Mark Gaignard and The Also Ran

Mark Gaignard and The Also Ran


Seeing it all on the road for over a decade w/ Florida’s Big Sky, this melancholy yet hopeful indie songwriter hits the road running in support of his 1st solo album: “We All Need Lies”- Backspace Records. W/ his new band The Also Ran Gaignard is off to tell-the-tale armed w/ his best work yet.




* * *
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


One by One by One

Written By: Mark Gaignard

From three blocks down. You could here the sound of
peace love and decadence.
I looked across the room. It hit me like a sonic boom
that this was nothing but a going away party.

Because one by on by one all these faces
that I hold so dear in my heart are moving on,
on, on, to different places, different stages,
I should have known from the start.

So please don’t tell me these days are over.
Don’t tell me that this could never last.
We had some good times, we had some bad,
But I’m not ready to call today the past.

So I raise my cup. Thank God for the luck
that these were my witnesses.
Because it’s just a dream, an illusion so it seems,
this life, life, life what a going away party.


Chorus - repeat


Written By: Mark Gaignard

You took my breath away
An image that I’ll always save for my rainy day
And I think it’s only fair to say that whether you go or stay
Either way it’s rain

I could be flawless,
I could be flawless,
but you don’t care.

Despite the bad run that you found
happiness it abounds
Take a good look around
I swear your eyes always seem to say
“A fool will get his day”
But they always fade to gray
and I can’t walk away


I’ve got arms to hold you tight
These two fist to help you fight
A lack of pride that breaks your fall
I always break take your call

You took my breath away
An image that I’ll always save for my rainy day
And I think it’s only fair to say that whether you go or stay
Either way it’s rain



Written By: Mark Gaignard

If you took all the righteous people,
put them all together one by one,
side by side,

you’ll have the shortest line and
most of those fools are in denial;
kicking their heels, wishing for home,
but “Ding dong the witch is dead.”
If you think your any better
do you want to make a bet?

But if it takes one to know one then I am.
If it takes one to know one baby here I stand.
If it takes one to know one then I am.
But I’m no Also Ran.
But even if I am don’t you rain on my parade.

I saw the picture of perfection;
Airbrushed and spit polished
Complete with for sale size.
They gathered for miles and miles,
crowded the streets and danced in the isles,
to a sad song of a bar code swipe,
the feel good hit of our time.

Please excuse me because I got to get in line.

The Inside

Written By: Mark Gaignard

What do you know?
Found your picture on the daily page.
When business is slow
sweet salvation is only a post card away.

So strike a candid pose.
Remember timing is everything.
They’ll focus and foam, but
for the viewers at home won’t you bare your sweet soul,
soon as you find it baby?

We all need lies to feed us.
Open your eyes and hold on tight.
Won’t you get ready for the surprise?

My your star has grown,
gracing dinner time TV screens.
With talents unknown, but don’t let it show
‘cause its the only thing that keeps you going baby.

We all need lies to feed us.
Open your eyes and hold on tight.
Won’t you get ready for the surprise?

That we are all martyrs and kings.
We are all paupers and thieves.
Actually were in between yeah.
If you were me you meet me there.
If you were me you meet me there on inside.
That is the best side.
That’s my side.
That you can’t see.

How far will you go as face time starts to fade away?
When business is slow you’ll bow to new lows
and they’ll gather and scream
“Look over here, oh please, baby, baby, baby.”


Written By: Mark Gaignard, Ben Rowell

Got to get out of this city
far away from the lights.
Got to get away from this feeling
that there is nothing more.
I’m burning from the inside.

An alarm wakes me every morning
to a dream but is it mine?
I’m surrounded without warning
by the marching compromised and resign.

I’m a time bomb waiting to go off on this city and its empty side walks.
I’ve built up so much pressure. I'm burning from the inside. I’m a time bomb.

I scatter my heart on the pavement.
With each step more falls behind.
I trace my way home every evening
But it leaves a bigger hole each and every time.

Each day I’m afraid of fading away.
The twelfth hour tolls but still there’s no stay.
These power lines, they grip just like vines.
They choke. They drag me under.

I’m a time bomb waiting to go off on this city & its crowded side walks.


Written By: Mark Gaignard

I am sorry about so many things
I breathe in guilt and exhale nothing but apologies

I lie awake at night
I think about so many things
Misspoken words, lost chances and broken dreams

But don’t give up on me because I know my sins
Don’t give up on me I’m going to make it in the end
If I’m not too blind to see
If I’m not too afraid to believe that Gods in me

My cup is full with family and friends
some are gone foreverand some
I hope to have again

I am blessed and I believe in grace
I’ve done my best to not have to plead to tough a case


Hope and Bleed

Written By: Mark Gaignard

Out of time in Hollywood.
Crawled the beach in Santa Monica
late when the freaks would slide out
Did her very best to hide
the darkness that just grew inside.
A flame that just wouldn’t go out.

With one more straw the camel broke
So grab a seat and watch it bloat
In the California son
The final scene filmed through those eyes
Nine white letters mountain side
Fade to black and sweet oblivion

But only god knows, only god knows,

We could you use some help down here.
We, what we got is work to do
Oh we could use some empathy, could use humility.
Honestly we hope and bleed for love.

Breed within white picket fences.
Boys don’t cry and girls wear dresses
Praise the lord for his devine design
But he grew up oh so curios.
His parents were just furious
Said “pack your shit you’re no damn son of mine.”

Beat up everyday at school
by insecure, small minded fools.
Ignorance they say it’s all the rage.
So he found a pew and took a knee
The inmates screamed of blasphemy
And bowed their heads with hate
As they pray.

But only god knows, only god knows

A Bird Sits Here

Written By: Mark Gaignard

She whispers through tears
“Can’t you see a bird sits here
Just waiting for a chance to crow?”

Spying on passers-by
Solace in these white lies
Won’t you find a way
To let it go, let it go, let it go


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

Set List

We usually play around an hour and a half. if we need to play longer we will add an acoustic set in the middle.

If we are opening we can play the tunes as an acoustic duo or a guitar and piano.