When did you start playing and what made you begin?
I started as a singer when I was a child in church. Began to write words and sing them professionally at 22 years of age. Played harmonica and guitar shortly after. First music i was ever exposed to was rural bottleneck/harmonica blues played by my granfather and a negro friend of his who had a farm next door to ours.
Good! I see that when you don't play at venues or events, you become a street performer, are you playing on a daily basis? ¿any dayjob apart from music?
I am playing venues in my region. My 3 piece band is signing a contract with a label that has European and U.S. distribution, so touring will follow shortly.
I always play on the street. It's necessary for my happiness to do that.
|Mark playing the dobro|
Touring! that was my next question: how do you book the gigs and is it hard?
I book myself. It is hard. Having the Label behind me will make it easier; easier to atrract an agent, and easier to self-book if I have to go that route. Clubs take you more seriuosly with a good label behind you.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, it must be a totally different experience.
Mark Holder: Better. People need to know that the "business" is embracing you. They don't trust their own taste.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Hahahaha, that's the most accurate and to the point explanation i have read.
I reckon many musicians from the States look forward coming to Europe. It seems that the public and opportunities here are kinder and better for them.
Mark Holder: The attitude towards art is more enlightened.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Do you think that's a common thought among the scene?
Mark Holder: Most American musicians have no concept of how much better things are for us in Europe. You can't grasp it. Roots and traditional music is marginalized here and associated with the poor and seen as unsophisticated. Racism is still a big factor.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, i see...and we're finishing! Have you ever thought of quitting music? why?
No. I can't. I tried. Ended up playing in the street in Nashville for two years. Paid for a house, car and the things of life with money thrown into my guitar case. It is who I am. How I deal with the pain in my soul.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Whoa! if you don't mind, i´d like to know more about that. Here where i live, you can't even play in the streets. It's impossible to earn money that way.
It is tolerated in certain places here. Bar and restaurant districts. We have freedom of speech. Sometimes the police even respect it.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Why did you think of quitting?
Mark Holder: A wife. Also my health was bad. The band i was in was working super hard and i wasn't taking very good care of myself.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Great interview Mark, we're done, thanks a lot!
Glad to help.