02|24|09   Interview with The Pulse

Mark Roberts writes on his website that travelling is the heart and soul of adventure. He should know – his adventures have taken him from Germany to the United States, and all the way down to New Zealand where he has been working on a portfolio of music to try and make a career as a musician.

He takes a major step on that road in January when he heads to Texas to attend the SXSW festival. It’s been described as MySpace in the physical world – so much to see and hear that you can’t take it all in. It’s also been called a massive, unavoidable media beast.

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The Pulse: Mark, tell us about how you got to go there and the material you’ve been preparing.

Applying for SXSW was definitely an interesting process. A friend of mine works for SXSW, and suggested I should apply, if for no reason other than that my application (and hence, my music) would land on the desk of some interesting people. My friend, however, didn’t really think we would be offered a showcase, as our profile is still quite a bit lower than the kind of bands that usually get invited. Luckily – and to our mutual surprise – our application was graded very highly by numerous graders, and so one of the bookers took a chance on us and invited us to play a showcase there in March!

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The Pulse: After SXSW you’ll be touring – will you be on your own or will you have someone to share the driving?

Well The Enright House will be touring as a two-piece. My friend and long-term band mate, Evan, is flying out to the States and will join me for 9 weeks over there, playing SXSW and the entire tour. In addition, my friend Sarah, who currently lives in England, will be flying out for the tour to support us as Misfit Mod. So, all up, it looks like we’ll be three friends traveling together in a van for almost two months straight. Should be the road-trip of a lifetime, really! :)

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The Pulse: You’ve got an academic career teaching, but want to take your career on the road – does it have to be one or the other?

I believe so, yes. If you want to achieve something great in your life, you have to dedicate yourself to your purpose every minute of every waking hour. A lot bands are passionate about what they do, but they’re still only passionate hobbyists, when it comes right down to it. A lot of people have great potential, but unless you are willing to make hard choices and take borderline-irresponsible risks, I don’t think you have any realistic chance of cutting through the fog.

For me the measure of a successful life has never been about security, or, for that matter, even happiness. What I want to do more than anything else in this world is create something extraordinary, enduring, and of value to human culture. And even if, in the end, I fall embarrassingly far short of the mark, I want to know, in my heart of hearts, that I wasn’t a coward, that I gave it everything I had, that I showed my gratitude for existence, by caring deeply about life and the things I’m passionate about.

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The Pulse: Musicians need a lot of skills other than being able to write and / or perform their music. Web skills, design and print production, management skills, that sort of thing. If you had to start over, what advice would you give yourself?

I spent a lot of years in limbo. Years and years of being afraid to follow my dreams, weighed down by depression, treading water in academia, chasing yet another piece of paper that qualifies me to lead a life I don’t want to live.

My advice, if I could start over: Don’t be scared of failing. Go and live fully and consciously. Don’t wait for happiness – you don’t need it.

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The Pulse: Taking on the musician’s dream – making a living from music – is a challenging road. You’ve made a gutsy decision – it must be exciting.

Absolutely, it is immensely exciting. However, it’s also a lot of hard work! :)

I tend to be up until 4AM or 5AM every single night, emailing bookers, venues and bands, working on the new album, rehearsing, promoting my music, working on my website etc.

At this point I’m almost too consumed by all the planning and work to allow myself to give into the simple joy of contemplating what’s ahead. Still though, every once in a while, right before I fall asleep, I catch myself grinning softly…

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The Pulse: Good luck with the festival and the tour – tell us where we can keep up with you on the web.

Thank you! The best place to keep in touch and stay connected with The Enright House is definitely through our website, www.theenrighthouse.com. I spend a lot of hours each week trying to make the site feel alive with exciting content, such as free songs, albums and EPs, as well as videos, remix packages, diaries and all sorts of other odds and ends. Check in, linger as long as you wish, and be sure to say ‘hi’ before you leave :).

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The interview was originally published at The Pulse in December, 2008.