“I’ve been a bit of a hermit,” he says. “I don’t really go out, or do much, or see anybody or anything like that.”
His new-found life as a recluse has led to new experiences — like with the undead. Kind of like how the death of his band, Eagle Seagull, opened doors for a solo project. It was a not-so-horrific experience for Mardock, even considering the circumstances of the band's breakup.
“I've heard, with some amusement, about my reputation as some sort of amoral, womanizing monster,” Mardock says. “I know, in some people's minds, that I'm the villain. People that know me well — I think it is amusing for them, too, because they know what I'm really like. They know my life.”
For the most part, he says, he keeps his mouth shut about it all, as to avoid any sort of public spectacle.
“We realized, after years of being friends, that we really loved each other and wanted to be together,” he says. “And it was worth it, easily. I've never been happier.”
But let us not jump from point A to point C, because we’d be missing point B, as in Beauty in the Beast. The short-lived project featured Mardock, Butler and drummer Andrew Tyler (Satchel Grande, Matt Cox Band, It’s True). Mardock, however, says his new solo project is much the same, just with a different name.
“Beauty in the Beast was basically a solo project,” he says. “I was kind of torn — I guess I didn’t really like the idea of doing a solo thing with just my name.”
But he’s warmed up to to solo moniker now, spending the past five months writing and recording new material in his basement studio for the solo album Children of the World’s New Uterus. For Mardock, the album stands as his most mature and personal work to date.
“I'd say it's about my vision of the future, about humanity's coming grace,” he says. “It's about going beyond mysticism and religion — beyond science and its finite measurements. It's about self-realization.”
A handful of the songs were written when ES was still active, he says. They probably would have made for a third album, had the band recorded one.
He plans to wrap it up at the end of March, when he’ll start thinking about record labels.
“I’m kind of keeping my options open,” he says. “I’ve been thinking about starting my own label, kind of self releasing it.”
The album will include 10 tracks, two of which feature Butler on vocals. She’ll also be playing violin on a couple others. Mardock currently has two songs available online, “King of the Crickets” and “Hold On.” The latter is available for free download.
But he wouldn’t want us to jump the gun on this zombie chase.
“I haven’t delivered a record yet,” he says. “I’m just not committing to anything, I guess is what I’m saying.”
Jordan Minnick is Hear Nebraska's editorial intern. Her interest in music journalism began with a Rolling Stone subscription as a young teen. Still technically a teen at 19, she never picks it up. She'll be interning this summer at The A.V. Club Austin. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.