Mark
Keyboards, Rhythm & Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Vibraslap, Vocals
Founding member of Sugar Buzz (originally Montage, in 1999)

Resume:

My Dad had so much music and "entertainer" in his blood that it was my destiny to try to follow in his footsteps (he was a one-man band, singing and playing multiple instruments as a young teenager for weddings, parties, even on the radio). As a young feller I joined my family in what seemed like perfectly normal family activities like dressing up, singing songs and doing skits in front of church and school crowds, Christmas caroling around the block, and putting on neighborhood recitals in our home. I had 6 years of piano lessons in elementary & middle school, and got used to the fun and thrill of competitions, advancing to "state" a couple times so I could do piano performances (with 20 other little kids) at Northrup Auditorium in the huge city of Minneapolis. I got bit big-time by the bug of performing, and fell in love with the Twin Cities.

By junior high, I started learning songs by ear, back when MTV showed music videos (Safety Dance was one of the first tunes I really worked on, and realized only years later how poorly I slaughtered it). I also played trombone starting at age 11, which eventually got me into fun adventures in high school and college bands, pep bands, pit bands, trombone choir, and orchestra, culminating with a few gigs with the popular reggae band Ipso Facto back in the late eighties. Because I just couldn't get enough music, I sang in choirs, barbershop quartet, musicals, and the world renowned "Good Time Singers" in high school. We had cool pink shirts.

I started my first rock band (The Shadows) after Mom and Dad helped me buy one of them new-fangled "synthesizers" at age 17 (a Roland June 60). We practiced in our basement in Redwood Falls, MN, and since the parents actually seemed to enjoy the racket, I never turned back. Dad taught me how to play his accordion, and in college I learned how to play the guitar and started doing the "coffee shop" scene (college dorm lounges) and even street- & subway- performances (on trips to Europe, India, and even Iowa). I wrote my first international superhit-walz-cow-love-song "Bessie" with a fellow founding member of The Shadows around 1989, and have composed several songs since then.

I eventually found several fellow musicians (like Kristo) interested in attracting college chicks and making music (in that order?), so we started General Eclectic, writing and performing some pretty intricate originals (including one in German), and of course a variety of cover tunes, where I learned the fine art of faking my way through the challenging parts so we sounded "close enough." We had a great run, morphing into several different band names (finally The Front) and playing lots of Twin Cities venues, parties, a few beer-paying gigs during spring break in Daytona FL, and even a high school prom.

Enjoyed some smokey gigs with Ipso Facto around that time, and also learned to play Sitar while I was student-teaching physics in India. Took a little break from public performances when my two kids came along in the mid-90's, but I couldn't stay away, hooking up with Bob and others in 1999 to form Montage, which then became Sugar Buzz. I've also enjoyed playing recently with a couple other groups (Blue Rumor and Two Feet From the Curb) after meeting Paul (Blue Rumor leader and now our sound engineer) and several other fun people who happen to also be fine musicians.

I enjoy a variety of styles of music, with artists ranging from Gary Numan to Simon and Garfunkle, the Beatles, Weird Al Yankovic, Elton John, Alice Cooper, James Taylor, Yes, Aerosmith, Devo, Pink Floyd, Elvis, Barenaked Ladies, Vangelis, Heywood Banks, Collective Soul, Rush, Nickelcreek, Billy Joel, Roxette, Cat Stevens, Vince Guaraldi, Bach, Mozart, The Cars, The Carpenters, and Beethoven. You get the idea.

This bio is way too long, but I should mention that I play Korg M1 and Triton ProX keyboards, and pretty much borrowed guitars which all sound just fine through my hockey-arena sized 4x12Ampeg amp. I don't recall the model, but it's plenty loud, and kinda heavy. A huge thanks to our Sugar Buzz fans - - you make it worth all the heavy amp hauling!