The Truth Behind The Nashville Music Scene
Mark Stary - Lucky's 13 Burnsville
Nashville writer Mark Stary talks candidly about being a professional singer/song writer. “Nashville really trashed me!”
Join Mark and Jud as they meet at Lucky’s 13 in Burnsville MN.
Lucky’s 13 Burnsville, Minnesota
Amazing Food Includes:
BLT Bloody Mary
Fun in The Sun
Key Lime Pie
Sweden Music: Ghost, Troubled Horse
Music Heros: gb Leighton dinner
Address:6520 150th St W #400, Apple Valley, MN 55124 Hours: 11AM–3PM, 4:30–9:30PM http://www.ookamn.com/ _________________________________________________________
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Jud Hailey: Welcome to another episode of Brews & Eats With Badass Peeps. My name is Jud Hailey. I’m a singer/songwriter and your host today. Today we’re checking out Lucky’s 13 in Burnsville, Minnesota, and we’ve got our good friend, Mark Stary, waiting for us inside. Make sure you hang in there for the end of the episode. We’ve got something really special for you. [00:01:00] Okay.
Today we sit with the very talented Mark Stary. Originally from Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, Mark honed his skills with the guitar and performance while attending college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he studied Art Education.
Following his education, Mark moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he dove into music, art, and entrepreneurship. This multi-talented businessman [00:01:30] is also the founder of Mark Stary Music Podcast, featuring local and national artists. Mark has shared the stage with many artists such as Travis Tritt, Pat Green, The Knack, and even Sara Evans.
Welcome to Brews & Eats With Badass Peeps.
Mark Stary: Thanks Jud. Thanks for having me here, one of our favorite places, Lucky’s 13 in good old Burnsville, Minnesota. Thank you man. Nice intro.
Jud Hailey: You’re welcome. Hey thanks man. So why don’t you fill in the [00:02:00] gaps. I know there’s lot that your bio and the stuff that I dug up doesn’t really highlight.
Mark Stary: My idols in college and as a kid were Minnesota artists such as GB Leighton, Brian Leighton specifically, Mahoney, Martin Zellar, folks like that. That’s where my heroes, when I was [inaudible 00:02:21] relatives of mine in the Twin Cities, growing up in a small town, Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. Everything seemed like 10 years behind whatever. So those are my heroes.
When I was at UW-Stout, I [00:02:30] got an Art Ed. degree, but all I really did was focus on becoming a professional musician. My goal was to be a full-time musician, Twin Cities, like these guys. And so, had friends in the Twin Cities and moved up right after college. My old friends were talking about they were going to go buy a house and go get married and stuff, and I remember telling my friend Dan, I said, “I’m gonna move to Twin Cities, I’m gonna be a starving artist. And play music in the Twin Cities is what I’m gonna do.”
Jud Hailey: Yeah.
Mark Stary: That’s what I’ve done pretty much ever since. [00:03:00] But yeah, I moved up here, moved to New Brighton and started playing little coffee houses and things like that. And still continue my gigs in Wisconsin all over I did in college.
Jud Hailey: So, if you’re coming [00:03:30] out of Nashville, and you decide you know what? I’ve heard enough, that I’ve got something in Minneapolis. In Minnesota. In terms of a career. And I think I’m going to go back to Minnesota and I’m gonna focus in that area and perform more and hone more of what you do today, is as a result of coming from Nashville to [00:04:00] St. Paul.
Mark Stary: Artistically, in my opinion, Nashville trashed me. I played for publishing company once, and I had this song. It was, I played it at a million weddings. I think my publishing agent had it signed. And one publishing company, a big songwriting guy’s wife, [inaudible 00:04:19].
And there was this song in there, a line in there that said, “You picked me up and turned my life around.” A song called This Love, This Life sung by [inaudible 00:04:27]. “You picked me [00:04:30] up and turned my life around” was the line in the song. They’re listening to it and it’s kind of like a TV show, where they’re doing all these publishing company deals. So she looks at me and she slams her hand down and she goes, “What kind of … You should have played them Amazing Grace.” They said it was the worst song ever heard. They just rip on it.
And so she goes, “What kind of man are you? That you need some woman to pick your ass up and turn your life around?” And [00:05:00] I go, “I give up.”
Jud Hailey: What was the worst moment in your career?
Mark Stary: I don’t know if I can just go right to one. I learned what’s the three greatest songs of all time. Star-Spangled Banner, Amazing Grace, and the song you just wrote yesterday. You think it’s the great thing that’s ever happened to you. So every time I put out a song, or put out some record, I think it’s gonna be the next Beatles’ White Album. And so I dump a bunch of money into it, to do this [00:05:30] and do that, but most of the time it’s a complete mistake. So I can’t even count how many dumb entrepreneurial mistakes I have made.
Jud Hailey: Talk about the moment when you decided, “Okay, I’m coming back to Minnesota and making a real solid go at it, is probably the direction I should go.”
Mark Stary: Well, I think [00:06:00] my Aha moment was when I was a kid listening to Guns N’ Roses, because I’ve never had, I’ve never questioned it, ever. And like I said, during my Nashville time, I was still playing full time up here. All this traveling back and forth, that was more transitioning from my performance was always number one. Then number two was like my songwriting stuff. Now my number two is the podcast stuff. It was like having this or that.
Jud Hailey: You’ve always had this alternating [crosstalk 00:06:25]
Mark Stary: But I’ve always, number one, when I was kid, like I said, I wanted to be, I wanted to run with the Martin [00:06:30] and the GD and Mahoney and like that was my Mt. Rushmore, Adam Levy, Suburbs, that kind of stuff. That’s always been my focus.
As far as when I wanted to be a musician, I think it’s in the second I was born, and the second I heard the first song. I’ve never questioned it. Ever. Ever since I was a kid, there’s stuff you have to do, I went and got an art teaching degree just to get by or whatever, but I don’t-
Jud Hailey: [00:07:00] What was holding you back from becoming a full-on professional of the music and entrepreneurial scene?
Mark Stary: Nothing. I’ve always wanted to … Nothing. No choice. Nothing’s ever held me back. Besides money. Like, trying to-
Jud Hailey: Money.
Mark Stary: Money enough to get to do it. Yeah. Never [crosstalk 00:07:27].
Jud Hailey: So fearful of not earning enough.
Mark Stary: [00:07:30] Not fearful, just of going to jail for not paying my car payments and house payments and shit. No. Just nothing. I’ve always wanted to do it, I’m going to do it, and that’s it. So money would be just, I would have jobs [inaudible 00:07:45].
Jud Hailey: Zero fear.
Mark Stary: No. Zero fear. Absolutely.
Jud Hailey: What is the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Mark Stary: Mike Dungan, the president and CEO of Capitol Records, told me to keep my unique style and not move to Nashville and be one of those Nashville [00:08:00] dudes.
Jud Hailey: Do not move to Nashville.
Mark Stary: Do not move to Nashville.
Jud Hailey: What is a personal habit that contributes to your daily success?
Mark Stary: Stupidity.
Jud Hailey: Okay …
Mark Stary: Stupidity. And not wanting to grow up and get a regular job.
Jud Hailey: Well, yeah.
Mark Stary: No, in all reality, no, just, like I said, I’m really into that journey thing, man, very very [00:08:30] passionate about being a better musician, a better songwriter, better singer. So I think that just that urge to discover another artist, and try to just get, think of a riff here, think of a song there or sound like just kind of always moving forward and being persistent about it.
Jud Hailey: Okay. What are you currently listening to?
Mark Stary: This is my favorite question of the entire day. I spent all day tracking, we’re doing [00:09:00] a hard rock record. And I’m exclusively a Swedish rock snob. So I listen to nothing but Swedish rock and roll right now.
Jud Hailey: How do you get into this?
Mark Stary: It started with the band Ghost. I like them. And then it branched out to more stuff. I was able to listen to. And I’ve always liked that kind of rock, more badass edge kind of stuff. But I don’t like the scream stuff. I don’t like the real [00:09:30] deep scream-
Jud Hailey: Scream, yeah.
Mark Stary: And I don’t like the scream stuff, so it’s Swedish rock and roll, to me is guys that sing, and I have a high, very high singing voice. It’s singing, it’s songwriting, but it’s got like a ’60s-’70s rock feel.
I’m a big blues guy. I love blues. I love the harmonica blues. I do that shit all the time. That’s my favorite thing. So it’s kind of this bluesy rock with a normal singer, then more creepy subject matter somewhat, but it’s all I listen to is Swedish rock and [00:10:00] roll. Fans such as Troubled Horse, which is members of the old band Witchcraft, like I’m die hard.
Jud Hailey: Okay.
Mark Stary: [inaudible 00:10:21] is my favorite one, another one. Graveyard, that’s easy to remember, Graveyard’s spectacular, Hollis, one of the best singers I’ve ever heard, [00:10:30] Cadaver’s a three-piece rock band, just, Swedish rock is one of my hobbies.
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What is a book or a documentary that you can recommend, and why?
Mark Stary: I would do both. I would [00:12:30] do documentary, for sure, would be Straight No Chaser, a documentary about the life and times of Thelonious Monk, one of the greatest jazz piano players of all time.
Doc. footage: Thelonious. Thelonious Sphere, born 1918.
Mark Stary: It’s shot in black and white, it’s produced by Clint Eastwood, and it’s a really really cool story about this artsy crazy piano guy, Thelonious Monk, who everyone should look up and download anyway. [00:13:00] And his putting these bands together, his way he interacts with producers and studios, he was just this weird cool guy, and he wore the cool kind of derby gangster hats and stuff, and wonderful songs such as Straight No Chaser.
He was just bitchin’, this gangster guy. He wore glasses with no lenses in them, he was just this cool guy and he’d stand up and when the bass player’d take a solo, guitar playing solo, he’d get up and he’d turn in kind of a circle and sit down, like, he gives you freedom to be artsy-fartsy.
[00:13:30] And also it’s reality. He’s living in like in an apartment in Chicago with his wife, whatever. And he gets up and it’s like the reality’s the music. Like you can get through playing these big shows in Paris, but we’re not all gonna get rich off this stuff. Especially him as a black jazz guy.
And also, there are times when the Blue Note Pub, where they would play all these jazz bands played, is sort of what you and I do, like it’s a mindset thing. I’d say this is a kind of a cool [00:14:00] club in Burnsville.
[inaudible 00:14:03] It’d be similar to like one of these jazzy nightclubs, dinner club places, and that’s what those guys did. Same thing you and I are doing stuff like this. Super cool.
Book would be, for me, my favorite book would be I, Claudius by Robert Graves. It’s a historical fiction book about the Caesar Claudius. It’s really badass, it’s about Claudius, who was an invalid, had a terrible stammer speaking whatever, how he [00:14:30] became the Emperor of Rome amongst all this crazy stuff and just persevered.
Us as musicians, we have to adapt at all times to keep up with current trends, keep up with how the place is being booked, money stuff, whatever. This guy just adapted and became King – Caesar of Rome, and lived through it all. So did his wife.
Doc. footage: This is historical fiction.
Mark Stary: Yeah. Historical fiction. And so historical fiction and- a breezy point [00:15:00] and his grammar slipped up there. I don’t know if you’re watching. I call that breezy point grammar. Breezy point access [inaudible 00:15:11].
Doc. footage: It’s the truth.
Finally, how can we connect with you? On the Interwebs, or how can we get to a show, how do we know when you have a show?
Mark Stary: The same thing [inaudible 00:15:32] [00:15:30] Facebook, I make little gimmick ads every single week, and put up that you gotta tag the bars in, so Facebook, markstarymusic.net, my podcast is Mark Stary Music Podcast, on iTunes, SoundCloud and all the other podcast places that’s around. Check it out, come to a show, live music, live podcasts, this is all good stuff. What you don’t hear, Jud, this is all great, man. [00:16:00] You gotta support that stuff.
Jud Hailey: Thank you brother. How do you connect with your podcast? What can we type in to search for your podcast?
Mark Stary: I’m a iPhone guy, so I type in my name, Mark Stary, S-T-A-R-Y Music, and it comes up and you can subscribe to it, pick whatever shows you want, SoundCloud same thing. I have links on my Web site, markstarymusic.net, I also have it on my Facebook page as well.
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