Musician Mark Dalbeth Talks New “Rav Medic” Album And The New Platform For Artists “Reward Music”
I recently caught up with musician/guitarist Mark Dalbeth to talk about the new Rav Medic album, staying creative during the pandemic, as well as other projects he has coming up. Here’s what he had to say:
It’s awesome catching up with you again Mark. How has everything been going for you during the pandemic?
It’s been a very interesting time and I also had a full-time job that I lost due to it all. I was a chef at a local bar called the Slidebar (owned by Jeremy of rock band LIT) and had to scramble to find another job and get back to some normality. Once I got that back in order, I started to really focus on getting the Rav Medic album finished and out there!
When did you first get into music? I know you also founded the band Bellusira as well.
I guess my first real involvement in music was playing the violin at school, however I really started to fall in love with bands and rock music in my early teens. Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” record I always thought was so heavy and powerful — those drums! From there, I moved more into the grunge sound and then a little heavier — more hard rock/metal. However I have always had a love for any type of music that has a good melody or groove to it, it doesn’t always have to be heavy!
Bellusira was born out of a few earlier projects I was doing both in New Zealand and Australia. I always knew I was going to be part of a female fronted rock band in the vein of Skunk Anansie, Hole, L7 etc (this was all pre Evanescence days). I wanted to tap into the idea of those bands styles but slightly heavier, so when the Evanescence record came out later, I was like “Damn they did exactly what I was thinking of doing” ha!
Who were some of your influences growing up in New Zealand?
Definitely a lot of New Zealand bands! Artists like Shihad, The Feelers, Crowded House, Weta, Head like a Hole, Che Fu, Fur Patrol were all on heavy rotation. Then I mixed that up with a lot of Faith No More, Nirvana, Deftones, Korn etc.
You also have a new project called Rav Medic with a new album and you guys have been getting some fantastic reviews and press. Tell us more about that and how you guys all met and formed the band:
This was a very different project to anything I have ever done before. It’s not really a band as such, it’s a 10-track record that has a different singer and drummer on each track. I would write the guitar/bass/synth for it and then ask friends/musicians I loved, to see if they wanted to be a part of the track.
I started working on the songs while on tour with Bellusira just as something to do between shows in the van and the songs grew and it ended up becoming a full record. I am very fortunate to have some amazing musicians on board like James Reid from The Feelers (the band I mentioned earlier as a big influence for me growing up). It felt like a full circle having James end up singing on a track that I wrote.
What would you say has been one of the biggest highlights of your music career so far?
I’ve had a lot of cool things happen which I am very lucky to have experienced. Touring in Australia, New Zealand and the US is pretty cool. Bellusira released two really strong records that I am still very proud of. We had Will from Evanescence play some shows with us (another crazy full circle story) and Koichi from Static-X (another band I looked up to growing up). We got to play some shows with some amazing bands like Halestorm, Flyleaf, The Misfits, Seether etc.
There is a track on the Rav Medic album that also ended up on the latest HED (PE) record which I thought was amazing — another one of those bands that I love, so it was trippy to hear that track being part of the album!
If you had a chance to work alongside any other band/artist who would that be?
I was fortunate to cross off a lot of those artists with this Rav Medic album, however I would still love to do something with the guys from Deftones or Faith No More!
What other projects are you working on?
I also play bass in local LA rock band Dirty Machine. We have been making the most of this down time to get stuck into a lot of pre-production for some new music and I honestly feel like it’s the best work the band has done. So I’m very excited to get in the studio soon with those guys and get that music out there as well!
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring musicians?
The key (for me anyway) is to just do whatever you want to do. A lot of bands I notice spend way too much of their time worrying about what everyone else is doing, what sound they have, what studios they are recording in. Just play and write the music you want to do and everything else will fall into place when it needs to.
Also stay clear of Spotify!! — check out “Reward Music” instead. It’s a new platform I have personally just joined and it was started by Dweezil Zappa. It is definitely the way forward for bands!