Mark Lane: "Electro-a-Go-Go"
(interview excerpt, p.143)
It is really astonishing that an exceptional artist like Mark Lane, who has been making the world happy with his electronic music-miniatures for more than twenty years, who has been playing together with many heroes of the scene, and who has recorded an album with The Klinik back in 1984 [?]. Still he is considered a quiet tip, whereas other bands are usually public after their first album. But as is very often the case: the most beautiful flowers flourish in obscurity. These days, the pleasant guy from California starts again to infiltrate the clubs and the music business with his new album “Creepy a la Weepy” – a strange, weird and definitely not humorless world that wants to be explored. I was able to ask Mark a few questions…
MK/Zillo: You have made quiet a long career already. Please tell our readers about your history…
Lane: I started in 1977, already, to work with sound structures. I had two tape machines, which I used for creating rythmic compositions by recording samples on one machine and mixing always new tones to it with the other one, and afterwards adding keyboard lines and vocals. In 1980, I bought an Electro-Harmonix synthesizer and a whole world opened for me, which was completely new. Since then, I have been fascinated by synthesizers – especially the analogue models. The fascination has not diminished to this day, 23 years later.
MK/Zillo: You have been colaborating with pretty prominent electronic music artists, for example with The Klinik on “Who’s Really Listening?” [?]. How did it come? Can you tell some interesting anecdotes?
Lane: Back then, I was editor of the “On-Slaught-Magazine” and was therefore able to build a network with friends in Europe. I had long been a pen-pal with sound artist Conrad Schnitzler (who a.o. played on the first album of Tangerine Dream), also exchanging music with him. Because of that, it was natural to cooperate with him when I came to Europe for the first time. The collaborations with Klinik, Vomito Negro, Attrition, De Frabriek, and others also derived from my network. One of my most treasured memories is the one with The Klinik. On a rainy day, we carried a waggon-load of instruments to the highest floor of an appartment building and recorded “The Hate of Religion” there. After that we went on tour together and it was fantastic for a singer like me, to be accompanied by such a band.
MK/Zillo: Your new album sounds slightly less hard and aggressive compared to your earlier releases. Why is that?
Lane: On “Creepy…” I reinvented myself, referencing my old material and combine it with a new sensibility that I could feel comfortable with on stage. I consciously decided to stay away from what is currently happening in the scene. So much is sounding over-produced, and underinspired. I think that there is a form of purity in minimalistic Synth-Pop that cannot be found in other musical genres.
MK/Zillo: The title of the album gives away that you don’t take everything you do dead serious. How important is humor in your music? Lane: It is extremely important to me to keep a sense of humor. This ensures that I do not become a cartoon of myself.
Mark Lane is in any case an artist who is worth exploring – exciting music that still has a soul. By Marty Kasprzak.