Mark De Cloedt started his professional drumming career back in 1989, it all began with working on an album called “Schubert Dip” with a bunch of young friends from school, they soon became known as EMF.
Mark was original inspired by drum hero’s such as Phil Colins, Stewart Copland, Mark Brzezecki, Simon Philips, Neil Conti, John “Brad” Bradbury but took the concept of drumming like a “Drum machine” as his own way of thinking and style, dance music live and hard. His vision was to sound as precise and mechanical as programmed drums & drum loops which were heavily used on many mixes in the 80’s charts, being influenced by both Hip Hop, Rock and dance music Mark wanted to combine all three.
The late eighties saw dance and electro music taking new directions, also the “baggy” sound from Manchester was in every club in the UK. EMF were the first band to combine the boy band image with a group of guys who wrote and played everything themselves, they were also the first band in the UK to make front cover of two of the country’s biggest publications at the time, indie giant NME and girls favorite Smash hits….this was a first!
Widing father time back just a little Mark started playing drums for fun mainly around 6 years old, that and riding bikes, skateboarding and dancing to Ska badly. The serious playing and thinking didn’t start until he was around 13 years old, witnessing Chester Thompson and Phil Collins tear it up on the Mama Tour was the inspiration Mark needed to help him realize what he life had planned for him.
After a couple of years of playing in many different styled local bands, notably the best in the area at the time Mark ended up in London in a funk fusion band called Zu, they signed to EMI publishing, a year and one album later the band folded and Mark headed back home to the Royal Forest of Dean with his Roto toms and stick bag…time for a change.
A chance meeting in the local with some old school musician friends, a dodgy rehearsal in a living room and the Globally successful pop band EMF was born. Mark and the boys crafted their first album “Schubert Dip” in little under a month, this album went on to sell 4 million worldwide. Most of the success of this album was down to one particular killer tune called “Unbelievable” which is still widely used across the world. The single reached No.3 in the UK and number one not only in the USA but 8 other countries too.
The first single was released in 1990 and took all the charts by storm. The band first started supporting artists such as The Wan Tang Klan and Adamski (famous for the single “Killer” featuring the singer Seal) but with public popularity growing fast headline tours followed shortly after. They then headed out on the 1st World Tour. The band performed 3 World Tours heading out to every corner of the globe, all the major festivals took witness to the manic live show EMF grew famous for. The band shared stages all over with the likes of Nirvana, Public Enemy, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Skidrow, Faith No More to name but a few….they also enjoy pretty much every TV Show available at the time including over 10 appearances on the infamous TOTP show having a right laugh with learning the art of miming.
EMF disbanded in 1996 after 3 albums and two EP’s, they returned to the stage once again in 2001 for a few shows around Europe and the UK and again more recently in 2008. This year is the 20th anniversary of release of “Unbelievable”….
In between EMF Mark has found time to enjoy some other music, mainly local but covering Funk and Folk also covering various sessions at the local studios including the famous Mono Valley & Rockfield studios in Monmouthshire.
Over the last 8 years or so while Mark and his long standing partner bought a family into the world he has enjoyed working within the Drum Industry as an A&R guy for two very popular drum brands.
In 2009 the new project “Black Heart Dolls” were born. Mark met Guitarist/Songwriter Tim Stephens while doing the last EMF reunion shows, Tim stood in for Ian Dench the original guitarist who now lives in New York. When the dates finished both Tim and Mark decided they needed to satisfy the own musical needs..the band was born. The band are currently finishing the writing of the 1st album, while also filling the remaining positions in the band. They have already recorded 4 songs at the famous Monovalley studios with Rock legend producer Bob Marlettes (formerly of Frank Zappa). Bob’s work includes Black Sabbath, Lynerd Skinner, Tracy Chapam, Alice Cooper to name but a few and drummers worked with include Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and one of Mark’s old friends Kenny Aronoff.