Mark Graham - All Roads lead to rock. When
growing up, the radio was always tuned to my favorite rock stations. It was
around all the time. The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix,
Yes, Neil Young, Jethro Tull – So many great artists and bands. That’s what
I heard, that was my life . For me rock had the ability to create so many
different moods. With it’s ass kickin’ power chords, hard hitting drums, and
grooving bass lines you’d want to party through the night. But it also had
its sophisticated classical side that would settle the soul and encourage
insight. It seemed like rock had something for everyone. It crossed all
barriers regardless of generation, color and nationality. It brought people
together. Music has that ability. When hearing
Led Zepplin for the first time, everything changed for me. Its explosive
drumming just blew me away. I wanted to play drums and play them like that!
As a drummer first, rhythm has always been the driving force behind my
music. John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell, Bill Bruford and Jazz legend Buddy Rich
have been my biggest influences.
I was a drummer for various bands playing shows in the New York/New Jersey
Club circuit while writing songs on the side. I had always kept songwriting
to myself, because it was kind of personal for me, until finally meeting up
with Joe Hollow, of Rockland County’s Legendary Metal Band Hollow (he is
presently the owner of Hollow Recording Studios and an executive of one of
the world’s largest Heavy Metal Clubs) Joe loved my music and recorded me.
He helped put together Absolute Zero and Soul Crisis. I wrote, arranged and
produced songs for both Absolute Zero and Soul Crisis. AZ was a hard rock
band with a lot of soul and talent heading for greatness. Soul Crisis also
had a lot of talent but it was more of an experience for me. It taught me
that songwriting is really about self-expression that comes from personal
I have always been passionate about my songwriting, especially the lyrics.
Music is and has always been a form of entertainment. As all entertainment,
music creates happiness and a sense of freedom to the listener. But music
can also be a platform, a message center for the writers own personal views.
Song writers such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney brought such
depth to music. Their lyrics alone stirred up the pot of social issues. It
is very hard to not let your beliefs affect your writing in some way or
another, but I do my best not to let it happen all the time.