Artists/Band Name: Mark Alexander Carroll
Music Genre: Rock
Other Genres: Progressive : Rock
Websites or Social Media Pages
Mark Alexander Carroll, like many Singers, Played in Bands and performed Covers, basically to get a “Gig”. These days, I prefer to write my own Music classified as a Singer/Songwriter, LOFI New Classic/Progressive Rock, and Adult Contemporary – Simply a Recording Artist. My influences include hints of 60’s British/American styles, 70’s Adult Contemporary, Progressive Rock/Alternative/Indie. I am a multi-instrumentalist and perform all Vocal parts including arranging, engineering, producing, mixing and mastering. That is what you hear. All copyrights are protected/published by Carroll-Tutor Music and I am a member of ASCAP for publishing and Artists. My Mantra is #Artists_Supporting_Artists, so I invite you to listen, become a FAN and share with others who may have an interest in these compositions. I’m looking forward to establishing new long-lasting friends and Fans of the Music. http://www.songwhip.com/markalexandercarroll
Mark Alexander Carroll,
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
I am considered a Singer Songwriter; however, I don’t think of it in the sense of the 70s description sitting on a stool with an Acoustic Guitar and telling stories about LoVe lost, Etc. I am a pure Rocker who composes New LoFi Classic Rock, Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary as well as liking to experiment with as many Genres that may to mind.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
My first Band was named The Victors and later Mark Carroll And The Victors. Mark Alexander Carroll (is) my Name and simply evolved as my Stage Name. I tried different approaches including an alter ego named “Alex Roll” that appeared on an Album/CD of Experimental Demo(s) called “Alex Roll – Untitled 4 A Reason.” It was critically dismissed and totally misunderstood. However, it was the best thing that could have happened. Failure has lead to what I would call a better Songwriter in the Stories being told and definitely in the Studio – Engineering, Mixing, Mastering – playing with the simple effects that is Mark Alexander Carroll.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
I was raised in a Family who played all styles of Music from Jazz, Big Band, Rockabilly, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country. My Brother is a decade older and I was influenced by the likes of Elvis The King and eventually directly influenced by All of the 60s trends that, of course, included The Beatles, The Stones (All the British Invasion Styles) which, in the beginning, were renditions of American Blues, R&B, and Soul that had hardly been listened to by us Americans. It turned out, The Brits appreciated America’s home-grown Music more than we did at the time! I could very easily drop some specific names of Artists that have been an influence on me; however, elements of all Styles have emerged in my releases. The Songs I have yet to officially release will show a bit more of the experimentation and roots to what is ultimately produced. I like to think of my Music as narrative, observational, fear, hope sprinkled in with making the body want to move off the couch (or not). The senses activated by our Minds are something I want and attempt to reach. Once a song is released, it’s no longer exactly the way I interpreted it, it is all up to the Ears of another. Of course, I desire to make Music in a variation of Genres, if we have to put a label on everything, that will be relatable to as many humans as possible.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I am in the process of collaborating with a Videography Professional to bring more of my finished tunes to life. When Radio was Killed by The Video (MTV), it almost makes it necessary to have Videos accompany a song. However, like Vinyl, I deeply believe that R-A-D-I-O is still, and will remain, a great source of Music for listeners to experience Non-Commercial or Unsigned Indie Groups and Individuals such as myself. While there are many many Streaming services, I strongly feel that Radio, specifically Underground Radio (Especially RISING STAR UNDERGROUND RADIO) is here to stay. I have new compositions yet to be recorded and have been fortunate to meet a lot of writers, via Social Media, who have volunteered lyrics for me to collaborate on. That is in addition to the writings I have.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
My ULTIMATE GOAL is to get my Music heard. In the 21st Century, that is NOT an easy thing to accomplish across all platforms. There are literally thousands of Songs released each week and it takes a lot of patience, rejection and fortitude to stick with it. I am at this time, strictly a Recording Artist writing, playing, singing (all parts and instruments) with the dream that an up and coming Artist (Individual or Group) would like to take as many of my Song(s) and make them their own. Of course, I will continue to Release my Music under Mark Alexander Carroll and I would desire to Produce and Collaborate with Folks interested in working with me. My Plan is to NOT do the same thing every day expecting a miracle to happen. One has to be flexible and as transparent as possible to reach their goals. A Plan of being consistent in daily writing, practicing, reading, collaborating, promoting as well as participating in Social Media are non-stop activities. It takes more than having a Dream to make it Reality. In addition, I have several Talented Indie Musicians who seek my opinion on all facets of the Business. I mentor whenever I can. Finding the time to do all of these must-do processes is always a challenge.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
‘These Words Remind’ is special to me as it continues to be relevant. It’s a song that speaks to the World where now, more than ever, we need “LoVe, Peace, Charity and Kindness – These Words Remind” . . . It’s not quite that simplistic . . . The Song also answers and challenges solutions to Human Problems. It questions what it takes to solve the endless matters which affect us all. While it was actually inspired by Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s ‘What The World Needs Now’, this song has the music of Progressive Rock with lyrics that call it like it is and back-up chorus singing that drive home the message we all need to hear. Another straight Rock Song I LoVe to perform is ‘Sunday Morning Aftermath’ which IS simplistic in it’s message and is very relatable . . . Mostly an account about what happens the night before!
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
It goes without saying, during 2020 and with the ongoing World Pandemic, the ability to perform in a public setting has put a lot of monetary pressure on the entire entertainment system. There was/is a “silver-lining” having to be in nearly complete isolation – the “time” could be watching TV all day/night OR being productive Writing, Recording and Collaborating across platforms such as Social Media. The expense of traveling on the road has been an issue all Musicians contend with and being away from loved ones is never easy. It has taken years of working and saving to monetize one’s Music career in regards to the right Equipment (Sound/Instruments/Production). As an individual, many more plans will need to be executed to play in front of an audience once some type of normalcy is achieved.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
Life Experience has given a palette to draw from as well as researching subjects through reading, listening and discussing with persons of all walks of life. Magazine, Newspaper clippings, a phrase here and there, ideas that come to you from a spiritual place. We pull out these nuggets of information that may be in the dark and shine a light upon it. Often, I will hear a melody first and then apply lyrics to that idea or sometimes the lyrics come first. The greatest gift is when it is possible to hear both the Music and Lyrics within ones imagination. Sometimes an idea comes from a sleeping dream experience. Keeping a pad and pencil by the bedside or your smartphone where you can record a thought, a phrase or hum a melody that hit you. I’ve found that if you envision something and say “oh, I’ll write or play that tomorrow,” it more than often NEVER happens. Inspiration has to be acted upon quickly. Also, you must be consistent in a routine even if “Life” gets in the way. Dedication, Focus, Priorities, Routines are all part of the process. It’s not all the same process for everyone and that’s why the question is asked and interesting.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Social Media has completely changed the Music Business Model and as technology expands rapidly into our lives, we must adapt immediately or be left behind. Staying ahead of the influences would be great, but is yet another tough thing for the majority populace. I have engaged deeply into Social Media and it has proven to be a blessing as well as a curse. I have met so many excellent Musicians who share the same kinds of Dreams we all have. It has given me the opportunity to spread the mantra of #Artists_Supporting_Artists. I don’t look at Music as a competition between each other. I feel that we must all help each other along our journey by being supportive via the Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (Etc.) Community. It’s a wonderful way of building an “organic” Fan base. The Price? It is “Time” . . . It takes up a lot of time and effort to appropriately and genuinely be a co-partner with others, especially across the Globe. In turn, that time eats into the earlier questions of What is your Biggest Challenge and What is your typical Songwriting Process? To be faithful to your Songwriting Process, you have to do it when the opportunity presents itself. Social Media can be a challenge when you want to help others, building you Fan Base and then Writing/Practicing/Recording – Producing a Satisfying product. So, Social Media has turned the Entertainment Business by 180 degrees and it is a tricky balance to be a Disciplined Songwriter and give your time (willingly) to others on Social Media. On a positive note, I would have never discovered RISING STAR UNDERGROUND RADIO, INC. without being a participant in Social Media.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
There are lots of Indie Players on my various Playlists. I have one Playlist that has Seventy-two Individuals and Groups that include Richard Orange (All The Way To China); United Duality feat Jaykle (United); Liz Davinci with Underhatchet (Joni Blue); A Band Called Paul (Shimalay – Single Mix); Rose Finn (Spirit of Skye); W. Ed Harris (Crowley’s/Johnny D’s); Paul Hulm (See You In Heaven); Mika Mamon (Stand Together Apart); Wild Horse (CAN’T); Man Eat Grass (Outta Hibernation); People Of The Parallel (Eyes and See); Wyatt Pauley (Let Me Be The One); Elisa Duwez (Escape with Me); Brett Basil (Time 2020); Chenel No. 1 (You have to Breathe); Fyyia (Hold On / Father); Big Star (Thirteen); Joni Mitchell (River); Blyss (Hollow Sun); Piet Louter (Girl from Next Door); Sugar Junkies (Salvation); Six String Surfer (De Wind); Steve Inglis (Diamond Girl); Rod Savage (Savage); The Technician “Theo Starr” (Shattered And Scattered); Five of Cups (Simple Machines); Stomp City (When A Blind Man Cries); Roger Brainard (Magnolia); Lofthouse leo (Self Belief); The John Michie Collective (I’ll Write Your Constellation); So Many More Indie and other Genres, too many to mention. Besides the aforementioned known Alex Chilton of BIG STAR and the beloved Joni Mitchell; I have New Rock ‘n’ Roll HOF inductee Todd Rundgren; The Beatles, The Stones; Yes; Carol King; Laura Nyro; Rush; Van Halen; Guns ‘n Roses; Nirvana; U2; Nine Inch Nails; Pearl Jam; Johnny Cash; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young…I believe you get the idea. There are so many Commercial Success Stories / Names I could drop; however, one will either Like/LoVe what I personally Produce or they will not. That is the beauty of the fact that Music is Universal and there something for everyone in our small World.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I was Kid! My first Professional Gig (yes, I got paid) was at the age of 12. I was an average Kid that participated in Sports and sang in the Youth Church and Adult Choirs; Piano Lessons; first seat as a Cornet Player; Was recruited by Upper Classmates who set the tone and songs I was to sing from RnR; Soul; R&B; Pop and then I broke into my own with my High School peers playing the type of Music that was a large influence in my Future Music direction.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Get use to the word “No” and Letters that open up with “We had a lot of tough decisions to make and Unfortunately…” Rejection. Develop a tough skin and mind. Don’t let your talent get built on a foundation of sand. Assuming you are talented, it takes a lifetime of dedication, getting the proper Musical and Math Education; Take lessons on the instrument of choice as well as other instruments; Vocal Coaches; Sing in Structured ensembles; Take all things seriously – but not too seriously. You must have FUN in any music direction you choose. You must have a Plan, Practice, Practice, Practice and then Practice – develop your skills – and, just maybe, you’ll get the support you’ll need to be successful. Keep Dreaming. It’s never too late and don’t forget that Fun thing. Learn all you can about the everchanging Music Business. Remember, if one door is closed, others will open as part of the journey. Don’t be afraid to Fail. That’s how one learns. …And, there are many opportunities in the Music Business other than being on Center Stage. Being a Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Mastering Film and Recordings – lots and lots of associated Business opportunities are available. Number One, keep your focus – your eye on the prize.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
Perhaps it has always been the “norm” – Money And Politics. Complete Honesty and Transparency would be a refreshing Business model. I believe in the development of Talent and perhaps stepping back and recall what made show business like no other. The Voice preceded by American Idol was certainly an innovative way to discover talent fast. That’s certainly a way to be the person in the right place at the right time. However, the general public does not know what goes on behind the scenes. Again, the Large Labels are fewer than before and as a Top Music Executive, you have to have something to sell. Yes, Talent is a product or a commodity to be sold on the market or to the top bidder. The question that is asked most is, “What have you done for me (us) lately?” It’s a high pressure game, if you will, on both sides of the Music Business Coin or “Cyber Currency” . . . For Musicians, it is still a competitive business and you must be true to yourself – you have to know what it is you want. Executives have the job of weeding out those who will not be truly dedicated/disciplined and ready to go in a moments notice. However, I believe there is room for a lot of undiscovered raw talent and everything doesn’t have to have the Shine of a perfect diamond. There are gems in the rough that, if given the chance, they would be great contributors to the industry. The Music Business is not a non-profit organization; however, there needs to be programs out there that will nurture and develop the talent pool. A more even distribution of the profits between parties could produce more in the long-run. What would I change? You can’t stop being innovative in the way Music is distributed and to be fair, the streaming business needs regulatory directions to give more to the Songwriters and the people who are making the Music. Executives who work with the Grammy Organization, ASCAP, BMI (others) must use their political power to get some of the arcadic Music laws changed to fit the modern day Business Model. We have no choice but to embrace technology and it is the best way to get Talent to all parts of the World. This gets back to full transparency. We need a more even playing field in order to compete. I would like to have some specific recommendation on how to change the industry; however, who exactly is privy to “inside information?”
How Do You Feel About Originality?
We have 12 notes – Octaves, of course. You / We do the Math. How many combinations are there? How many melodies are there that haven’t been thought of yet? Do Musicians steal ideas or concepts from each other? Of course we do. Has everything been written? The answer is No. So, how does one become original? There seems to be more questions than answers. It’s a definite challenge. Styles are invented, they fade away or forgotten and then, they come back. What was old is new again. Perhaps we do a concert on a suspended stage hanging from a Bridge needing repairs for the shock value? Stupid, yes! Originality comes from the basic knowledge of what is the norm. One does not want to be a cliche or a copycat. Executives, in the past see a formula that works and wants an individual or Group to regurgitate that same formula over and over again. That’s when groups eventually break up and/or no longer relevant. Experimentation is key. Cross-over Genres. Sound effects. Or, how about being authentic / simple. A classic melodic lead guitar may be best in a particular movement versus shredding Guitar Licks! It is my goal to calculate where things (instruments/vocals/effects) fit and do it with an open mind. Be willing to change the arrangement, add a chorus or bridge or not. A song may start out with an idea that ends up not being even close to the original concept. But that is Okay. Experiment with the old and the new – combine – extract – delete – repeat – create a whole new movement – change the time signature. Just don’t be afraid to make a mistake as it could turn out to be genius in its final mix.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
In the end, I give it all I have until there is nothing else to give. Can Music change the World? As I alluded to earlier, the Art of Music is to take a subject that is in the dark and shine a light on it. Tell a relatable story. A Real Story. Or, create a Fantasy that hasn’t been realized. 12 notes. That’s what we’ve got. Yes, sometimes a song can accelerate change; make a person think about things in a different way. Minds have been changed and as part of a Music community, My goal is to bring positivity and thought. . . . with a sweet melody and, yes – FUN!