When I got David Mark Pearce' CD the artwork / back cover made me expect some kind of 80's melodic metal / shred stuff as I haven't come across the name before. And to learn a bit more I jotted down some questions which soon were answered by David.
Please tell us a bit about yourself! When did you start playing guitar? What other instruments do you play?
After a false start when I was a child, I really started to learn when I was 14/15. I'm pretty much self taught. I worked a summer job to buy my first guitar. I also play bass guitar and to a certain extent drums and keys.
This is your first solo album, but for many music lovers you are a nobody. Which bands or projects have you been / are you involved with?
Yup, this is my first solo album, but a couple of years ago I also self-released a 4-track EP which had some success.
I have been the guitarist in the Oliver Wakeman Band since '04 and have recorded a studio album Mothers Ruin, 4 track EP The View From Here and also a live album and DVD in Poland called Coming To Town: Live In Katowice with his band. I've also mixed two of his relaxation albums too.
Last year I've also did an album with Lisa Larue called Project 2K9 World Class which I co-produced and co-wrote the song There Are No Words along with contributing bass and guitars.
You are from Penzance (Cornwall) not really a hot spot for metal. Was it difficult to start your musical career living not too far from Land's End?
Well, there's more metal than you think here as we're (Cornwall) famous for 'Tin mining'. Ha-ha. Seriously a lot of my friends are into the rock / metal scene, but on a commercial level, then yes we're not exactly on the map.
I think it was as difficult as anywhere to start, I guess, but I got my break through meeting a guy at work called Mike Clarke and he in turn introduced me to Oliver Wakeman as he was his keyboard tech.
Some years later of course I met Lisa via a friend on the internet and that's when it all started to happen as she introduced me to John Payne.
(It's been ages, but I know Cornwall a bit, stayed at a B&B between Helston & Penzance, so I know about the tin mining in Cornwall. - Claudia)
You went to the London College of Music and Media, how much did it helped you to find your way in the business?
Well, the course that I did there was focused more on the engineering side of things and it also broadened your mind to other sides of the business too.
It gave me invaluable experience in producing too as there was a real hot bed of talent there and they all wanted to be recorded, and of course while you're working with them you can then make suggestions about their songs and performance and that's how I started producing.
Strange Ang3ls is the title of your album, why did you choose this title? And why spelling it that way?
The album title and concept comes from the forth Lethal Weapon movie, my album is based upon being helped or helping others through difficult situations in your life.
The sole reason its spelt that way is when I was trying to register an email address and it was a unique way of spelling 'ang3ls' and it just stuck from there plus it looks more 'rock 'n' roll'.
The artwork is very 80's, who had the idea for the cover? You? And who realized it?
Well, I'm not sure, if it is as you say very 80's? But I know its very good. Its originally done by an Italian artist in L.A. called Lorenzo Sperlonga.
I was looking around for some artwork that really said what the album was about and when I found that I knew it was the one. To me the angel or ang3l in the picture is just like the rest of us in the fact she has a day job and that's working as an angel, and there she is having just finished her 'angel work' for the day sitting at a bistro table having a smoke and a drink of Jack Daniels, kicking back after a day of helping people, that with the fact she's gorgeous and it was a kind of modern take on a favorite cover of mine nameless Heaven & Hell by Black Sabbath. Well, it is to me anyway. :)
You have Göran Edman and John Payne singing your songs, why these guys? And was it easy to convince them?
Not at all John was introduced to me via Lisa and he heard the song So Far From Heaven and instantly liked it and I contacted Göran myself and sent him one of the songs I'd done with John and he really liked it too, so looking back it was fairly easy which I'm very grateful for.
Was it simple to decide who should sing a certain song? Or did you had a certain singer in mind when finishing the song?
Yes, it was simple, I felt John's voice lent itself to the more 'prog' style of song and Göran more to the straight ahead melodic rock style although to be honest either one could have done the whole album. John was originally going to do it, but he was getting busy with other things and that's when I contacted Göran. I'd always loved Göran's voice and if I'd met him earlier I would have liked him to have done the whole thing.
Have the songs been written over a longer period of time? Or just recently?
A mixture really a few were riffs and ideas I'd had for quite a while and others were brand new.
Which song(s) would you like to visualize?
In a video format? I think the more grand style ones like Strange Ang3ls or Eden Is Burning, but the songs Too Live Again and Tell Me Why would also work really well for this.
How important is social media these days for a musician? And is it more pleasure or pain for you?
Oh for me its vital, as the more exposure I can get the better as I'm just starting out on my own. For me its a pleasure and a privilege to do radio and or magazine interviews for people such as yourself, because you're giving me the exposure I spoke of and it in turn helps me to get more widely known and I really enjoy sharing my journey with everyone who wants to listen and be involved.
It seems you're inspired by 80's metal, tell us about who influenced you? And who do you listen to these days?
Yes, I am very much so, people that influenced me or as I prefer to call it 'Inspired me' are namely Yngwie Malmsteen, Whitesnake, Jeff Scott Soto, Journey, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Dio, TNT, Ronnie le Tekro, Jake E Lee, early Ozzy, Bon Jovi and what may come as a surprise to you Prince. I basically still listen to a lot of those guys and new bands like Eclipse, H.E.A.T. etc
With a quite long instrumental track I expected some shredding... But you let your guitar sing. Something you often missed at instrumentals? Or is there a guitarist who inspired you to let your guitar sing?
Yes, Yngwie and Satriani I guess. I know people always dismiss Yngwie as an out and out shredder, but he's a beautiful player also. This song has surprised a lot of people as you say they were thinking it was going to be a shred fest, which I can do, but I prefer to let the guitar sing and put the melody first, even though I like to hear someone rip it up. I can't stand shredding for the sake of it as it just sounds like a typewriter on auto pilot.
With one album it's probably too early to talk about a tour... Do you plan to play some one-off shows?
As soon as I have my band together I want to get this out there!
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
To start writing my next album, record guitars for the new Oliver Wakeman album and to get involved in other projects too, so if anyone needs some guitar playing get in touch www.davidmarkpearce.com
Thank you so much for the interview, Claudia. I wish you well :)
Looks like this is a busy year for David Mark Pearce... So, we should hear from him again soon.