A recording artist who has worked with some of the top names in rock, the current project, Fiction Syxx, includes band members from King Kobra, XYZ, The Babys, Montrose, Biloxi and Hollywood, California’s Musicians Institute alumni. A rocket scientist, the multi-faceted musician and songwriter has also been inducted into the NASA Space Technology Hall Of Fame. With a new single and a forthcoming album in the works, there is only one Mark Allen Lanoue.
About the music
Lanoue’s latest, Fiction Syxx’s “Bleed for the Truth,” radiates high gain guitar harmonics, which kick and squeal with amped delight. But first, the production and mix of the: 09 intro let’s listeners know the recording is something higher caliber. Soon the fret work explodes into phrases and runs with four fingers flying through intricate scale patterns. All of this sets the vocal entry with anticipation and frenzy.
Watching the accompanying YouTube lyric video for “Bleed for the Truth,” the imagery wonderfully enhances the music with a degree of heavy metal magic, conjuring an illusion of sonic sorcery. The band is tight, balanced and cranked through all 4:10. “Bleed for the Truth” is the first single from Fiction Syxx’s third album, the upcoming Ghost of My Fathers Past. Prior albums include 2017’s Tall Dark Secrets and The Alternate Me, from 2018.
Fiction Syxx is Mark Allen Lanoue – lead vocals, guitar; JK Northrup – guitar, backing vocals, production; Rory Faciane – drums; Larry Hart – bass; and Eric Ragno – keyboards.
For the backstory, musicinterviewmagazine.com spoke with the founder of Fiction Syxx, Mark Allen Lanoue.
An Interview With Mark Allen Lanoue
Musicinterviewmagazine.com: How does the forthcoming album continue where the band’s first two leave off?
Mark Allen Lanoue: We are picking up where we left off and looking forward with a vengeance. Music is a part of our soul. I respected these guys – JK Northrup, Eric Ragno, Rory Faciane and Larry Hart – from the start and am honored that they are a part of this adventure with me. But now the respect is ten-fold. Our new adventure and third upcoming release, Ghost of My Fathers Past, has found this group becoming more involved from a song writing chemistry. We have found a new way of writing and recording where our drummer, Rory, can open up more on drums and allows me and JK to write more together. It is really awesome where this one is going.
Did you write all the lyrics and music for Ghost of My Fathers Past?
I wrote much of the material. However, without these guys, they simply would not be the same songs. Also, JK has written on the other releases, but we are really writing quite a bit together on this release. I also plan on getting others involved in the writing. Their talents are just way too awesome to not do so.
When will the entire album be available?
We are working diligently on the new release. It is most likely that it will be early next year for the release. But I will tell you that the tracks are amazing thus far and if these first several tracks are any indication as to how awesome this release will be, we are going to rock some ear drums!
Does the title hold any special significance?
All of the titles, lyrics and art have significance when it comes to Fiction Syxx. The name itself comes from real life significance. I was born on 6/6/66 and I am a fan of history, religion, symbolism, spirituality and culture. JK is into the extraterrestrial and symbolism as well, not to mention hunting for dinosaur bones. I really need to go on one of those digs with him, one of these days.
The title of this release, Ghost of My Fathers Past, holds a number of significant meanings. My father was murdered when I was ten years old, in Clifton, New Jersey. After all these years, I still find myself trying to be the best man and person I can be and find myself thinking whether he would have been proud. The individual on the front cover looking into the mirror is symbolism, both me and my father staring into the mirror. Since I did not use an apostrophe on the word “Fathers,” [Album title] it also relates to the premise and promise set forth by our forefathers.
The album is framed around what you describe as “a core of members.” Were the same musicians used on Tall Dark Secrets and The Alternate Me?
The first release, Tall Dark Secrets, started as somewhat of a project. We had core players on that release who were JK Northrup, Rory Faciane, Eric Ragno and the infamous Fretless Monster, Tony Franklin of The Firm and Blue Murder fame. But we also had some feature musical friends like Bill Leverty (Firehouse); my old friend from New Jersey, Steve Brown (Trixter/Def Leppard); Andy Lee (Circle II Circle); my former bandmate Carl Sentence (Nazareth/Don Airey Band); Lee Small (Shy/Lionheart); Christian Wentz (Circle II Circle); Thorsten Koehen (Edens Curse); Karl Cochran (Rated-X/Ace Frehley); and Jimi Bell (Autograph/House of Lords.)
The second Release, The Alternate Me, is where everything went from what started as a project to now a core group and the members of Fiction Syxx. Tony Franklin moved his focus to other projects. But enter a bad-to-the-bone bassist, Larry Hart (Montrose/King Kobra). Our core has been the same since then. The upcoming release, Ghost of My Fathers Past, has the same core members. I am honored to be writing, recording and releasing amazing music with these guys.
During “Bleed for the Truth,” the guitar parts really soar with a blistering high gain emphasis. Are the guitars recorded digitally, cabinets mic’d, or both?
It is a mix of digital and amped. We are endorsed by Audio Media Research-ReValver and I do use that software when I record. But it is up to my Gemini musical brother JK Northrup, who is also the producer for the releases, to decide what he thinks works best. I thank you for the kind words about the guitar work. JK and I work really well together and our styles complement one another. I will say that it is awesome that we have honesty when writing and recording. If something doesn’t work or can be played better, JK does a fine job of directing those things. JK is a smoking guitarist, so I have to stay on my game.
Does “Bleed for the Truth” have a chance for a Grammy® Award?
That is a good question. The song, the players and the production are top notch. It is worthy, in my opinion. However, it really depends on how many voting members of the Recording Academy vote on our track during the first round of voting between the end of September and mid-October. So we should see. The more people get the word out, the better.
Aside from the music, as a rocket scientist, how is it you are in the NASA Space Technology Hall Of Fame?
NASA is often associated with rock science. However, there is much more to NASA than just rockets. I was a scientist, inventor and later entrepreneur. I was part of a team that invented a new smaller Hyperspectral Imaging system, which is a form of imaging system that classifies targets based on spectral and spatial data. It was a high tech imaging device. I would later manage a team that also designed the software and we then sold systems all over the world. I was inducted into the NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame for my work on and launching of that technology. It actually was part of where the title The Alternate Me came from. The Gemini, the alternate ID, one by day and the other by night.
What can listeners look forward to from both you and Fiction Syxx?
I will continue to work on music. And work with others on music. I never stop hearing the music. I see Fiction Syxx releasing music for years to come. I would love to see this, play some festivals together, so that others can share in the experience. We will be working on this release and from there, on to the next.
All of us work on other projects. JK and Larry have The Mood Groove. And yes, those cats can throw down. Eric, I think that everyone wants Eric to play on their stuff. He is an amazing talent. Rory and I have been working with Scott Campbell, out of Orlando, Florida. We have a 70s and 80s tribute project called Farmer Bob. If you dig 70s and 80s rock, you should check it out. Outside of music, I am working on some projects that I hope will help the music industry we love and bring tools to students and independent artists.
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Paul Wolfle, the publisher of musicinterviewmagazine.com, is a web-based journalist who has written for several popular sites. Paul has a passion for connecting with a diversity of musicians who are looking to grow a positive presence on the World Wide Web.