Producer Mark Byers
It's Mark Byers, not Mike Myers.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Frank Zappa has an album called "Does Humor Belong in Music?" I've often pondered this question as humorous music rarely makes it to mainstream radio.
I can say that after hearing some of the comedy projects that Downtown resident Mark Byer has worked on, the answer is a resounding yes. The Berklee School of Music alumn made the Arts District his home about a year ago and has since been creating music with comedians Michael Serrato and Paul Downs.
MONK TURNER: Tell us about some of the projects you've been working on...
MARK BYERS: Lately I've been working on a variety of things. Most recently I've been working with a couple comedians who have been working on pop songs for characters of theirs. I'm working with one called Heaven who is a tranny rap star and her song is about how she is going to be a rapper after she gets her operation and becomes a full-fledged woman. The other comedian I'm working with has a turkish pop star character.
MT: ...and you also have Markaholic which is your solo project...
MB: Right. I also have a solo project which has been on hiatus for a while because I've been writing and producing things for other people. But I might return to the spotlight at some point. [laughter]
MT: What brought you to downtown?
MB: I moved here originally because my brother was living here. I found that when I got here I loved this neighborhood and it has grown on me a lot since then too.
MT: Coming from New York City, what are some things you have here that you didn't have there?
MB: Space! [laughter] Space is the big one. New York sort of drove me crazy because everyone basically has a shoe box unless you're a millionaire. Then you go outside and you're bombarded by people because everyone is in a hurry and on their way to get wherever they're going. With such an oversaturation of people, I feel like they should have traffic regulations for the sidewalks. [laughter]
MT: Oh yeah.
MB: And here I can walk around and clear my head to have alone time. It makes the things I do here feel more important and more unique because everybody else in the city is not trying to do the same thing at the same time.
MT: Where do your walks take you?
MB: I like to wander around Little Tokyo because it is right here. I also like going to the rooftop garden at Disney Hall and just hanging out. I also like riding my bike to the other side of downtown and back.
MT: What sort of projects should we be keeping an ear out for?
MB: In the very near future is going to be Heaven's music video, which I'm in and I produced.
MT: You make a cameo in the video playing the role of 'producer,' correct?
MB: I play the music producer in the video...
MT: Was that a hard role for you?
MB: [laughter] No. Also, a song that I'm doing with Paul Downs which is a Turkish pop song that will have a video. The artist's name is Tudu. It should be really funny.
And funny is good. Mark's website is markaholic.com.