Interview: Mark Sullivan

To mark the launch of his “Still Good for Nothing” EP, Hertfordshire born singer-songwriter Mark Sullivan embarked on two UK tours: the Coffee House Sessions and the Caffè Nero Tour, which took him to venues up and down the country.

On the back of the tours, Mark chatted to David Wriglesworth about his experience and his latest EP.

It was whilst watching Noel Gallagher perform on MTV’s “Oasis Unplugged” that Mark Sullivan and his two friends decided to form a band. The result was Gekko, who went on to perform at Dublin Castle, Bulldog Bash and Rock In The Park, as well as on local BBC Introducing shows.

Following the band’s split, Mark continued to play as frontman of acoustic duo, The Marksman, alongside percussionist Clint Henderson, before pursuing his dream of a solo career in January 2013.

Mark, whose inspirations include Jimi Hendrix, Donny Hathaway, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and John Mayer, said: “It’s great playing in a band because you have more avenues you can explore with the overall sound, but performing on my own allows me to portray a different side of my music and songs.

“Some songs will inevitably take on a new life when you have other people adding their feel and groove to the song, whereas when I’m on my own there’s more of a personal feel to them.”

Mark Sullivan’s solo career got off to a flying start with slots at Osfest in Derbyshire and The Troubadour in London, where Mark was spotted by London-based music agency, Live and Loud. This resulted in gigs at Elland Road Stadium, Ricoh Arena, Bolton Arena and Wembley Arena.

After speaking with several top producers, Mark flew out to America to record his “Still Good for Nothing EP” with Grammy-nominated producer Steve Greenwell (Joss Stone). Speaking about his “amazing, unforgettable” experience, Mark said: “It helped me grow as a musician and see things from a greater perspective.

“To be able to be in a room with this guy was special. We spent many hours going through tracks and discussing what message I wanted to get across on each track. By doing this, you can immerse yourself in the song and really get into a place that lets you create freely and also capture it.”

On his return from America, Mark Sullivan secured a slot at his first major festival, Isle of Wight, and was invited to perform tracks from his “Still Good for Nothing EP” on the Coffee House Sessions and Caffè Nero tours.

Mark was pleased to get around the country, adding: “I’ve had some great feedback on the new record and it nice to try some of the different foods around the country!”

The title of Mark Sullivan’s “Still Good For Nothing EP”, which was released in January 2017, is “a little bit tongue-in-cheek”, he explains. “This is the most important EP I’ve ever done and it could still be for nothing. That part of it is not up to me, it’s up to the listener.”

“Warm Your Bones”, the first single to be taken from the EP, is about still being in love with someone in spite of the ups and down in the relationship. Mark believes many men can relate to the track, explaining: “We are all the same in a roundabout way with many differences in between.

“I feel we all need love and to be loved to function properly. I think everyone can relate to loving someone close to them and putting up with the ups and the downs because​ you enjoy having that person in your life. They enlighten your life.”

Mark Sullivan’s “Still Good For Nothing EP” is out now on Loudshirt Productions. You can listen to the EP on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Soundcloud.