Alumni band ‘Mister Master’ releases album

Posted on Mar 9 2014 - 6:09pm by Blake Jerome

Two Pacific Lutheran University alumni just released their band’s debut album, which they hope will launch their music career.

Alum Brandt Parke, lead guitarist, founded the band Mister Master in October 2011 with fellow alum and drummer Mark Christensen.

“It started off as informal jam sessions for the first year and a half,” Parke said. “It was a matter of getting together again and again until it slowly fell into place.”

Members of the band Mister Master pose after a show in Olympia last October. From left to right: Mark Christensen, drums and percussion; Nick Barene, vocals; Sam Grose, bass; Brandt Parke, lead and rhythm guitars. Photo courtesy of Brandt Parke.

Members of the band Mister Master pose after a show in Olympia last October. From left to right: Mark Christensen, drums and percussion; Nick Barene, vocals; Sam Grose, bass; Brandt Parke, lead and rhythm guitars. Photo courtesy of Brandt Parke.

In 2012, PLU junior and lead singer Nick Barene officially joined Mister Master along with University of Washington student and bass player Sam Gross.

Parke said the four-person band played numerous small venue shows and benefit concerts around PLU’s campus for a year before they began to branch out.

“It took about a year and a half to get some really good songs written and put together. Once we had a solid playlist, we wanted to play shows in the community,” Parke said.

Mister Master began performing free shows at Northern Pacific Coffee Company on Garfield Street in order to build a bigger fan base.

“NPCC really became our home spot,” Parke said. “The majority of the crowd was still PLU students, however, there were others as well since NPCC is open to the public.”

The band soon found themselves playing to much larger audiences in the Seattle area.

Mister Master recorded their first album "From the Shed" in October. Guitarist Brandt Parke described their genre as "blues, funk and rock in a gritty ball of heavy fusion."

Mister Master recorded their first album “From the Shed” in October. Guitarist Brandt Parke described their genre as “blues, funk and rock in a gritty ball of heavy fusion.”

“We needed to have something that we could give to people,” Parke said. “We decided to record a short three-song set of our most popular songs.”

The album, “From the Shed,” was recorded at Don Gunn Studios in Seattle in October 2013 and features the bands most successful songs to date: “Silver Stain,” “Destroyer” and “Needin’ Reason.”

“We recorded three very different songs so people could hear the band’s full range, kind of a grunge rock to more funky alternative stuff,” Parke said.

Parke also said the fans of Mister Master’s music have compared its sound to a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Chris Cornell’s Soundgarden, who were both made famous in Seattle.

“We are already talking about putting another album together, as well as producing some merchandise, T-shirts, stickers and that kind of thing,” Parke said. “In addition, we are going to put a music video together very soon.”

Mister Master is in the process of building a website where it will post show dates along with pictures and avenues to buy CDs and merchandise.

“At this point, we are happy to give our CDs away to fans just to get our name out there,” Parke said. “Sometimes, however, people want to pay for them, which is greatly appreciated. There is a lot of start-up costs that go into creating an album and every little bit helps.”

Songs are available on iTunes, http://www.reverbnation.com and http://bandcamp.com as a free download with the option of donating money for the album.

“We are definitely going for it, but ultimately, our goal is to survive playing music and being able to travel around,” Parke said. “We are all best friends, and while Mark and I have always been the foundation of this group, it really is a team effort. We couldn’t make our music without everyone.”

Mister Master will be playing at NPCC March 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets will be free.

“We put on a great show, we love our fans and we play music that is relatable,” Parke said. “We’re just looking to have a good time with anyone who will support us.”