Reader Spotlight: Mark McHone

Mark McHoneMeet Mark McHone, a bassist from Jacksonville, Florida who has traveled the country to play music and teaches kids who are the victims of budget cuts in music programs in school. Mark is our player in the spotlight for December 27, 2011.


I started playing bass at 13 years of age. I am now 27. I have toured all over the country, performing with signed bands, and I currently play with one at the moment.

I played double bass and electric in college, and before that, I went to an arts school during my middle and high school years.

I have always loved punk rock, metal, funk, old country, etc. My bass has taken me places I would never see normally and has always been something I have been passionate about.


Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Day gig:

I work at Survival Straps, where I make bracelets with paracord. Each cord holds 550 pounds. It’s a very chill job and good people to work for. I also give bass lessons to younger kids due to the fact that music is being taken out of schools due to “budget cuts.” Without music when I was in school, I don’t know what I would have done.

Years experience:

14 years

Bands & Gigs:

I am currently in a band called “In Whispers”, and I’ve been playing with them for about a year and a half. We are signed to Bieler Bros label. We have a single on the NHL 2011 video game called “Here I stand”. We just opened for Helmet a month ago (one of my favorite bands). That was an amazing show.

I also play in two cover bands. One is an old country/punk rock band, and the other is a radio rock-type gig to get free drinks and some extra cash.


  • Ampeg 8×10(2)
  • Mesa Boogie bass head M Pulse 600 Solid state and tube amp
  • Fender Jazz Japanese Aerodyne bass
  • ESP EC-404 LTD with EMG pick ups
  • Fender Rackmount Tuner

Why I play the bass:

I played trumpet throughout middle school. I saw some kids walking around with bass guitars, and everyone looked up to them. So when I hit the eighth grade, I signed up to play electric bass in beginning band. The next day, my mom took me out and got me a $200 Ibanez which we paid for in monthly installments. It still works. Since I could remember, I always wanted to be in a punk rock/metal band. Eric Ellis, a guitarist friend of mine at the time and I started a group. (Eric was later a member of Bury Your Dead). We were terrible and drove the neighbors and our parents crazy, but we were proud of it.

I stayed first chair the entire time in middle school and girls started to notice me. so I just stuck with it and I haven’t stopped since.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I can play extremely fast, and I am a very quick learner.

My influences

Were do I start??? Scott Shiflett (Face to Face), Les Claypool (of course), Cliff Burton, P-nut from 311, Page Hamilton from Helmet, Joe Principe from 88 Fingers Louie and Rise Against, Matt Freeman from Rancid, and Stuart Hamm.

More on the web:

In Whispers Video:

Here’s our tune, “Here I Stand”:

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