DFW Music News

Mark Ryan of Marked Men and Mind Spiders on his New Band, Radioactivity

It's a great time to be a fan of The Marked Men and its offshoots. Not only does the band play out here and there, Mark Ryan's Mind Spiders have a new album out called Inhumanistic, and there's a new band called Radioactivity, which is about to release its debut LP in a few weeks. Featuring Marked Men co-vocalist/songwriter Jeff Burke, it also features a lot of familiar faces, including Mark Ryan. Lead single "World of Pleasure" debuted yesterday on Vice.

We caught up with Mark about this new band and the differences between all of the other bands these guys play in.

How long has Radioactivity been around?

Maybe about six months. I think that would be about right. Hang on a sec, let me think about that. [laughs] Yeah, I'd say six months.

Has this coincided with how long Jeff has been back in town?

Yeah, Jeff got back last September, so about a year ago. He had been writing songs while he was living in Japan so he had several albums worth of material that he wants to record. All this stuff is Jeff's. If somebody knows The Marked Men and is familiar with Jeff's songwriting, it'll be really familiar to them. I'm a big fan even though I'm in the band. I'm playing bass for that band and Gregory Rutherford, who plays in Bad Sports, is playing drums. Right now we're between guitarists because we're about to take Stephen [Svacina] from Sweet Talk on tour with us to Europe. We're leaving on Monday, actually. He's playing guitar with us for that tour. Daniel [Fried] from Bad Sports is also playing guitar in that band. So it's the normal cast of characters. [laughs] We recorded an album this summer and it should be out October 29th.

This is coming out on Dirtnap, right?

Yeah, it's coming out on Dirtnap.

Was the Radioactivity record and the new Mind Spiders record done at Cool Devices, your new studio near Fort Worth?

Yeah!

The Novice was something Jeff had in Japan or was it something he had in the States?

The Novice was his band in Japan. Basically, The Novice and Radioactivity is the same band, but sort of isn't. It's Jeff's material. That band became sort of a functioning band and he didn't feel right about carrying that name over here.

This will probably be the most-asked question of Radioactivity: what would you say is the difference between Radioactivity and The Marked Men?

I don't know. I guess this a better question for Jeff because Jeff has a really particular songwriting style and sound. Everything he does sort of sounds like him. If people are fans of Jeff's music, then they're going to like this. It sounds like Jeff. That's the way I can explain it. The dynamics of The Marked Men aren't there in the exact same way in the sense that the same people aren't playing the same instruments. I'm the only one from The Marked Men, playing bass, playing a different instrument.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs