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A Dirty Dozen with MARK DALY – January 2024

| 1 February 2024 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Mark Daly is kicking off 2024 with new music and a new tour. The Irish rocker launches a three-week U.S. tour this week in direct support of the rock supergroup Mr. Big. Daly will support the band for seven shows in the Midwest and Northeast, while also headlining his own shows, including a marquee performance February 8, at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Hailing from Cork, Ireland, Daly is no newcomer to American soil, having completed numerous domestic tours with heavyweights including Candlebox, Queensrÿche, and Queensrÿche’s former frontman, Geoff Tate. His current run kicks off Thursday, January 25, with a headlining show at Belle and the Bear, in Cincinnati, OH, and is highlighted by his West Point show, and a New York City performance with Mr. Big on February 6 at Sony Hall.” We get Mark to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We wanted the first single off this new record to be an upbeat, catchy and fun Rock song. The song is all about striving to achieve goals, ambitions and not being afraid to recreate yourself to achieve those things but most importantly the song has cow bell and all of the band members (including Mike from our record label) shouting Nah Nah Nah’s so it’s gotta be a hit. 😂 I like to think it’s catchy enough for just one listen and that many people will relate to the lyrics about wanting to do more in life and to want to live a life of excitement & adventure.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My earliest memory is hearing Sinead O’ Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” in the car when I was very young and getting an overwhelming amount of emotion hearing her voice and the music (my sisters will say I cried but there’s no proof).  I knew I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life from the very first moment I stepped foot on stage and felt that magic of performing live.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I was obsessed with the ELO album All Over the World as a kid and would play that on repeat all day every day until I wore it out so I have to say that’s an album that really got me into lyrics & melodies. Then came my grunge music obsession where I would listen to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Candlebox, and more and that made me want to start a band & write music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

This answer changes everyday because I had so many but off the top of my head: Blue October, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Foo Fighters.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I have been ridiculously lucky with this new record to have collaborated with my favourite female vocalist Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara on a track called “Pieces” that I can’t wait for people to hear and I am also due to collaborate with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October later in the year so the last year has already been a dream come true! I would absolutely love to collaborate with Steven Tyler on a song which seems so far fetched but after the last year I had I’ve learned to never rule out any dream coming true.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I can only describe our music as Raw, Energetic Rock music. We like to write songs with plenty of energy and emotion but we’ve also got songs that are deep, dark and powerful so it’s a really nice mix between both. It’s crazy how many different bands people have mentioned we sound like at shows & in reviews but fortunately no cringy bands that I’ve disagreed with… yet.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

For me it has to be performing live and getting completely lost in the music and the fact I am lucky enough to hit the studio a couple of times a year too and have the chance to be so creative is really a dream come true. Not to mention the adventure that comes with going on tour, travelling and meeting so many incredible people around the world.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Unfortunately I don’t believe we have one person in the band that can make a decent meal so the amount of fast food on tour is shocking so we are gonna have to work on that asap. We are all pretty good at getting the drinks in at the bar so that makes up for everyone’s lack of cooking abilities. First to grab an acoustic guitar for a singalong is James Brown. The minute the first drink hits him he’s got a guitar in his hand and its very hard to get it back off him. 

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I have to admit I got pretty star struck meeting and spending time with Blue October last year. They are such a huge inspiration for my music so it was pretty incredible getting to know them recently.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I’m pretty good as a tour guide and have had so many friends from the US come visit me in Ireland. I love bringing them sightseeing, pubs, local shows and all the hidden gems I’ve discovered. When I’m not touring I do some work with Geoff Tate’s travel company – Backstage Pass Travel – that does all the things I mentioned above which is incredible fun.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Early in my career I was in a band called The Voodoos and we were lucky enough to go from small bar gigs to big shows in a very short space of time. It felt like a case of too much too soon as we were young and naive and often think that if I had a bit more maturity and dedication that we could have created a lot more great music together before we decided to go our separate ways.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

This one is nice and easy for me: Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd. It’s one of the greatest masterpieces in music history for me so if I could go back in time and witness that magic being made would be truly amazing but I’d be terrified of saying or doing something to change the outcome of any of those songs as every single track on that record is incredible.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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