Trespass, has been one of the most underrated bands from the n.w.o.b.h.m., this year marks their return with the new recording “Footprints in the Rock”, a solid riffing album with great melodies, we had a chat with long time leader Mark Sutcliffe.

Hey Mark, nice to meet you! Were you involved in some other bands before forming/joining Trespass?

Mark – Its nice to meet you too Paulo! It all started in about 1977 with myself on guitar, my brother Paul on drums and my cousin Rick Sutcliffe on Bass. We had various names Fusion and later track IV. It was always Trespass really.

What were your main influences at the beginning of the band?

Mark – There are so many! Status Quo, Deep Purple, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Free, Bad Company Rush, Sabbath, Judas Priest, Journey, Boston, The Scorpions AC/DC etc.

The ten song demo tape “Through the Ages” came up in 1980, did you sell this tape during the shows? Sent it to fanzines?

Mark – It was just supposed to be a promotional thing. It is very rare now! We should have recorded an album right then!!

After the edition of “Bright Lights” in 82, wouldn’t it be an LP the next step?

Mark – Actually I think the album should have come in 1980. We and our management were so confident a major label was going to sign us, we didn’t record and release an album ourselves. BIG MISTAKE No 1. We had the songs.

Why did you split up back in 82?

Mark – The death of my and Paul’s Father Allan in September 1982 was really the catalyst for the end of Trespass.

Did the idea of release “The Works I” come after the notorious compilation “79 Revisited”? Did it give a new impulse to Trespass?

Mark – We just wanted to get some more songs out there. It was a great feeling to know that people were, and still are interested in Trespass and our music.

Why did Paul leave in 2014? Maybe he’ll be back “One of these days”?

Mark – I can’t speak for him obviously but I think the drums just weren’t enough for him to express himself musically.

What gives you more strength to keep Trespass active, after all these years?

Mark – I really do believe in the music and that is where the energy comes from. The important thing for me is to share my music and get it listened to. Trespass is just the best way of doing that.

Why did you re-record the old songs in the album “Trespass” in 2015? Weren’t you happy with the recording quality of those songs?

Mark – Yes and no. The old stuff is a historic document. Most of the recordings were demos though with different sounds and singers etc.

I wanted to make the songs sound consistent and up to date. My idea was that it would sit better alongside any new stuff that we intended to do.


Three years have passed since the edition of the album “Trespass”, what expectations do you have for “Footprints in the Rock”?

Mark – All I want is for people to enjoy the music. Thanks to MIGHTY MUSIC we have got it out to many more people. I will be writing and playing guitar  music.

Whatever happens . It is in my DNA. I am planning and writing for a new album already! The working title is ‘Force Of Nature’

You’re still living a “Momentum” with Trespass?

Mark – Yes, it is an unstoppable force! Once it starts rolling it just moves faster and faster!

Do you have plans to play in festivals or go on tour, this year, supporting “Footprints in the Rock”?

Mark – Getting live shows is the hardest thing for a small band like Trespass. I very much hope we can do some shows this year and next. We’d love to come to Portugal!

In your opinion what are the main differences between the eighties and the reality of today?

Mark – I think the main difference is the technology. Everyone can record music at home to a high standard. This does not mean they will be good songs of course that comes from the heart and mind! We were lucky to make a record at all in 1980 only a few bands got to do that.

What memories do you keep from the early days and all the n.w.o.b.h.m. movement? Tell us a bit the impact that Trespass and the singles “Live it Up” and “One of these days” had.

Mark – Trespass came from a little town in the English countryside. Most successful bands like Def Leppard and Iron Maiden came from big cities. It was a blast going up to London, but we were never really able to become part of the scene, because we were outsiders. Our music had an impact though and that is the main thing. It all comes from the music.

It was fantastic seeing One Of These Days in the Sound House Metal Chart! The NWOBHM was a great thing to be part of. People have a need to be part of something. When ever we do a NWOBHM concert the people still belong and they are just the best people!!

Anything more you want to say, to end up this interview?

Mark – I want to say Thank you to you Paulo for helping to get the word out. I also want to say thank you to everyone out there who has bought an album or helped Trespass in any way. Every penny goes back into the music so  you are literally keeping the music alive!

Thank you for your time, and wish you all the best for the future!
By Paulo Rodrigues (Phantom Lord)