Mark Focarile began playing piano at the age of 8, performing many different styles of music in venues across New England. He eventually studied piano as an undergrad in college. Mark is a natural performer who is at equally at home on a raging Mile Marker Zero stage, or a quiet hall playing a Chopin Nocturne.
His early influence was keyboard master, Keith Emerson who inspired him to take his musical training and apply it to less conventional ways. Bands like Dream Theater, Rush and Genesis inspired Mark to experiment with different styles and make music that was different than that of his peers. Later in his musical career, bands like Metallica, Opeth, and Mastodon opened Mark's eyes to the catharsis of hard rock and metal, bringing new level of dynamic power and sonic intensity to his work.
Being a keyboard player in a hard rock band requires someone to be open to many styles of playing so that they can find their place within the group. Inspiration has come from players like Jordan Rudess, Tony Banks, Richard Barbieri and Per Wilberg, as well as by the work of many non-keyboard players. Mark has been able to gain a keen instinct for the right time to add texture to the music in a supportive role, or step out into the spotlight as a lead player. Using vintage sounds such as melotrons, Hammond organs, Wurlitzers, and analog synthesizers combined with traditional piano sounds, Mark is an orchestra himself.
His keyboards elevate MMZ’s sound above that of other modern rock bands. Mark also plays an integral role in the band’s songwriting, writing a wide range of material from longer more progressive songs, to shorter intricate ballads.
When Mark is not playing in Mile Marker Zero, he indulges in his love for classical and jazz music, reading, rooting hard for the Yankees and Jets, and watching Seinfeld reruns on TV. He lives with his wife Sarah in Connecticut.