I grew up in southeastern Michigan. I first picked up an acoustic guitar as a 12 year old. The first acoustic was almost unplayable, with super high action and poor intonation. Eventually I talked my parents into buying me a Sears Les Paul copy a couple years later (Christmas day, the same day my parents announced their divorce). I spent, my remaining high school years spent playing nonstop in my bedroom. One performance highlight was the John Glenn High School talent show, where I was part of a band who took 2nd place performing a cover song medley. I think first place was a bad comedy act.
I then moved out west, spending some time in Lake Tahoe performing in cover bands. The highlight was performing in front of a couple thousand people for a Halloween party at Caesar’s Tahoe with my band “Silent Partner.” I also began writing some originals at this time, though none of them have held up to the test of time. They were very much in the style of the 80’s, heavily influenced by The Cars and other new wave artists.
After a few years in Tahoe, I decided to get serious about life… so I moved to the San Francisco area. I went to broadcast school and began a career in radio, including on-air stints in Stockton (KJOY), Napa (KVYN), Willits (KLLK). I also did some radio production at KOIT in San Francisco. In the meantime I played in several bands including “The Knobs” from El Cerrito (performing at the classic San Francisco club “Mabuhay Gardens” among other places) and “Fatman’s Picnic” from Oakland.
At some point I discovered the joys of home 4-track recording and the artistic freedom it brought. I started experimenting with a lot of different styles of music that my bands were not that interested in exploring (hip hop, brazilian/african music, hard core funk, industrial). During this period I also had a world music radio show I called “Face The World” on KVYN in Napa.
I also experimented with some pre-internet BBS culture. I had an idea to combine a radio show featuring new industrial music with live BBS/chat. Unfortunately I could never find a radio outlet that would permit this experiment to happen. During this period I also dug deep into the early virtual reality culture (centered around the magazine “Mondo 2000” and author R.U. Sirius). This culminated in my visit to one of the early Cyber Arts International conventions.
One other important era of my life was the year I spent in Willits CA as Program Directory of radio station KLLK. Living in an extremely small town was quite an adventure, as was working at a very small station with a staff of four people.
See below for more specific information on my history of bands and musical projects.
Today I perform with a few groups, mostly original music. You can hear much of my music on the music page.
Tiny Mike is my current main band. Our style combines elements of progressive rock, indie pop and math rock into what might be a bit of a hard sound to pin down. We’re pretty close to releasing our first album (yet to be named). But hit up the tiny mike Facebook page if you would like updates. We expect to actively promote this release in the first part of 2024.
This band is really the brainchild of vocalist/songwriter Nicole Laby. The music is sort of alt/folk americana. I’m primarily the guitar player in this band. We will be working on a new album in 2024 as well. More can be heard on our web page.
Mark Fassett music
In the later days of the pandemic I released an EP of music which was originally destined to be a full CD/concept album. But as these things go and as time moves, I decided to release part of the songs as an EP. It’s available on Spotify and Apple Music.
During the first part of the pandemic I was extremely inspired and produced an EP under the name The Rewiliders called “The Immutable Rhythm.” This is also available on Spotify and Apple Music.
I play upright bass and assorted other instruments in watersaw. We compose and perform music for modern dance. The music itself is difficult to describe, but there are samples you can listen to online. We were fortunate to have won an Izzy award (Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text) for our work in 2012 with Lizz Roman & Dancers. We still work with Lizz and other modern dance companies.
I am part of a jam band called “Greensmyth.” I’m contributing co lead vocals and guitars to the band. I’ve thrown several of my more band oriented originals their way and we have begun working on some great arrangements. They are a great group of guys with some good existing songs, plus we’ll be developing lots of new music together.
I previously played lead guitar on a band called Along For The Ride. We don’t have any music online. This band was a mix between Grateful Dead style jams and singer/songwriter music. We have never really been able to capture the sound of the band in a recording, it’s really more of a live band. I may revisit some of the recordings we’ve done for historical reasons.
Previously I worked with vocalist Jennifer Wilde on our Liquid State project. We co-wrote and recorded a full CD full of acoustic oriented music, similar in flavor to Beck’s Sea Change and Sufjan Stevens. I still feel like this is some of my best work. This music started on a solo music trip I took to Big Sur, and I think has many flavors of the northern California coast. Jennifer’s vocals, lyrics, and melodic input really added magic to the project. This all happened during a challenging time in my life (and Jennifer’s life), and those challenges are well represented in the music.
Warrenpeece, Haze, and 42 Shades of Gray
For many years I’ve participated in the RPM Challenge. The idea is to compose and record a full CD of material in the month of February. I’ve completed it several times. Most recently as “The Rewilders, but earlier as “42 Shades of Gray,” once with Scott Caplener as “Haze” and a few times with John Rose and Michael Nold as “Warrenpeece.” Some of the music is great… and some of it is obviously written quickly. In every case these were extremely rewarding experiences.
Another terrific (in my opinion) album I worked on was Inglas CD Intelligent Design. This CD featured the excellent vocals and songwriting of Michael Nold and the guitar work and arrangement of Rick Escobar. This has some experimental touches including an 8 minute version of Michael’s song “Throwing It All Away” that features an ambient music bridge and a rap coda. The work was both tedious and extremely inspiring and ultimately helped us create something great.
Another of my past musical projects is called Particle Salad. I put out a full album back in 2006 that is available on iTunes among other places. The music incorporates elements of ethnic/world music, but is also ambient and moody at times. This project probably took up a decade or more of time. I drafted several friends to add vocals and instruments. I think several songs hold up extremely well and still sound great to me today. I am not working on any current Particle Salad music at the moment.
I am usually working on a few different projects. I post about them in the news section on the home page of my site.
For my day job, I work for a software company.