Sam Marks is a young composer and musician from Sydney, Australia. I got to know him on Twitter and I have heard some of his beautiful and original compositions. So I thought it would be interesting to introduce him to you. Here are some questions I asked him regarding his work and a sample of his “mystical” music.
When did you first become interested in music?
I started playing piano when I was about 5 years old, so I guess I could say my interest for music started there. I was lucky that my parents are musical and wanted me to learn an instrument. I fell in love with Romantic period music and composers such as Beethoven. It was Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” that really drew me in to that style of music. My mum used to play it a lot and then I decided I wanted to learn it. It’s a slow, powerful, melodically and harmonically beautiful and interesting piece. This style of music would stay with me for a long time and is now influencing me more than ever, especially in my compositions. I stopped playing piano seriously at the age of 12 and took up the guitar as my focus. My dad is a great blues and jazz pianist, which had an effect on how I moved through altering genres of music. I became heavily interested and passionate in rock music at at the age of 8 when Blink 182’s “All the Small things” came out. I went up and bought their EP from my local CD shop. Limp Bizkit’s “Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavoured Water” was released when I was 9 years old. This is where my passion for heavy rock and metal started. There was no way I was going to ask my mum to buy this album for me as it was for “mature” audiences and contained explicit language. So I gave it a crack and went to the shop to buy it, and to my complete enjoyment was able to buy it. I guess the guy behind the counter liked the fact that a 9 year old was into Limp Bizkit? who knows. My mum hated me listening to it, but I still did anyway. I was in love with the power of this new type of music and felt a huge connection with it. From the ages of 13-18 I flooded my brain with all kinds of music – Rock, Heavy Rock, Metal, Thrash, Hip Hop, Rap, Country, but it was the rock genres that I was and still am most passionate about. I started a band when I was 14 in high school, which went no where. At 19 I started a punk rock band called Headrush with some of my mates. We played a lot of shows, released and EP, and started building a large fan base. This band came to an end and I have now started a new heavy rock band called White Bay. We are currently in the process of recording our Debut EP in Sydney.
Which musicians do you get your inspiration from? Why?
I get inspiration from many different musicians for different reasons and at different times. For rock and similar styles I get inspiration from Myles Kennedy of the band “Alter Bridge” (He is an amazing vocalist), Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters as a band, Tom Delong of Blink 182 and Angels and Airwaves, Deryck Whibley of Sum 41, Fred Durst and Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback (so many people hate him but I think he’s a prolific song writer and amazing talent), Dexter Holland of The Offspring. I could keep listing people. I haven’t yet mentioned any of the blues or country artists who inspire me. I’ll save that for another time! For composing orchestrally I love Howard Shore who did the Lord of the Rings Score, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Bear McCreary, Gustav Mahler, Antonin Dvorak. Again, I could keep listing but these are some of my favourites! All of these people inspire me because of their creativity, abilities, originality, and the power they draw from their music. I support I just connect with their music!
Is there a particular tv series or film that you would have like to have written the soundtrack for?
So many… I would have loved to do The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, The Lord of the Rings, Vikings, Midnight in Paris, Manhattan, Band of Brothers, and a bunch of others including some Disney stuff. I could keep listing but I need to draw the line somewhere. The sound tracks for these shows and movies are incredible though I would rather have the music in my life to inspire me for when (if) I get the chance to ever compose for a series or movie.
Which book would you like to see made into a film for which you could write the soundtrack?
There’s a couple of great young adult serious that I think would make great TV shows. They are the “Circle of Magic” series by Tamora Pierce, and “The Rangers Apprentice” by John Flanagan. There’s also a great adult fantasy series called “The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan, but I’m not sure if this has been made into any movies yet. Also a great book called “The Children of the Dust” which is a post apocalyptic style book.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lately I’ve been working my arse off composing and trying build a profile online (where I met Morgana). For the past few days I have been working hard on a new 9 minute Celtic Fantasy piece that I should have finished in the next day or so and ready to upload. As I said earlier, I am currently in the process of recording my bands EP. I am going in to continue recording vocals next Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and I’m really excited. It’s sounding really big and great. I cannot wait to show you!
Listen to Sam’ music and follow him on Facebook: