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The Mark Of Cain

The air was different at the Hi-Fi tonight, the usual demographic of hipsters, heavy metal heads and fluro kids have all been replaced with older males waiting for their beloved The Mark Of Cain to return to them. T-shirts of Sonic Youth, The Smashing Pumpkins and Faith No More littered the floor; this crowd was once a faithful youth to the music scene and they yearned for reincarnation.

Opening the night were prog rock bands, ‘The Sea Shall Not Have Them” and “Black Level Embassy”. Being a fan of prog I can appreciate the level of skill required to play this genre and sure, they were good at what they do, but to warm this sort of crowd in a venue like this? No. I’m dumbfounded as to how these acts gained their support roles here. Moving on.

The onstage arrival of The Mark Of Cain required no introduction with Kim Scott strutting on stage with a grimacing expression before embracing a wide bass stance that demanded attention. They kick off with “First Time”, perfectly recreating their signature sound and immediately discarding any fears that they’d lost their touch over the years. In reality, they sounded better. Of all the hundred plus metal and rock bands I’ve seen at The Hi-Fi over the years not once has it been this loud without sounding overdone, full credit to the sound personnel of the night.

“Second Hander”, “The Separatist” and “Tell Me” followed through before a mix of songs from their new LP Songs Of The Third And Fifth take place in harmonious order and are all received incredibly well upon the fresh ears of the die hard fans.

At times the relationship (brothers) between singer John and bassist Kim was evident, you could almost feel their tension during short banter between songs although it never did hinder the experience, if anything it made you appreciate the lengths they’ve endured together to keep the band going even more.

Eli Green was impeccable on drums and only as a fill in for the band as their regular player, John Stanier, is away touring with Tomahawk, another highly successful project.

Two highlights of the night were “Avenger” and “The Contender” with their super hard rock chugging proving bliss amongst the now restless crowd. But the moment of the night belonged to “Point Man” being played only during their encore and leaving the night on an incredibly high note.

The Mark Of Cain proved ageless, sounding only better than what had reached them fame and proving their still writing the music that only they could give justice. Before the show I had the privilege of speaking with singer John Scott and fire some questions at him, here’s what he had to say:

“First let’s start with the basics, where did the name “The Mark Of Cain” come from?”

John: When I was a lot younger the book ‘Demian’ by Hermann Hesse had an interesting line in it. Some guy in the story was trying to be the popular kid and someone said “Hey, don’t worry you’ve got the mark of Cain.”

“You’re an Adelaide group, are you excited to come back to Brisbane and what do you think of the music scene here?”

John: Pretty out of touch with the scene here these days. We used to play up here with the likes of Regurgitator and Screamfeeder, but we’re very excited to play at The Hi-Fi here. I think we’ve played there before; it gets pretty hot on stage doesn’t it? If that’s the place then we’ll be used to it anyways, we’ve been recording in forty-degree heat!

“You started the band in 1984 with your brother Kim, what’s it like to have shared the journey with a family member and what do you think the secret is to longevity as a band?”

John: Having Kim on bass definitely helps because the hardest thing is different personalities. If you can have someone have someone you can argue with and then get past it, it makes everything so much easier. Also, play something that means something to you, you shouldn’t play go out to play just to ‘make it’. Bands split up to chase something, that instant fame. If you love what you do and stick to it, even if it takes ten years then it’ll be worth it.

“I’ve no doubt there will be some old school fans who might not have seen you since the days of Livid Fest, what can fans expect from the new LP “Songs of the third and fifth?”

John: It straddles over our history but pushes forward. We’re pretty raw, more raw than polish. We’re doing 19 songs, which pretty much cover our entire timeline, stuff that spans the years. The newer stuff, it’s a little bit harder and we’re trying things we’ve never done before.

“When the band’s travelling together, which artists or band is most likely to keep everyone happy?”

John: Usually a mix tape. Velvet Underground, something heavy, keeps it interesting.

“If you could play with any two bands on a bill who would they be?”

John: Shellack and Fear Factory.

Skribent: Matt Campbell
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