Houston Calling

RIP Mark Needs A Chick

December 28th, 2004 · No Comments

Another one bites the dust…

Local band Mark Needs A Chick played their last show on December 23rd.

Last year, I interviewed Mark Ellis for Houston Calling. I am running it again so you can get one last glimpse of the band.

Ten Questions for Mark Needs A Chick

HC: How did Mark Needs A Chick get started?

Mark: Back in ’98, the origional guitarist and I played in a wednesday night church band. We decided we wanted to do something positive and something we enjoyed, so we started a punk rock outfit. We randomly found Josh, the drummer, through word of mouth.

2. What do consider to be your musical influences?

Mark: We are very impressed with the corporate music industry. There is something kind of impressive about breaking onto the radio since it’s so cut throat. So, though we adore underground music with a passion, I guess our main influences are what has broken through. Melodic lyric lines and agressive music with hooks rhythmically seem to catch our attention more. Bands like Hoobstank, The Ataris, and The Used are specific examples.

HC: How has your music been received so far in Houston? What do you think about the Houston music scene?

Mark: We are an ever-evolving band. We try to constantly reinvent outselves with every song we write. So far Houston has been nothing but great to us. It seems where ever we play, even if the mix of bands we are playing with doesn’t really mesh well with our sound, the houston crowd always seems responsive. People here are basically very respectful I’ve noticed. The scene here is tough though, mainly because the town is so large and spread out. When people drive to a centralized venue for over an hour while still being in the same town, it’s not stretch to see that that is a deterrent for many.

HC: What is the one description that you hate to hear about your music?

Mark: Pop punk band. I just feel that’s so limiting. We have tons of pop elements, and plenty of punk songs in the past, but the term “pop punk” is just so narrow and specific. We try to incorporate as many other genres as possible. I’d just like to rather be an alternative band. At least that term is vague. Everything can be alternative it seems.

HC: Who’s Mark and why does he need a chick?

Mark: Ha! Well, I’m Mark Ellis, a 24-year-old senior mathematician at the University of Houston. And for the record, it’s just a band name. But the name came around because simply, I needed a chick and I thought it would be funny to name a band that. We are a rather tongue-in-cheek-type band and it just seemed to fit. But people ask us this all the time, and I tell you, if we really did change the name of the band to Mark Has A Chick everytime I had a girlfriend and back to Mark Needs a Chick when I’m found single…ha ha…well, let’s just say I don’t think we could really afford the merch.

HC: Are you for or against the MP3 “revolution”? How are you using the internet as a tool to market yourself?

Mark: We are 100% for the distribution of mp3 on the internet. Personally I feel the internet is largely the reason for why we are the size we are today. The internet provides curious listeners a chance to preview music and burn it to discs and really get a chance to become familarized with a band before having to make a financial commitment to them. Plus, word of mouth is priceless. If you like someone, you tell someone else about it. Therefore, if people in other countries or cities could hear us and possibly like us–after they all told one person each we would have then just double our fan base. We are sad that mp3.com went down, but we do the best we can providing free mp3s and music to sample on our website.

If you could have any band cover one of your songs, what song would it be and what band?

Mark: I think the overwhelming choice from the band would be AFI, and I’d love them to cover “If I Could Fly.”

HC: What’s your take on the state of the music industry?

Mark: Rather tragic, really. With all the copyright issues going, and the corporate record labels losing so much money, it’s mainly just hurting all the musicians in the end. In a time where it seems you are only as good as the money put into you, independent bands are really starving to break through. But then to what Just the next level of a starving market. I personally just wish the copyright and downloading issues would just soon be settled so that the definable boundaries could be made so that bands can feel secure on their labels, or in a stable industry again.

What’s next for the band?

Mark: What’s always next for the band–evolution. As we begin writing for a new album, I’m trying the hardest I can to incorporate as many new styles as I can ranging from techno beats, to electronic sounds, to even country music. Besides composing, mainly we are just working on getting out there as much as possible and trying to make ourselves accessible to the “right” people.

HC: What is in your CD player right now?

Mark: Right now I’m personally listening to: Coheed and Cambria, Saosin, Hank Williams III, Zao, Atom and his package, and plenty of club\techno acts such as Alice Deejay and Sarina Paris. Just like before, I’m doing everything I can to sponge up all sorts of genres.

There are a lot of good shows this week, and in January 2005. Be sure to check back very soon for interviews, updates, reviews, and the usual.

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Tags: Music