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Composer Biography: Mark Heaney

Mark Heaney drumming photoMark is a self-taught, world-class drummer renowned for his in-the-pocket grooves and supreme feel.

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It was seeing Buddy Rich playing on TV which influenced Mark (aged eight) to start playing drums. By ten he was working two to three nights in pubs and clubs throughout the United Kingdom playing in his father's band.

In the 25 years since first picking up the sticks he has played with a massive variety of top bands and artists, from Klaxons to The Seahorses, Badly Drawn Boy to his current band, the recently reformed seminal post-punk outfit Gang of Four. He’s been drumming with them since 2005, which has included recording new material and touring throughout the UK and Europe. Gang of Four have appeared on Later with Jools Holland on BBC2 and are set to release a new album in 2010.

Some of the other collaborations involving Mark include acts like Jacknife Lee, John Squire, The Shining, Hugh Turner, Martin Glover, Gail Ann Dorsey, Howie Day, The Freelance Hellraiser, Shitdisco and many more. In between gigs and his extensive session work, Mark regularly performs in master classes and drum shows around the world whilst also writing, recording, and producing his own music as a solo drum artist.


Mark Heaney performs Biting Hard

Making use of the many loops and samples which he has recorded live himself, Mark’s music maintains an exciting, emotive and unique dynamic edge which has received praise from all corners of the press. His first solo album, Drum Room has received glowing reviews and is in a similar vein to the Rhythmworks album he produced for de Wolfe in 2010.

Rhythm Magazine review of Mark’s album, Drum Room (September 2009):
"Gang of Four drummer and all-round skinsman Mark Heaney has pulled off a spectacular coup on his first solo album, laying down loops and samples from various sources to great effect. It's not just flash chops and nifty percussion (although those elements are there in abundance): Heaney has created a tasty combination of trancelike atmospheres, sinister grooves and beats from all areas of music. There's the chill-out ('get around them'), world music vibes ('Istanbul' and 'Flying Kick') and the arena-sized industrial experimentation ('Tone') all over the album: a clear demonstration that drummers' solo albums don't just have to be about drums."

Since 2010 Mark has released another 3 albums for de Wolfe; the energetic and sporty Hip Beats & Rolling Rhythms and the Drumworks albums; the energetic and powerful Vol. 1, covering genres including funk, hip hop and swings, and Vol. 2 covering rock, reggae and R&B. Marks technical and diverse playing styles are perfectly displayed in these albums.

This is not all for Mark as he has been very busy touring and writing with his most recent commercial release 'Origins' released in Feburary. This album highlighting the importance of live performing and technique, using only 1 or 2 mics in the recordings process and keeping takes down to a minimum. This allows the energy, excitement and emotion of his playing to show.

With this de Wolfe are excited to announce that 'On The Edge' his newest album of beat driven moods has just been released on De Wolfe Music Label. And even then we have much more to come from Mark over the next year, with yet another album set to release over the summer. Cannot wait!

Mark Heaney on de Wolfe