Supervision's Mark Doohan answered questions from Tony Cummings.
Tony: You've got quite a following in the Liverpool area but some of our readers probably have only just come across you. Can we have the band's whole tangled history?
Mark: Supervision is Mark Doohan (lead vocals/guitar), James Burch (drums) aka Burchy, Ian Finch (guitars/back vocals) aka Finchley, and James Harding (bass) aka The Bear. Finchley and I take the main songwriting responsibilities but the songs would not be Supervision if we didn't all add our own twists in the arrangement and development process. We have been together for four and a half years in our current line up. This count down began the day that Burchy moved to Liverpool with his wife to join the band because he and we felt that God had called him. From that point Supervision changed from what had previously been a worship band that dabbled in songwriting to a maximum speed, fully firing rock band with a dream to take our hope-filled prophetic message to the world at large. In the last few months, not only did we learn some valuable lessons about what God wanted us to do and who we are but also, we have seen a dramatic increase in gigs, promotions, interviews, management and record company interest which has given us a lot of optimism for the new year.
Tony: Most of the tracks on 'Bring You Up To Speed' have previously been available on two EPs. Why are you putting them out again?
Mark: We are re-releasing the previous EPs because we sold out of the 1000 we made and they have still been in heavy demand. It made sense to compile them onto one CD and include some of our very newest songs to leave everyone wanting more. We have also received increasing interest from record distribution companies who said they loved our music and if we ever had an album that they would distribute it. 'Bring You Up To Speed' is aptly named and provides a snap-shot of the developing sound from our hard working band and will help us to finance further recording in the new year.
Tony: By the time readers read this you will be in the studio recording a new project. Tell me about that.
Mark: Over the last six months not only has God been refining our lives but also injecting more passion and drive than we could ever imagine which has led to Supervision honing an increasingly riff-based edgy sound with some powerful vocal hooks that will lift us firmly head and shoulders above the general mist. All things going to plan we should be in the studio recording a small selection of these tunes mainly for demo purposes for record companies to catch but also to keep our loyal fans interested. I think it would be a mistake not to be looking out for Supervision this year. There is a real feeling in the band that our time is coming and the songs will not let you down. Look out for titles like "Heaven Bound", "Rising Tide", "Intimately", "How Long", "Soak It Up" and "You Take Me". I'm sure we will have sound bites available on our website as soon as. (www.supervisiontheband.com)
Tony: If you had to select one gig that Supervision has played as being particularly wonderful, what would that be?
Mark: To be honest we have had some amazing gigs so far... There was New Wine 2001 main venue when we all stage dived into the crowd at the end... New Wine 2002 when we videoed a 400-strong crowd jumping in unison... There was The Edge in Liverpool when the 500-600 teenage crowd welcomed the rock... and the list goes on but, there was one that we all remember clearly - Saturday night 6th July Lakeside in Poland. It was almost 10pm before we got back to the Lakeside holiday resort bar venue. We were mid-way through a six-gigs-in-four-days tour of Poland with All For Jesus Missions. This venue was a large bar in a tent with wooden boarded floor over the sandy ground that led down to the beach. It was dark so candles were lit as the venue filled up and spilled out onto the beach with 300 people of all shapes and sizes. Intrigued by the visiting English band the Pols had turned out in full strength set on a good time. We blasted out our good feeling, God-inspired guitar riff rock for about an hour and a half and then they still wanted more. The jumping and singing crowd were so into the music that even when the music dropped down to just tender guitar and vocals there was a real magical feeling. There was a cool spiritual atmosphere without any religious rituals. I think God showed us what he could do if we were willing to go anywhere and do anything for him. We were pretty stoked after that gig!
Tony: I understand you are shifting focus to the secular scene. Tell me about that.
Mark: I'm not sure that we are radically changing direction but we do want our music to be heard by a larger audience and particularly make it more accessible to people who know little or nothing about Jesus. It seems like you don't get much time to make something of life so we want to make a big impact and not feel like we've wasted an opportunity to reach people who might never hear about God. I think we want to be part of flooding the music industry with Christian artists. You don't even have to sing about God to make a difference but there needs to be some high quality bands making it particularly in the rock music world. The songs and sounds that we are writing demand that people sit up and listen. Whilst continuing to build on our fan base by playing as regularly as possible we have recently entered some battle of the bands competitions to see if we are as good as we think. So far we are pleased to say that we have progressed to all of the finals. There is a real confidence rising in the band that is reflected in the music that is changing. We would never have got this far had God not been patient with us and we certainly won't get any further without him. So watch this space into the new year.
Tony: What's been your most embarrassing experience as a band?
Mark: No hard feelings(!) but it was pretty embarrassing the year that my picture appeared on the booking form for Cross Rhythms festival but we were not able to get a slot to play. More embarrassingly though is our terrible navigation skills. The Supervision transport situation is seriously lacking a van (donations/sponsorships welcome) and so our convey of cars always goes wrong when travelling to a venue, however simple to find. You can guarantee at least three u-turns and then there was the reversing into a massive tractor incident but the less said about that the better. To finish, it is seriously cool being in this band. All we want to do is be able to do it full time. We are a hard working band and God knows we want it. Just believe in the dreams and visions that he gives.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.