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By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent and Amanda Cunningham-London Correspondent
Interview: Sebright Arms, London-January 9, 2016
In July 2015 Rock At Night met up with John Robb of The Membranes in a studio located in Shoreditch, London. He was producing a new EP for a newly formed band called Black Crack. While we were waiting on the couch in the studio I could hear the band doing takes on one of their songs called “Peach Fuzz”. It had a nice raw, post-punk feel with an infectious bass line (songwriter/lead singer Mark Tilton later explained it was inspired by a Curtis Mayfield song). For months after I still had the song in my head– and I have been following the band ever since. Black Crack, I understand, will soon be releasing its EP in February/March.
Rock At Night caught up with Mark Tilton of Black Crack at a restaurant, shortly before the band’s gig at Sebright Arms. We had a lovely pot of mint, white chocolates, and discussed the band’s name, his early career in punk music and later as a screenwriter, how he rediscovered music by channeling his anger, and the autobiographical nature of the song lyrics. This is a must-hear interview as Tilton’s charm, wit, self-deprecating humor, and genteel manner contradicts his stage persona of an angry white man who snarls and sings songs with titles like “Hey, Fucker” and “A.N. Other Hate Song”.
Check out a few lines from “A.N. Other Hate Song”…
I hate people when they piss in my hat
I hit the fuckers with my cricket bat
I hate people in the daytime, hate people at night
Post note: I have seen YouTube videos of the band which actually do not serve the band justice in comparison to a live Black Crack performance. Honestly, you have to experience it. It made me think of Public Image Limited. The musicianship of the band is super tight and Tilton’s performance seeps of raw energy.
Members: Mark Tilton, vocals (formerly of The Membranes); C.C.S. Meeke, rhythm guitar; Jon Wygens, lead guitar (formerly Blurt and The Blue Aeroplanes); Adrian Smith-Tuft, bass; Paul Wigens, drums (formerly Blurt, Ted Milton, Grand Drive); Genre: post-punk, garage rock, blues; Home Town: London (by way of Blackpool)
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I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse