Bassist Mark David Interview

A storytelling power metal project primarily based in upstate New York (Albany, NY.) Formed in 1988, by the trio musician/songwriting team of; Mark G David, Chuck Woodard, and Paul G Warrior.

Kyrie Ellison's sound was cut from the mid-1980 progressive metal movement cloth. Influenced heavily by artist like Fates Warning, Queensryche, Crimson Glory, Hittman, Savatage, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, NWOBHM, and thrash/speed metal bands of the 80s. The band spent three years warming up national metal acts locally and never made it passed the demo phase. As metal surrendered to grunge in the early 90s; Kyrie Ellison disbanded in November 1991.

Co-founding member, Mark G David teamed up with guitar virtuoso: Mike Campese. Mike’s rock fusion style was a nice fit for Mark’s busy basslines and the two have been performing live together since 1999. Chuck kept musically active in various projects (most notably: vocals for Kid Bludo’s debut release, ‘Up & Away.’)

2013, brought Mark, Chuck, and Paul together again for the sole purpose of completing a long overdue Kyrie Ellison debut album. Recorded in various locations throughout 2014, Kyrie Ellison – Untold Stories: The Scriptures Of Sadness will be released in January 2015. Demo songs were reworked from the original 1990 demo and new songs written to complete the 10 song record. Vocals were handled by session vocalist: Chad Wagner (Born2Rule.) Drums tracks were provided by (long-time friend) Jason Bittner (Flotsam and Jetsam, Toxik, and Shadows Fall) and Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Warlord, and Chroma Key.) Guitar solos were also added from guitar virtuosos: Mike Campese and Chris Caffery (Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.)

What’s in the name? Nothing, it’s based on the fictional story of a 17th century fortune-teller. The name was created or deranged from the Fates Warning song “Kyrie Elieson” by Paul “Warrior” Joseph and etched in the Kyrie Ellison song (Foreseen Destiny) lyrics and story by Mark G David. Metal bands need a haunting cover/image and a good story for writing future lyrics around, so why not create your own!

Guitarz Forever.com Interview w/ Bassist Mark David
 
Scott > Hi Mark, How are you doing these days?

Mark > Doing very well, thanks Scott! Especially now that the album is done and released...no more late nights for the time being, until the next one! LOL

Scott > What’s the genesis for the NEW Kyrie Ellison - Untold Stories: "The Scriptures of Sadness" album?

Mark > Kyrie Ellison is a metal band I co-founded in the late 80s. We were active from 1988-1991 and had released a 4-song demo tape (when demos were audio cassettes and not MP3s or CDs.) The nucleus of the band centers around myself on bass and two guitar players. We had a revolving door of drummers and singers for the three years and it grew very frustrating at times. We were mainly originals with a couple covers, by 1991: we were more covers than originals and decided it was enough and disbanded. In 2012, I found the original demo and posted a couple songs to YouTube with old photos and VHS footage. It seemed like people were digging the sound (especially in Greece.) I reached out to the original guitar players and asked if they wanted to re-record those demo songs, the few we had never properly recorded, and add a couple new ones. They were all in! We spent 2013: writing and recording on a laptop and brought in session guys to finish it off. The album is based on a fictional character we developed named "Kyrie Ellison" and the songs are stories from her book of shadows (or Untold Stories as we call it.) It's a concept record and some people have started to figure it out. We thought it'd be wise to include what Kyrie Ellison or who she is in our minds, rather then having people search the internet for someone that doesn't exist. LOL
 
Scott > Please introduce the musicians who helped with creating the music.

Mark > Chuck Woodard: guitars, Paul Joseph "Warrior": guitars. Drums were handled by Mark Zonder (Fates Warning/Warlord) and Jason Bittner (Flotsam & Jetsam/Shadows Fall.) All vocals were completed by Chad Wagner (Born2Rule.) We also thought it'd be rockin' to have friends contribute guitar solos: Mike (Campese) and Chris Caffery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Savatage) had some time available to do some shredding for us. I really like the idea of having many musicians contribute. We'll be looking at even more down the road on future recordings, I'm sure.
 
Scott > What was your role?

Mark > I wear many hats in this band: co-founder, co-songwriter, producer, bass player, keyboards, and some guitars. I'm also co-responsible for the band's direction and the person that acquired/secured the session musicians.   
 
Scott > Is the music writing a collaborative effort?

Mark > 100% yes. Chuck or myself write a riff and start to craft that idea into a song. Once we have it hashed out well enough to email a rough outline to Paul (he lives 7 hours away now,) we get his input and ideas. We then record scratch guitars and bass to a click track and send it out for drum tracking. Once we get the drums back, we often tweak the original idea... lyrics and melodies are handled by myself and Chuck.
 
Scott > Tell me what it is that spoke to you about this project.

Mark > Finishing off a project that started so long ago and putting an exclamation point on it, was very appealing. Being a bass player and long time fan of Mark Zonder, it was a dream come true having Mark as my "partner-in-crime" member of the rhythm section. Besides, I've been performing live with Mike (Campese) for well over a decade but NEVER recorded on any of his CDs. It was time to venture out: writing and recording music very near to my heart.
 
Scott > What are your personal highlights on the new album?

Mark > Having Mark Zonder playing drums...no question! Listening to Mark in my headphones and laying down bass tracks needless to say, I had a big smile on my face. There's recording and then there's have a blast recording. Mark's drum patterns made it a party. Jamming with Paul and Chuck after 20+ years and seeing the magic and fun was still there was a highlight, too. Jason Bittner we've known for years and it was nice having him throw down for us. Savatage is a Kyrie Ellison influence so having Chris Caffery lay down a smoking solo was a thrill. Through the years, folks have said it'd be great to hear Mike (Campese) play in a 5-piece metal band setting: here's that opportunity. Playing Mike's music for so many years...I'm glad he was able to contribute to my music: with scorching solos!!      
 
Scott > How did you first get into the music business?

Mark > Kyrie Ellison, back in 1988. Although there was a lull from 1992-1998, I'm here to stay now!
 
Scott > Who have been your main influences on your career to date?

Mark > Musicians: Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads, Geezer Butler, Steve Harris, and Joey Vera. Bands: Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Fates Warning, and Queensryche.
 
Scott > What are you listening to these days?

Mark > Fresh from seeing the TSO Holiday show (I'm still on a Trans-Siberian Orchestra kick - holiday and non-holiday,) Warlord: The Holy Empire, John 5: God Told Me To, Accept: Blind Rage, Avantasia, Red Dragon Cartel, Children of Bodom, The Veer Union, and I don't think a day passes that I don't spin something from Fates Warning/Queensryche/Yngwie. I'm also exposed to a ton of music because I'm a radio personality and my vehicle is equipped with satellite radio (the metal stations and 70s channel are constantly being monitored by my ears.)
 
Scott > What were your favorite recording artists and or bands as a teenager?


Mark > Mostly metal bands: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Yngwie Malmsteen, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Fates Warning, Queensryche, King Diamond, Lizzy Borden, Slayer, and my enjoyment of the Bee Gees has people baffled (but listen to their production and melodies-top notch.) Good music is good music and I listen to a lot of styles and forms!  
 
Scott > So Mark, tell me a little bit of what you’ve learned about human nature during this new production.

Mark > Patience, patience, and patience!

Scott > I also don't want to forget this... Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart?

Mark > Nice question! I enjoy acting and have been doing that for a little while now. Dramas, musical theater, orchestra pit, film...I've done it all! I've been cast in an upcoming web series called: "I'm Home." That'll be filming in a few weeks and I don't have much information on that yet. My full acting resume can be found on my website: markgdavid.com  
 
Scott > I would like to thank you for your time and candor with our loyal readers and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some awesome metal music.

Mark > You are certainly welcome, Scott! You deserve the thank you, though! You work very hard in spreading the word and getting information out to the public...it's no easy task! I'm so appreciative of all you do. Thanks for digging our music and giving me the opportunity to have this great discussion with you and yes, more music is coming! Stay well and keep rockin!!   
 

kyrieellison.com

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