Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with blues/ballad guitarist, Mark Nelson.
1. How did you get started as a band?
Having been born with one arm I perversely chose the guitar as my weapon in life. First, however came the songs. From an early age I listened to, and absorbed, music so much so that I began hearing my own songs in my head way before I could play an instrument.
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I found a way of playing the guitar one-handed. I formed a rock band in my early 20s & spent the next 20 years performing and recording with various line ups and almost getting signed several times.
Eventually I decided to go solo and acoustic playing ballads and blues songs. I’ve been doing it ever since both solo and with my own acoustic blues band.
It was while I was performing solo on the local circuit that I met with my blues band members along the way. We began playing more and more blues songs together so I now continue to do this with them, as well as playing and recording my pop ballads solo.
2. How would you describe your sound?
A soulful mixture of pop, acoustic ballads and blues with heartfelt lyrics and catchy melodies.
3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?
My influences are wide and varied.
The Beatles influenced me enormously and from an early age, as did The Who, The Kinks and late 60’s pop and rock and psychedelia. I am also hugely influenced by ballad artists like Nick Drake and Ralph McTell as well as more contemporary solo artists such as Graham Coxon and Jon Allen amongst many others.
4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?
I feel that being able to share our videos and music online has helped promote the band and our music a great deal especially during the recent lockdown where our as live performances on video have been featured on many Watch Parties and virtual Festivals. We need to exploit this avenue more but it has helped.
5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
When I’m not making music I’m busy being creative making comedy videos and writing novels. I love being creative in fact, I live and breathe being creative in fact, I think I’m being slightly creative even now!
6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?
I currently have this brand new single out now and another one coming out at a later date. I’m working on producing my blues band’s new album of original blues songs and I’m also about to start my own 70s funk/punk album project. I’m also quite keen to learn more piano licks as I hear a lot of piano in my songs. So quite a lot really when you think that it’s nearly August already!