|"It's possibly one of the strangest records of all time, so badly produced it sounds terrible." Mark McCabe is being very frank about his debut single "Maniac" which stayed at number one in the Irish charts for ten weeks last year. "Though having said that it's still being played in the clubs so it looks like it will keep going and going," he adds.
His second single "Love is in air" was released recently and early signs indicate the 23-year-old DJ from Ranelagh has another hit his hands. Why, though, a cover of a 1970's pop classic? "Well, for a start it hadn't been done before," he says "and first time around it was released in May 1978, my birthday. Then at the last Meteor awards Bono came on stage and said 'love is in the air' which to me was the final sign that I should go for it."
The publicity for the single has included all the usual PR outings like personal appearances and interviews but Mark has an unusual take on the rather ordinary advertising medium of bus shelters. "Yeah, my mug has been plastered all over bus shelter posters so plenty of people will be able to draw willies on me."
As well as the music career McCabe is now a well established jock on 2FM, recently filling in on the prestigious drive-time slot for Tony Fenton. His more routine gig for the national station is keeping clubbers happy with late night mixes during his weekend slots. Does he see a problem with how the more serious dance fans perceive him when he releases pop material like Maniac?
"I suppose I never had credibility in the first place so I'm not worried about losing something I haven't got. Hot Press have criticised my music but that's hardly surprising. Also, Dance is still pretty much underground so there's no real mainstream outlet for people to have a real go at me. Regarding my future I have a long term plan and credibility comes with time.
|I want to grow and grow and grow, like U2 and Madonna did. The stuff they released in the early days was absolute shit but made sense for the time. No matter what you think of their music you have to respect a band like U2 who have reinvented themselves and here they are, still doing it twenty years later."
So which aspect of his professional life will win out in the end - dance music or pop stardom? "Much as I enjoy Dance music my real love for music isn't really dance. The Dance industry has become swamped in drugs and for me, who doesn't do drugs, that's not the way I want to go. I want to get back to playing real music in a band, which is how I started out.
Having said that Dance is a huge part of my life so I'll always try to maintain some presence in the scene so it's a challenge to get the balance right."
Future plans include another single release in September to coincide with the trauma of junior and leaving cert results. There'll also be an album out before the end of the year, phase one of a six album deal he recently signed with Universal Records. "The album deal gives me room to do what I want," he says "while I can still release remixes under an alias."
Mark McCabe - a man with many fingers in many pies.
Short cuts with Mark McCabe
Star Sign? Gemini "spilt personality"
Favourite Club? "Mono, or the Red Box or Temple Theatre"
Married? No, single
Favourite drink? Vodka and Red Bull
Favourite record store? Abbey Discs
Favourite gig? Robbie at Slane and U2 Zooropa