As with most artists, music is an expression and an extension of themselves. Mark was very in tune with the world around him. Most often he felt was an outsider, because he didn't follow the norm. He was an observer of human nature, particularly how society as a whole has become complacent, cold-hearted, and mindless, as if society had become robots. Mark constantly sought to teach others to think outside the “box”, the “norm” and that was done primarily through his music.
In the songs Don't Hide Your Love, *Total Blindness and Drinkin' and Drivin', these songs spoke to just that. The lack of expression, kindness and love people fail to tap into anymore. These are “open your eyes” wake up and live for you and your family, not live for your employer or the “status quo”.
Not every song creation was a social commentary. Mark was very creative and loved to express his inspirations whether it was a life event, from his daughter being born to a new piece of equipment such as a keyboard, synth, drum patches, Mark would be inspired to new musical and magical journeys like the songs *Night on the Nile, Boom Docktari and Ocean.
Mark was also expressive in songs that were a reflection of his personal life. As with anyone, we all have our ups and downs. Part of Me and Cryin' Rain express those personal rough patches when words and conversation could not express his feelings. Songs such as these helped us get through those times and allowed us common ground upon which to build upon.
Mark spent a great deal of time in the studio. While it created an enormous amount of wonderful music, inspirations and fed our souls, it was also to his detriment. Spending so much time at the console and many many late nights took its toll on his health. So much so, he spent the last few years of his life battling illness. Illness that was difficult to diagnose.
In the song “I Don't Wanna to Leave You”, Mark said his goodbyes. This song was his final expression and communication to me, his daughter and his family. Mark had known he was leaving us. He completed this song less than a month before he passed. He had not shared this song with anyone. I knew he had been working on another song and discovered it shortly after his passing. As difficult as it is to hear the words, it is yet another communication from him that has helped to move forward without him and to build our lives again without his physical presence. Mark is always with us in everything we do.
*Total Blindness and Night on the Nile Featuring Cary Cobb on Guitar
* Cryin' Rain Featuring Roy "Cryin' Rain" Martinez additional Vocals
All songs written, performed and recorded by Mark Hashimoto, except Total Blindness, co-written by Mark Hashimoto and Cary Cobb.
All songs copy written under Mark Hashimoto. Total Blindness under copyright of "Antares" (Mark Hashimoto, Cary Cobb and Simon Waltzer)