In the short time I've been doing interviews for Metal On Loud Magazine, I've already talked to many different bands and artists. I do have to say though, that Mark Eden from Under The Tongue might have been the most enthusiastic one up to now. The following interview, done by email, was a pleasure to read back.
Who are you and what do you play?
First of all let me say, thanks so much for having me, it is a pleasure to chat with you.
Who am i? Ha!! ... :) now that is the eternal question isn’t it. I can tell you that i am someone who loves what he does and who is thankful everyday to be able to have the opportunity to find expression through my music. It is a great time to be alive on this crazy planet and i look forward to what will come. I play guitar, bass, drums (not very well) and percussion, oh!!! and i sing also.
How long have you been making music together as a band?
Julia and i have been making music since 2008 and Alex joined us in 2015 for our live shows.
How did Under The Tongue start?
Under The Tongue started in 2008 when Julia and i met and realised that we both liked the same sort of music. Julia came to a ‘Mark Eden’ concert when i played at a festival in Berlin. She is fascinated with Australia and that is why she came to the gig. Julia contacted me to say thanks for the concert and as i was looking for a bass player at the time, it worked perfectly. I had written many songs in many different styles and wanted to have a side project and i was looking for a bassist but was super stoked when i found out that Julia played piano also. We spent hours listening to our favourite bands and playing together and dreaming about a project that we would do just for our own enjoyment. We were not worried if anyone would like it or not, we just wanted to explore the different corners of our minds and let out what ever was hidden in those interesting places where most people are afraid to go.
Where did the name come from?
I will never forget it, i was visiting Julia at her apartment and we were walking through the courtyard and decided on a name for our album. It was Under The Tongue. It was ambiguous and we loved it. That became the band name and we found another name for the album.
Your sound is rock, but very radio friendly, and seems to be aimed at a bigger audience. What were your goals with the band where it comes to your sound?
To be honest, we really love to make music that we like and whether it is radio friendly or not doesn’t really play a role. The fact that you think it is radio friendly is great.....thank you. The goal is to play around the world and to continue making music for a long, long time. I lose time when i play and make music and that for me is success, everything else is a real bonus. The sound that that you hear on ‘Potions’ is more cinematic than the other albums and we sound different in a live situation.
You describe your sound on your website as "Carroll’s tale of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ meets the dark ‘Brothers Grimm’ fairytales with a splash of Pop/Rock". In what elements of your music can we find these fairytales? Only in your lyrics, or does the influence go deeper?
Good question. The lyrics on this album were written from a dark fairytale perspective as i was exploring a side of myself that i love and sometimes are afraid of but had never really committed to an album. Some emotions that we are afraid of but never really speak about, the ‘darker’ side of the conscious and unconscious mind and the acceptance of yourself as a whole without the conscious editing that goes on in our heads. The music also has many soundscapes which are normally reserved for film and the piano which
was done by Julia Eden gave it an eerie yet beautiful feel. I think that all of these components together make for a ‘darker fairytale feel.
Does Under The Tongue differ from your earlier projects? If so, how?
Yes and no. I did the acoustic/roots/rock thing for a few albums and had written so many other styles of music. UTT is just another side of me that i wanted to explore and to recreate yourself is always fun. Bowie was great at that and it gives you the permission to do whatever you want without being tied to any specific genre. Plus it gives me the opportunity to try on different masks.
Your latest album "Potions" was mastered by Bob Ludwig (Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Rolling Stones). How big was the influence of his work on the sound of this album?
Bob is the man.....what can i say. He has done so many bands that we love. We wanted to go with someone who had mastered our favourite bands, it was a dream for us. We weren't thinking of the mastering process while recording the album to be honest but after it was mixed we decided to go with someone who had mastered all the great albums.
Can you tell us a bit about this album and the tracks on it?
Oh man!!! how much time do we have haha. Alrighty... The album is something that you would listen to on a cold dark winters night with headphones on, while sipping your favourite wine lying on the couch. If you feel like being in another world for a while then this is your album. Creating this album was a real special time for me, it was when i met my wife and future bandmate Julia and we wanted to create something that we could be proud of, even if we were never to release it. It was the first album also that i co-wrote some songs with someone else. Each of the tracks are a little journey and for me have a story of their own. The lyrics for 'Sleepy Head' for example were written while walking through a forest in Germany. So many images were coming to me, i felt like i was surrounded by ghosts. It was written on a napkin with eyeliner. I really wanted to explore soundscapes on this album while still being confined to a 3-4 minute song. This in itself can create a vibe for a song or in this case an album. We were lucky enough to win an Akademia international award for ‘Potions’, that is something i never dreamed of and having it mastered by Bob Ludwig put the icing on the cake.
What will 2016 look like for you? Will we be able to see you live?
2016 is looking great for us already. I have written and recorded most of the songs for the next album which will be released in the first half of this year. A new vibe, new film clips, new direction and a new opportunity to reinvent ourselves....love it. We are in the process of booking a European tour and maybe some gigs in Australia, U.S.A and
Canada, the possibilities are endless.
Any last words for our readers?
Do what you love, create the life that you want to live, go for it, love, laugh, dance, sing. Look for the best in all situations and you will find it.
Thanks so much for this opportunity, we really appreciate your support. Have a great day and see ya soon
Mark from Under The Tongue
Thank you for this fun read Mark, let's keep in touch!
Metal On Loud!