One Sided Horse, brainchild of Mark Whiteside, is the solo departure of the drummer/singer of the doom metal band Evil Blizzard. The latest release, ‘F A C E’, is a live album featuring songs new and old, such as the gorgeous and tender ‘And Then You Called My Name’ and the haunting ‘Crackerjack’. One Sided Horse can be found at the new Vernal Equinox festival in Preston on March 5th.
One Sided Horse started in 2015, what brought about this venture?
I started the idea of One Sided Horse about 5 years ago after playing drums for many singers and bands. I decided that I should do a Phil Collins and force myself from the back to the front. I bought myself a guitar and sat for many weeks in the bedroom with painful fingers and finally came up with two songs that I still play ‘Crackerjack’ and ‘In This Moment’.
Your work as One Sided Horse couldn’t possibly be any further from Evil Blizzard, how do you juggle such contrasting music as you continue to work on both?
Musically yes they are poles apart but what I find with OSH is, that it is more an opportunity to write songs from the heart. Evil Blizzard is mainly built around rhythms or riffs more in the form of say Hawkwind or PIL but OSH is built from lyrics. As I am limited in my guitar playing I seem to fit what chords I can manage to the lyrics but I think this works in a simple form. People seem to like the basic style of the songs especially when played as a solo acoustic version.
Your lyrics are honest and raw, comparable to Tom Waits. Lyrically, who and what are your inspirations?
I am not sure I would compare myself to Tom Waits, he is a master of lyrics but I take inspiration from my own experiences or other people’s. Sometimes just seeing something in a film or around you can spark an idea. One of my songs ‘More Than Old’ came from listening to someone talk about song writing and they said “ I don’t know what I love”.. then they carried on, I jotted that down and built a full song around it.
You’ll be performing at the Vernal Equinox festival on Friday as CLONES the alter-egos of Evil Blizzard and on Saturday as One Sided Horse. How do festivals such as Vernal Equinox provide you and the audience with a different experience than club gigs?
It’s good to play any festival as you can always play to new people. Our own Blizzard club gigs tend to be a wild affair as the fans who come along get into the spirit of the band and know the songs. With this festival probably a lot of people will have no idea who we are and take it as their first chance to hear us. With OSH I do not play lots of gigs currently so again this will be a good way of taking the songs out of the bedroom.
Most musicians have a specific musical memory that’s forever shaped their career/life. Is there a memory like that for you?
I have played drums for about 45 years in total and probably just wanting to always play music. I can’t put a definite memory but there have been many over the years that have kept me wanting to do it. I hope there are many more to come.
What are your plans for the upcoming tour and new album?
Currently I am looking to do a tour of house gigs and these are being added weekly it seems. On a larger scale working as a band with the lads from Embrace once the album comes out will be fun. We will be looking to book some dates in the UK. They themselves have got two huge shows with Coldplay in the summer and probably more dates on their own tour. Once that is done then we can look at OSH gigs. As a band though we are playing at The Ferret in Preston on the 25th of March to showcase the songs. It is a great sound live so that should be a great night. The album sounds amazing and I cannot wait for it to actually be delivered to the public. It is so different to the stripped back versions of the solo work. I will be releasing an EP before the album so this will give a taster of what is to come.
The most important question of all: will the cute stuffed donkey featured on your Facebook be making an appearance on the aforementioned tour?
I am sure Wonky Donkey will be sitting on the amp or somewhere for photo opportunities.