TWINMUSIX talk to Mark from The chameleons about their Australian tour and more
You started off as a bass player, what was it like transitioning to a front man?
I didn't really think about it because I couldn't find a front man. When I started my first band it was a punk band and I couldn't find anyone to be the front man, so I was doing it till we found someone. When Dave and Reg got me to join The Chameleons I asked "will I just be the bass player?" and they said "no, we want you to do the same thing you are already doing but we just want you to do it in our band". So I got pushed into it. That wasn't my intention to be the front man but it worked out.
How did you come up with your album cover for 'What Does Anything Mean? Basically'?
That was Rich, he had a blank canvas to do what ever he wanted so the Viola seem to fit with the with the music. There wasn't any grand design, he would just do whatever he wanted to do and would make it work for the record.
How was it being on the John Peel show?
We sent him a tape that we did with no drums on it because our drummer didn't turn up for rehearsal. He wrote to us and said that song is really good do you have a version with drums on and make sure I get to hear it so we took that to heart. Then we recorded one immediately with drums on it and we sat outside the BBC until we saw him and ran up to him and gave him the tape and he listened to it while we hung around and came back and said he loved it. On the following Monday the phone rang and it was on the shelf.
What was your favorite experience when meeting John Peel?
My favourite experience was When I meet John Peel and he showed me the box with all the tapes in it. He said look at that box behind you and I turned around and there was this really tall box and it was full of cassettes and he said "I will listen to everyone of those cassettes". So I really admired him for it and the effort to dig out the gems from all the tapes he revived. If something grabbed him from the tape, that was enough to get a band in and do a session. He did national radio station so for new band's to have the opportunity to go on a national radio station was very rare. He loved uncovering new music and it was great to see that.
Tell us about your book view from the hill?
I started writing it as a exercise in 1989 to learn how to use a mac and over the years people found out about it and urged me to finish it and when my father got diagnosed with cancer I decided to finish the book so that he could read it. So it took all that time to adjust it and re adjust it,Took along time for the book to come together. The book itself materialised 18 months later so my father could read it which he did and he really liked it.
What band's inspired you and what are your favorite bands you have seen live at a gig?
I got into record's at a very young age my mentors at that time were girls that were 18 and 19 years old that worked in a kindergarten class that were playing The Beatles records all the time so I got into the Beatles.
I've had some really great live experiences I got on stage with a band in Manchester when I was 14. I saw Sex Pistols play when I was 16, Birthday Party when I was 21, when I saw Birthday party I was blown away.
Do you still do David Bowie covers?
I do when I play on my own but not with the band. I was a huge David Bowie fan and very upset when we lost him.
If you could have any band play one of your songs which band would and in your style or there's?
I think I'd like Kate Bush to do one of our songs in their style
How did you come up with your band name?
When we did the Peel session we didn't have a name so we had to come up with one really fast. We went away with a list and wrote down band names and suggestions and I was really into marvel comics when I was a kid and there was a villain in the Marvel comics called The Chameleon so I wrote down The Chameleons on my list and Dave also wrote down The Chameleons on his list so we thought that was fate that we were destined to call our self The Chameleons so that's what we called our self.
What's your recoding process for your album's?
Sometimes somthing will come really fast when we are jamming together, we will have a idea and will start to run with it. Sometimes we will have an idea and merge it with someone else idea so there's no real formula.
How do you come up with your set lists when you go on tour?
There are some songs we have to play but we have pretty much played all our songs on tour there's only a few we have never played.
What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
They will hear a lot of songs we have recorded from all four of the album's and get the live experience and hear what the music sounds like live.
Is there any thing else you would like to announce to your fans?
We are looking forward to coming to Australia and we never thought we would come so we hope we make it Memorable for them.
The chameleons Press Release click here - The chameleons press relase
The chameleons Website click here - http://www.thechameleons.com/
The chameleons tickets click here - https://metropolistouring.com/the-chameleons/