Toronto band The Mark Inside are an honest bunch of fellas. While I’m sure they would gladly return your wallet if they found it on the street, this same honesty can be heard in every note of their fantastic new record Nothing To Admit. Released this past November, the record glides through emotional peaks and valleys. Produced by Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) Nothing To Admit is a significant leap forward in the band’s career. Recorded in Lincolnshire, England at Chapel Studios, Abbiss did an astute job at capturing the band’s raw energy.
The Mark Inside’s Chris Levoir recently chatted with The MusicNerd Chronicles. Be sure to check out the band’s powerful video for their song “Shots From A Broken Bottle” below.
Over the past year or so, it seems as though the tide is turning towards people embracing bands like The Mark Inside, The Sheepdogs, etc – bands that are playing real music, real rock n roll. Do you feel this is accurate?
Levoir: I certainly hope so, it would bode well for us. We’ve been sticking it out a long time because we enjoy what we’re doing. It satisfies us deeply and we feel we are communicating most honestly this way. In our music we feel we have put our best foot forward as humans hoping to leave behind something true and that matters more than fitting a definition per se; hopefully that is obvious. Real music should mean that it came from a real place, not someone doing what they think will be received well. The next level to that would be there is genius in every genre, but all genres get watered down by people fishing in those ponds hoping to feel ownership to things that they react to from others work/art; I feel time has tested us and proven we own what we say and do, we know our motives and what we do comes from our hearts.
Bands that are fantastic live acts sometimes have difficulty capturing that live feeling when it comes to the record. How important of a role did Jim Abbiss play in making this happen?
Levoir: We were sold on Jim because he described his intent to record us as we sound live, leaving all instrumentation set-up and ready to go at once throughout the entire recording, we recorded most live off the floor, focusing on the rhythm section and then Gus and I would overdub or replace bits that we felt weren’t quite up to snuff, some songs on the record are truly off the floor, ‘Shots from a Broken Bottle’ being one, I did all vocals afterwards. We have heart when we play so I think the focus was to keep the live focus and make it feel that way on playback. After all the time we sat on the record we all feel very proud of it and have great memories of the whole process. Jim was awesome. We are forever in debt to him and his partner in MetalBox, Sandy Dworniak who took a chance on us footing the bill for a month of recording and signing us to their label afterwards.
Given how the music industry has been in free-fall over the past decade-plus, how important is spreading the word of The Mark Inside via live shows?
Levoir: We get the most satisfaction playing live, it is an immediate and a true proving ground. There is no higher level to music than doing it live in front of people, the feeling of a full room of people who are with you and singing along to words because they understand your meaning makes you humble and so fucking ecstatic and appreciative. In the face of the ever changing landscape its actually sustainable. Shooting videos and doing press and knowing the stories that go into a band recording or going through hardships informs anticipation for ultimately seeing it played out live in front of you. Speaking about it is foreplay playing it live is the act.