Nuke The Soup
'Yes, Soup For You!'
Maryland-based pop rocker Mark Davison of NUKE THE SOUP ( www.nukethesoup.com), will make a splash in Annapolis, MD on Sept. 27 with a special solo performance at the East of Maui Board Shop playing music from the new album, Make Waves Not War, during the store's Fall Windsurfing Equipment Swap Meet.
The band made their inaugural performance at Delaware’s Dewey Beach Music Conference in 2006. Nuke the Soup’s first single, “Filled with Dread” was one of the most added radio tracks on FMQB’s Triple A chart its first week out. It’s also a perfect intro to the eclectic mix of clever pop/rock tunes on the band’s debut album on Meteor Records.
The eleven track collection features a host of top flight East Coast musicians (keyboardist Brian Simms, bassist Mike Mennell, guitarist Rennie Grant) as well as drum legend Chester Thompson, who has played with Weather Report, Frank Zappa and on and off with Genesis for more than 30 years.
Exclusive Magazine had the recent pleasure of speaking with Mark about the band ... and penguins!
Your music has many influences, so who were your own musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "I listened a lot to AM radio growing up so my influences are pretty varied but definitely more pop – one hit wonders included. The Bobs, Dylan and Marley, made lasting impressions on me and are still a source of inspiration. I like Neil Young’s songs and they’re easy to play on guitar so he figures in there, too."
With an album title such as 'Make Waves Not War,' what is the message you're trying to get out? "We’re having a little fun with the old sixties adage, substituting another way to make love – with the ocean. As opposed to really nuking something we’re proposing the opposite."
And what's with that highly-original group name anyway?! "On the surface, it’s a more colorful way of saying “heat it up!” I like using it referring to things like windsurfing and surfing. When it’s really blowing we say “it’s nuking”, so “nuking the soup” certainly follows. You hear water references in many Nuke songs."
And just what is this story about Eddie Vedder coming to you in a dream and singing - and then Neil Diamond showing up too!! "For the record, Neil Diamond was not in my dream. I had seen a documentary where a Neil Diamond impersonator and his wife are joined onstage by Eddie Vedder. It must have made some impact on me because a few days later Eddie joined me onstage (in a dream). He was singing the chorus to the song I call “Our Song” when I woke up. Now Eddie’s singing, but it’s my dream. I quickly wrote down what I could remember and that is the nucleus of “Our Song”."
Tell us more about the host of top flight East Coast musicians that join you on this recording and whose involvement you are most thrilled to have captured "Pete Solley was a major contributor to this record, producing and playing keyboards on many tracks. His name is on a lot of great records – The Romantics hits “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep” - and I value his input. A person I was happy to have onboard for the first time was Chester Thompson. Most know Chester as drummer for Zappa, Weather Report, and Genesis. I’ve known Chester (met through a mutual friend) for years and we both enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate on a project."
"Other players I can’t leave out are Mike Mennell, who flew in several times from LA to do a fantastic job on bass, and our local guys who are the standouts in this area. Brian Simms plays amazing B-3 and other keys and has been a stalwart through the Cubic Feet days. Rennie Grant and Andy Thurston added textures on guitar that really helped bring the songs into focus."
Indeed, how easy or hard is it to create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderments and accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "I don’t know for sure that we’ve done that, but we keep trying! There’s nothing new under the sun, but you mix things up a little, shake up the order, and there’s no telling what you may come up with. Instead of trying to figure out what the public likes or put out something in the current vein of radio, for this record I just did what I felt. We had fun recording it and I think that comes across when you listen to this album."
Will Cubic Feet ever perform live again and record a new album, perhaps? "I have a “Best Of” Cubic Feet record, with several new unreleased tracks, ready to go anytime. Woody and I have gotten together to play a couple of times recently, so a reunion album and tour is not out of the question. At this point it’s more a matter of time and priority. For now, we’re both kind of content seeing where our individual solo paths will lead."
If asked to record one for charity, what '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today and why? "You know, I’ve never recorded a cover song – with Cubic Feet or Nuke. And we seldom play them. That’s partly the reason we haven’t – it puts too much weight on the decision of which one to do. So I don’t think I can answer this one. If I had to pick a song to cover, it probably wouldn’t be from the ‘80s, silly or otherwise."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine loves Penguins ...do you? "Of course! I was lucky enough to get to see the nightly feeding ritual of the Fairy Penguins in South Australia. These are pint sized Penguins and every night, after a long day of fishing, they return to their nests to feed their young. Quite a sight!"
Interview: Russell A. Trunk
So, if you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Nuke The Soup's new CD, just answer this easy question: On Sunday, Sept. 27, when a solo performance by front man Mark Davison is in full swing, during a Fall Equipment Swap Meet at the East of Maui Board Shop, a portion of the proceeds from CD and t-shirt sales will be donated to which Foundation?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful AUTOGRAPHED CDs by Mark himself from Nuke The Soup! Just send us an e:mail here before October 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED NUKE THE SOUP CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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