Rock Critic Mark Prindle: The JG2Land Interview
Since 1996, Mark Prindle has been reviewing entire discographies of major rock artists on his website in a manner that often can only be described as patently absurd. He goes on rather lengthy unrelated tangents, sometimes assumes the viewpoint of inanimate (and often gross) objects, and tosses off non sequiturs like so much dandruff. Despite the silliness, Mark always gets his point across. He’s the most passionate reviewer working today (and when he really tears into a stinker, it’s a thing of beauty).
In recent years, Mark’s taken up interviewing musicians for his site, as well as regularly cracking wise on the FOXNews show “Red Eye.” The old boy was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to speak to me, JG2, about his beloved music review website, bands he’s misjudged in the past, and which members of Bloodrock he wants to fuck most.
JG2: Are there any bands / artists you are just never going to review on your site for personal reasons? Like, you just fuckin’ hate ’em and can’t even fathom givin’ ’em the time of day?
MARK PRINDLE: Never say never, because my musical preferences and obsessive-compulsive reasons for reviewing bands change daily. However, there’s a pretty fair chance that I will never review Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Jandek, or Elvis Costello. I say this because I went through the trouble of acquiring all four artists’ entire discographies years ago before slowly coming to the realization that I hated most of it! As such, the only record I now own by any of them is Fleetwood Mac’s excellent Rumours. And don’t be like “Dude, Tusk rules!” because Tusk has like three good songs on it.
JG2: I would never say anything positive about Tusk. Still, you don’t think it might be interesting to look at Fleetwood Mac’s disco from the perspective of someone who only likes Rumors? I mean, that description fits a significant portion of this country. You’d be relating, figuring out why the other albums didn’t connect as hard. On the other hand, I can understand how you might not want to talk about a bunch of shit you hate.
MP: I already sold all of the albums and have no intention of re-purchasing them. There are hundreds and hundreds of other “full catalogs” in my collection that I would rather spend my time on than Fleetwood Mac.
JG2: Did you have any clue the site would go on for this long? Do you foresee yourself maintaining the site / reviewing records until the day you die a penniless pauper in an East Village tenement like Bobby Driscoll?
MP: I had no idea. I actually retired from the site for a year and a half back around 1998 to concentrate on my own music, but upon discovering that nobody liked my own music, I returned to reviewing! I see myself maintaining the site until death, or until people stop reading it. I don’t know who Bobby Driscoll is, and Wikipedia is way over there.
JG2: He’s this dead guy, it doesn’t really matter. So what spurned your recent decision to begin playing music out in public again?
MP: Mostly unemployment. Also, the feeling that I could put on an entertaining and humorous show for a certain breed of music fan. And most of all, the fact that the drummer from Neutron Drivers invited me to open for his band! Musically our show was terrible, but the audience seemed to enjoy the jokes. That just spurred us on to do more MORE MORE! (i.e. two more shows).
JG2: Your review pages have received countless memorable comments over the years. What are some of the few comments that have really stuck with you? The ones from musicians you were reviewing, or normal people just going off on some shit they don’t agree with you on?
MP: [The comments] don’t stick with me. I post them and forget about them — THANK GOD. If they stuck with me, I’d cry all the time! I remember the “Hewu” comments on my Linkin Park page being pretty funny though. Also the people at the top of my PIL and U2 pages who didn’t get the stupid jokes in the opening paragraphs. And I suppose the AC/DC’s Ballbreaker comments should be mentioned if only because there are so many of them!
JG2: How many times do you listen to a record before you sit down to write the review?
MP: At least twice very closely while taking notes. Sometimes more, depending on how difficult it is to “get” the music. For example, when I review death metal, I have to listen extremely closely several times before I can totally understand what the band is doing.
JG2: Are there any artists / albums you’ve reviewed that you’ve completely changed your position on since posting a review? Who, and why?
MP: I now love the Didjits to death and wish I’d raved more in my reviews instead of complaining about the singer’s voice and how there were “too many slow songs.” I actually rewrote my Rush page years ago when I unexpectedly became a fan of the band. I can’t think of any aside from those at the moment. I even still enjoy all those old Everclear CDs! No idea what’s up with that. It happens more often with albums. Every once in a while I’ll listen to an album that I originally gave a good review, and come away thinking, “WAS I OUT OF MY MIND!?!?!” This has appened with several late-period Agnostic Front records, one of the post-Jim Morrison Doors albums….ehh, probably others. There’s no accounting for momentary poor taste, I guess.
JG2: If you were stranded on a desert island with Dick Ebersol and could only bring ONE record to smash over his head when he made the inevitable pass at you, which would it be and why?
MP: Is he gay? I could turn him straight. On the Ebersol tip, I hope that Lorne Michaels releases box sets for the “SNL” years when he wasn’t around. If he does, next up is the infamous Season Six!
JG2: What do Miley Cyrus and Otto von Bismarck have in common?
MP: My absolute lack of interest.
JG2: Has any member of Bloodrock ever contacted you to thank you for your rabid fandom?
MP: NO, the pricks! I’ve heard the singer became a ruthless businessman, so maybe he’s too busy wheeling and dealing to drop me a line. But surely Stevie Hill could send a quick hello!
JG2: If you could sleep with one member of Bloodrock, who would it be and why?
MP: Definitely one of those replacement players on the final two albums, because if any Bloodrock members have vaginas, it’s those two pussy-assed girl pansy fairy sissies.