B i o g r a p h y
"Mark Steiner (and His Problems) is a well-known figure in Oslo’s music underworld, and he’s been around in Norway for so long that many assume that he is Norwegian. He is not. This ex-New Yorker is a wandering scoundrel who one might find hanging out in the shadowy corners of a pub at closing time – whether the nearest street sign reads New York, Oslo, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon or Melbourne. A musical vagrant who draws inspiration from the same sources which may have influenced Stuart Staples, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Rowland S. Howard – yes, that entire circle of hollow-eyed, black-clad night owls with melancholic dispositions and pocket-flasks full of booze to match. Mark Steiner is indeed such a character..." - Egon Holstad, NORDLYS (Norway)
In September 2018, Mark Steiner & His Problems released a spilt 7" single which includes the song "Insomnia" as well as a duet with Line Saus entitled "Six Feet Under." Recorded during the winter of early 2018, “Insomnia” marks the first official release by Mark Steiner & His Problems since the album "Saudade" was first launched in late 2014.
Perhaps more dirty and swampy than everything Steiner has released since his days with his former band Piker Ryan's Folly prior to his departure from post-9/11 New York City, this new song features a new gang of ex-pats living in Oslo, along with a girl from the far North of Norway. American drummer Ted Parsons, (known best for his work with Prong, Swans, Godflesh and Killing Joke,) certainly packs his rhythmic punches, while British-Italian Leon Muraglia (Radio 9, Salvatore) lends some sultry bass riffs and London guitarist Romek Paluch-Edwards adds definitive counter-point to Steiner's Fender baritone. And like a ghost from a distant past, special guest Line Saus adds some haunting voice from her home in faraway Tromsø.
Mark Steiner is currently working on a new full-album release, along with another album under a separate project called Sorrow & The Sea, which features Norwegian singer/songwriter/guitarist Monica Røise (ex-The Violets) and violinist Pavel Cingl. Both albums are scheduled for release in 2020.
The 2014 release of the full-length album SAUDADE coincided with five years having passed since Mark Steiner's previous album, BROKEN (Stagger Records / Z-Man Records, 2009). An odyssey of decadence, BROKEN was recorded in Melbourne, New York, Dortmund and Oslo, with some of the “crème-de-la- crème” of today’s “Swamp-Rock” and “Lounge-Noir” musicians from around the globe, including Parisian art-rocker Dimi Dero and his German partner-in-crime Tex Napalm, Sofy Perez and Lisa Barel of French cabaret duo Tulla Larsen, Rosie Westbrook (of former Bad Seed Mick Harvey’s band), and Cam Butler of Australia’s Silver Ray. Vocalist Susana Melendez makes an appearance on the song “Divine Whore,” and New York’s Susan Mitchell contributes her incredible string-playing skills on several other tracks. Australian legend Pete Luscombe of Paul Kelly fame is here on a couple of songs, as is Stevie Hesketh of Jet. The Mele brothers (from Mark Steiner's NYC band Piker Ryan's Folly) too. And yet there are even more…
BROKEN was Mark Steiner’s follow-up to his debut solo release, a Mini-LP CD called FALLEN BIRDS. A limited edition 12" 180gram vinyl EP version, aptly entitled LITTLE FALLEN BIRDS, is still available by mail order through Bandcamp.com, and can also found in vinyl record shops throughout Europe, the United States and Australia, stretching from as far as Iceland to Tasmania.
Performing nowadays as “Mark Steiner & His Problems,” whether solo or with one of his many bands, Steiner has played numerous gigs in the USA, all over Europe, and even in Hong Kong. He has also played five well-received tours of Australia (2008, 2009, 2013, 2015, & 2017).
In March of 2013, Mark Steiner had the distinct honour of appearing live at a special tribute concert dedicated to the memory of Rowland S. Howard, legendary member of The Birthday Party, These Immortal Souls and Crime & The City Solution. See the video where he performs "Silver Chain" with Genevieve McGuckin, Mick Harvey, Brian Henry Hooper, and JP Shilo.
Featured live guest musicians have included Spencer P. Jones (Beasts of Bourbon), Rosie Westbrook (Mick Harvey band), members of Silver Ray, Madrugada, Serena Maneesh, Le Corbeau, and many others.
Mark Steiner has also played support, both solo and with his band, for many an artist, including ex-Bad Seed Mick Harvey (AUS), Michael Gira of Swans(US), John Parish (UK), Devendra Banhart (US), Madrugada (N), Rowland S. Howard (AUS), The Fatal Shore (AUS/UK), Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds (US), Ingrid Olava (N) and many more...
©2018 Tom Garretson photography / used with permission
©2009 John Hughes photography / used with permission