|Birth name||Mark August Stoermer|
June 28, 1977 |
Houston, Texas, United States
|Origin||Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|Genres||Alternative rock, post-punk revival, psychedelic rock, alternative country|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer-songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, vocals, guitar, trumpet, piano, keyboards, percussion, drums, harmonica|
|Labels||Island, St. August|
|Associated acts||The Killers, The Smashing Pumpkins|
|Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass
American-made stock 2004 Jazz Bass
Mark August Stoermer (born June 28, 1977) is an American musician, producer and singer-songwriter best known for being the bassist for alternative rock band The Killers. In 2011, he released his debut solo album Another Life.
Stoermer graduated from Chaparral High School in 1995, where he played trumpet in the Jazz ensemble. His early musical influences included Hip-hop bands such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. and later rock bands such as Nirvana, The Beatles, The Who and Pink Floyd. Stoermer played lead guitar for a number of local bands including Habit Rouge and The Negative Ponies. Before The Killers got signed, Stoermer worked as a medical courier. Stoermer also studied philosophy and music at UNLV.
He has been dubbed 'The Gentle Giant' by bandmates and fans due to his quiet but kind nature and the fact that he stands at over 6 feet 5 inches tall.
The Killers (2002–present)
It was while playing with The Negative Ponies that Stoermer met Dave Keuning and Brandon Flowers who were performing as an early incarnation of The Killers. He was a fan of the band's unique sound and was often present at the band's gigs. In September 2002 he was offered the opportunity to become the band's permanent bass player, he accepted and completed the band's line up along with Ronnie Vannucci Jr. The band's first four albums each reached No. 1 on the United Kingdom Albums Chart and garnered the band seven GRAMMY Award nominations and seven BRIT Award nominations.
Production work and collaborations (2010–present)
Mark Stoermer mainly plays with a pick. He says "I love the punch and grit of a pick. . . I do a lot of unconscious palm muting. I love how you can instantly get that clunky tone with shorter notes. It's a great sound."
He tries to play the bass as a "half percussion instrument and half melodic instrument". Stoermer feels that "You can add to a song’s melodic side without taking away from the vocals. That’s my favorite kind of bass playing." His signature bass sound, featured prominently in The Killers' debut and sophomore albums, especially, can be heard in songs including "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine", "Somebody Told Me", "Mr. Brightside", "Bones", "Uncle Jonny", "Midnight Show", "Sam's Town", "Smile Like You Mean It", and "Bling (Confessions of a King)". His style of playing has influenced many other bands and even a genre of music in bass-driven New Wave/Synth Rock.
He is also recognized for frequently using a sweet but gritty, overdriven sound, that is almost unique to him. He also frequently heavily accents his notes and "digs in" with the pick to produce string-popping, which is quite prominent in the The Killers' first two albums. He's also known for his "bouncy" style of playing, where he playfully skips and hops between octaves, such as in "Mr. Brightside", "Somebody Told Me", and "Bling (Confessions of a King)"
- Fender Jazz Basses (Geddy Lee signature model)
- Rickenbacker 4001 Bass
- Fender Vintage Precision Bass
- Guild Starfire Bass
- Hofner 500/1
During the recording of Hot Fuss, Stoermer had been using a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass for his main bass, but had switched over to a vintage Fender Precision Bass for the recording of Sam's Town, with the difference in sound being quite notable. After Sam's Town had run its course, he had switched back to the Geddy Lee as his primary bass and started broadening his equipment repertoire, using other basses for the recording of Day and Age, such as the Starfire for "This is Your Life" and the Hofner 500/1 on "Joy Ride".
- Gibson SG Guitar. – On the Song For Reasons Unknown
- All are strung with medium-gauge GHS Bass Boomers. Basses are tuned to standard or down a 1/2 step.
- Ampeg SVT Classic Head and 8x10" SVT Cabinets
- Hiwatt Custom 200 Head (one dirty, one clean) and Hiwatt SE-1510 4x10+1x15 cabs (x2, one rig with effects, one clean)
- Fender Deville 2x12"
- BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal
- BOSS GE-7 EQ pedal
- Big Muff Sovtek Big Muff pedal (for live performances of 'Andy, You're a Star')
- BOSS BD-2 Blues Driver (modified) (x2)
- BOSS GEB-7 Bass EQ (for volume boost)
- TC Electronic chorus/flanger
- MXR Phase 100
- Big Muff pi (electro harmonix keeley modded)
- Zaolla Artist and Zaolla Silverline series cables as instrument leads, cable speakers, and cable snakes
Picks: Dunlop Nylon – 1.00mm
- Another Life (2011)
- The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering (2013) – Vicky Cryer
- "Your Love Is Not Enough" (2014) – Bombay Heavy
Awards and nominations
- Stickland, Britt. "Mark Stoermer-Killer Instinct" Bass Player Magazine. February 1, 2005.
- Kalil, Mike. "IN DEPTH: killers rising" Las Vegas Review Journal. September 18, 2005.
- "Howling Bells reveal new album release date | News". Nme.Com. June 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Killers man in the studio with Howling Bells | News". Nme.Com. January 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "Dhani Harrison & Friends "Let It Down" 09/24/14".
- "WEB EXCLUSIVE: Dhani Harrison & Friends Featuring Big Black Delta "Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)"".
- "Cover Feature: The Killers – Mark Stoermer" Bass Guitar Magazine June 2009 Iss. #43
- Fox, Brian. "The Killers Mark Stoermer On Playing With A Pick" Bass Player Magazine. February 1, 2010.
- Stickland, Britt. "Mark Stoermer-Killer Instinct"
- Hiwatt Official Website: Artists
- The Killers official site, from Island Records
- The Killers official site (U.K.), from the Vertigo label
- Mark Stoermer Facebook Fan Group
- Cover Feature: Bass Guitar Magazine from Bass Guitar Magazine June 2009 Iss.
- Video of 'Jenny' from V Festival 2009 featuring Mark's signature playing style