As he returns to Scotland, Marco Mendoza talks to Natasha Mckim about his solo tour.
Marco Mendoza can name drop until the daylight runs out, but it is impossible to get bored talking to him. The bass player of The Dead Daisies, Marco is an ex band member of Thin Lizzy and has played with Blue Murder, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake and other names of the rock world.
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO VISITING ABERDEEN?
Absolutely. I visited many years ago and then again with Thin Lizzy six years ago.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO EMBARK ON A SOLO TOUR?
I put my solo career on the back burner, and then realised that it should be the other way around.
IS IT MORE STRESSFUL PERFORMING BY YOURSELF?
Music is music. With my solo career the focus is on me a little bit more and I try to not let that get to me, but I am only human. But I get to play my song. It is challenging sometimes but rewarding.
DO YOU COME TO SCOTLAND OFTEN?
I found the time to visit Glasgow last May. The audience there was great.
WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS OF WRITING NEW MATERIAL?
Everyone has their own way. Sometimes the theme of a song comes to me and I will write it down. The recording process takes ideas and redevelops them. When it comes to putting an album together it is like going into Pandora’s Box, picking and choosing the songs which speak to you loudest at that moment.
YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH DIFFERENT ARTISTS WHEN PUTTING MATERIAL TOGETHER – WHY?
It is rewarding to collaborate. It is different, but not better. You have two or three minds and their lyrics and music to get on stage with you.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THOSE NEW IDEAS?
During a tour when you are playing you can come up with lots of ideas. In the 70s that was how it was done – bands would spend a few hours of their life going over ideas. With The Dead Daisies we were backstage on a big arena tour and running through ideas. Sometimes we would then learn it and play a few of the ideas on stage.
HOW DOES AN AUDIENCE REACT TO SUCH AN INSTANT TASTE OF NEW MUSIC?
We do tell them that it is new. You’re walking a tightrope, but there are a few signs, like people singing along. People start singing and jumping around. There is nothing more rewarding for a writer to see this reaction to a creative process.
ARE YOU LIVING THE DREAM WITH THIS CAREER?
When you are a teenager playing in a garage band, you dream, absolutely, but you never think that it is going to happen. I married early. The only thing I knew what to do was music and I had to support my family at the age of 18. You have to knock on every door and have the incentive to play. 30 years later and I am still doing it. I have exceeded a thousand times over my expectations – it is mind blowing.
IS TOURING JUST AS EASY AS IT WAS WHEN YOU STARTED OUT?
It does get harder as you are getting older. It is little clubs and venues and you still have to get up there and spend 10 hours in a little car. But it is about the performance and the music and those 90 minutes are the most important.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE COME AND SEE YOU IN ABERDEEN?
Come and have a good time. See a side of me you don’t know and hear my music and the guys that I am playing with. It will be rock and roll and jazz and blues.