Mark Panick

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Mark Panick (born August 28, 1956) is a musician, bandleader and songwriter best known for fronting the underground rock groups Bonemen of Barumba and Razorhouse.

Early Life

Mark Panick was born in Chicago, IL on August 28, 1956. He grew up on the south side of Chicago and in the western suburbs of Lombard and Villa Park. His first band, a three-piece, was called the 64th Street Wild Things and their lone gig was a pizza party when Panick was in the fourth grade. As a young adult he was active in Chicago’s late 70’s/early 80’s punk/new wave scene, frequenting the nightclubs La Mere Vipere, Neo and Exit.

Professional Life

Panick co-founded Bonemen of Barumba with Tom Jonusaitis in an alley in New Orleans during Mardi Gras in 1980 and the band went on to release two EPs, 1981’s Bonemen of Barumba (which Steve Albini described as "Barbeque [sic] music from hell") and 1983’s Driving the Bats Thru Jerusalem (described as “ballsy and primitive” by Trouser Press), and one LP, 1985’s Icons, on the Chicago/Philadelphia imprint Fever, which was distributed by the larger independent label Enigma Records. The Bonemen of Barumba track “Thick Promise” appeared on the 1982 cassette compilation Sub Pop 7 and the tracks “Barumba Intro” and “Government Money” received airplay on BBC Radio One’s The John Peel Show on March 3, 1982. The band also received favorable press in the Los Angeles Reader, OP Magazine, New Music Report, Matter, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Illinois Entertainer.

Bonemen of Barumba were frequently compared to the English post-punk quintet The Pop Group and played their first show at Chicago’s Club 950 Lucky Number. Subsequent live shows found the band performing at Medusas in Chicago, at I-Beam in San Francisco, CA (where they supported Xmal Deutschland) and at Music Machine in Los Angeles, CA opening for Tones on Tail. They also headlined NYC’s Danceteria (with 10,000 Maniacs as an opener), supported The Cramps at Chicago’s Stages (a precursor to Cabaret Metro), opened for Shriekback at Chicago’s Vic Theater, supported Alien Sex Fiend at McGreevys in Glenview, IL, opened for The Alarm at Tuts in Chicago, supported Flesh for Lulu at Cabaret Metro, and opened for The Sisters of Mercy at Exit Chicago. While fronting Bonemen of Barumba, Panick was in a short-lived group called Minority of One with Jeff Pezzati (vocalist for Naked Raygun).

In 1987, Panick launched his next project, Chac Mool, after a fruitful writing session with house music wunderkind Dean Anderson. The short-lived group, which featured members of the Revolting Cocks, KMFDM and Sister Machine Gun, recorded a single entitled “Sex Sells,” which was released under the moniker Xipetotec by Trax Records in 2011.

Panick’s current band Razorhouse had its first wave of live activity between 1991 and 1993, notably supporting the Revolting Cocks and Killing Joke at the Vic Theater in Chicago, IL on New Year’s Eve, 1991, with a line-up that featured Panick on vocals backed by members of Slammin’ Watusis, Stabbing Westward, Liquid Soul, Spies Who Surf and Evil Clowns. The current lineup of Razorhouse, which has released two EPs, 2013’s Codex Jun and 2015’s Codex Du (co-produced by Howie Beno (Ministry, Black Asteroid) and Danny McGuinness (Ex Senators, Coven of Thieves)), features Panick on vocals and guitar, David Suycott (Robert Pollard, Stabbing Westward) on drums, Jim DeMonte (The Insiders) on bass, Tommi Zender on guitar and Dan Moulder on keyboards.

Other Bands/Affiliations

Mark Panick co-wrote the song “King of the Hill” with Nicholas Tremulis and has been affiliated with the bands Judas Horse, Black Friar’s Social Club and the Tom Waits tribute act Divine Prophets of Vaudeville.

Personal Life

Mark Panick lives with his partner Nan Warshaw (co-founder of Bloodshot Records) and their son in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood.