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Home > All articles > MOB RESEARCH > Mob Research, The Mission (Mark Gemini Thwaite) - interview (2009)
Mob Research, The Mission (Mark Gemini Thwaite) - interview (2009)
2009-09-03 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz and Marco Gariboldi | e-mail interview
Marco: In your recent visit to the 13th Planet Studios, you have participated in sessions for the new RevCo album; Can you give us some previews about the sound of this endeavor? What awaits us?

MGT: While on the US tour with Peter Murphy, we had a day off in El Paso, Texas and dropped by the Thirteenth Planet studios – and home of Al Jourgensen – and Al invited me to record some guitars on some of the new RevCo material they were working on. The new songs sound really good, very impressive – the way I see it, now that Al has put Ministry to bed, maybe he’s now channelling more of his creative energy into RevCo and this has been reflected in the new album (‘Sex-O-Olympic-O’) and the new unreleased material I just played on, which I think will get released early next year. It sounds fantastic..

Talking of RevCo, Al also asked me to do a remix of 'Abundant Redundancy’ which I nicknamed the ‘Dambuster Metalmorphosis remix' under my Metalmorphosis alter-ego for the forthcoming 'Sexx-O-Mixx-O' remix album which is released on 29th September.. That remix will be included as a special bonus remix on the digital download version of the album only.

NINa: RevCo goes on tour in Autumn of 2009 (supported by Left Spine Down), are you going to join them sometime?

MGT: Well Al now jokingly refers to me as part of the RevCo 'Alumni'.. which is cool… RevCo are doing a US tour during September/October, I’m going on tour with Peter Murphy in Europe at the end of September through November so not going to be available, but I’m hoping to make to at least one RevCo show before I leave so we’ll see!

NINa: What is your favorite song on Holy City Zoo, and why?

Probably ‘Tribe’, as it was the first song we all collaborated on and Kory recording vocals for… the minute I heard the riff blasting out of the speakers and hearing Kory’s lyrics and delivery I knew we were onto something very good… I also love Akanoid’s remix of ‘Holy City Zoo’, which took it in a very cool direction..

NINa: Looking at the album artwork I’m wondering; is that album about American society, government, students, or the music scene? What’s the idea behind that?

MGT: We pretty much cover all of those topics on various songs on the album, Kory (Mob singer and lyricist) would be better qualified to answer that one… as for the imagery on the sleeve art, that was created by Kade Burt, who Raven commissioned to come up with some sleeve images and a logo for the band, most noteably the Statue of Liberty image with the gun held high.. Kade does some excellent artwork for Ministry and Thirteenth Planet so we were really pleased when Kade came up with these great images – Kade also put together the sleeve artwork and overall design… we wanted the inner sleeve to be a homage to Paul's life and career, so there’s lots of remembrances from his friends and peers and lots of photos.. The recurring theme of the album is the hypocrisy of organised religion and politics… all we are trying to do is make people aware of this and let them know that ultimately we can all make a choice..

To paraphrase Kade, The Statue of Liberty has always been a symbol of freedom, hope, a lighting of the way, but under Bush the symbol had become a symbol of "Screw you. The rules and regulations of Foreign Policy don't apply to the U.S. The U.S. walks tall and carries a big gun”. Nuff said.

Marco: Two years have already passed since Paul Raven’s death. Could you please leave an a brief testament to the Fabryka readers about your friendship and collaboration with this great artist?

I first met Paul back in 1989, I’d just moved down to London and a drummer I knew invited me to go jam with Raven on a new project… Killing Joke have always been a huge influence on my guitar style and to collaborate with Paul was a great experience. Killing Joke reformed shortly after and recorded the “Extremies, Dirt & various Repressed Emotions” album and I didn’t bump into Paul again til many years later, but we would cross paths over the years.. which eventually led to the formation of Mob Research in 2007 after we met up in Los Angeles, where I moved in 2005.

I was also impressed by his work with Al (Jourgensen) & Ministry who have always been a cool band that straddled the metal/industrial/alternative fence… my influences are also diverse, ranging from intelligent metal to dub to industrial to post punk so I felt a kinship with Paul… we both grew up in the Midlands UK - myself in Birmingham and Paul in Wolverhampton – so we identified with each other.. it’s a great loss..

NINa: What was the greatest music scene for you considering the totality of music history in terms of originality, sound, subculture, fans & labels, support or income? Was it 50's jazz, rock’n’roll; 60's psychodelic-progressive, pop; 70's hard rock, funky, soul; 80's pop, goth, new romantics, punk, glam rock, thrash, house; 90's industrial rock, grunge, country or the turn of the century 2000's nu metal, death metal, rap, hip hop? Or anything else I may have missed?

MGT: Well its all subjective really… as with most musicians, I love the music that influenced me at the time I started playing, so in late 1970’s and early 80’s I was heavily influenced by punk, post punk and bands such as The Skids, Generation X, plus Bauhaus and Joy Division who pretty much created the ‘goth’ sound.. but I was also influenced by classic bands such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music and T-Rex and later grew to love Led Zeppelin after Wayne turned me onto them.. but to answer your question, the greatest music scene was really the birth of Rock n Roll in the 1950s, that pretty much shaped the mould for any rock band that has influenced me since then.

NINa: Do you see any interesting, or new future for music? Should it stay computer driven, or should the musicians turn back to the original wood & steel made instruments to rely solely upon? Or should it be a combination of both musicianship and skill, combined with modern technology?

MGT: Definitely whatever turns you on as a musician really…. I have gravitated towards a combination of physical wood and steel instruments such as guitar, and also embraced the use of computers and digital recording technology because of studying advanced computer science at college… but it depends what you want to do and what you want to create… I’m sure pretty much all artists – regardless of musical style – now use digital recording technology to capture their sound, but for me the main thing is to use it to enhance your ability to create and capture your art, and to avoid letting it control the sound or process too much.

NINa: You were playing in a number of meaningful bands including the 80's famed Spear of Destiny, and The Mission amongst all. How did it feel to play a show in front of new wave and goth fans in the 80's? Has anything changed since then? Is the goth scene more about an image than anything else these days?

MGT: Well I may not be the best person to ask, as I didn’t join Spear of Destiny until 1989 and joined The Mission in 1992… but the thing with those classic alternative bands, many of the same fans who watched in the 80’s keep coming back in the 90’s and even now… when the Mission played 4 nights at London Shepherds Bush Empire last year, playing the first 4 Mission UK albums in their entireity – one each night – we saw many of the same faces who had been fans of the band in the 80s and 90s… many came back for this special event..

As for Goth… hard to say what it is these days… mostly an ideal, an image… many bands borrow from the classic goth image nowadays, yet their music may not necessarily be gothic at all.. I’d say its less about a musical movement nowadays – it was much more about the music associated with the ‘look’ in the 80s… nowadays its more about the look and what that projects.

Marco: Every time I read an Andrew Eldritch (Sisters Of Mercy) interview, there are inevitable, and even heavy accusations regarding Wayne Hussey (The Mission). Having worked at length with Hussey in The Mission, what is your opinion pertaining to this dispute?

MGT: I had a couple of drinks with Eldritch in Portugal fairly recently – around 10 months ago - as both the Sisters and Peter Murphy were staying at the same hotel and performing at the same festival, so we ended up at the hotel bar together.. I’m friends with Si Denbigh, Ben and Chris from the current SOM lineup..

Wayne has usually been fairly complimentary about Andrew as an artist in recent years, however it was obvious after chatting with Eldritch that he still has some bitterness towards Wayne and Craig (Adams) and what the Mission represent… I would have thought it would be all water under the bridge by now. I know Wayne is proud of his work on FALAA and would probably be open to performing with Andrew & SOM once again under the right circumstances.. but I imagine that Eldritch wouldn’t consider it.. shame really..

NINa: Do you recall any specific situation when you were hanging out after the shows with The Mission?

Too many to mention!

Marco: We have seen, on T.V. and mainly thanks to the social networks, a barbaric massacre against freedom of speech in the recent Iranian elections. Barbarism perpetrated assiduously, unfortunately even in China. Do you think that there is an inevitable armed conflict with these countries in the years to come as announced by various political media sources?

MGT: Hard to say what will happen with the tension in the Middle East, obviously there’s a lot of propaganda going on both sides – The Americans are not above creating media controversy for their own political and military gains… just look at the supposed weapons of mass destruction we were told that Saddam Hussein was withholding. Mind you, our singer Kory is more inclined to comment on these issues, I concentrate more on the music!

Marco: Michael Jackson, the greatest Pop Star of all time, died on June 25th, 2009. He lived a tormented life, from global success to the outrageous pedophilia charges. Are you a fan of his music? and what you think of his career?

Mark Gemini Thwaite: It was certainly unfortunate that Michael Jackson passed away due to an overdose of medication, of all things…. They just ruled it as a homicide here in LA which is controversial.. like many of our superstars, Jackson – like Lennon, Cobain, Buddy Holly and many other celebrities who die before getting old – will remain forever at their prime in the public’s mind.. I wouldn’t say I was a fan of his music per se, but the influence of the ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Thriller’ albums on rock music is undeniable, and he was arguably one of the worlds greatest live performers..

Mob Research at Myspace | www.markthwaite.com | http://www.mobresearchinc.com
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