Mark Hartley

mark hartley …a very brief biog

Born-1972 Birmingham, England. I started playing violin at age six and gave up after breaking my left leg when I was eleven and spending a few months in hospital.

Started playing bass at 13, a Westone Concorde, mainly because everyone else seemed to be playing guitar.

A year or so later I played drums for about two years which really helped my understanding of rhythm. At this point I decided that bass was the instrument I wanted to master.

After hearing Billy Sheehan in 1985 I became hooked on alternative playing techniques such as two handed tapping. On hearing Mark King and Stuart Hamm I then discovered slapping and knuckled down to a pretty vigorous daily practise.

I did my first gig with a metal band called Maelstrom when I was 14 , played my first session when aged 15 and have been in actively doing both ever since, playing all kinds of music.


The early 90’s saw me playing lots of guitar based instrumental music and at this point I discovered Jazz which completely changed my perspective on music. Through players like Jaco and Stanley, not only did I polish up on my chops but I learnt about harmony in ways that I’d never thought about before, constantly practising reading music and working on chords, key centres, harmonic movement, etc. I also managed to Study Technical Illustration at UCE for four years.

In the mid 90s I was out playing with more accomplished musicians and getting even more into Jazz and harmonically adventurous forms of music. I also worked on the covers circuit to make some money and get out and play, which was like fun at the time.

Relocating to Kidderminster in 1996, I soon became friends with the local musos and got involved with a local music college helping out on workshops and doing a lot of one to one bass teaching. Around this time “Juggernaut” was formed with some colleagues. This was a modern experimental Jazz/Fusion/Rap/Funk/Hip-Hop outfit that was very well received on the local gigging circuit.

Mark3Continued sessions and gigs also found me playing with Robert Plant in 1997.
By 1999 I had joined Swivel and was playing some great songs with a whole new attitude via the use of samples and loops courtesy of Minal P Minal and the MPC. About 1000 jams later Funkpig evolved accompanied by the MPC, Kaoss pads and a newly acquired effects processor for myself.

I enjoy just grooving but I love playing anything and everything so Funkpig is the perfect vehicle for me to stretch myself as a player. Live its a real challenge as there are only two of us producing all the sounds……………that’s the whole fun of it.


Mark’s Gear:

Main Bass:1999 Warwick Streamer Stage I (4 String)
Colour: Antique tobacco Satin finish
Pick-ups: Seymour Duncan Basslines P J configuration (Active/Passive)
Modifications: Hipshot “D” tuner fitted
Other Basses: 
1983 Fender Precision (4 String)
Colour: Black with white scratch plate
Pick-ups: Stock Fender P and Dimarzio double humbucker (fitted at the neck) and J fitted at the bridge (Passive)
1991 Fender Power Jazz Bass Special (4 String fretless)
Colour: Black Laquered finish
Pick-ups: Stock Fender PJ configuration (Active)
Strings: Warwick Red Label 40-100 Medium Light Gauge
Trace Elliot, Ashdown and Laney
Speakers: Usually 1No. 4×10″ and 1No. 15″
Effects: Zoom BFX708, Various Boss Pedals

Mark1Bass Influences:
Billy Sheehan, Stuart Hamm, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Doug Wimbish, Alain Caron, Mick Karn, Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Brian Bromberg, John Pattittucci , Victor Bailey, Mark King, Pino Palladino, Anthony Jackson, Bob Daisley, Rudy Sarzo, Bootsy Collins, Wally Voss…..the list goes on!
Drumming Influences:
Dennis Chambers, Dave Weckl, Omar Hakim, Stuart Copeland, Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colauata, Phil Gould, Keith Leblanc, Tommy Aldridge, Gary Husband, Billy Cobham

Other Musical Influences:
Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Christopher Cross, Sting, Peter Cox, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Tony McCalpine, Al De Meola, Alan Holdsworth, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, John Maclaughlin, Joni Mitchell, John Schofield ,Dizzy, Bird, Barber, Debussy, Bach,

General Life Influences:
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Rob Bottin, Dick Smith , John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman-Hunt, Seymour-Powell,

Other Endeavours: Apart from being an addictive CAD monkey by day, I love to swim as often as possible, watch Hammer Horror films and collect StarWars memorabilia