Mark Gaignard and The Also Ran
Gig Seeker Pro

Mark Gaignard and The Also Ran


Band Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Top Blogger in Country Reviews Mark Gaignard & The Also Ran"

After spending over a decade fronting Floridian pop/ rock band Big Sky, Mark Gaignard starts a new venture with accompanying band The Also-Rans on his upcoming Backspace Records release, We All Need Lies.

The premiere effort takes Gaignard's matured male reflections on everything from relationships and the struggles of everyday mundane living to the false facades of Hollywood and neatly wraps them in a crisply-produced package of radio-friendly guitar-pop with a slight rootsy edge. Both the arrangements and Mark's voice carry a warm, familiar pleasantness that makes the eleven tracks featured easy to digest and sing along to, but don't take that for meaning that the project is hopelessly bland.

Gaignard, alongside co-writer/-producer Ben Rowell (also from Big Sky), laces the album's solid instrument work with smart lyrics that consistently capture and hold the listener's attention. Hollywood and the people trying to get into it, escape from it, or survive in it, lands as a recurring topic that pulls out some good tunes, like the sharp "The Inside", which takes a look at the instant celebrity culture obsession we're currently engulfed in ("Sweet salvation is only a bulbflash away/ So strike a candid pose/ Remember timing is everything/...Won't you bear your sweet soul soon as you find it, baby?") or "Tinseltown", a somber chronicling of a superstar that never was. "You should know, you're not the only bust in Tinseltown," it's hook consoles.

Elsewhere, the focus falls on the toil of just living life and getting older. Repentance over previous doings come to fruition on the intimate, flugelhorn-aided album closer "Apologies"; giving your clothes away to the "Army of Salvation", quitting drinking and selling off all your CD's (except that precious Stevie Wonder LP) does little to alleviate a spirit-suffocating, three-job-having existence on "This Monstrosity"; while, "One By One By One" spotlights the saddening realization that one is enjoying the last "good ol' days" session with close pals before life sends them all in different directions ("Don't tell me these days are over/ Don't tell me this can never last/...I'm not ready to call today the past").

Add to those aforementioned gems the toe-tapping opening rocker "Parade" and a damn near flawless one-sided love ode entitled, well, "Flawless", and We All Need Lies ends up as a satisfying set that launches Gaignard's new musical era off to a promising start.

- David Allun Jones,

"4.5 stars out of 5" - Insite Magazne

"Lyrical Genius"

“A singer-songwriter with amazing vocals, and attention grabbing lyrics.” Hear/Say Magazine, America’s College Newspaper - Hear/Say Magazine


We All Need Lies....Backspace Records - Atlanta,GA





* * *
The Singer Songwriter With A Lyrical Knack, Chronicles His Band’s Rise
To Mid-Level Fame (Including Opening Slots With Sheryl Crow,
Matchbox 20, The Wallflowers and Gin Blossoms), His Subsequent
Fall From Grace To Mere Survival And His Newfound Desire
To Rock Again On The Indie Label Backspace Records

On “Tinseltown,” a key autobiographical track on We All Need Lies, the compelling solo debut by singer/songwriter Mark Gaignard & The Also Ran (, the former longtime frontman for Gainesville, Florida band Big Sky lyrically sketches a fictional character that closely resembles a blunt snapshot of his life as a rocker.

“It’s about a midtime warrior who never quite made it big,” he says, “but now he’s out of the band, an also ran hanging out at the bar with no career and just enough hope to survive, like he did before he started shooting for the stars.”

“Midtime” is an ironic phrase coined by Ben Rowell, Gaignard’s former bandmate in Big Sky who is the founder of Backspace Records, a newly formed, Atlanta based label that released We All Need Lies to hundreds of digital outlets via The Orchard distribution August 5. It means that while the band was a local legend in Gainesville—where the group formed when its members were all students at the University of Florida in the early 90s—and did over 1,600 gigs over the course of 12 years, they still never hit the big time.

Not that this mattered much when Gaignard and company were having a blast rocking out before hundreds of people a night, averaging 180 shows a year, touring everywhere from Miami to Los Angeles and up the East Coast to New York and Boston and opening for superstars Sheryl Crow, Matchbox 20, Soul Asylum, Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Wallflowers. The band sold over 50,000 copies of their six albums, which included 2000’s Live At The Sapphire and their final salvo, the appropriately titled This Monstrosity (2003)—all of which will soon be re-released on Backspace.

Everything fell apart during the making of that last album. Problems with management and a huge mounting debt left the members of Big Sky fighting with one another and also day-to-day survival. For the final two years of the band’s existence all monies went to paying down this debt and the guys received no pay.

With an inability to commit to “regular” nine to five work they each made ends meet with odd jobs. Mark took a position as a maintenance man in his worn down apartment complex, changing toilets, as well as picking up cat waste, dirty diapers and other garbage his neighbors left on the pavement. He’d experienced hard times before, having lost his dad, his dog, his cousin and best friend during a two and a half year period when Big Sky was just starting to hit the road. A period that should have been the time of his life foreshadowed the long hard road ahead.

Though Big Sky received a great response to “This Monstrosity” and still enjoyed a large loyal fan base, the band decided to call it quits. Mark was writing some of his best material during this time, but these mini-consolations weren’t much in the face of personal bankruptcy and the rewards of the road no longer justified the commitment. Gaignard, who had defied the odds by rising to a degree of fame from an extremely poor childhood, woke up one day to find he had no band, and no straight career to fall back on.

After the break-up of the band Mark was a wreck. “It’s a huge chemical withdrawal when you’re not up there in front of those fans anymore. But you learn never to take any of this for granted. Success is how you see it and being able to make a living doing music is a great gift.” He finds it difficult to answer strangers when they ask about his band days. “It was hard to explain to people that 700 fans came to our last gig when they knew Big Sky was breaking up, many of them crying and now I was picking up the crap people wouldn’t even take the time to put into dumpsters,” says Gaignard. Having once vowed that all he wanted was to be known as a legitimate artist, Mark swallowed his pride and tried out for the reality TV show “Rock Star: INXS.” He placed in the final 20 but didn’t make the show.

All this pain and frustration has a silver lining, just as the lyrics on We All Need Lies are dark and cynical in some spots, cathartic and cautiously optimistic in others. The Mixtape Maestro Blog ( says, “The premiere effort takes Gaignard’s matured male reflections on everything from relationships and the struggles of everyday mundane living to the false facades of Hollywood