Interview with musician and visual artist Mauri Dark

Thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions, Mauri!

Tell us about yourself and what you do in the music industry?

I am Mauri Dark, 43 (birth name Mauri Kosonen) musician, visual artist, father and husband from Turku, Finland. I have worked with music for over 25 years, released 9 full-length albums and made about 500 shows in Finland and Europe. Most of the shows and five albums as guitarist-vocalist of Metal Duo Mystons. I have released my first solo album Dreams Of A Middle-Aged Man in Dec 18, 2020.

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

I was a teenager during the grunge era so definitely many alternative bands from there like Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Faith No More, Soundgarden etc. got me started with playing in bands. The very initial kick came from KISS at the age of 7 maybe. Later on I really got into the master acoustic songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Tom Waits, The Beatles and Pink Floyd so I am deeply rooted in 70s music. A lot of my inspiration also comes from visual arts, from the big personalities like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Cogh, Salvador Dali etc. Most of all the inspiration comes from when someone puts their special skills, heart, soul and personality into the artworks or music that they do to explore humanity.  

What is your greatest achievement so far?

I would like to say my solo album “Dreams Of A Middle-Aged Man” or the latest public artwork “Big Blue” featuring a life size blue whale on a facade but It really is my 3-year old daughter. 

Tell us about your latest album, “Dreams Of a Middle Aged Man?”

It is acoustic, intimate, dreamy and folky album with real life stories in the spirit of classic songwriters like Cash and Cohen similar to their last albums. With some 70s spices. The songs came at a specific phase in my life when I broke up from a 7-year relationship, my mother died of cancer, I got married and had my firstborn daughter. My acoustic baritone guitar and bass voice create the main vibe for the album and it has mainly acoustic instruments spices like piano, strings, but also electric guitar and drums and bass also on two tracks. It was Mixed by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Apocalyptica) and mastered by Vlado Meller (Metallica, Michael Jackson, Jack White). I played all instruments and made all the songs and recorded them as well. 

Where is one place in the world that you haven’t been, that you’d really like to see?

I recently watched a documentary about Egypt and I have always been a big fan of Ancient Egyptian culture so I would like to see the pyramids and temples on location!

Any “bucket list” collaborations and/or stages you’d like to perform on?

With Covid the main dream now is to get to play live anywhere. I miss that so much. Tom Waits is someone I would really like to see from the side of the stage working on his craft or perhaps hit two two-by-four’s together once during his show would be enough for me.

Do you have any tips for our readers that are trying to break into the music industry?

Start writing songs and lyrics as early as possible. It really is your best investment to your courier not to be dependent on works of others. Then learn to write good songs! Get a good quality instrument and make it serve you adequately, you don’t have to be a master player. Be uniquely yourself. That’s what counts and makes all the difference. Play with other people and play live anywhere you can and you will learn the communication happening via music. Learn to record on some level. Learn other music related stuff. Make demos, singles, music videos and make yourself visible to others. Get connected. Promotion is extremely important. Good music gets buried way too fast and easily these days with so much stuff being released. Good luck!

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