your album out. It took a long time to record and release?

Mark: Yeah, we put out two EP’s, "Frankencottage" and "Music Box", before the actual full length because that was all we could manage to complete at the time. The three of us were really scattered, I was living in Leeds, England, while Sandy and Billy were also living in different cities back in Canada, so whenever we all got together, we would rush to the studio and hash out as much as we could. It is a long time to dedicate to a record, but it did allow the songs to evolve and maybe even our approach to music in general. Personally, recording over such a long period allowed me to ease into the role of ‘singer’, something I was never really comfortable with before.

Me: I am glad I waited this whole time, guys. I really like your album which is self-titled, especially the songs "Music Box" which I already heard years ago and "Happy Banjo". Is this version of "Music Box" the same version, or did you re-record the song? Is re-record a real word?

Mark: I believe re-record is a real word and that it applies in this case. Our producer Mike Keire, god bless him, once heard us jamming it out acoustically in the studio and decided then and there the song had to sound like that on the album. I was down with the idea because this allowed us to record the song in a higher register. When we started, I was like “Okay, I guess I’ll sing to this idea guitar idea...” never once considering my vocal range.

Me: There's a few songs that were on your past EP's and the new album, right?

Mark: Yes. The new album has 3 totally new songs, and many of the others were refined or re-recorded, as you say.

Me: I also have your EP "Frankencottage". Where did that name come from?

Mark: The name was a silly joke in the band that somehow stuck without anyone really noticing or caring. Way back when, we were referring to the one idea as “cottage” because we wrote it at Billy’s family cottage in Algonquin Park. It somehow became “Frankencottage” after we blended it with a totally separate idea, giving it this “Frankenstein–ish” quality. You might be able to tell this if you listen closely – different time signatures, etc.

Me: I first heard about Dark Mean when I discovered another band I interviewed called The Rest. Are they still together do you know? Do you know them well?

Mark: Yes, we’ve become very close with The Rest and their front man, Adam Bentley, in particular. They are still killing it at every show and should have a new album out soon. I discovered The Rest in a library in Leeds, not knowing they were from my hometown, Hamilton, Ontario. I sent them an emailed just to say how much a dug their sound, and now we’ve played close to 10 shows together and consider them good friends. I guess it pays to spread some love around.

Me: And another band I am gonna interview knows you... The Wilderness. You know them as well, right?

Mark: I believe you mean Wildlife… 

Me: That's it. Wildlife. 

Mark: Yes! Those guys are also our heroes. We’ve gone on tour with them and it was an insane adventure right from the get-go. The three of us in Dark Mean actually went to university with their front man, Dean Povinsky, so that fact that we can still make music, get together and play shows is a treat in itself. We try to play as many shows as possible with those guys because their live show is out of this world, and we’re constantly learning from them. Actually, since you guys are based in Florida, I should mention that I was in Clearlwater in March when we released the full length, and I got a text from Dean (I didn’t even know he had my number) saying the track Finland had just made him cry. I hope he doesn’t mind me saying that… it’s still my favorite compliment since completing the record, mainly because it came from him.

Me: Let's talk about the band name... Dark Mean. Where did that name come from? Mark, you're not really dark in any nature, are you? And did you other guys wanna call the band Dark Johnston and Dark Holmes?

Mark: This name also comes from a silly game. We were making up names for all our friends by reversing the first letters of our first and last names. So for example, Billy was Hilly Bolmes. This was going on for a while, with soo many friends, but for some reason everyone seemed to get a real kick out of calling me “DARKNESS” or I think even “HARK!” at times… pure ridiculousness, but then someone outside the band suggested we name ourselves Dark Mean, I guess it was one of those things that just stuck, like Frankencottage.

Me: There's just you three in the band, right?

Mark: The three of us write all the material, but we have a huge circle of very musical friends who we draw from for live shows. Most recently we’ve been playing with Billy’s brother Robbie Holmes on drums, Jessica Lanza on keys and vocals, and Perter Golini on trumpet. In this regard, we a probably the luckiest band on the planet.

Me: You guys are from Canada, I know, but what part?

Mark: A city in southern Ontario called Hamilton, about 1 hour north of Buffalo.

Me: I ask everyone I interview from Canada if they are fans of one of my favorite bands of all time... Barenaked Ladies. So, are you guys fans of them?

Mark: I am a fan of their version of “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”. A masterpiece!

Me: Now you finally have the album out, are you planning on a follow-up? How long will that take to be released?

Mark: Billy is constructing a new soundproof garage as we speak! Once that is complete we will get in there and start working on new material, but the ideas have never stopped coming. As for how long, probably 1 billion years.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, and when the new album comes out, please come back again. I am a big fan, you guys. Do you have a website you wanna plug?

Mark: Hey, you are more than welcome. You’re spreading the love, so it’s all good. Thanks again for having us. You can see some vids and download the album at

Me: Thanks again, and come to Orlando to play. Will you?

Mark: If we can set up a U.S tour, you got it!

That about does it for another entry. Thanks to Rick Wiley and of course Mark Dean. The Phile will be back next Sunday with the 6th Anniversary entry and then next Wednesday it's Mikey Livid from the rap band Scars and Stripes. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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