By Will Brown
Mark Wilkinson is returning to New Zealand this week for a series of shows, his first in this country since 2014.
I caught up with Mark ahead of the tour...
You recently released your new 'Come With Me Tonight' EP. This time you produced it yourself?
Yeah that’s right., It was a little bit of a learning curve for me, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to try. So it was my first time producing.
Where did you record the EP?
It was a little bit scattered over the place. We recorded the beds of the tracks; the drums, the bass and the piano, in a really nice studio called The Grove in New South Wales. Then we did a bunch of overdubby things in a few different studios.
Was it hard for to you to pick the songs for the EP?
Yeah, it’s always a little bit of a process trying to choose which tracks to go with. I mean we’ve kind of got an over supply of songs so I’ll be following up with a full length album. We’ve got too many songs which I guess is a good problem to have, but in the end it’s hopefully choosing a nice balance of songs that compliment each other.
You mentioned that you’ve got plans for a full length album to follow. When are you hoping to release that?
Well we’re still kind of debating whether to go with another EP and then the full length album. But basically in the next six months we’ll be putting something out. That might be another 5 track EP or it could be a new album… we haven’t quite made that decision yet. But there will be something new.
Who were your early musical influences?
I was listening to a lot of David Gray, Ben Harper and Jeff Buckley. People like that, because those were the sort of songs that I was writing. I was listening to lots of different types of music but that was the sort of style that I saw my music heading.
When and how did you first start getting into performing music?
It was pretty random for me. I finished High School and was living with a mate of mine who played guitar. He taught me a little bit and I started playing and learning the basics; it kind of took over my life at that point. It made me think what the hell had I been doing with my life?
Slowly over time it turned into something a little bit more and then eventually became a career which is something I never would have dreamed of in the beginning.
You’re playing shows in New Zealand very shortly, it’s been a couple of years since you were last here…
Yeah, it’s fantastic to be coming back. We’ve been head down doing a lot of recording so the touring side of things has been a little bit quieter over the last 12 months or so, but looking forward to being back in New Zealand.
And you’re bringing Annabelle Kay out with you. Have you worked much with her before?
Yeah, I’ve done a tour with Annabelle before and she’s fantastic. She’s got really beautiful songs and our styles kinda compliment each other. It’s really nice to be on the road with her.
You’ve toured the States with many impressive artists, have you got a favourite that you’ve worked with?
There’s so many amazing artists and I’m very lucky. Definitely one of the favourites for me is Diesel. I’ve done a lot of shows with him in Australia and I just think he is one of the most underrated musicians going around.Vocally and technically he’s just incredible, I’m a big fan.
Following the New Zealand shows what are your plans after that?
Just have a couple of weeks off and then heading over to Europe. I’ll be doing some shows at the end of July and August in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. It should be great!
Thursday June 16th: Blue Smoke, Christchurch - Tickets via MarkWilkinsonMusic
Friday June 17th: Meow Meow, Wellington - Tickets via Under The Radar
Saturday June 18th: The Tuning Fork, Auckland - Tickets via Ticketmaster