Mon Nov 24

Meow Meow

Mark Burden is Silentist, which is pretty accurate because every time I've seen him play I've been rendered speechless. After peacefully resigning his position as organist in Get Hustle, he became a one-man band in the most explicit manner; he pre-records his gorgeous, dramatic compositions on piano, bass, and guitar, and plays live drums in the dark, lit by a strobe. It lands somewhere between pioneering avant-garde composer Henry Cowell (on the particularly piano-centric parts) and black metallists Cradle of Filth (when Burden screams lyrics like an encroaching harpy). At points during his performance, he'll ditch the drums and go straight-up bananas on metal guitar solos, obliterating any notion you might've had that he can't do everything.

Also, if you have lots of money and an art museum, you should give it to him.

When did you decide to play solo?

I used to just get the song in my head and play the drums first, but now I usually play the piano first and just leave the tempo a bit up in the air. Doing this solo wasn't really a decision; it's just turned out that way for now.

Is it all precomposed, or is it improvised?

It's mostly precomposed, but I'm not real maniacal about that stuff, so there's lots of room for little improvsÉ a lot of what would be bridges in the music are different each time....eventually I find my favorite way of playing, and it sticks.

What are you screaming about, lyrically?

Stuff from my life, whatever I feel like expressing. A big theme in the music is destructive/positive change and revolt, so that's reflected a lot in the lyrics.

What's your motivation?

I don't think it's really that important or unique. I mean, I live in a van and work several part time jobs because I want to make music, so although I know I could do something else, this is what I do naturally. I always push myself to get better because life is short and there's enough complacent music out there already.

Does you put a lot of forethought into conceiving and writing your music?

I think about music all day everyday, but not specifically about which direction to take or what type of song to write. After doing this stuff for a while, and having been fortunate enough to have worked with some amazing people, I just know better now what I'm after. Now I just try to replicate what I hear in my head.