After devoting the last few years to producing and mixing for various artists, composing for television-film-advertising and writing for publications such as Songwriter’s Market and Guitar World, Mark Bacino finally returns to his post as power pop, singer-songwriter with the release of a new single, “Not That Guy”.
“Not That Guy” not only signals the musical return of the artist TimeOut NY once called “A trad-pop, wonderboy…,” but it also marks the first of several, single song releases Bacino has planned for the coming months.
Mark explains: “Given my schedule as producer, composer, mixer and sometimes hack, music journalist, I’ve found myself a bit time challenged of late when it comes to recording music for myself as an artist. Rather than wait to amass an album’s worth of new material before sending it out to the world, I thought why not just release the new tunes as I finish them?”
An up-tempo, piano-driven, pop rock ode to the trials of “friend zone” banishment, “Not That Guy” features Jay Sherman-Godfrey (Laura Cantrell, TMBG) on guitars/bass/keys and Joe McGinty (Ryan Adams, Ronnie Spector) on piano.Buy "Not That Guy" on iTunes or Amazon.com.
For more information on Mark Bacino, please visit www.markbacino.com
Mark was so kind to have a Q&A with PowerPopSquare (thanks Mark!):
Q: Tell me about the new song “Not That Guy.” How did it come into being?
A: Well, “Not That Guy” is one of a batch of new tunes I’ve written. I guess it came into being like most of my songs do - just me sitting with an acoustic guitar, messing around with different chord patterns, humming different melodies until I find something that strikes me as interesting. Once I had the music in place, somehow I came up with the idea to write some lyrics about a guy who been permanently banished to the “friend zone” by this girl whom he’s madly in love with. As the lyric developed, I expanded the story - we learn the girl has a boyfriend who treats her with indifference and despite our hero treating her with love and respect, in her eyes, he’ll never be more than “just a friend.” Ultimately it’s really just a play on the classic, unrequited love theme. Unfortunately, whether you’re a guy or a girl, I think we’ve all been there, so hopefully folks will find the song relatable.
Q: Who are your musical idols or which musicians do you admire most?
A: Wow, that’s a tough one. There are so many musicians that have had a great affect on me. Too many to name, but if I had to quickly pick just a few, I’d probably have to go with two legends - Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. Paul for his sheer tunefulness, just a born songwriter. And Brian for the same, plus his production prowess. What an incredibly musical mind.
Q: Will there be a new full-length record in the near future?
A: I have about an album’s worth of new songs written and I’ve been slowly recording in fits and starts, but given my schedule as producer, composer, mixer and sometimes hack, music journalist, I’ve found myself a bit time challenged of late when it comes to recording music for myself. As such, I started to think, rather than waiting to finish an album’s worth of new material before sending it all out into the world, why not just release the new tunes as I finish them? So that’s the plan for now. Not to say it won’t change.
Q: Is there anything outside making music / producing you do to rejuvenate your creativity?
A: I’m still a huge fan of music, so I try to listen to as much as I can, by a variety of artists, to nurture and spark my creativity. Doing that continues to inspire and seems to hit the reset button for me. I also love to read. I find that too has a similar effect.
Q: Do you remember what your first record was?
A: The first record I had as a little kid was a vinyl, 45 single of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” by B.J. Thomas. Loved that record. Later I came to find out that the song was, of course, written by the great Hal David and Burt Bacharach. Seemed I had pretty good taste in songwriters. Not that I cared back then. I just loved the tune. It’s funny, but if you listen to the music I make, and then you learn that “Raindrops…” was my first record, it actually explains a lot.
Q: What is Power-Pop for you? Are you able to define the genre?
A: I think Power-Pop’s definition is pretty broad these days, generally encompassing any kind of ultra-melodic, slightly retro-ish music. That said, I’ve always thought of it in more specific terms. Like songs with big, crunchy guitars, big hooks, big harmonies and big drums. Kind of like if you took, say, the early Beatles and had them play through big Marshall amps with maybe two Ringos instead of one (no offense, Mr. Starr). Cheap Trick or The Raspberries are power-pop bands to me. Folks have categorized my music as power-pop and I’m guilty of sometimes using the term to describe what I do as well, but I think while I’ve certainly made some power-pop music, I’m not a hard-core power-pop artist. Maybe only in the broad sense of the definition I described earlier.
Q: What’s your opinion regarding streaming services like Spotify and Deezer? Is this the end of the road for music distribution?
A: It’s certainly a heated topic these days. I’d say as a music fan, I love streaming. I, personally, subscribe to Spotify and totally love having nearly the history of recorded music at my fingertips, at all times. That said, as an artist/working musician, streaming and the lackluster royalty rates that currently source from the companies who facility the format, certainly make it harder for musicians to make a living. Ultimately, I think it’s important not to demonize the technology. It seems folks love streaming and anything that gets people listening to more music has to, ultimately, be good for the music maker. Despite many a musician’s protest, we’re never going back to the old forms of distribution. As such, I think our energies would be better focused on coming together as artists and seeing how we can work collectively to try and make our piece of the streaming pie a little more fair/lucrative. I’m optimistic. I think it will happen, but it may take a good long while.
Q: Tell me your 3 lonely island records!
A: Oh, such an impossible question! I’m pretty sure my answers would change daily. I’ll have to go with some standards then - let’s say The Beatles “Revolver,” The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” and I’ll throw in Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” as well. Such a hard question!