Mark “M.E.” Edwards, the lead guitarist/founding member of OVERLORDE and a solo instrumental guitarist, is a native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey. After a 6 year period living in New York City ending in 2012, Mark returned to central New Jersey. He is a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).
Mark is not the first musician in his family. His father’s uncle, Jerry Serly, was an accomplished musician and member of NY Local 802. Jerry held various positions within the union during his lengthy tenure after joining in 1927. Jerry’s wife, Elaine, was also a musician. Jerry's father, Lajos Serly, was a highly esteemed Hungarian composer and conductor. Jerry's brother, Tibor Serly, was an accomplished violinist-violist and music theorist who composed major theatrical pieces. Tibor completed Béla Bartók’s two unfinished works after Bartók’s death.
Mark took his first guitar lesson in 1971 when he was ten years old. His teacher was Tom Ragusa at the Scotch Plains Music Center in NJ. Lessons went on until he graduated High School in 1979. During that time he was a member of two rock bands as well as a member of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School jazz band “Moonglowers”, the oldest High School jazz band in the state of New Jersey.
While attending Old Dominion University, Mark played in that school’s jazz ensemble. Afterwards, around 1982, Mark was involved in his first metal band. Named PARTHENON, this band did covers by Def Leppard, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Rush, Zeppelin, and even Cheech and Chong. This band was the first to perform Mark’s metal originals, three songs that Mark had written and the band learned. Also, it was about this time when Mark's friends began referring to him by his initials, "M.E.".
1984 saw Mark purchase his trademark white Flying V, and meet John Bunucci. John would not only go on to form OVERLORDE with Mark, but also become a lifelong friend. And in Mark’s opinion, the world’s best power/true/classic metal bassist.
Overlorde performed its first show in November 1985 after drummer David L. Wrenn joined the band. The group added vocalist Pat O’Donnell in 1986 and played numerous NJ/NY area shows. The band then recorded and self released a 5-song EP on its own Strike Zone Records label. What was supposed to be a stepping stone to a bigger label deal instead led to the band's eventual demise in late 1988. Or did it? More on that later.
M.E. started his first solo project shortly thereafter. Titled BREAKER M.E. (a nickname variation inspired by his affinity for Australian bush hats of the type worn in the movie Breaker Morant), it went from being a solo project to a band and released a self-titled 4-song cassette demo before disbanding in 1992.
After this, M.E. became disillusioned with participating in bands and went truly solo. Thus began a period of recording and performing instrumentals in the style of Joe Satriani. Bass and drum parts were provided by a Roland R-70 which he had learned to program to great effect. His Fostex 250 4-track cassette deck saw a great deal of use as he recorded numerous songs beginning in 1992. The first official demo coming from these sessions being a 30-minute cassette titled G.W.A. (GUITAR WITH ATTITUDE). This was followed by a live-to-DAT, in-studio session in 1995 that was released as a 30 minute demo titled WHAT YOU HEAR IS WHAT YOU GET. By this time, Mark was mainly utilizing a Fender Stratocaster in place of his Flying V.
The late 90's saw M.E. launch a basic website, and begin utilizing his voice on various recordings including an eclectic 3-song demo titled Demo 1999. He had also moved up from his 4-track multi-track cassette recorder to a digital 16-track Roland VS-1680. But it was December 1999 when everything old became new again, and the call of the Flying V began to harken once more.
This is when Overlorde drummer Dave Wrenn contacted M.E. about some interest in Overlorde, mainly from fans in Europe. This news came as quite a surprise, since the 1987 EP had basically only been sold in NJ/NY area shops. It had been assumed that Overlorde was a NJ area metal footnote and nothing more.
Upon additional investigating, it became apparent that the 1987 EP had garnered the band a cult following in both the USA and Europe. John, Dave and Mark decided to look into the possibility of a reunion in early 2000. The official website, www.overlorde.com, was launched in February 2000 and the reunion became a reality in July 2000.
In the fall of 2000, the band announced that vocalist Bobby "Leather Lungs" Lucas (ex- SEVEN WITCHES/Massacre Records and EXHIBITION/LMP Records) had joined the band to round out the reunion lineup. A 4-song demo, OVERLORDE 2000, was recorded and released in December 2000. The demo received tremendous response from fans and critics alike. This included a “perfect 12” rating from Germany's HEAVY, ODER WAS?! magazine. A few shows were played, including some U.S. metal festivals, where the band shared the stage with acts such as ANVIL, SEVEN WITCHES, and MANILLA ROAD, receiving great audience response.
The band seemed sure to obtain a record deal and release its long delayed full length CD. And so it was that in April 2004, the band announced it had signed with Greece’s premier Heavy Metal Label, CULT METAL CLASSICS (now SONIC AGE RECORDS). Recording began in summer 2004 and their 13-song CD titled RETURN OF THE SNOW GIANT was released to excellent reviews worldwide on December 17, 2004. Once again their CD received a “perfect 12” rating from Germany's HEAVY, ODER WAS?! magazine. M.E. wrote full music and lyrics for four of the songs on the release and co-wrote the music for all the remaining songs with the exception of the short bass/drum intro AND THE BATTLE BEGINS…
M.E. performed his debut European show when Overlorde played at Keep It True IV Metalfest in April 2005 and his performance is documented on the official KIT IV DVD. Overlorde also celebrated its 20th Anniversary year in 2005 with an interview on WDHA’s Metal Mania radio show. In the summer of 2015, Germany's DEAF FOREVER magazine named RETURN OF THE SNOW GIANT one of its "Top 100 U.S. Metal Albums of all Time". The band is preparing a followup CD.
Having devoted 100% of his music-related efforts to Overlorde from 2000 to 2003, M.E. decided to take some time and make his 1994 demo G.W.A. (GUITAR WITH ATTITUDE) available on CD-R. This demo re-release, with an additional 5 songs, occurred in the fall of 2003 along with the launching of his own www.meflyingv.com website to replace his 90’s designed site. 2003 also saw M.E. start his own ASCAP affiliated music publishing company, ARMORED FORCE PUBLISHING.
Besides continuing with Overlorde, Mark also plans to promote his instrumental material for use in movies, TV shows, etc. Some of his works have already appeared in independent releases. He is currently preparing to shop a 9-song instrumental re-release of WHAT YOU HEAR IS WHAT YOU GET that also includes videos from his performances on a local cable show called T-TIME. He is also preparing to make his G.W.A. (GUITAR WITH ATTITUDE) available on i-tunes . And having written or co-written approximately 100 songs over a range of hard & heavy music styles (and even some in a modern country vein), Mark hopes to eventually record and release other material utilizing his home studio, and/or license songs to other recording artists.
M.E. performs his instrumental set as a unique “one man show”. Himself on electric guitar accompanied by programmed drums and bass. This allows him to perform in situations where a full band might not fit.
M.E. has accumulated a number of endorsement deals and also released presets for Steinberg's Cubase DAW. The presets are for Steinberg's VST AMPRACK plugin.
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Copyright 2003 by Mark Edwards & Armored Force Publishing. Use of materials found on this site without consent is prohibited.
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