Craig Finn on Mark Mallman


Had enough of Mark Mallman this week? Yeah, didn't think so. As part of my research for this week's Mark Mallman cover story, I got in touch with Hold Steady frontman and recent Mallman collaborator Craig Finn, who appears on the new single, "You're Never Alone in New York," to get his thoughts about our cover subject. Here's the full transcript of our email exchange.

What do you feel sets Mallman apart from other musicians and performers?


Craig Finn: I think Mallman has a unique sense of humor that always informs his work. Even when he is singing about death or heartbreak, there always seems to be a tiny smirk there, which I really appreciate. Also, the way he approaches each show as an event really makes it exciting to go see him.

How long have you known Mark? What's one of your most vivid Mallman memories?

Finn: I think I first saw Mark playing with the Odd. He was wearing plastic vampire fangs. He was so fun to watch. He had so much energy. I was a fan of his solo stuff right away. Not sure when I first spoke to him in person.

How did you end up collaborating with Mark on the new record? Had you ever worked with him before?

Finn: He just emailed me out of the blue and said he had a part that he thought would be good for me. I was into it right away.


As a musician who got your start in Minneapolis and then moved to New York, do you feel like bands need to leave the Twin Cities in order to "make it big"?

Finn: Not at all. And less now than ever before. Minneapolis always has been and always will be a great place to do music. As far as "making it big," I think it all comes down to touring. Bands that tour heavily are more likely to make an impression nationally, no matter where they are from.