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Brand New Star - Single
Change The Channel - Album



The Story So Far.... MK-II are currently promoting their debut album Change the Channel. The following is a brief account of their story so far...

MK-II began several years ago in Dublin, Ireland. Vocalist Dave Horan and a Drummer known as Hank had originally formed a rock band named Popstar and asked their friend Billy Walsh to play bass guitar. Influenced by Metallica, The Cure, Queen, U2, Therapy, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Clash, Manic Street Preachers and in general All great rock bands they then recruited Christian Stynes to play lead guitar (at that time Chris was drumming with a rival Dublin band named 'Presence'). This young four piece still named 'Popstar' wrote songs and gigged around the nation, enjoyed a little local fame and honing their live skills. They learned all about the Irish music industry (the good the bad and the downright ugly) and after a short-time managed to secure a small Record Deal in Dublin. The irony of the name Popstar was not lost on their record company but they decided that if they were going to get serious and try to take their music to another level, they would need a name that would not imply a deceptive stereotype.

MK-II was chosen, partly because it would allow people to form an opinion of the band based on the music (rather than the name) and partly because of what it would mean to the band. (Popstar) MK-II was to symbolize a new level of commitment and hard work the guys wanted to put in before their debut single and album were released. It is also a reference to a quote from the Spinal Tap movie.

The debut single 'Brand New Star' was released during a sunny July and with a small tour of Ireland reached 27 in the Irish singles charts. This tour also allowed MK-II to reach a wider audience around Ireland.

In Hotpress magazine their songs were described from catchy to downright excellent, Dave as a cute and charismatic frontman and their performance as tight and energetic - For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – but that’s another story.

With the success of the single, MK-II began work on their first album and everything seemed to be going perfectly...but it was during the recording of the album that 2 major problems would occur back to back. Long-time bassist and even longer-time friend Billy had personal issues and increasing personal priorities that affected his commitment to the band and eventually he made the choice to leave. The other members were understanding but deeply affected by his decision. At almost the same time, the record company’s funding ran low leaving the remaining 3 members of MK-II with three quarters of a band and three quarters of an bassist and no money. It would have been enough to split-up most bands.

Dave, Chris and Hank kept in regular contact brainstorming, looking for a way to get things back on track before it was too late. As a band they had many contacts throughout Dublins music industry. Who could/would replace Billy? The person all three members agreed on was Steve Byrne. He had played bass with another Dublin band, Otranome, who had since split-up, however he had already formed a bond with MK-II. They played the same venues, hung-out at the same pubs, had the same influences went to the same gigs. They knew he would be perfect, but would he play with MK-II? They contacted him and he said he would. Rehearsals began immediately and MK-II were a full band again. Now all that was left to do was figure out a way to finish the album.

The unfinished album had already been christened 'Change the Channel', named after their song of the same name. ('change the channel' is the oldest song on the album) Steve finished the last of the basslines in MK-II's own studio. Chris set about mixing the remainder of the songs himself and Dave and Hank helped with the production. At this stage they had 13 finished songs ready to be mastered. Chris and Dave began working on the cover. An old TV test signal was chosen and enhanced to suit the album cover. Dave's handwriting was used for the song titles. As a band, MK-II had gone over and above the call of duty producing, mixing and designing their debut album. There was no way they would give up.

The only thing left to do was send the 13 songs to be put through the mastering process and then send those songs and the cover design to be duplicated. Only cash would solve this problem. The guys in the band knew the only people they could count on were themselves and so each member personally funded the final process of mastering and duplication.

Change the Channel has come to represent the very real struggle of 4 boys in a Dublin band in the Irish Music Scene who have fought to get where they are. Against all odds MK-II have finished "Change the Channel".

"What are we gonna do now?" Joe Strummer.