The Mark of Cain is a hard rock/alternative metal band from Adelaide, South Australia. Their style has been likened to that of Helmet and Rollins Band, yet this band predates both of those groups and was influenced by the early work of Joy Division and US hardcore. The Mark of Cain was formed in 1984 by brothers John (guitar) and Kim Scott (bass guitar), with Rod Archer on vocals and Roger Crisp playing drums. Before long, Archer had left the group and John Scott took on the vocal role; The Mark of Cain has remained a trio ever since. The Scotts have been the core of the band which has featured some 15 different drummers. Currently, that position is held by former Helmet member John Stanier, who is also concurrently with Tomahawk and Battles.
The band's first release was a single, "The Lords of Summer" issued by Sydney label Phantom Records in 1988. Following this, The Mark of Cain's drummer situation became reasonably stable for some time with the addition of Campbell Robinson and the band issued two albums on Adelaide label Dominator Records, Battlesick in 1989 and The Unclaimed Prize in 1991. The band's music came to the attention of Steve Albini, who produced their next release, the 1993 EP "Incoming". This was the recording debut for Robinson's replacement Aaron Hewson, who had joined the band shortly after the release of The Unclaimed Prize.
Albini's involvement with The Mark of Cain in turn led to Henry Rollins producing the band's breakthrough album, 1995's Ill at Ease. The first release on Sydney alternative label rooArt, Ill at Ease was the also the first to win wide radio support, with Triple J giving the singles "First Time" and "LMA" solid airplay. A national tour followed, after which Hewitt left and Campbell Robinson returned. The next year, The Mark of Cain released Rock And Roll, a collection of remixes by artists such as Paul Mac and B(if)tek. The band also contributed some songs to the soundtrack of the Australian film Idiot Box including a cover of "Degenerate Boy" by early Australian punk band X. This was a minor hit. Robinson was replaced by Stuart Baguley in late 1998 but Stanier was mooted as a member from mid-1999. He was taken on to provide the drumming on the next album This is This which was produced by Andy Gill of Gang of Four, one of The Mark of Cain's early influences. This is This was released by BMG in 2001 with the announcement that Stainer was now the band's permanent drummer.
According to their official website, The Mark of Cain commenced recording in February 2008 at Broadcast Studios (Adelaide, Australia) with John Stanier forming material for a new album set to be released in 2011. Mixing of the new album commenced in December 2010 in Melbourne Australia with Forrester Savell.
2000 to 2001
TMOC began recording their new album with ex-Helmet drummer, John Stanier. Utilising the producing talent of Phil McKeller and Andy Gill, TMOC released their long awaited album, ‘This is This…’ in early June, 2001. 2 singles from the album, [R] Retaliate and Familiar Territory were released before the album release. TMOC embarked on a small tour in April 2001 and along with promoting their new album in July, 2001.
2002 to 2004
John Stanier continues to play in a multitude of other bands/projects, while Kim and John take a well earned rest to spend time with family. TMOC is no longer on the BMG label and will release any new material independently.
TMOC kick off the year with their ‘Rock Against Apathy’ tour in January. The tour storms through the country with sell out shows in all cities. In October two shows were also played in Canberra (Stonefest) & Newcastle.
2008 to 2011
In February 2008 TMOC enter the recording studio to put down tracks for a new album release. Old friend Henry Rollins also drops in to record some vocals for one of the new tracks of the new album. In 2010 Mixing of the new album commences in December with Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Cog, Birds Of Tokyo) in Melbourne. The new album will be officially titled “Songs Of The Third And Fifth” and is prepared for release in 2012. On the 1st of December the new single ‘Barkhammer’ is played for the first time on Triple J Radio in Australia.
A second single ‘Heart of Stone’ is released on the 18th of September and finally the long-awaited album ‘Songs of the Third and Fifth’ is unleashed on the 2nd of December through Fuse/Feel Presents. An early announcement is also broadcast to advise that TMOC will be performing at the 2013 Golden Plains Festival and an announcement of a National Tour was also scheduled for 2013.
The Mark Of Cain film a video for Milosovic in Adelaide on the 25th of February. Rehearsals commence with Adelaide based drummer Eli Green, sitting in for regular TMOC drummer John Stanier, who is unable to tour due to his current commitments with US band Tomahawk. TMOC commences the Songs Of The Third And Fifth national album tour in March, starting in their home city of Adelaide and also performing at the Golden Plains Festival.
On the 13th of June, Songs Of The Third And Fifth is released as a limited edition (600 copies) on clear Vinyl & on the 28th of June the video for Milosovic is also released. To celebrate the release, TMOC performed two shows in Adelaide on the 6th (The Gov) & 7th (Fowlers Live) of September.
A tour is announced for October & November, with TMOC finally returning to Hobart and Newcastle as well as playing Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Coolangatta and Perth. Due to demand, Adelaide is also added to the tour schedule on the 5th of December. Eli Green tours again with the band due to John Stanier’s overseas commitments. John and Kim guest host RAGE on ABC TV on the 1st of November.
On the 7th of June, The Mark Of Cain joined the Iron Sheiks, The Plague and Crackling Static Fuzz in Adelaide (Fowlers Live) to play the sold out Big Boss Benefit gig to support the bands original singer Rod Archer fight cancer. Various dates throughout November and December see TMOC playing Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane and two nights in Adelaide on their ‘Tour Of Duty’.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the ‘Battlesick’ album. A major national tour took place in October to celebrate the occasion. Eli Green again toured with the band fulfilling the drumming duties. Golden Robot Records released a limited edition remastered Battlesick 30th Anniversary vinyl also in October.
TMOC played the ‘Fire Aid’ benefit gig on the 1st of February at the Adelaide University to raise vital funds and support rural fire services after fierce bush fires ravaged Australia. It has been 25 years since the release of ‘Ill At Ease’ and plans were interrupted by the worldwide COVID-19 infectious disease, delaying plans for a tour this year to celebrate this anniversary milestone.
- John Scott - guitar, vocals
- Kim Scott - bass
- John Stanier - drums
- Eli Green - Drums
- Rod Archer - vocals
- Roger Crisp - drums
- Battlesick - (1989)
- The Unclaimed Prize - (1990)
- Ill At Ease - (1995)
- This Is This... - (2001)
- Songs of the Third and Fifth - (2012)