Understanding Ian Mosley: An Interview With Mark Pardy

There are benefits to writing for this site. Over the past few months, I've been able to interview some real-life rock stars, most recently drummers Neil Peart and Billy Kilson. While I possess zero drumming ability, I've always admired those who can make beautiful music by "hitting things with sticks", as Peart has said.

Another batterista is fellow Marillion nut Mark Pardy. I recently had the chance to sit down with him to talk about his new book, Ian Mosley - Marillion's Heartbeat. It looks at the unique playing style of the band's drummer.

OK, that's it, except to say the book is available at Amazon.com and Populuxe "3" is available on iTunes. We will also be one of the final bands to play at House of Blues in Los Angeles this summer before they tear it down.

PS: What do you do?
MP: I am a drummer from Bournemouth. I played and lived in London, working with artists such as Helen Shapiro and Legendary Irish composer, Phil Coulter. I also lived and played in Monte Carlo for about a year and a half in the early 90's. In 1995 I moved to the New York to play with Columbia record's signing Lauren Hart. I freelanced playing every kind of gig you can imagine from the clubs on Bleecker street to selling out at Carnegie Hall. I did a lot of sessions mainly at P.Diddy's Daddy's House.

I became involved with playing Broadway musicals and toured the whole USA many times over with shows such as Tommy, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Smokey Joe's Cafe.... The list goes on! Eventually I moved to Las Vegas where I live with my wife, session vocalist Christine Hudman and my 3 kids Jack, Harper, and Griffin. Here I held the drum chair for Lion King, Spamalot and Hairspray. I am currently playing the Duck Commander Musical at the Rio Casino. I'm also a member of LA trio Populuxe - we have a new record out "3".

PS: Why did you decide to write this book?

MP: Ian has always been one of my favorite drummers and I feel has often been overlooked except for us in the know! I like drummers who are musicians, that play for the music , and I like musicians who play with passion and heart. Ian fits this description.

PS: What is the book's target audience?

MP: The book is aimed at drummers, but might also appeal to Marillion fans just for the interviews with Ian and Mike Hunter, and Andy Wright's fantastic photography.

PS: What do you admire about Ian's playing?

MP: There are many things I admire about Ian's playing. Dynamics would be one. He can play with explosive fire and really kick the band, but he can also bring it right down and still keep the music percolating. Incorporation of different styles would be another. He has big band influence in his playing, knowledge of compound time signatures, an ability to swing. Also, he listens and composes interesting parts that are driven by the music.

PS: What is your favorite Marillion song?

MP: Afraid of Sunlight perhaps. At the moment I love "Invisible Ink". I must say this is a band that keeps getting better. You don't have to wallow in nostalgia. I love the whole of "Sounds..." and "Marbles".

PS: What songs are particularly challenging?

MP: I would say, "Hotel Hobbies", "Ocean Cloud", "This Strange Engine", "Gaza" and "King of Sunset Town" all have great technical drum performances.

PS: How has Ian's style developed over the years?

MP: Ian's style has changed in the way of many great drummers. I think that with maturity comes economy - you pick your moments and can say more with fewer notes. His playing is really driven by the music, so as Marillion's music has changed so has his drumming.

PS: What other drummers do you admire?

MP: I love Manu Katche's playing. Also Danny Gottlieb, Ian Paice, Simon Phillips, Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Jim Bogios, John Guerin, Brian Downey, and Neil Peart.

You can check out Mark's latest album here: Populuxe/3.