Mark Sugar, a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of sorts, decided that it was time for a creative breakthrough. Leading him to forge together an all new project called Black Sites. Which would lead his creation to write and record for their debut album "In Monochrome". This being said and done, Mark took sometime to discuss this album, and the plans that are in-store for this brand new creation.
1. What's the name of your band, is it called The Black Sites or Black Sites?
Mark: It's just Black Sites. Although "The Black Sites" has a nice ring to it, maybe we'll change it for the next album.
2. What can be said about “In Monochrome”, that you think people should really know and would care about knowing.
Mark: I think it's an album with good songs and good riffs, heavily influenced by classic metal and prog rock. If any of that sounds appealing, than "In Monochrome" might be just the thing for you.
3. You decided to go with releasing a new song off the album called "Dead Languages". Can you discuss what this song is about and why was this song picked out.
Mark: I guess the best explanation for "Dead Languages" is that it's about about starting over, and how that can be difficult. It certainly relates to my situation with having a new band and some of the other things I've dealt with in the last couple years. It was our record label's idea to release this one first, probably because it was shorter than the rest of the songs, and we certainly couldn't argue with that.
4. Which other songs off “In Monochrome”, will be picked off to be made into the next single and or video?
Mark: Well, the title track "Monochrome" was already released, although there's no fancy video for it as of yet.
5. What was the recording process like this time around, for “In Monochrome”?
Mark: It was interesting, because we were recording an album and putting together the band at the same time. When we went into the studio, the band was only our drummer Chris and myself, and we just bashed it out. As we went along, we gradually added John (bass) and Ryan (guitar) to the lineup. A lot of the album was recorded at my home studio, which made for a more relaxed work environment. The whole process was pretty laid-back, and while I can't speak for the rest of the guys, I enjoyed myself.
6. Can you give us a bit of a story behind the tracks on “In Monochrome”?
Mark: Most of the songs deal with going through some sort of change or struggle. Some of it is about taking a closer look at a world you thought you knew, and not recognizing it at all. That's maybe not the most helpful explanation, but it's all I got.
7. When it comes to writing an album is there a brain child overseeing it all or do you all take an equal stab at it?
Mark: I wrote the songs this time around, although Chris did come up with some essential drum parts on "Burning Away The Day" and arrangements on some of the others.
8. Who produced “In Monochrome” and what was it like working with them?
Mark: The production was a collaboration between Quentin Poynter and myself. Quentin handled all the technical aspects of the recording and mix, while my role was more about the general sound and vibe of the album. I mostly just sat there and told him to turn the guitars louder.
9. Is there any story or concept behind the “In Monochrome” title?
Mark: There's no big story there -- the album's just named after the track "Monochrome." And the music on the album is very dynamic and high-contrast, so I thought the title fit well overall.
10. Who did the cover art for “In Monochrome” and how much input did you have on it?
Mark: I found the cover photo and did a rough design of the band's logo. The art department at Mascot Records were kind enough to make some improvements to it.
11. How do you all balance being in a band with the needs of normal life?
Mark: I'm not sure that anything we're doing could be defined as "normal life" anymore. Other than taking care of our basic survival needs, all of us are pretty focused on music.
12. What do you have lined-up for the rest of this year?
Mark: Our immediate goal is to play some shows. Our live debut is coming up February 10 in Chicago, and we should have info on more touring activity shortly.