Mark Gemini Thwaite (MGT) is more than a talented guitarist. He moves effortlessly from one project to the next, accomplished. His list of musical contributions seems countless. From Peter Murphy to Gary Numan, and somehow making time for MGT in between, Thwaite is a busy man.
MGT is about to take on another tour—this time, with the Lords of Acid. He trades the comforts of home for the tour life because he loves what he does. You can see it in his performance. It’s who he is, and as an audience, we are grateful. Because without artists like MGT, something real would be missing from music. With Thwaite’s creative drive and passion for what he does, he will undoubtedly remain relevant and connected to interesting, successful projects for many years to come.
I had an opportunity to catch up with MGT and asked him as few questions:
1. Having been a part of so many iconic projects, does it have a sort of mission accomplished feeling, or does it leave you longing for more?
MGT: Good question…. I have been touring and recording for so long now, since my 20’s, so I do have a certain sense of accomplishment with my career and achievements over the years, but I do also still have a desire to continue to create and perform, something that I hope burns in me til I leave this mortal coil…
2. I admire your diverse musical resume. Which project pushed and challenged you the most as an artist?
MGT: They have all been challenging in their own way, but if pressed to pick one, I would probably say performing with Tricky was the most challenging experience.. he would never use set lists, we would just have a pool of songs that we would all learn and he would roll a spliff onstage, look at the list and name a song for us to play, and it could be any of 30-40 songs or sometimes he would even just get us to make a jam up on the spot. And some songs had guitars detuned so I’d have to change guitars on the drop of a hat. Once we were backstage at a show in Cleveland USA and there was a Motorhead poster on the wall.. Tricky remarked how he loved Motorhead, I agreed and when we walked back onstage for the encore Tricky grabbed me and whispered in my ear ‘play the riff from Ace of Spades’.. I walked on, played the riff and the band joined in overlaying a funk rock groove and Tricky started spontaneously rapping over it, the audience went mental. It was amazing to create music on the spot like that, like walking a tightrope with no net..
3. Some fans may not know that you were once a student of computer science. Tell us a little about that side of you.
MGT: Not much to say really, I went to Burton Technical college to study Computer Science A level. I was already playing guitar and music was my main focus, I think I was delaying having to get a job! I did end up working a job in websign design later on and the computer science qualification did come in handy..
4. I’m sure each project you’ve worked with has a different feeling to it, a different set of rules. Is it difficult to move from working with one band to the next emotionally?
MGT: Each artist or band I work with demands a different dynamic and emotional response from me, certainly bouncing from The Mission to Tricky, or from The Wonder Stuff and Peter Murphy to Lords of Acid, my next tour which will require a different approach stylistically and sonically…
MGT band 2018: From left to right: Jared Shavelson (BoySetsFire), Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission), Ashton Nyte (The Awakening), Rich Vernon (The Mission)
MGT & Ville Valo – “Knowing Me Knowing You” (OFFICIAL VIDEO) 2016
5. You’ve recently announced joining Lords of Acid on their upcoming U.S. tour. Can you tell us about any other plans in the making?
MGT: As discussed I do have the Lords of Acid tour coming up in March and April, I’m also working on a new album by Primitive Race – our third album – the last featured the late Chuck Mosley of Faith No More, who sadly passed shortly after our second album came out. I’m also due to work on a new project with my friends David J of Bauhaus and Curse Mackay of Pigface and Rona Rougeheart. I think I’ll be collaborating with Killing Joke drummer Big Paul Ferguson on some new BPF material as well, the debut BPF album was great fun to make so looking forward to that! I might even record some new demos for new MGT as well, my own solo project. Watch this space…
(Featured image credit: Bobby Talamine 2019. All images used with permission of artist.)
Article and interview by Veronica Campbell. Not for use without permission.
Tour info: (UPDATE: tour was cancelled/postponed due to outbreak of coronavirus/COVID-19)
Lords of Acid 2020 Make Acid Great Again North American Tour
March 13, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA – EchoPlex
March 14 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Live
March 15 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
March 17 – Mesa, AZ – Club Red
March 18 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
March 19 – El Paso, TX – Rockhouse
March 20 – Dallas, TX – Trees (Tickets)
March 21 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar
March 22 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
March 23 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
March 25 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room
March 26 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
March 27 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm
March 28 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground @ The Fillmore
March 29 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry
March 31 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts
April 1 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
April 2 – Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre *fetish ball*
April 3 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
April 4 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
April 5 – Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse
April 6 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
April 7 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
April 8 – Denver, CO – The Oriental Theater
April 9 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
April 10 – Reno, NV – The Bluebird
April 11 – Portland, OR – Dante’s
April 13 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
April 14 – Ashland, OR – Ashland Armory
April 15 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
Originally published Feb 6, 2020.