Mark Mangold seems to have a magic AOR touch. Excuse the pun! He has been involved in two cult AOR acts and is currently launching a solo career and what could also become a classic AOR release - Mystic Healer - unreleased works from his prime AOR days. So here is the man behind Touch and Drive She Said.
Hi Mark, great to 'speak' with you.
You seem to be at the start of a resurgence in your career! You have got a
few things coming up, but first what have you been doing since the last
Drive She Said record?
The Best Of D,SS, if that is what you mean by the last D,SS record, is out now
in Europe and Japan. We worked on 5 new tracks for it as well as compiling
the various tracks, etc. I've completed a solo record which is out now and
am presently working on getting that out there, performances, interviews, etc.
as well as just completing the second video for the song "42nd Street".
Certain AOR acts tend to take on a cult status, but you have been fortunate
enough to be in two different acts that have achieved that tag - Touch and
Drive She Said.
Well, thanks so much for saying so.
What is it that has made these two bands reach that point?
It's certainly got to be the music. We never set out to do anything like
that, only to make the best music we could, the music we really love, as best
as possible. I think the attention to detail, and trying to keep every moment
as good as it could be, is part of it.
How do you compare the two bands?
It's hard, really. Though I do see common threads in that both have very
strong singers and harmonies and much attention is paid to melody, and good
And comparing them again, what events has brought them to both have first
time on CD re-issues at the same time?
Well, I met some people (Steve Harrell and Toshi Aramaki at Avex in Japan and
Mario Riso and Serafino Perugino at Frontier in Italy) who believed in the
music and were wonderful enough to release the records.
So first up - the Drive She Said compilation - great looking package!
I said in the review that I never gave D,SS a lot of credit, but now
listening back to the songs on the best of, they sound great! I think I may
have missed the point previously.
How about the unreleased tracks - what archives did they come from?
Well, Road to Paradise, Fallin' Again and Suddenly Closer are brand new. Look
At What You Got and Water From A Stone are older songs. "Look" was written
with Michael Bolton for the Everybody's Crazy record and ended up on the B-Side of a single. Water From A Stone was written early 90's with Cher in
mind, after she had recorded I Found Someone. She never did the song, though
I always thought she would have done a great job with it. It seems to be a
number of people's favorite song on the Best Of CD, and it's straight ahead
Are there any other old songs unreleased?
No, not really for D,SS, though we could create some real quick if asked.
And how about re-issuing the original albums again?
I think that may be happening if the 'Best Of' warrants it, as well as the
possibility of another D,SS record next year. WE'LL SEE????
To the Touch re-issue - again some bonus tracks. Any more there also?
No, the record is called "The Complete Works" and it is truly everything we
ever did, including some "demos" that showed where we were going, even "I Found Someone" which Cher eventually recorded.
And who push to get this re-issue done?
Again, it's the guys at Avex and Frontier, bless their hearts.
Has there been much demand for both your bands to have theses re-issues done?
Yes, there seems to be a "cult" demand for Touch. D,SS was more something
that I pushed for because I always saw us having a 4th CD and wanted to place
all the "singles" (or "should have been" singles) on one record.
Any favorite tracks that still do it for you?!
Revisiting all this music was fun. The entire body brings back a lot of
memories, and with Touch I still love the playing and that we were trying to
do interesting-player oriented music, the rich harmonies and especially live
oriented songs like Is It Really Me, My Life Depends on You, and that self-indulgent weird stuff.
You recently issued a solo record in the States. Can you tell us a little about that?
Well, it's piano oriented, very different from the "rock" direction. More
coming from an inside, spiritual place with many world influences, as well as
Native American and New Age influences.
How has the response and sales been for it so far?
It has been going very well. We are trying to spread the message that this
world can be a better place, and our lives can be whatever we want them to be,
if we realize we have the power to create it--it is a Mirror Image of ourselves.
One could be excused for thinking Drive She Said were English, given that all your sales and publicity was generated by the English and your record label for many years was Music For Nations!
Was it frustrating to not be able to get a big hit in America?
A bit, with D,SS, though Touch did do OK here.
And on top of the solo record you have a new band project in the works,
Can you tell me a little about that?
Mystic Healer was the idea of Magnus at MTM who asked me if I had songs from
"those days" when I was working with Michael Bolton on Everybody's Crazy and
that style of music. Yes there is LOADS of stuff. So we picked a number of
them. I had the good fortune of meeting Todd Googins, a great singer, and we
put it all together.
Many of the tracks are years old, recorded with major players from Bruce and Bob Kulick, Tony Bruno, Al Fritsch, Chuck Burgee, Chuck Bonfante, Aldo Nova, Etc. and we just did vocals, tweaked guitars and drums, etc. And it sounds great. We are just about done and it should be out within a few months.
Who is in the band?
Me and Todd.
And the style of the record? Big AOR?
And Europe is still leading the way with melodic rock aren't they?
Any other projects in the works?
Possibly a record with Fiona, for Now and Then, and my second solo record.
Any chance of new material being recorded by either D,SS or Touch?
D,SS yes, Probably not for Touch because the band members are not doing music any more except for Doug, Hi Doug.
And what is the future for both Mystic Healer, Mark Mangold?
On wards and upwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!