by Nick Christophers
Mark Allen Lanoue has been able to wear more than one creative hat in his life and has managed to be successful with the two hats he has worn. He is a musician, entertainer, scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, PhD candidate, instructor, and family man. One would be the musical one with numerous years of delivering rocking tunes to his scientific acumen. Mark was a lover of music at the tender age of thirteen when he learned to master the saxophone. He performed in concerts, marched in parades, and jammed with a jazz band. By the time he was seventeen he took the guitar which led him on his musical path. At that young age Mark was influenced by such acts like KISS, Styx, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to name a few.
He began to record music at the famous House of Music in West Orange New Jersey, Now closed, with a studio musician named Shane Keister from Volcano Management/Atlantic Records with various other artists. At time went on, he would hit the club circuit with different bands and recorded with acts like Message, BILOXI, and Chasing Karma. Mark would go on to study music at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood California. While he was in California, he had the opportunity to jammed with a member of Frank Zappa’s live band. He would soon return to his home state New Jersey where he reunited with his band Portrait and ended up recording with the vocalist from Mercy/Message with Richie Sambora, Prophet, and Vinnie Moore, Dean Fasano (RIP).
Mark would join forces with Dean Fasano on track releases like “FINE LINE” and “In the Wake of the Storm” which was the third release from the band BILOXI. As his talent was being more recognized he ended up sitting in as a guitarist for the band called Societies Child. When he moved to Florida, he joined a new band called Persian Risk (USA) and wrote, recorded and performed with them from 1992-1995. In 2002 he joined the band BILOXI which already had some fame via MTV and MTV Japan. After the passing of its vocalist Clyde Holly, Mark took over as vocalist. They would go ahead and complete a third album in tribute to Clyde entitled BILOXI III “In the Wake of the Storm”. They promoted the record at the ROCKLAHOMA 2008 under the record label Retrospect Records.
Even though BILOXI was successful Mark moved on and founded his own band called FICTION SYXX. The band released their debut album “Tall Dark Secrets”, which featured such talent like Bill Leverty (Firehouse), Jimi Bell (Autograph/House of Lords), Carl Sentance (Nazareth/Don Airey Band/Geezer Butler Band), Lee Small (Shy/Lionheart/The Sweet), And many others. The band would soon release a second album in 2018 entitled “The Alternate Me” and in 2021 a third one called “Ghost of My Fathers Past”.
“Well. Like musical genre, they were all experiences that were excellent but vastly different. I would say my two equally favorites have been KICK THE WICKED and FICTION SYXX. Not so much because I didn’t enjoy the time with my band mate, but because these two have been my most creative and have been the most professional regarding constant output and chemistry in song writing.”
Mark also co-founded a band called Kick the Wicked which is an original band that was formed from the members of his tribute band. Along with the creation of Kick the Wicked he also developed the indie record label Gemini Rising Records. The band came to fruition when Mark was asked to join now Kick The Wicked members Scott Campbell and Rory Faciane to produce tributes to many of the musical greats of the past and present. There have been other artists like Ronny Munroe (x-Metal Church), Lyia Meta, Sharon Lia ( Sharon Lia Band), Mark Smith (Change to Eden), and Kitt Wakeley (Saints & Sinners) who have joined them as guests on the tributes they produce. They released their first single in 2020 and submitted an EP for Grammy contention.
“Of all the musicians I have worked with I would have to say that Dean Fasano left the most lasting impression. He changed the way I thought about my vocal ability and gave me the guidance I needed to lift myself up from behind the guitar to raise my voice and be confident.”
Mark would always hold music close to his heart, but he has always had a knack for science. Hence, he was inducted into the NASA “Space Technology Hall of Fame” for my innovation and work related to Cutting Edge Hyperspectral Imaging Systems and Software in 2005. He was an inventor of high tech which was utilized worldwide and was a manifest for the International Space Station.
“I have always been into the Sci-Fi and have always been intrigued by pushing the bounds of technological innovation. The other reason is that, as much as I love music and that it is a part of me to the core, musicians don’t make a whole lot of money for the most part. The direction of Science and Technology were a more stable proposition to take care of my family.”
To get back to his musical roots he joined the staff at the University of Arkansas to work with students to improve the music and entertainment industry. The process is to develop various steps connected to digital technology, protection and equity, and analytics. Mark is also mentoring an up and coming pop artist, Olivia Webb via the Grammy U program, and the Recording Academy. Additionally, he had worked with Steve Blaze of the band Lillian Axe on a documentary related to Fort Jackson near New Orleans. Now his main focus is his family and his position as Managing Director of a National Science Foundation IUCRC center at the University of Arkansas and finishing his PhD. Mark is man of many hats that has managed to be successful and most of all giving back to those who needed most.