Platinum Blonde

After a 12 year absence, Platinum Bonde is stronger than ever with the recent single Beautiful part of the brand new album "Now & Never" released today August 21st, 2012.  Toronto was priviledged to be the first to celebrate their return to the stage at the Mod Club last June.  The new wave Canadian Hall of Fame inductees are hoping to reconnect with old fans and younger generations.  Loyal to their electro-pop rock signature, Platinum Blonde have set high expectations for themselves.  For more info on this band and tour dates, visit:
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: It's been 12 years since you have gotten back together and released new music. What did you miss from each other that made you realize it was time to regroup?

Mark: Before Kenny was taken from us in 2008, we had decided we were going to take the finger off the pause button. After his untimely passing, things became more clear that we had unfinished business and so much to do with this band. So many groups form and break up without even finding their sound. Platinum Blonde’s signature is unmistakable. As a DJ and remix producer, I came across so many bands that took their musical influence from our sound. Then last year Crystal Castle’s cover of “Not in Love” became a massive worldwide hit again and a whole new generation of fans were asking questions. The answer was right in front of us. We need to be current and not rely on the past. I didn’t want to do classic tours with other 80’s / 90’s bands. We will only tour if we have something new to give and now we do.

Valerie: 12 years later, you are all at different places in your life in terms of maturity and experiences. Compare Platinum Blonde from the 90's to where you are now.

Mark: Well we are better songwriters, players, performers and singers. A lot of time and love went into this record and so far it shows. The radio at the moment seems to be linier regarding the type of songs that make it to hit radio, however, there’s Internet that wasn’t as present 12 years ago. I feel the electronic revolution has come full force and the world is at the download button.

Valerie: You released your single "Beautiful" on June 18th.  How does it make you feel?

Mark: Releasing a new single is like growing wings and flying over the Grand Canyon. I can hardly wait to hear people singing along with us when we play “Beautiful” live.

Valerie: Describe what this song is about and why you felt it appropriate for your comeback.

Mark: Well it does have a lot to do with my personal experiences to this day. Realizing that beauty I see in others may not exist in me. The song has power, depth and contains that key signature Platinum Blonde sound. The simple yet complex message will hopefully connect with an emotion in all of us.
Valerie: What is it like to deal with the pressure of bringing back to life a career of the past? What challenges are you facing?

Mark: Well it's a bit like starting something new, something borrow and something blue without getting married. LOL! I’m not sure if the challenges are the same as a new band. People know us and are not really sure what to expect, so the curiosity shop is officially open.

Valerie: Tell us about your the new album "Now & Never". What was your role in the writing/recording process?

Mark: I was involved in all aspects of writing, recording and production. Always have been!  Our plans are to go as far as the music takes us and around the world.

Valerie: Tell me about the first song that you wrote together that made it on the album?

Mark: Well the first song that was written for the album was “Beautiful”. We’ve been putting the songs together over the last two years.

Valerie: Describe two more songs that are contrasting in style on the new album.

Mark: There’s a track called “Future Dance” that reflects my remix career and has an electro feel. There’s also an interesting track at the end of the record called “Sing To Me” that is a Dub Step vibe. So between the rock and a dance place, you’ll find Platinum Blonde, where we’ve always been.

Valerie: What song is the most meaningful to you and why?

Mark: That would be a song called “From Here”.  I wrote this after seeing an advert promoting the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign.   (I’m now a member and a self-appointed spokesperson)  I still have a hard time believing that there are parts of the world where women have no rights.  All because of out dated ancient beliefs and customs that hold women down, The only way out is education. I feel that instead of war, all they need is a TV or Internet and the change will start with the youth as they travel 1,000 years to catch up.

Lyrics are as follows,
“if I can’t speak, then I’ll shout.
If I can’t breathe, or breathe out.
Then it’s time for me,
To release this fear
And its time form me
To be a 1,000 years from here”.

Valerie: Awesome!  Thank you for that on behalf of women all around the globe :) What are your touring plans for the near future?

Mark: Mainly we have been playing festivals for the summer.  We will be back on the road soon; stay posted!  Thank you!

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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