L 1 P S
L 1 P S is a dark, alt-rock solo project from multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and producer John Mark. The ambitious 19-year-old has already released two Eps this last year. The latest of his Eps titled, ‘Torn,’ was released on October 28th. His sound has garnered attention from many fans of bands such as The Neighbourhood & The 1975. L 1 P S is on the path to success with the passion and drive to make his mark in the music scene.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
No real catalyst, no. Music has just sort of always been in my blood. I've been a musician since I was just a little guy. Started playing the drums when I was three. I then decided to pick up guitar when I was eight, then with that came bass, then I dabbled with some keys, and finally when I was sixteen, I figured out I could sort of sing. I began an online degree program in Music Production with Berklee College of Music and had to buy a whole studio setup, so I just figured I may as well put it to use and start making music of my own. I just never looked back.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Damn. Well, my career's really just starting now, so nothing too crazy has happened to me YET. Some Portuguese guy did shoot me an email saying that my music was, and I quote, "a beautiful work of art that has brought 'sad light' into the darkness of his life". I thought that wording was pretty insane.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Honestly, releasing Torn has really been the high point so far. It's definitely allowed me to find my core sound and start to gain a real audience. I have some people's attention now because of that EP. The songs are very personal to me and overall it's a much more matured product than my first release "Headless". My audience can expect the next release to sound similar to Torn (but even better, of course.)
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
It always starts in my head. It's either a melody I hear or a guitar lick, or a synth line, or a beat. If I'm home sitting at my studio, I'll record it right away so I don't forget it. If I'm out and about I'll usually record a voice memo humming it or something dumb like that. My lyrics on the other hand usually tend to come to me when I'm feeling down, or when I'm thinking about a certain thing that's bothering me or on my mind a lot. I just try and put my thoughts into words on paper without paying mind to how they flow on my tongue or how they sound with a demo I already have or something. My iPhone notes are literally chalk full of lyrics that just come to me throughout the day. I think a lot and that bothers me but it works to my advantage when it comes to my music.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
There's definitely a lot of artists out there that aren't getting the attention they deserve, that's a given. The major labels are not in my favor whatsoever. I don't know man... they just seem to be grabbing artists for their looks and persona and not for their talent. And it's like, what's the fucking point in that? It's the music industry, not the fashion industry. I'm personally taking an extremely DIY route with my music career for as long as I can. I run my own stuff, I produce my own music, I release it independently, I get all my royalties, all without any help. So I guess if I had to ask the music industry to change one thing, it would be to look a little harder for the genuine artists and not for the autotuned models.
Take a break from the interview to enjoy a music video from L 1 P S!
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Definitely my favorite band The Neighbourhood. They've influenced my sound and my aesthetic in so many ways and their music is so pure. Their fanbase rocks and is so, so loyal and dedicated. And they're a great bunch of guys. I met them in Boston last year and it was a really incredible experience. Super cool dudes.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Since L 1 P S just got started up this year, I haven't played shows yet, but I do have a band together to start playing next year. I have a lot of stuff in the works, I just need a little time, that's all.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
Ahhhh. The hardest song I've ever written is a track called "To You". It's on the Torn EP. It's so near and dear to my heart and I was feeling so many crazy emotions writing it on my bed late one night. She knows who she is and I love her to death.
What's coming up in the future?
I got stuff going on in 2018. Lots of music. Videos. Shows. Just stuff, man. And lots of it. It's going to be a good year. I can't say much yet. But it's coming.
Where can fans can access your music.