Monday, April 11, 2016

Interview with The Lost Souls of Broadway

For over two decades, Lost Souls On Broadway visionary Mark Sarro has valiantly persevered as a professional in the finicky music industry through intrepid artistic exploration and reinvention. Now, he announces the culmination of his journey with the album Anthems For The Fallen by his new band, Lost Souls On Broadway. Joining him in the studio were none other than producer and Gold Record recording artist Dean Davidson (Britney Fox, Blackeyed Susan), and studio legend Phil Nicolo (John Lennon, The Police, Bob Dylan)..

“We all have people in our lives who are cynical and say things that hold us back. For me, the album title signifies a call to arms for people to get out there and do what they love,” the Philly-based artist reveals.

Mark began his music odyssey in fourth grade playing violin. As a boy, he eyed his father’s trusty Kay acoustic guitar (an instrument he took of possession of years ago and has used to write most of the songs on Anthems), and, by age 13, guitar became his governing passion. Within two weeks of getting his first electric guitar, he was playing in bands. At 17, Mark and his older brother, a drummer, left home for a big time opportunity with a flashy producer. Though that deal went sour, it was the opening volley for him going pro.

Over the next twenty-two years, Mark would make a fulltime living as a musician, traversing touring and studio sideman duties, production projects, orchestral work, and multi-instrumental gigs, including stints singing, playing bass, drums, keyboard, and guitar. His artistic intuition and eclectic tastes have helped him work in a variety of music contexts, including pop, rock, metal, psychedelic, punk, and in avant-garde experimental music. In Lost Souls On Broadway Mark is the songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and conceptualist. Alongside Mark in Lost Souls On Broadway is his trusted bandmate and creative ally Matt Harrigan. Matt is a seasoned vet who has shared the stage with Cinderella and has been considered for plum sideman work such as playing with Vinnie Moore and Mattson Parry and the Truth.

“Lost Souls On Broadway is the most genuine and honest music I’ve done,” confides Mark. “These songs are raw and emotional.”

Lost Souls On Broadway’s singular aesthetic encompasses rock, blues, jazz, and alternative rock. Within these roiling dynamics, surprisingly, is a boldly vulnerable singer-songwriter approach to lyrics. “Music has always been therapy, it’s what’s kept me alive through life’s disappointments and dark times during my life in music,” reveals Mark.

The 14-track album is thoughtfully sequenced with peaks and valleys to provide the listener with a cathartic musical experience. Highlights in this dynamic album include the stirring title track, “Anthem For The Fallen,” the moody and galvanizing “Pieces,” the biting “Time,” and the spiritually centered acoustic closer, “Open Eyes.” “Anthem For The Fallen” is the album’s emotional centerpiece. Here, Mark boldly sings on the chorus: We are the lost and the brokenhearted, but we can’t be held down! “Pieces” features nimble tribal drumming courtesy of album producer Dean Davidson. “That’s about relationships and moving on when things don’t work out. I wrote it for myself to help me through a painful split, but it could apply to anyone who needs to find the strength to pick up the pieces and move on,” Mark says candidly. The album’s concluding track, “Open Eyes,” is peaceful, and Buddhist-like with its uplifting refrain: “All is one and one is all and all you need to know is you’re not alone…” Of that track, Mark says: “The message there is you’re really not alone at the end of the night, everything and everyone is connected.”

Anthems For The Fallen was recorded, mixed and mastered by Phil Nicolo at Studio 4, Conshohocken, PA. The album was produced by Dean Davidson, who works professionally under the moniker, Americana Bros. In addition to production chores, Dean also contributed drums, backing vocals, and guitar and piano on the title track. Dean has been an artistic inspiration to Mark since he worked with him many years ago. “I remember walking into his house and seeing Gold Records on the wall,” Mark recalls of Dean’s career milestones adorning his residence. “His personality is larger than life, and he’s taught me many valuable lessons in the years I’ve known him.” Incidentally, it was one of Dean’s lyrics that inspired Mark’s band name.

Looking back on the road that led to Lost Souls On Broadway, Mark says: “Everything I’ve done has brought me here, and this is my proudest work—it’s been the most rewarding time of my career. I hope when people listen they relate to it and understand that no matter how hard things get, they always get better. The message is: don’t give up.”

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