His Story and Notes
David Marks has been writing music and sharing his voice professionally with the world for over twenty-five years. But it all began at the age of seven when he performed at his elementary school talent show. His knees trembled and his sweaty palms were jammed in his pants pockets while he stood alone on stage and sang a-cappella, the popular musical song, “Tomorrow,” from the broadway show, Annie. With those final notes, "You're always a day, a...way...," the crowd of school kids, parents, and teachers rose to their feet with a standing ovation and roaring applause. Much to his surprise, he won the show and gained admiration from friends and the community. With that first taste of “fame,” he was hooked on music for his lifetime.
Many years later, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and became known as the go-to voice for the recording department - especially for sound-alike performances of The Beatles or James Taylor. After college, he gained a chance to share his gifts for coining pop hooks and performing emotional rock-solid vocals along with his band at classic New York City venues like The Bitter End and CBGB's. People compared David's music to his core influences, with harmony and melodies like The Beatles, vocal stylings and intensity like U2's Bono, astonishing productions like Led Zeppelin, and metaphoric lyrics like Paul Simon. Today more contemporary sounds have found their way into his work and on this new EP. But all along, he has held true to his personal mission to bring light into the world through music and by helping others. In addition to music, David leads and works with many nonprofit organizations to help leave a positive footprint on the world.
From the Light dropped in 2018 and was the first release from David in over a decade. The tracks on the EP were written, produced, recorded, and performed by David in their entirety, with the exception of the guitar solo on the track, “One Again,” which was performed by David’s long-time bandmate and friend, Neil Cavanagh. Both David and Neil attended high school together in their home town of Commack, New York, and were bandmates from those early aspiring days. Though David is a few years older than Neil, they eventually also attended Berklee College of Music together in Boston. After college they continued to play music together and have recently reconnected to perform live once again.
From the Light was a long awaited revival for David. This collection of tunes spanned years of creativity, but each gem is tied together in a collection of songs by a personal life story - one that includes a near-death experience with cancer that changed David's life and set him on a new path and personal mission.
The EP's tracks range from pop inspired ear worms - to spiritual introspective life stories. The first track, “All the Way from Heaven," is built on an acoustic R&B styled pop groove. The tune was inspired by a love interest of David's back in the 1990s. David revised the song in 2018 to reflect the physical characteristics of his current wife and "soulmate," Beth. Beth is also the inspiration for the second track on the EP, "You're My Gift." The song lyrics speak directly about David's true sense of gratitude for her love and support. David also credits Beth with his returning to music - where he is once again his true self. Beth, a talented artist and painter herself, was also the creative force behind the cover art for the album. She will be doing artwork for future releases as well.
The third track, "Your Crazy Dreams,” is again an inspired piece from three separate love interests in David’s life, including: his girlfriend from the late 1990s, his first wife and mother of his three children, and his current wife Beth - all of whom, coincidentally, were/are exceptional dreamers able to recount their vivid, and sometimes psychedelic dreams. These women's dreams were the actual sources for the song’s lyrics.
The EP's 4th track, "One Again,” is a depiction of David's search for his reconnection to his soulmate after many lifetimes. After leaving college, David began to search for deeper connections to the universe and spirituality, including delving into his heritage with Jewish philosophies like Kabbalah, as well as Eastern philosophies that incorporate reincarnation. This is also directly related to the final cut on the EP, "Found My Love." The song was written in 1995 during David's battle with late-stage cancer that nearly took his life. It was a moment of questioning and reaching outwardly as well as inwardly for light, peace, and hope for survival. The song was never professionally recorded or distributed until 2018 and the release of this new EP. There was an original demo that was recorded in 1996 which is set to be remastered and re-released separately from From the Light for diehard fans who love the original. (Fan Note: As a nod to his fans, the new track incorporates the original energetic grungy guitar solo played by David in 1996.) The song lyrics delve into metaphorical representations of David's life, his music career, various love interests, and his spiritual connections to the universe and its creator. It is the most introspective of his works, and one that is considered by many to be his greatest life's work to date.
The new album, Universal, dropped on May 15, 2020. It is a full album of personal love connections to his wife Beth (My River) and children (Think of Me in that Way), as well as the human story how the coronavirus pandemic has changed our world (Viral Skies) - even possibly for the better of humanity. It is an emotional tear-jerker and joyful rollercoaster combined with the loftiness and vision of hope. The first four tracks: Do That Again, My River, Think of Me in that Way, and Viral Skies, were written, performed, produced and recorded by Marks alone. All vocals, guitars, basses, keyboards, drum programming, were performed by Marks - a testament to the talent and creative force within the artist.
There are also three remixed tracks from the archives. Matchbox Coffin (Remix) was originally recorded in 1994 with the David Marks Band which included bandmates Seth Zowader (keys), and Brendan Scanlan (drums) - both fellow Berklee College of Music alums and long-time friends. The bass was performed by talented LA studio musician and producer, Michael Valerio, a high school friend and band collaborator of Marks from many years prior. The new remixed track includes a drum loop programmed by Marks. Reality (Remix) was originally recorded in 1993 at Berklee College studios with fellow students Zowader and Scanlan, as well as guitars by producer, James Saez, and bassist, Tom Witt, both talents from the Berklee student community. The remixed track includes drum loop and synth tracks from Marks that freshen the groove and feel for 2020.
Finally, the last track, Fire on a Rainy Day (Demo Remix), is the original demo recorded of the song in 1992. The demo was never previously released publicly. The performance inspired Seth Zowader to produce a fully tracked version that became a standard for the Berklee College of Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) department for student mixing projects for over a decade following. The lyrics were originally meant to tell the story from the perspective of a victim of AIDS during the 1980s and 1990s crisis. The performance - full with emotional energy lyrically, and memorable melody - seemed relevant and important to Marks as a poignant way to reflect on today's global pandemic. It ends the album with an eery silence and reverb trail from the vocal, echoing the last lyric, "goodbye." The word not only ends the album, but also touches on the tragic emotion from the loss of loved ones many have experienced in recent days.