MARK S. BERRY
ABOUT MARK BERRY
Originally from Brooklyn, NYC, Mark began his music career at the Institute of Audio Research (IAR) in New York City in 1972. At the young age of 16, Mark was commuting into Manhattan at night, learning the inside ropes of making records and recording up & coming basement bands. After graduating from IAR and high school in the same year, Mark was drawn to the Brit sound and was off to London, England, where he soon arrived on the doorsteps of AIR Studios, one of the world’s most renowned recording facilities, owned by Sir George Martin. “I just flew over and started walking the streets of London looking for a job, stopping in every studio that I took off the back of my favorite albums,” he remembers.
Mark soon met Nigel Walker, who was working as an assistant to producer John Punter on an Alan Clarke (lead singer of The Hollies) solo project at AIR Studios. “That ended up being my first job in the business, working with John Punter and Sir George Martin, getting cigarettes & coffee for the guys and just watching & listening in the background, absorbing everything.” Not only did Mark gain a considerable amount of expertise in engineering and mixing records but also invaluable experience in classic rock production and orchestral techniques working as an assistant under Sir George Martin. Sir George was responsible for producing arguably the most influential band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, The Beatles.
Working with Sir George Martin started out simply recording classical records in the different cathedrals around London for the chamber choir group The Kings Singers. He soon began setting up and assisting on various George Martin and Paul McCartney sessions.
Mark’s experience led to his first major engineering assignment; Carly Simon’s No Secrets album, which included the international smash, “You’re So Vain”, and would become his very first of many engineering and mixing credits. Hanging out with Mick Jagger for the background vocals on “You’re So Vain” and then going over to Olympic studios for the mixing of the Rolling Stones live ’72 tour tapes was certainly the highlight of his early years, and all before the age of 19. However, this was only the beginning for Mark. “I’d say the most amazing session had to be Live and Let Die. Performed by Paul McCartney and Wings, “They had a 63 piece orchestra in there and I felt like I had emptied every ashtray known to man before the end of that one.” (In fact, Live and Let Die is one of the very few songs from the Bond films to be nominated for a Best Song Oscar.)
Mark also assisted and worked on several projects such as the groundbreaking Roll Over Beethoven for Electric Light Orchestra, Grand Hotel for Procal Harem, Climax Blues Band and Live – Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. During his tenure at AIR studios, Mark worked under the tutelage of renowned British rock engineers/producers such as Bill Price (Sex Pistols), John Punter (Japan, Reflex, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music), Steve Nye (Roxy Music), Alan Harris (T-Rex, Marc Bolan, Mott The Hoople), Geoff Emerick (The Beatles), Chris Thomas (Elton John, The Pretenders, Pink Floyd, INXS), Jeff Lynne (ELO, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys), Martin Birch (Iron Maiden, Deep Purple) and Tony Visconti (David Bowie) to name a few.
Return to New York: The Birth of Hip Hop to Independent Producer
With some celebrated credits in hand, Mark returned to the states in the mid 70s. He began freelancing around New York at some of the top recording studios like Electric Lady, Record Plant and the Hit Factory. In 1977, Mark was approached with the position of Staff Engineer and in-house A&R/producer for Vanguard Records (Joan Baez, Buffy Saint-Marie, Country Joe & the Fish) where he worked for over ten years.
While at Vanguard Studios, Mark continued to engineer and mix projects for several of New York’s top dance/pop producers and became heavily involved in the early 80s New York hip-hop movement working with artists and producers such as Soul Sonic Force (“Looking For The Perfect Beat”), Planet Patrol (“Play At Your Own Risk”), Awesome Foursome (“Funky Soul Makosa”), New Edition (“Candy Girl”), Jellybean, Arthur Baker, Freeze (“AEIOU”), Eddie O’Loughlin (Next Plateau Records), John Robie, C-Bank (“One More Shot”), Tommy Silverman (Tommy Boy Records), Importe 12 Records, Man Parrish (the groundbreaking “Hip Hop Be Bop”) and many, many more.
During this time Mark felt the explosive pulse of New York City street rhythms and his A&R skills directed him to discovering and producing up & coming dance acts, such as Alisha, who after enormous success with Vanguard Records went onto sign with multi-national labels RCA and MCA/Universal, respectively. International deals that Mark put together for her. Mark’s hit productions for Alisha included the #1 dance singles “All Night Passion” and “Too Turned On” along with the international pop smash “Baby Talk,” which went on to become a worldwide chart-topping hit, remaining on the Billboard pop charts for over four months. Alisha became the most successful Pop/Dance act on Vanguard, selling in excess of 2M albums and 12″ records worldwide.
The Mid 80s: Dance Remixes & Rock Productions
Mark moved into the area of 7″ radio and 12″ dance & rock mixing and re-mixing for major multi-platinum artists such as David Bowie, Duran Duran, Talk Talk, Cameo, Toto, Yes, Billy Idol, Boy George, Kool & The Gang, Stephanie Mills, Jimmy Barnes, Animotion, Joan Jett, to name a few. During this time, Mark’s “ahead of the times” engineering and mixing skills contributed significantly to the international success of these acts.
Mark’s New York entertainment attorney and longtime friend, Paul D. Schindler (Madonna, Joan Jett, Kiss, Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons, Def Jam Records) of Grubman, Indursky & Schindler (at the time) put a meeting together with Michael Gudinski. At that time Michael was president of Australia’s largest independent record company, Mushroom Records. Mark went onto produce and mix multi-platinum records for some of Australia’s biggest acts including; Kids In The Kitchen, Pseudo Echo, Jimmy Barnes, Indecent Obsession, Eurogliders, Machinations, The Chantoozies and many, many more.
New Horizons: The 90s
In 1991, Mark moved further towards rock production and signed with Steve Scharf for producer management in NYC and relocated to Toronto. In that same year, Mark remixed multi-platinum hit-makers, Glass Tiger (EMI) and produced the hit album Get Off for platinum Canadian act Haywire (Attic Records).
Mark also discovered and produced I Mother Earth (EMI) and was the man behind their instant signing buzz that brought 11 international A&R people to Toronto in the fall of 1991 in a bid to sign the emerging band, all based upon a 5-song master that Mark produced at Metalworks Studios in partnership with Gil Moore (Triumph). The rest is history as IME went onto become one of the biggest alternative bands in Canadian rock history during the 90s. This rock production brought him to a chance meeting with Hugh Dillon, lead singer for Canadian rock outfit, The Headstones and Mark went onto produce two multi-platinum albums, Picture of Health and Teeth & Tissue for the band through MCA/Universal. Burton Cummings, lead singer for the Guess Who then tapped Mark to produce and mix his live solo unplugged effort for Universal Music Canada, Up Close & Alone – another multi-platinum production.
Mega Canadian rock manager Pierre Paradis from Montreal tapped Mark to produce and engineer the critically acclaimed Outer Limits (MCA/Universal) for Voivod, recorded and mixed entirely in Los Angeles. This is arguably one of Mark’s most compelling productions with the 17-minute opus “Jack Luminous”.
The mid 90s saw the advent of the Internet. This got Mark to thinking that it was control of media content that would determine the future of the entertainment industry.
He was right !!!
With startup capital from a small publishing company controlled by Canadian media film giant Alliance Atlantis, he went on to release, via Attack Media Group, some of the very records he was hired to produce, along with securing them insertions in some of the biggest TV shows and feature length films in the entertainment business. While creating quite a buzz with his new talent (that the majors were as usual ignoring), Mark was putting together international licensing and insertion deals for masters that he was involved with either as a producer, mixer, co-publisher or master owner.
Present Day: Having a lot of fun building his own company:
Mark is presently at the helm of AMG. AMG is a fully independent media company with an international mandate for promoting/marketing new and emerging artists, film & TV content internationally. Literally starting in his bedroom in 1996, AMG’s rock and urban record division has over 200 masters that are distributed in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Attackin’ Tunes, AMG’s music publishing division is 50% owned by one of the world’s largest music publishers, BMG Rights Management (www.bmg.com) (Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, John Legend, Icon Productions , John Carpenter, Roger Corman, Elvis Presley catalog, John Denver catalog, NFL Films, NASCAR, now owned by BMG Chrysalis music).
Attack’s music was heard in major network and cable TV programs such as Bondi Ink, Dawson’s Creek, America’s Most Wanted, Roswell, MTV, ESPN, Fox along with the high profile features Coach Carter (MTV Films) with Samuel Jackson, Gang Tapes (Lions Gate) featuring Coolio, Harvard Man (Lions Gate) with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Poolhall Junkies (Gold Circle) featuring Christopher Walken and many more. Attackin Tunes does the theme music along with “bumpers” and “stingers” for Girlz TV, Bang TV, Teens Dating and Health & Beauty TV, internationally. They have done an extensive amount of music insertions in the extreme sports programming area for major cable and television networks, like ESPN. Attackin’ Tune’s client MDM can be heard in The Making of The Matrix Reloaded in the DVD and the accompanying TV special in the Freeway Chase Scene.
Since its founding, AMG Visuals has executive produced, financed or distributed several movies, including Drake: Homecoming, James Brown Live and the upcoming Jeff Healey Band documentary; and has almost an equal amount in development, under production, or completed but not yet released.
Mark’s latest venture is AttackTrax.com, an interactive website for worldwide music supervisors and filmmakers. The entire Attackin’ Tunes/Sabrina’s Songs music publishing catalog (along with joining subscribers) is available on the internet and all insertions can be handled and licensed effortlessly online. AttackTrax inserts hundreds of songs into feature length films, short films, documentaries, television/cable programs, extreme sports DVDs, exercise DVDs and many more that require music behind a client’s visual content. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry come to AttackTrax including ESPN, MTV, Sony, Tri-Star, Disney, FOX, Warner Brothers, WB, Alliance Atlantis, plus many more.
A few weeks out of the year Mark hits the road with his Lecture & Workshop series to speak at some of the most prestigious universities and colleges talking about his position as producer/engineer/A&R scout combined with his role as chairman of a fledgling media company. A must for any up and comer in the music and film business filled with unbelievable stories of becoming an entrepreneur in the business, the pitfalls along with the massive successes. He has also spoken as a panelist and moderator at many of the world’s most prestigious and distinguished music conferences like MIDEM, MIC (Taiwan), NXNE (North by Northeast), CMW (Canadian Music Week), Music West (Vancouver), Millennium Music Conference & CHINA AV (Shanghai).
Mark will bring his pedigree to bear on judging this year’s crop of global short films which is due to be held in Cannes, France. Berry will participate in the committee that decides the 2017 Global Short Film Awards winner for the second time. This year’s Cannes Film Festival is the 70th edition with the GSF Awards Cannes Gala at the world renowned Carlton Intercontinental Hotel.
Since the fall of 1998, Mark has attended the University of Toronto, Innis College, undergraduate program and is specializing in Cinema Studies to further assist him in his move towards feature length film production.
MarkBerry.com is intended as a resource guide to one of the most innovative music and film entrepreneurs around. Always opinionated and controversial, the facts speak for themselves; Mark S. Berry is a master of today’s high tech equipment with vivid stereo and vocal images, strong bass and hard direct rhythms. With an eclectic variety of indispensable skills, Mark is one of only a handful of producers who can truly take a project from concept to completion and expertly handle all of the steps along the way. His experience and artistry have combined not only to create current top chart hits all over the world, but first and foremost to create state-of-the-art modern music. He is currently conquering the eardrums of record executives with his latest international productions.