Central Iowa Band Listings & Music Scene
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This Month Victim : Mark Andersen of Dark Mirror

  • 1. Who is Dark Mirror ?

    Dark Mirror is:
    Myself - Mark on the four stringed instrument, Tim Cummings beats the hell out of the drums, Eric Wicker shreds on guitar, Alonso does the vocals.

    2. What are your plans and goals in 2007 ? (besides doing this interview :)

    Well, we are doing the finishing touches on our first full studio effort as we speak, which is also our first full album entitled "Visions of Pain". This is the album we have been working and fighting to make, so we have big goals for it. We plan on having it out by the end of the month. So look for our upcoming CD party with local Des Moines favorite Extinguisher and other bands and T.B.A. We also plan on playing throughout the
    Midwest (for now), and looking at future touring and label options.

    You can find out what we have been up to at our websites. www.darkmirroronline.com and www.myspace.com/darkmirror.
  • We also put live videos up from time to time on Youtube.

Mark Andersen

Of Dark Mirror

April 21st @ Hairy Marys
All Ages Show 5:30pm

New CD "Visions of Pain"
Hear tracks here

3. Is there a meaning behind the name - where did it come from?

We had a list of names, this one stuck out to us, it means a little something different to all of us, but to me it reflects (no pun intended) the fact that you take a look around the music scene today and you can make a certain type of album and push it to labels and have a certain look, well we did not do that, we took a good long hard look in the mirror, and decided to do what we always wanted to do, play some deep dark heavy metal!!!


Mark in Middle School
Accustic Black Sabbath ?

4. What inspired you to become a musician - or should we say who ? Who inspires you today ?

I was around middle school age watching videos like the Black Sabbath story, Pantera Vulgar Videos, and Cliff em All, and that was all it really took, Geezer Butler and Cliff Burton were the first, followed by a slew of others, Steve Harris, Rudy Sarzo, Lemmy, Joey DeMaio, Billy Sheehan (gee I better get to practicing if I list these guys), but anyway, yeah but honestly I am really influenced by anyone who truly has a passion for their music, or even fans who really back and respect the music.

I think this is also why I have always felt driven towards rock n roll and heavy metal because they both carry strong performer to audience feedback and emotion. Ah, I should add that as far as performance and song writing goes I was influenced by the likes of one Mr. Gene Simmons, love him or hate him, and Nikki Sixx, although my personal opinions on the two vary from time to time, they definitely made me want to rock out on the bass.

5. What do you think about the music scene in Iowa ?

The music scene in Iowa, is a bit of a hard one for me, I think it would be the same for us a lot of places in the states, simply because we are not really playing a style that is widely looked at and accepted at the current time, at least not as much in the States. I think regarding the music business today that a band can really get noticed from anywhere, and we are trying to do just that.

Having said that I am very grateful
for the clubs and venues that have supported us, and who were not worried about us blowing the roof off of the joint. I actually have to say that we became what we are today because we did not grow up being able to see any bands around us that were doing our type of thing.

Eric - Guitar - Dark Mirror

6. I know your a young'en But need to ask what other Bands have you all been in?

Ha, I have played with Eric (our guitar player) on and off since middle school in different line ups, he has been my best friend since elementary school. We have been on this journey ever since looking for the right people to give us the sound we wanted, between the two of us we have tried out about 50 vocalists, or so, about 3 that were any good, and 1 that could sing the way we wanted so far, Alonso. Personally I have been in bands since middle school, all fairly serious on my part, but not necessarily to the other members. That you all would know, I guess I tried out for River Bottom Nightmare when I was in high school, they broke up before I knew if I got the gig or not, but…….it was still pretty cool. I jammed on and off with Casey Hooper, who is touring nationally right now, he was also in one of the last Red Hot Chili Peppers video. I played bass for Deimos
(a metal band that has since relocated to Arizona) for a bit, and did vocals(if you could call them that) for an SOD/King Diamond/Slayer inspired band called Pud.
The bass has always been my favorite instrument, I remember just always wanting to play bass, I love bringing the low end.

7. To date any great gigs that stand out - favorites ?

I have been able to open for a few sweet bands so far, Place of Skulls, 3 Inches of Blood, and Vader. We were asked to open for the legendary Gamma Ray, but we had conflicts with a former bandmate. Any show where the crowd really gets into your songs is great gig in my book. I hear some newer bands complain about touring and what not, and I think I have fully enjoyed any concert I have ever played, if there was only one person watching a gig who believed in us, I would give my all just for that, I mean come on……..

8. What is the worst horror story gig you have had to deal with ?

I think that would have to be this "big" show with an old band of mine at 7 Flags Event Center, tons of bands, mostly nu metal, I had to sit through the whole day of bands that were not my type of band, and then we finally got on stage, 2 songs into the set a guy stage dives and breaks his leg, the venue called off the concert after that. I was upset for sure.

  9. Rig wise - what instruments and amps - effects does your band find are favorites and why ?

I play primarily my trusty BC Rich Warlock with EMG pickups, for a few reasons, it sounds sweet, it looks sweet, and it practically never goes out of tune no matter how hard I beat it up. I use Hartke for amplification because out of the rigs I have tried out and played it gives me the best sound I have heard, very clean, yet rumbling your guts at the same time.Eric (our guitar player) uses Jackson guitars and Marshall amplification. He get's a really killer tone, and I would not want it any other way.

10. Any traditional music training ?

I played saxophone in elementary and middle school, switching to bass in middle school, I played in Jazz band, and had a great time in a jazz combo with Susie Miget. I have taken courses on classical music and music heritage courses, but I still have a lot of studying to do if I want to go down that road. I could read music at one time, but I have to kick myself because I can't do it well enough any more. I really need to get back into it.

11. What is the story behind Alonso Donoso ?
How did you guys from Iowa find a singer from Chile ?

Alonso is a great vocalist, I am proud to have him front my band. I met him because he came to the states and attended school at the University of Northern Iowa. I was a freshmen there and actually heard some metal blasting out over the University radio station, it was the band Blind Guardian I believe, I tracked down who was the DJ at the time, and it turned out to be Alonso. We got to talking about metal and he mentioned that in Chile he
used to sing in an Iron Maiden cover band. My jaw dropped
when I heard some recordings. (Ok the story gets a little long,
but bear with me) Eric and I had just split temporarily (him
going off to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend music school at what was then Music Tech.

I gave Alonso some old demo's of Eric's, he sang over them and that's where it really began. This was right after the death of one of our hero's, the late great Dimebag Darrell, so I showed Eric the songs, we had long discussion, and the death of one of the last great metal guitar players, pushed us over into really getting serious about a heavy metal band. Watching Dimebag when I
was growing up really got us into more and more metal, like Sabbath, Dio, Anthrax, Priest, and the list goes on and on, also one of our first major concerts we attended was Pantera, Morbid Angel, and Soulfly, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when we were, I believe Freshmen in High School, if that was not a metal baptism in fire I do not know what is….Anyway
I convinced him to relocate to Cedar Falls, where me and Alonso were both attending school, and Dark Mirror started.

Alonso Donoso Vocals
Dark Mirror
( All the way from Chili where he fronted an Iron Madian Tribute )

12. What are your interest outside of music ?

I love movies and filmmaking, comedy and horror being my favorite genre's, but really I dedicate most of my free time to music, I have been an on air radio dj for about 5 years, since high school, me and Eric had a metal radio show in high school. I study Communications at U.N.I. and I dream about being able to tour the world some day.

Movies ..like Dracula and
Young Frankenstian ?

13. How does the use of technology - My Space, You Tube, and the Ipod change your perspective on band promotions ? Does it?

Well I have to say I am so thankful for this technology because it let me search for great metal bands growing up that I would have no other way to find. It also backed up my belief that there are still legions of headbangers out there somewhere, we just need to find em' and prove ourselves to them that we are the real deal. I love youtube because I can find old performances from some great artists that I would not be able to see anywhere else.

14. Ok Ive been to a few gigs, I like the solos, whos some of your favorite bands?

My favorite bands, jeez, I imagine a lot of musicians have trouble with that question, at the end of the day I have to say my very favorites are (in about this order currently) Ac/Dc, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Savatage, Metal Church, Anthrax, dio, ozzy, Metallica, KISS, Skid Row, Eric Sardinas, but as much as it is a cliché answer, I really love a wide variety of music, I dig artists like Peter Gabriel, Warren Zevon, Billy Joel, Roger Waters, and Bruce Springsteen as well.

Mark & Metal Church

Mark & Rudy Sarzo

15. Have you met anybody famous, also if you could meet anyone famous who whould it be?

I have met the guys from Metal Church, hung out with em, did jager bombs, they were great. Kurdt Vanderhoof is awesome. I have met Joey Belladonna, Rudy Sarzo, Johnny Lee Middleton, Al Pitrelli, Paul O'Neil, of the band Vader, I have met Jesse the Body Ventura once if you wanna count him, and I basically got a promo cut on me by Hulk Hogan….(but I think I ran out of my quota on long stories so I will save that for another day).

On top of that I am disappointed because I can't meet some of the people I would most want to, Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhodes, Chris Oliva, Cliff Burton……..Of those I could still meet, I would dig meeting King Diamond, Lemmy, Dave Mustaine, Metallica, my hero's you know, Ozzy, or really Dio would be great, because I had backstage passes to a Anthrax and Dio show, but Dio was very sick so I was unable to meet him(he still sounded amazing at the concert though).

16.You guys came in 2nd in the Battle of the bands - how was it?

Well, the battle of the bands shows that we have been in have been in are just like any other shows for us, we kick eachother in the ass if we all do not give our all at every show. I did learn we could win over non-metal fans and non-metal crowds though.

17. Thanks again for the Cds and t-shirts, and thx for doing the Live Podcast. Are you getting any good feedback from it?

. No problem, you guys have always been very supportive of us, and we will do our best to be supportive in return. I really dig what you guys are doing and have to tell you guys we really deeply appreciate it. It definitely got our name and song out there to a wider audience. we also have t-shirts, cds, decals, and hats for sale at all gigs.. get yourslef one.

Dark Mirror Podcast :MP3 link (for non - poders)

18. Whats your Favorite song to do Live- Favorite cover?

The song Howling or Dark Mirror, because they they were the first two songs that we got really strong audience reactions from, and they are both fun as hell to play. I have pages and pages of cover songs I would love to do, but of those that I have actually played live with Dark Mirror, I would have to say the Anthrax song, Medusa. We mostly do our originals but we like to pay tribute to our influences by throwing in some covers now and then.

19. Last time somebody asked you for a Autograph?

Last night after a show………I am a bit embarrassed about it, but I have to admit it does feel pretty good to see people believing in us. I also recently signed a guys shirt in the man boob area(don't ask), actually that reminds me of this time I signed a chicks boobs after a concert in high school, that definitely needs to happen more, heh, that was definitely one of those moments where I was reaffirmed that I wanted to be a rocker.

20. Last CD you Bought? What CD are you Listen to today?

The last cd I bought, I think that would have to be Jon Oliva's Pain, Maniacal Renderings or Slayer's Christ Illusion……..Well right now I am listening to some old, old, blues on the radio, but earlier I listened to Powerage from Ac/Dc, and the second Ozzy record, Diary of a Madman.

21. Do you guys want to Thank anybody,
DM fans, myspace.com friends ?

We have been blessed with a lot of good friends and supporters already, and I can only hope that the number continues to grow, it is really hard to thank everyone even already, I know I will be in trouble when I have to write some THANK YOU'S in an
album booklet!

I just really have to thank my parents supportive of
my dreams, and all of my great former band mates, jam partners, and all of my friends. But thank you Lewis and Pat for all your support and thanks
Stars 4 Iowa.

22. OK last one mark?
Did we forget anything?
Think real hard and go ahead and ask yourself a question?

Well, I would try to ask myself a question, but I think I have rambled enough, if you want
to know anything else talk to me at a show!

I can't think about much else right now....
but the finishing touches on our first full lenght cd,.....and that I Must Get To Canda to see


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