Review Fix Exclusive: Dark Mean’s Mark Dean Talks ‘Settle Down’ And More

Review Fix chats with Dark Mean’s Mark Dean, who discusses the band’s origin, goals for the future and new track, “Settle Down.”

About the Band, From the Band:

Years of struggle and extended hiatuses are nothing new for us. That’s how we’ve always operated. Incessant file sharing and e-mails, frustrating Skype calls, relentless attention to detail, and the odd show amidst chaotic life schedules, are just a few ways we’ve not only hung together, but they’ve made it possible for us to keep releasing music. A focus on the music that could only come from a group of guys with no time for dilly-dallying.

Review Fix: How did the band get together?

Mark Dean: Billy and I (Mark) jammed in billy’s garage all through high school.  Then we went to Queens University where we met Sandy, who was on my floor in residence. I started playing in a band with Sandy called Parlormaid. The lead singer of Parlormaid was Matt Vlahovich, who is now the frontman for the successful group, Young Empires.

During university, I also played in multiple bands with Billy (Fun, The Steeltown Sprigs, The Deviance). It wasn’t until after university that all three of us started jamming back in billy’s garage in Hamilton, Ontario.

The chemistry was insane.  Our friend, Mike Keire, happened to be starting a recording studio, so we brought in a demo and he agreed to record the entire album (of yet unrecorded, unwritten songs).  We still work with Mike Keire to this day.

Review Fix: What was the creative process like?

Dean: The creative process is pretty simple. We go into billy’s new garage (which we’ve constructed to be soundproof) and jam.  We get excited over something someone did, so we record the idea on whoever’s phone is closest. Then we send mixes back and forth with ideas.  Often we go into the studio with very few hard ideas in place.  There’s a lot of pressure doing it that way, but some of us need the finality of recording before we are ever satisfied with an idea.

Review Fix: Who are your biggest musical influences?

Dean: We all have very eclectic musical tastes, but actually dig the same music. Everything from Philip Glass and Mogwai, to Wu Tang and Cypress Hill.  One of the hardest things about making music is actually liking what you create.   I’ve always thought anyone can make a shitty song.  Good songs cut across all genres.

Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

Dean: I would say intricate melodies with moving arrangements… but not always. “settle down” is pretty chilled out, but we actually have way more rockin’ songs on the way.

Review Fix: What makes “Settle Down” a special song?

Dean: I think the song projects a certain mood and as a musician you want to be able to create something that captures the emotions you are feeling. I think the song does a good job of bringing whoever listens to it to the same place.

Review Fix: How do you want this track to be remembered?

Dean: As one small expression of the band. Like I said, we try to explore different sounds and delve into different genres. So someone listening could be like “so this is what they sound like when they try this…”

Review Fix: What’s your biggest weakness as a group and how are you working on making it a strength?

Dean: (Our) Biggest weakness is being prepared for the studio. We are probably too comfortable improvising.  And too dependent on “divine intervention”.

Review Fix: What’s next?

Dean: We have a bunch of songs that are 3/4 finished. So we need to get back into the studio and hammer them out.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 10466 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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