Bradford may be a cultural delight, known for David Hockey, the Alhambra and the rich cuisine it has on offer but on a musical influence barometer, it wouldn’t register too far up. Some may say Zayn Malik and God help us even Gareth Gates and Kimberley Walsh changed that. I’d say they probably did but not all in a good way. There is one gaping exception to the rule. The one true Bradford rock n roll band is one that made the highly successful cross over commercially. That band is Terrorvision.
Terrorvision are still on the go but so are the careers and passions of the band outside of it. Some of those passions are bang up my street, your street and OneBuzz street. Guitar legend, rock star, humble human being. That’s Mark Yates.
Did I also mention he’s a tattoo artist, designer, studio owner and general body art bad ass? Did I also mention his love for jumping out of planes and keeping fitness very much in the picture?
OneStopBuzzShop spoke to Mark about a life that most of us would never even imagine…..
Terrorvision have almost become a Bradford Institution now and you’re coming back for more aren’t you?
Terrorvision never really went away, we’re just clever when it comes to timing, keeping events rare and special. Time away can be be your most valuable weapon when it comes to longevity. Luckily we’re still a close nit unit and if you stay in shape and can give 100% every night, there’s no reason not to keep rockin and rollin.
You lived the dream of every boy across the country. What were those early years like as the fame train came into town?
We were lucky to get signed to a major label in our early twenties, it was a case of ‘right time, right place’I suppose. We were signed on our attitude, we crafted the songwriting later. I dare say we were the envy of other local bands although we didn’t really notice that at the time. Is was the early nineties and Guns n Roses and Nirvana were happening, we had big boots to fill. It was cool in that we never tried to be anything we weren’t and discovered that Bradford sound that still remains unique to Terrorvision. We travelled all over and spent a lot of time in America. It seems cooler looking back at it all now, over 20 years later, than it did at the time, we were just kids I suppose.
What was the biggest gig you ever did and were you bricking it, even just a little?
Terrorvision played to some massive audiences and we always took this in our stride, I never had time for stage fright as there was always far more things to be concerned with to make sure the show ran well. We headlined Reading Festival, the crowd went as far as the horizon, we’ve done loads of festivals and arenas including a gig with Take That at Wembley.
Sex, drugs and rock n roll…You must have some stories to tell and not to tell but what was one of the craziest occasions you experienced?
We’ve had some very loyal fans over the years and got to meet some nice people. It was autographs in the old days, now it’s photos on phones. The strangest fan request I’ve ever had was when a guy asked me to punch him in the face! I didn’t of course, I’m a lover not a fighter.
Who were your showbiz friends and are you still friends to this day?
When your involved in TV shows on a regular basis you get quite pally with some of the hosts and other performers, people like Ant and Dec, Chris Evans became regular friends, we even got on famously with Zig and Zag! I used spend a bit of time with Robbie Williams when we were in London, I think he wanted to be a rocker really. And of course my partner in crime Danny Wildheart used to come stay with me in Bradford when possible. I got to meet Slash, Lemmy, Ozzie, …the list goes on but it just sounds like name dropping after a bit.
The three writers in TV have always had side projects, it’s a musical outlet and keeps you playing and having fun. I’ve had more than most; Badwolf, The Trailers, The Boston Crabs, Blunderbuss and Boomville. The later two still do bits now and again in England and Europe.
Away from Terrorvision must be fantastic to be involved in to his day but that hasn’t stopped you embracing other projects has it?
Away from the band I manage to keep other careers afloat, mainly I invest in property, but also tattoo people by day, I run a studio called Snakes’n’Daggers. My place has been open 6 years now and I’ve met some great people in that time. I painted professionally for 2 years and those images are still licensed to 8 companies worldwide, I have plans for a new series of art, it’s just finding the time.
An artist, a rock star and a full on menber of Extreme Buzz and Fit Bit Buzz. Adrenaline junkie baby. What gets that rush of blood like notjhing quite else?
I like to run, cycle or swim on a daily basis, usually getting up early to fit it in. I also treat myself to a skydive on my birthday. Skydiving is one of those things in life you’ll never get tired of. As close to flying as you can get. If I had the time I’d do more of it and similar activities but it’s fitting it all in.
I’m a big fan of fitness and adrenaline sport though.
Life is about experiencing as much as you can and when you find that something that rocks your world, do it again and again. Not much beats that feeling of air, speed, adrenaline and then peace of skydiving.
If you’ve never done a skydive but thought about it then stop thinking and do it.
What’s next then?
Terrorvision are touring Regular Urban Survivors in November 2016, we will be making a rockumentary on the road featuring ‘fly on the wall’ footage and live performance, This will be available next year.