Mark Knight & The Unsung Heroes

  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
Band: Original Rock Singer-Songwriter

"Mark Knight & The Unsung Heroes"

Mark Knight is an extremely gifted guitarist, an insightful and prolific songwriter and an artist who follows his creative passion with uncompromising conviction and intensity. Born in North Hollywood, CA in 1964 to a Las Vegas showgirl, Knight was orphaned at the age of one when his mother tragically died of breast cancer. Raised by his nanny for the next year, as his biological father was never in the picture, his story takes a happy turn when the Knight family adopted him. He suddenly had three sisters and became part of a loving family living in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Knight’s father sold professional audio mastering equipment to record companies and his mother was a homemaker. The exposure to the recording industry through his father’s work ensured that music spoke to Knight early on as the remedy for all ills. In the indescribable way that a true music lover connects with music and all of its intangibles, Knight connected with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in a manner that had great emotional impact on him and influenced the direction of his life in ways that he could not yet comprehend. He borrowed a beat up classical guitar (which he still has!) and took a beginner’s guitar class in the 7th grade. That was it…he was hooked. His love of guitar and mastering the riffs of his heroes Keith Richards and Jimmy Page became all consuming. In 1980, at the age of 16, Knight formed his very first band, Mickey Knight, named for his father, who encouraged, inspired and supported Mark’s music unequivocally. Shortly after Mickey Knight was formed, they were playing the Hollywood club circuit of the time, including gigs at the Troubadour and The Country Club. Friction and infighting within the band fueled a rebellious adolescent desire in Knight for revenge and leaving Mickey Knight in the dust. Shortly thereafter, Knight hooked up with bass player, Kyle Kyle and formed a new band. That band was Bang Tango, comprised of singer Joe Lesté, lead guitarist Mark Knight, Kyle Kyle on bass, guitarist Kyle Steven and drummer Tigg Ketler. With Knight as the major songwriting force behind the band, Bang Tango landed a record deal with MCA Mechanics in 1989. Their debut album, Psycho Café, hit the Billboard charts and yielded the major hit, “Someone Like You,” featuring the iconic opening riff composed by Knight, which was given considerable exposure on MTV as well. The original lineup sold over a million records but spilt up after recording five albums together. The rise and fall of Bang Tango was recently documented in a full length critically and fan acclaimed feature, Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie, in which Knight and all of the original members participated. The 1995 breakup of Bang Tango only fueled Knight’s creativity and passion for composing and playing his music. Though not an easy transition, an integral part of Mark’s evolution as an artist was to get in front of the microphone to sing his own songs. Knight formed the band Worry Beads and recorded an album produced by the well-known vocalist and producer, Bernard Fowler, doing triple duty as the songwriter, lead singer and lead guitarist. Bernard coached Knight on his vocal technique and helped build his confidence as a lead singer. In 2006, Knight released a 5-track solo EP, Perfect American Family, featuring Matt Abts of Gov’t Mule on drums and Tony Marsico, a session player for Neil Young, Roger Daltrey and Matthew Sweet, on bass. His fans loved the EP, but everyone had the same reaction: “It’s too short!” With the help of Perfect American Family producer, Tom Lavin, Knight dove headlong into writing songs for a new album, all the while recording a second Worry Beads record. Bone Rail Tight, Knight’s first full-length solo effort featuring Matt Abts, Tony Marsico and many of his talented friends, Bone Rail Tight was recorded as a labor of love in an intimate private studio in 2009 with impressive results. Knight’s loyal fans immediately connected with the new, more roots rock Americana direction that he was moving in and warmly embraced Bone Rail Tight on iTunes, as well as turning out in support at shows both in Los Angeles and on tour in the Southeast soon after the release in 2011. Knight finally felt that he had found his niche as a songwriter and performer. Released in May 2013, Road Sick Eyes, by Mark Knight and The Unsung Heroes, is the band record that Mark Knight was destined to make. Knight couldn’t more accurately describe the record as “electrified singer/songwriter roots rock with a dash of country, blues and Americana. All 12 songs penned and co-produced by Knight himself, each composition tells a story based on the joys and struggles of life, frequently as it related to Knight himself, but often incorporates the average and extraordinary characters he encounters in his day to day life as well as out on the road. “It’s kind of like radar,” said Knight, of his ability to observe and weave those observations into colorful, relatable songs. “My inspiration to write comes from subject matter that I find interesting. I tend to write about other people and characters I run across in life, but I also write a lot about the traveling and touring that I do, and my own personal experiences.” Indeed, Road Sick Eyes was glaringly personal and filled with relatable, everyman characters. The band of brothers known as The Unsung Heroes, Mark Tremalgia (Guitar/Backing Vocals, Tigg Ketler (Drums) – both players formerly of Bang Tango – and Reeve Downes of Rhino Bucket (Bass) supported Knight on Road Sick Eyes. “We all find a groove and everyone adds their bits,” said Knight of the collaborative recording process he prefers with the talented players that surround him. One of the great joys for Knight in recording and playing live, is to be surrounded by the greatest players available. Road Sick Eyes, the record that he wanted to make for years, showed Knight at his best and showcased his unique and signature style and soul. While others are content to trade on past glories, Knight has pushed himself to hone and perfect his craft. While he enjoys getting together to play familiar songs with old friends, his current focus is on creating new music, evolving as an artist and collaborating with the finest musicians available. In the two years since the release of 2013’s critically acclaimed Road Sick Eyes, and supporting tours, Knight has been busy writing and recording his, as of yet untitled, upcoming record. It’s a departure from Road Sick Eyes’ electrified roots rock in which more often than not, Knight wrote about the average and extraordinary characters that he encountered in his daily life as well as on the road. Knight’s upcoming solo record, releasing October 27, 2015, is an album; a unified collection of stories more daring and personal than ever before. All songs were composed solely by Knight, who also played most of the guitars, both acoustic and electric on the record. Mark Knight is filled with wrenching solo acoustic songs and Knight’s signature roots rockers featuring fellow musicians Matt Abts of Gov’t Mule and Planet of the Abts, Tony Marsico on bass and longtime collaborators Mark Tremalgia on guitar, Reeve Downes of Rhino Bucket on bass and Tigg Ketler on drums. Mark Knight was produced by Tom Lavin, who also produced Bone Rail Tight and Road Sick Eyes, and recorded swiftly in a private studio in which “raw” remained the battle cry. In the vein of singer-songwriters that he respects and admires, such as Hayes Carll, Bob Dylan, Jason Isbell and Tom Petty, Knight approached the record with a desire for rawness and simplicity, creating a gripping, unflinching account of his trials and tribulations. He doesn’t cheat himself or his audience with the raw emotion, doubts, courage and honesty he displays. “Since Road Sick Eyes, my life has changed dramatically and those personal challenges and triumphs naturally came out in the music,” says Knight. “I wanted to be honest with and about myself and uncompromising, even if I had to lay myself on the line.” Knight’s time has come to grow into himself as a songwriter and musician, and in listening to Knight’s growth, we also hear ourselves, reflect on the years and feel the innate desire to stretch out of our own skins. Knight currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with the great loves of his life: his family, his ’69 Guild, his ’78 tobacco sunburst Les Paul Deluxe, his Rat Terrier, 3 cats and a turtle. Knight is an avid surfer, a talented furniture designer and a passionate fan of music himself.

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