[INTERVIEW] Dark Mark Discusses Origins of Music Career, Upcoming Releases, + More

| July 26, 2022

Since 2010, Dark Mark, one of the beloved faces of Arizona's EDM and fetish-industrial-goth scenes and communities has captivated every bass-famished crowd with his intense, carnal blend of hard bass from the underground to main stages. This DJ, producer, and Global Dance Festival Arizona 2016 competition winner curates the Party Rock (main) stage for Full Moon Festival in addition to thrashing behind the decks with his fusion of riddim, trap, dubstep, hardstyle, bass house to alchemize his aggressive sound. iEDM had the opportunity to peer into Dark Mark to discuss his performance at Color Magic Arizona #2 and origins of his music and medical career. 

Read iEDM's exclusive interview with Dark Mark below. 


 How would you self-describe your sound? Do you find yourself able to categorize yourself into a genre such as riddim, dubstep, etc. or do you think you’ve curated a sound that can be categorized on its own? 

Dark Mark: I like to use the term “hard bass” it can be from trap, dubstep, hardstyle, DnB, bass house, ect. It is very open ended but still explains my style with the fewest amount of words haha.

iEDM: You’ve presented stages on multiple occasions for Full Moon Festival. What are your goals when presenting a stage and how fulfilling has that process been for you? 

Dark Mark: Each edition of “Party Rock” (name of the main stage) I pretty much also book artists from different points in the bass music world what always give people the desire to dance and party with high energy music. I love hosting and showcasing Arizona talent on a big stage with production that is normally only seen on major festivals with international acts. One day, these guys will be able to be on those stages around the world.



iEDM: Does it inspire you to promote your own event in the future? If it does inspire you to promote your own event, can you tell me more information about the theme and the specific sound you’d be curating? 

Dark Mark: I don't know if there will be a time where I put together something solely from me. The only time I did was still even with the Techno Snobs crew which we called it “Pitch Black” and learning the amount of time and effort putting on a show takes, I love how I have found my role in the Full Moon team and then, of course, performing with many of the other promoters here in Arizona.

iEDM: Color Magic #2 was held in a warehouse which triggered wild and untamed energy from the crowd. You were one of the favorite performances of the night! Did you collaborate with the promoter in some way to present the lineup? 

Dark Mark: I love getting to play shows in the underground just as much as playing large scale festivals like Decadence and Crush Arizona. Some of my first gigs in the EDM world were at Bloodfest many years ago in warehouses around the Phoenix area. The vibe and atmosphere is something I'll always love. The rest of the lineup was put together by the promoter and brings in multiple styles of EDM that all mesh together well as a full-rounded night.


iEDM: When you’re not behind the decks, you’re working in a medical lab. Do you eventually want to solely pursue a career in music? Or, do you enjoy having a balance of pursuing more than one career? 

Dark Mark: I have been in the medical field since I turned 18 and love all that I do at a level 1 trauma hospital and the growth that comes in the field. I love it just as much as I do music and knowing how hard it is to “make it” in music, I get to live the dream here in AZ in the music world, while having a job that allows me to never make a decision based on financial reasons rather than doing what I love in music no matter if I make a single dollar in pursuing it. 

iEDM: What would you like to accomplish in the next five years of your music career? 

Dark Mark: It's hard to say. If I didn't take a single step past what I'm doing right now, I would be completely happy because I love every single part of it. That's not to say I wouldn’t mind performing at say EDC or something. :-)


iEDM: In the beginning of your career when you were trying to make a name for yourself, were you asked by promoters to modify your bass-heavy sound to house or another subgenre? Other than hardstyle, what other subgenres of EDM have you produced (but may have never released)?

Dark Mark: There have been shows I have turned down because they wanted me to work with styles of music that I am not a fan of both professionally and personally. I have unfinished songs in the tearout and space bass world but I have such a big struggle of being happy with my produced original music, that I rarely have released them, and released a lot more edits and mashups that I have so much more fun with and have a passion for.


iEDM: DJs/producers can be easily deterred from producing heavy bass. Obviously, you’re not, so can you tell me what attracts you to appreciating and producing an aggressive sound? 

Dark Mark: Being a metal head for many years connected me to the harder sounds of electronic music, participating in mosh pits in the metal days, and going to shows all the time as a fan helps me bring my musical thoughts together and being able to envision how it flows on a dance floor, be it dancing or jumping into a wall of death. 

iEDM: This question is for romantics. Your wife can often be observed enjoying bass music as much as you during festivals. Can you share with fans about the love story of you and your wife? How has she supported or inspired your overall career?

Dark Mark: I am beyond lucky to have found someone that loves this culture as much as I do. The funny thing is we met at a night club in a very different culture of music (goth-industrial-fetish) and have much different love for the genres in that world. I did always show her the music I started loving and she wasn't a fan of much of the EDM world, but slowly she was able to gain an appreciation and love for it like I do, to a point where she will even go to an out of state festival on her own to see some of her favorite artists (she is all about that Riddim life!). Music is so much more than just that, music--it's a lifestyle that is incorporated into our daily life. I know I would love her just as much even if she was a tech house fan instead of bass music ( hoping that we don't kill each other with our vastly different culture of music LOL).



iEDM: What is next in store for you this year? (Tour dates, stages you’re scheduled to present, new merch, upcoming releases/collaborations)

Dark Mark: I have plans for some big shows and festivals here in AZ for 2022 as well as bringing bigger and better editions of Party Rock with Full Moon. I sold out of my merch last year and I'm working on a new design to print more shirts, crop tops and masks by early winter. Lastly, I have a couple of releases I MAY release and maybe even a collaboration or two, stay turned to find out :-)


Photos Courtesy of Dark Mark + Relentless Beats


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about the writer

Mary Mason

Mary Mason

Read More...Mary is an artist based in Phoenix, AZ. Her favorite mediums to practice are confessional poetry and hula hooping.

When she’s not hula hooping at a local bass and riddim show, she’s at the beach or San Diego Art Museum. Mary’s adoration for EDM (culture & community) inspires her to perform. One of her many ways of celebrating art is attending festivals with her friends.

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