Mick Mars Says His First Ever Solo Album “The Other Side Of Mars” Is A Journey For The Listener

On February 23rd, 2024, Mick Mars will release his first solo album “The Other Side Of Mars.” Watch as we discuss the album and his future plans.

We recently caught up with Mick via Zoom to discuss the album. We discussed how excited Mick must be to release the album. He immediately shared how overwhelmed he is at how people who have heard the album are reacting to it. We jumped in talking about the leadoff single “Loyal To The Lie.” It’s a song with just the right amount of hook and heavy. I asked Mick if it felt right when they were recording it to which he responded, “When it was right, it was like, that’s when it was done.” He went on to say, “I have several takes, just to remind me where it came from.” Mick said this album can hit pretty hard but “Not as hard as I can hit.” Mick shared how the album has a different direction, a different color “A different part of me.”

From there we discussed the next couple singles “Right Side Of Wrong” and “Undone.” Mick talked about the three singles each having a different sound. He said it was like “A progression of kind of trying to take a listener on like, a small journey. To like change sounds, change styles, you know, just change, make it a little more diverse.” When he listens back to the album, Mick says it’s exactly the way he planned it.

One song that really stood out to me on the album is its instrumental closing track, “LA Noir.” We discussed how Mick had written and co-written every song on the album. This instrumental track is the only song he wrote for the album alone. Mick spoke about how the initial lick for the song was something he came up 20 years or so ago. A lot of it was inspired by old Hollywood movies. Originally it was going to be about Broadway and be called “New York Noir.” The change though, was inspired by a video game.

We also discussed the people who Mick has on the album with him. First, we discussed the two guys who sang on the album, Jacob Bunton and Brion Gamboa. Mick even compared the two singers describing Jacob as “Strong, clean, heavy, like in your face vocal.” “Brion has a little more angst and desperation, which is what I wanted for those songs.” We spoke about the vocal harmonies in places and even the production and at times an orchestral sound. Mick said, “I had every intention of it doing just that.”

We also discussed Paul Taylor’s contributions to the album. The Winger keyboardist co-wrote many of the songs on the album and also contributed keyboards. From there we spoke about how “The Other Side Of Mars” isn’t just another side of Mick, but also another side of some of the players on the album. Mick gave credit to all the people who were part of the album, saying “Everybody involved in this project brought it to the next level.”

I also asked Mick about what guitars and amps he used on the album. He mentioned using some Strats, including the “Beat up white one I call Isabella.” But Mick told me for “Undone” he wanted a heavier sound, so he used an Ibanez 7 string guitar that Steve Vai had given him as a birthday gift a couple years ago

At this point in the conversation, I mentioned how I guessed we would not be expecting a tour behind the album. Mick confirmed that was accurate. He did mention the possibility of one offs and even a chance of a residency. That lead us into discussing him not having the same cycle other artists would have of album, tour, album, tour, repeat. I asked if that meant he would be spending more time in the studio creating new music. Mick talked about spending a lot of time in the studio and how for a “Follow up album, I have four really solid, different ideas.” He says those songs are “Massively thick.”

Mick has a desire to constantly do something new and avoid repetition. I think it’s summed up when we spoke near the end about the title “The Other Side Of Mars” and how it applies Mick added “Yeah, there’s lots of sides I guess.”

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