Interview with Mark White of The Spin Doctors

markwhitePhoto by Marc Millman

Mark White, Bassist for The Spin Doctors, one of the most signature bands of the 90’s, was gracious enough to sit down with The Green Hearts Blog for a brief chat. The Spin Doctors most recent Album “If The River Was Whiskey”, is a great album, showing the Blues roots of the band, and showing that The Spin Doctors still have their edge. We highly suggest picking up “If The River Was Whiskey” on iTunes, and checking out the video for the title track further down in the interview.

Hey Mark! Thanks for taking the time to do this little Q&A session with us! Lets get things started with questions about the new Spin Doctors album, “If the River was Whiskey”. The album is a Blues album, you guys started off as a blues band, right?

  Pretty much, I didn’t play any blues at that time, So I had to learn it, I came up a funk, dance background, I didn’t even own a blue record at that time.
What was it like playing those classic shows with Blues Traveler?
It was like showing up to a family reunion all the time, not only did all the musicians know each other, we knew everybody in the crowd. I personally would just walk around and just hang out with different people. One of the best things was the late night, after show dinners.
What was the lifestyle the band had at that point?

Sleep all day, get ready for the show, do the show, have an awesome after show dinner.

Each track on “If The River Was Whiskey” has such a raw, gritty feel. Were most of tracks live takes?   We pretty much did the record live, it was supposed to be a demo, so we wanted to get it down and have it out, but it came out so good, we decided to use that.   I saw you guys in Traverse City, Michigan at the Wine and Paella Festival and you played the title track. The crowd loved it, and listening to it mixed in with the rest of Spin Doctors catalogue, it fit so well, that’s not something that many bands are able to pull off gracefully. Can you explain how it worked so well for you guys?

It’s called magic. We’re not even trying to make it fit.

You recently toured in Europe. What was the reception to the new music there?

It was pretty good, people loved it and bought the CD after the show. It’s amazing how the CD will sound just like the show.

I have been a fan of your work since I was about five, so twenty some years, when I feel in love with the classic songs on the car radio. Do you think the fan base continues to grow from the classic, listener from radio dynamic, or the multi-faceted social media that is launching (and destroying) bands these days?

I really have no idea how it works anymore. There is so much stuff hitting people nowadays, it’s no wonder people going crazy.

 011(The Spin Doctors playing in Traverse City, Michigan)

What is your reaction to hearing one of your songs on the radio randomly? and what was the oddest time or place you ever heard a Spin Doctors song?

Well it’s always nice to hear your songs on the radio or see your video on TV. I was in the lobby of my building and two princes came on the radio, since that time, I’ve heard it in the lobby four other times.  

What do you do in your time away from the band?

 I teach music, drive around wasting gas and draw pictures on my Ipad.

Any other musical pursuits of yours we should know about?

It’s all quiet on the western front.

Can you name your top five favorite songs growing up?

Good Times and Everybody Dance from Chic, Reach For It from George Duke, Shake Your Body down from the Jacksons, and Housequake from Prince.

Are there any new bands or artist out there that have caught your eye?

Right now I’m into M83, Ivy, Autour De Lucie, None of them are actually new, but they are new to me. 

We love Christmas music here, are there any Spin Doctors Christmas songs out there? and what are some of your favorite holiday songs?

Nope, no Christmas songs yet, and one of my favorite is “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

Is there anything you wish to say to old Fans or new?

Be happy it’s super easy to buy music now!

Thanks Mark!

Go pick up “If The River Was Whiskey” here:

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One response to “Interview with Mark White of The Spin Doctors

  1. Pingback: 100th Post – Some of our most popular post – News Update | The Green Hearts Blog·

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