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Mark Bragg – Interview

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Mark Bragg Interview Jan 9, 2012





1.   So you’ve been the band leader since day one.   Do you feel like it’s
too much pressure?

No, never.  I like being in charge.  Even when I’m a sideman I still like to tell people what to do. I’m an arsehole that way I guess ;).


2.  Are your songs about real experiences or fiction?  Which is better and

Fiction.  I write narrative fiction, story songs.  My real life is pretty boring.  I should qualify that… boring but immensely satisfying.  It does help to have a richly imagined fantasy playground to hang out in though.  That’s songwriting for me.


3.   What’s on your ipod today?

The new Tom Waits album, Nick Cave, and Randy Newman


4.  Three albums under your belt. When can we expect the next one?

Your Kiss 2011
Bear Music 2006
The Reckless Kind 2001

I guess if I am following this pattern my next will be in 2016, but I’m trying to change that and be more on top of it.  2016 seems like a long ways away!


5.   You played PopKomm in Berlin a dream for many musicians.  Can you tell us a little about the experience.     How did the European crowds react your music?

On good nights they freaked out.  On bad nights they tolerated us. That was the tour in Germany.  The actual popkomm event actually felt more like ECMA’s, because it was a showcase with all Canadian bands. It was fun though.


6.   It seems like you’ve worked with everyone in the Canadian music scene at some point or another: Mark Neary (The Novaks), Benn Ross (Thrush Hermit) and Adam Warner (White Cowbell Oklahoma) to name a few.    Is there anyone you plan to work with in the future or anyone you’d hope to?

Now that I’ve finally got a new record of my own out, I feel like I’d like to put on my producers cap again.  Would like to make an album for The Domestics and maybe another one for Blair Harvey in the future. That said, I’d love to have Brian Blade drum for me sometime.


7.    If you could hand pick anyone to produce your next album (besides yourself) who would it be and why?

That’s a tough one.  Maybe Nick Cave, or whoever it is on his team that draws the good stuff out of him and gets it to tape. His records are amazing.


8.   It’s been said many times that the big companies in the recording industry are crashing.   As large recording studios continue to close down and bands choose the DIY over seeking record deals, what’s your opinion on the music industry today?   Is the digital age a good thing?


I love it. I love all the possibilities, and I love that almost anyone can carve out a modest living for themselves doing whatever kind of specialized music they want if they aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and dig in… embrace the business side of it.  The music industry is alive, kicking, fun even.  It’s also easier to take part in these days. You just have to do it.


9.   If you could co-write a song with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?

Probably Otis Redding.  I would love to hear that voice singing words that I had a hand in making.


10.     Who would you rather share a beer with:  Chad Kroeger or Freddy Kruger?

I’d have a beer with Freddy Kruger right after we chopped up Chad Kroeger.


11.   Your last album “Your Kiss” was recorded live off the floor!   Will you be replicating this approach on your next album?    Why did you choose to record this way?

It was the best way to capture the energy of a great band digging in and unrestrained.  It was also fun. Making albums can be tedious work, but playing gigs is a blast.  Once we were set up that way, it was easy to pretend that we were playing a show and be comfortable with it.



12.   What’s your favorite venue to play in St. John’s and why?

The Ship. It has a kind of magic.  I don’t know if I can do it justice to try to describe it.


13.  Best or worst road story?

A woman burst into our hotel room in the middle of the night in Windsor Ontario looking for something and freaking out. We told her we didn’t have it and she left, but there was a man outside trying to get her to go back in for some reason.  They were arguing and we were wondering why the locks didn’t work on the doors.



Mark will be heading to Quebec and Ontario in February for more info please visit:


By: Darrell Shelley


Mark Bragg – The Cutter (Live At The Ship Pub) from HEAVYWEATHER on Vimeo.