"I remember hearing 'Like Unto Us' from the album that the CES put out for the seminary curriculum in High School. I was entranced! I didn’t particularly LIKE it, because what I really liked was rockers like Rush, Yes, Nazareth, and Kansas, but I remember being very excited that someone was doing LDS music--and it wasn’t a hymn!"
He went through various bands in high school and early college days, including a very short stint with a local Christian band called "Asaph", after the psalmist. That gig didn’t last long after the band found out he was Mormon.
"They sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t work out. They loved me and cared for me, though, and were worried about my soul, so they gave me some anti-Mormon books to help me see the light. Obviously, it didn’t work. The nice thing about it, though, was that they also introduced me to the sounds of "Petra" and "Rez Band". I knew that if the mainstream Christian world was making it work, I could do it for the Mormon world."
He then set down the guitar and served a mission in the Honduras, Tegucigalpa mission. All the time, the idea of making LDS rock was taking shape in his mind.
Soon after, Mark moved to Utah, where he met and married his wife, Jodi. In between other jobs, he kept involved in the Salt Lake music and recording industry, making friends and contacts, and slowly acquiring equipment and skills. Finally, in 1993, he released, "A Joyful Noise". The cassette had 10 songs, hand picked.
Then, in early 1999, he launched the "Joyful Noise" website, and began releasing those older recordings at the rate of one song each month. "Some of those were really only demo quality, but it really helped me build a body of work, and start to establish a name. Now, songs don't come as often, but they're much better recorded." They're still available for download for free (click into the Songs page for these free LDS music mp3's)!
His first CD release, "One United Generation", was completed in February of 2005. Four years in the making, it contains some of the finest work he'd done to that point. Mark said, "I thought about re-doing some of the old songs, but it just felt better to move forward. The newer tunes were better written, and I was really excited about getting them recorded."
Since then, work continues on new songs. "I finish a new one ever other month or so, and put it out as a single. And you never know from one to the next what it's going to sound like! I like to experiment!
"I like to draw from lots of different styles and blend it all together into an overall classic rock sort of sound. It keeps it all from sounding the same, but still keeps it rockin!"
So, come back often to check out the new tunes.