An Interview with
The Lead Singer of
that took place on Thursday October 26th, 2018
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan
Glenn: Where did the name 'Departed' come from and why that name for the band?
Mark: Naming a band is a really difficult thing to do, we were struggling to think of a name and virtually gave up until at a song writing session between Ben and myself I suggested “Departed” due to it being on his custom guitar strap. Ben had this custom strap made whilst on tour with his previous band during their time in America opening for Motley Crüe and Kiss. 'Departed' is the name of one of their tracks. Also, between Ben and I, we had lost significant people in our lives and it felt fitting as this situation also helped to bring us together in writing and as friends.
Glenn: Give us a brief insight of how the band came to be and introduce the members to us!
Mark: Long story short - My band at the time was coming to end and I was hungry for more and to push myself into the music business. I auditioned for a 'new project' based around Cambridge and in doing so met Ben who played at my audition. My third audition was cancelled as Ben was leaving the managers main band due to personal reasons and due to him being unhappy with the bands set up. Ben moved back to the southwest (which is where I’m based) and I got in touch to see if he’d be interested in writing and playing some new music.
After a while he finally gave in and we started to jam some songs and knocked out a few covers to get ourselves going. We spent about a year writing and working on ideas whilst trying to find the right people to join us. We’ve been through a few line up changes and disappointments along the way, but last March was the first show with the current line up and we haven’t looked back since! I’m Mark Pascall, lead singer. Ben Brookland, lead guitar. Howie Spring, bass guitar. Connor Spring, Drums.
Glenn: What songs are you most proud of so far and why?
Mark: I feel that 'Are you ready?' has really come into its own. It’s been really well received and goes down extremely well live. We do feel that our songs are very strong and it’s hard to pick a favourite as such, but we are really excited about the new material that is coming through now! We’ll be playing a couple on this tour, so we are excited to see how it’s received.
Glenn: What material do you hold most dear to your hearts and what are you most looking forward to performing that will grab the crowds heartstrings in your personal opinion?
Mark: I think we’ve put so much into each song that again it’s hard to choose. We put everything in to our performances too, so we hope that people watching can see that we are the real deal. I’m really looking forward to some of the new material plus hearing the opening chords to our first song is always such an amazing experience!
Glenn: What led you to becoming the support band for the Michael Schenker Fest UK dates?
Mark: Basically we expressed interest to a mutual contact between us and Michael Schenker, our material was passed on. Michael and his band loved what they heard and we got the offer! It was crazy!
Glenn: What are you particularly looking forward to for the shows and why?
Mark: Meeting a lot of new people who share the same passion as us! Apart from London we haven’t played the other Cities and it’s great to see the support we already have before we’ve even arrived! We can’t wait!
Glenn: Tell us why the Michael Schenker fans should make sure to get in early to see you guys – what are they missing otherwise?
Mark: Come and see the future of the British rock scene! Everyone needs to support the new bands that are coming through at the moment. The scene is filled with amazing talent and without decent support we will starve the creativity and hope. It’s incredibly difficult for bands to 'break' and to be heard. We are doing our best and won’t let you down! Get there early and see what we mean!
Glenn: What is next after the Michael Schenker Fest shows and the remainder of 2017?
Mark: At the end of November we will be opening for Big Country in Cardiff at The Globe, appearing at Planet Rockstock and we will be doing a co-headline show (with Mason Hill) at The Camden Underworld on Dec 15th.
Glenn: I think it's great how you have supported Graham Bonnet before – love to know about that!
Mark: That was a cool show, it was early days for us as a band and we loved it. Thanks to The Bierkeller, Bristol. Graham is such a big voice in rock and it was great to share the stage with him! Maybe we could have a sing off sometime ?
Glenn: In what way would you describe the style of the band – a cheesy question I know, but what the hell! Feel free to give me the most ott answer you like!
Mark: Haha, melodic hard rock, taking on influences of classic to modern day rock. We are a very eclectic band with influences ranging from AC/DC - John Mayer - Incubus - Slash - Aerosmith - Myles Kennedy - Black Crowes - The Rolling Stones etc etc. All of this really helps to shape the sound of the band and to give it its natural energy.
Glenn: Tell us about your goals for next year.
Mark: We are looking to keep progressing and to get our music out into the big world. We love playing live and want to continue doing so, so please come along and support us where you can.
Glenn: What have been the highlights of your own career so far and why?
Mark: Well, within this band opening for Status Quo at a stadium gig will always be high on the list. I’m also so incredibly proud of the songs we’ve written and recorded ourselves.
Glenn: If you could tour with any other artists who would they be and for what reasons?
Mark: Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones & Slash. Any of the big hitters because they’ve been such big influences on the music industry and on us personally. It would be an amazing achievement. I think it would be great to join forces with bands like The Struts who are really keeping the live scene buzzing!
Glenn: What major things have your learned so far from the bands/artists you have worked and toured with so far that have been a majorly beneficial in such a fickled business full of highs and many pitfalls?
Mark: Don’t believe anything until you’re doing it or it’s happened!
Glenn: What are your personal thoughts about the music business these days in the UK and how is it for you trying to make a living out of it?
Mark: It’s really tough. Modern technology and the internet don’t help matters. It’s so easy to record an alright version of a song and to upload it to the net, then you’re off. The competition is so fierce that it’s hard to get heard and hard to get the right people paying attention. The bands that work hard on the live scene are the ones that deserve the most and I hope people don’t give up.
Glenn: What else would you like to touch on that I haven't covered?
Mark: Just that we hope we see you at a show very soon! Plus check out our social media, videos and EP on iTunes, Amazon etc
Glenn: Tell us how new fans can check you out?