Mark Stoermer

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Mark Stoermer
Mark Stoermer Live.jpg
Mark Stoermer
Background information
Birth name Mark August Stoermer
Born (1977-06-28) June 28, 1977 (age 37)
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
Years active 2002–present
Labels Island, St. August
Associated acts The Killers, The Smashing Pumpkins
Website markstoermer.com
Notable instruments
Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass
American-made stock 2004 Jazz Bass
Hofner 500/1

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.

Early life[edit]

Stoermer was born in Texas to an Australian father and an American mother, they moved to Las Vegas when Stoermer was three years old. His father was a big band style musician.[1]

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.[1] 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.

Career[edit]

The Killers (2002–present)[edit]

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.[2] 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)[edit]

In 2010 Stoermer produced rock band Howling Bells' third studio album, The Loudest Engine. The album was recorded at Battle Born Studios in Las Vegas, Nevada and was released in September 2011.[3][4]

On September 24, 2014 Stoermer performed "Let It Down" and "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" with Dhani Harrison on Conan during George Harrison week.[5][6]

During 2014 and 2015, Stoermer will play bass on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins along with Billy Corgan, Jeff Schroeder and Brad Wilk.[7] He is the first ever male bass player for the band.

Artistry[edit]

Playing style[edit]

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."[1]

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."[1] 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.

Stoermer was featured on the cover of Bass Guitar Magazine in June 2009 and has been interviewed by other major bass guitar publications including Bass Player Magazine.[8][9]

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)"

Influences[edit]

Mark Stoermer cites influences such as Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, John Entwistle of The Who, and Paul McCartney. He also lists as influences The Cure, U2, and New Order.[1]

Equipment[edit]

Basses: [10]

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".

Guitars:

  • 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.[11]

Gear:

  • 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"

NOTE: Hiwatt currently are one of Stoermer's sponsors.[12]

  • 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

Discography[edit]

Solo albums

Other appearances

  • The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering (2013) – Vicky Cryer
  • "Your Love Is Not Enough" (2014) – Bombay Heavy[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]