Mark Stewart (musician)
|Genres||Post-punk, avant-garde, dub, industrial|
|Years active||1977 - present|
|Associated acts||The Pop Group
Mark Stewart & The Maffia
New Age Steppers
Stewart was educated at Bristol Grammar School, one of Bristol's leading private schools, and was in the same year as fellow musician Nick Sheppard. Stewart began his music career out in 1978 as a founder of The Pop Group, a band whose sonic experimentation, political conviction, and willingness to collaborate laid the foundations for his later work.
The Pop Group split in 1981, with Stewart and two other members heading off to London to hook up with the emerging On-U Sound "conspiracy of outsiders" as part of the New Age Steppers. On-U became a focal point of a diverse set of networks – punks, reggae players from both the UK and Jamaica and free-jazzers. His first post-Pop Group release was as 'Mouth 2', the 1982 single "Who's Hot". Two releases followed with On-U associates under the name 'Mark Stewart & The Maffia' – the Jerusalem EP in 1983, and the 1983 album Learning to Cope with Cowardice.
Stewart has since made several albums under his own name as well as collaborating with artists such as Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame, Tricky, Massive Attack, Chicks on Speed, ADULT. and Primal Scream. In 2005, he released a collection of his best work on Soul Jazz Records entitled Kiss the Future. In 2006, he wrote the theme music used for the first series of the BBC One drama, Waterloo Road. His latest album Edit was released on the Crippled Dick Hot Wax! record label in 2008.
He is currently living in London.
Stewart is well known in several European countries and Japan. He recently was involved in a documentary filmed by Tøni Schifer, "On/Off – Mark Stewart – from The Pop Group to the Maffia", which including interviews with Nick Cave, Daniel Miller, former Pop Group members, Adrian Sherwood, Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, Keith LeBlanc, Fritz Hart (23 Skidoo) and others. The premiere took place at the East End Film Festival in April 2009.
This matchless track record of anarchic pioneering prompted Nick Cave to declare, "Mark Stewart changed everything". Reflecting on his far-reaching influence, Mark says, “I thought I was making funk music, but a track on Veneer of Democracy supposedly inspired all the American industrialists, like Front Line Assembly and Skinny Puppy, while another track supposedly inspired the Bristol kids. It happens all the time. I’ve got this nonchalance that nothing is sacred so I’ll crash a Slayer guitar line with Rotterdam gabba beats. For me, it's like colours. I grew up doing montages; like I did this collage of Ronald Reagan’s head on this gay porno cowboy. In fact, I’ve never really grown up at all. I’m still trying to put round things into square holes.”
Stewart released his next single through Future Noise Music on Black Friday 25 November 2011. The Double A-side "Children of the Revolution" / "Nothing Is Sacred" features The Bug, Crass's Eve Libertine, Berlin's Slope and Pop Group bassist Dan Catsis. This paved the way for Stewart's 2012 album, The Politics of Envy, released on 26 March 2012, also on Future Noise Music. Tackling mass media, modern capitalism and consumer apathy, it features a cast including Kenneth Anger, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Richard Hell, The Raincoats' Gina Birch, Primal Scream and Clash/PiL guitarist Keith Levene.
On 29 November 2013 Stewart posted a message on his Facebook page ″Had a serious meltdown, I'm very sorry dear Robert Hampson and ATP. Please excuse my rants, love Mark″. The comment followed attacks he had made in the previous 24 hours on Hampson and the All Tomorrow's Party's Festival which Robert Hampson's Loop (band) guest curated. 
- Strong, Martin C. (1999) "The Great Alternative & Indie Discography", Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
- Wadden, Brent (June 2007). "Mark Stewart/The Pop Group Interview". www.hairentertainment.com. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- "East End Film Festival". www.eastendfilmfestival.com. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- Robin Murray (14 February 2012). "Mark Stewart's UK Tour Dates". Clash Music. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
- "News | Mark Stewart Returns With New Album". The Quietus. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Lazell, Barry (1997) "Indie Hits 1980–1989", Cherrt Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4
- A Bluffer's guide to Mark Stewart and the Maffia at uncarved.org
- discogs profile
- Discography at unofficial On-U Sound website
- Profile at unofficial On-U Sound website