|Born on: 02.08.1965
Mark Cross was born in London, England on a Monday morning on August 2, father English and his mother German, he grew up in a musical environment. Both his parents loved classical music, jazz, rock, the blues and used to hit the club scene in London in the 60's.
No wonder, one day he gained a pair of sticks by a family friend and started bashing tubs and cans and messed up the kitchen. The washing detergent boxes had the perfect shape of a drum and weren't thrown away any more. Instead of asking for rollers or bicycles, Mark was much more concerned about the development of the washing powder department in the neighbourhoods store!
His mom had the heart for Jazz and his went Rock'n Roll. The early innovating years in the seventies introduced stunning bands like Deep Purple, the Beatles, the Stones, Sweet, Zeppelin, Rush and Kiss, who changed his life forever and I'm sure, many other musicians too. In 1979 he got his first drum kit and took lessons and mounted speakers on the wall banging along to his favorite bands like Rush, Deep Purple and Rainbow. In the early eighties he then discovered Kansas, Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Thin Lizzy, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Queensryche and the amazing Toto.
Punk ended up in the closet, only its attitude remained!
Life went on and he started playing in high school bands and gigs. That's how he made a lot of friends with whom he shared the same musical interests in the following years.
In 1985 he was offered to record the drums on a soundtrack and attended his first professional recording, which was composed by Dimitri Papadimitriou, a Greek pianist and composer.
Soon more offers for studio work followed and his reputation grew. That was the starting point of his career. Scraptown, who were a known club band at the time, had just released their 3rd album's single Viva Sahara, which climbed the charts in southern Europe. They asked him to join the band for several concerts in France and the promotion of their album "Give me a break" in 1986. He was young, yet inexperienced, but very creative and wanted to see the world. After he'd spent 3 months at the French Rivera with Scraptown and had made some money, he took the first plane to England and Germany to visit family and friends and explore the local music scene. But having lost ground and contacts he made a new start to get a band together, since Scraptown parted their ways. It was in the mid eighties and he was dreaming of being in a successful band he could tour with.
Times had changed and he started working as a session musician on tours and productions, as a part time engineer in a recording studio and in night clubs as a DJ or bar tender to pay the bills….."Music has no frontiers, that way I learned how to play different styles over the years. I always gave every style that certain touch and made it comfortable for my play. I believe that that taught me the freedom and understanding in my approach to music. …..But if you ain't got the rhythm..... you just ain't got the beat!! That's the way it is.... I love the groove, but I also love it when it's fast, wild and hard hitting. Combine those and add them to any style."
With Greek progressive metal band Magna Carta in 1989/90, Mark had his first record deal and release. High pitched vocals on progressive tunes had some attention. Unfortunately the label forced them to record the lyrics in Greek, and had no intention in promoting it worldwide, al though singer John Patelis was Canadian and had already recorded half the album in English. Soon this situation ended their career and was never heard from again, it only remained with good reputation! His (as he calls it)…… "The good time philosophy will keep you from drowning…." attitude, always made him look forward and survive in difficult times.
In 1990-1991 he joined Greek top star Anna Vissi's band, toured with them all over and completed over 150 shows in two years. Late 1991 he formed Bad Habit, a glam-rock combo with a guy called Vance Reese from San Francisco, California, who danced for various Greek pop artists, but had the convincing attitude of a great singer and performer……… "We changed his name to Vinnie de Sade. That should answer all questions!" …….Sex and Rock'n Roll toured the clubs on the islands in Greece in the summer and recorded some of their material but never got signed. Vance moved to Sweden, then to England and opened the known hangout "Cafe Blue" in Bournemouth. Mark and the rest of the band joined Greek pop singer Mike Rakintzis on a project with Deep Purple's frontman Ian Gillan in 1993, released an album and played several concerts.
Late 1993 he moved to Los Angeles and New York, returned to Europe and built the recording studio Magna Carta in Athens, Greece in 1995. He closed the company early 2000.
During this period he had also joined a Bar Business on the island Skopelos in Greece for almost three summer seasons, tried to put Greece's best known Metal act Spitfire back on their feet in 1997, but nothing really seemed to work out, except investing a lot and earning less! How things did change! He had the industries attention again, when he showed up in Hamburg, Germany and recorded Nightfall's "Diva Futura" late 1998, which was released through Holy records spring 1999. …….."I didn't really know the result of me playing with a death metal band, but it was the best offer at the time! However they wanted to change their style to gothic. I had no idea what that was, but simply agreed doing it. The result speaks for itself!" JP Genkel, (Metalium, Lacrimosa, Cradle of filth, Seven Witches) who produced and engineered "Diva Futura", was convinced by Mark's playing abilities and recommended him to German metal band Metalium. So in 1999 Mark moved to Hamburg and worked with Lenny Wolf's Kingdom Come and released the album "TOO" in May 2000.
At the end of 1999 he joined Metalium and recorded the album "State of triumph - Chapter II" with them, toured and stayed in the band for nearly 1 ½ years. He also features in the "Metalium Attacks" DVD & 6 track live bonus CD and appears on two live bonus tracks and the hidden track "Heart of the Tiger" on their 3rd album "Hero Nation".
Other recordings with Metalium were the tracks "Ride the sky" on the Helloween tribute "The Keepers of Jericho" released by Arise Metal Records, "Thank you for the music" on the Abba tribute and "Another peace of meat" on the Scorpions tribute, released by Nuclear Blast in 2000.
Late August in 2001 he left Metalium and joined German power metallers Helloween, recorded a few tracks on "Rabbit don't come easy" and was forced to leave the band in 2003 due to health reasons.
One year off the hook!
In 2004 Mark returned with a few sessions and joined Winters Bane with whom he recorded the drums under the supervison of mastermind producer Chris Tsangarides at his studio called "The Dump" in the south of London, England. The album is scheduled for early 2005.
Also he has been busy working with a Brasilian line up and on his own songs and intends to start recordings with known musicians early 2005.
"Bon Scott once said: It's a long way to the top, if you wanna rock'n roll……very true, he was absolutely right! I couldn't imagine myself doing something else, although there were moments when I felt like kissing show biz goodbye and start something else. I thank those who kept me away from these ridiculous thoughts and truly believed in me!
As we entered the new Millennium, I am proud to say that I am still having a lot of fun in making music and playing the drums! Peace on earth, stay off drugs, make as many friends as you can, play and play better, have fun and get laid, enjoy life and you will be the one who'll make the next generation swing! If you're a musician, and you believe in your abilities, never give up and your time might be just around the corner.