Formed in Adelaide, Australia in 1984 and featuring the brothers John and Kim Scott at the helm, The Mark Of Cain eschewed all contemporary influence of the time and instead dug deep into the likes of Joy Division, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Big Black, Black Flag, Gang of Four and Magazine, as well as authors like Herman Hesse, Jack Kerouac, Colin Wilson, Fydor Dostoyevsky and John Fante in creating a dark and brooding, intellectual take on post punk.
1984: The year saw TMOC entering into it’s first formal lineup with the brothers John and Kim on guitar and bass, Rod Archer on vocals and Roger Crisp on drums.
1985: Within this year, Archer left to pursue singing for The Iron Sheiks and John took over on vocals. Crisp left to be replaced by John Rickert.
1986: Many songs were composed during this year.
1987: TMOC continued to perform, entering into larger venues. They also hit the recording studio producing several demos.
1988: Single release – ‘The Lords of Summer / Can You See Now ?’ John Rickert left the band, leaving TMOC without a drummer. Later that year, Campbell Robinson took the role. They were also writing many songs during that year.
1989: Debut album ‘Battlesick’ released through Dominator Records
1990: Saw the subsequent release of ‘The Unclaimed Prize’. Work commitments for both John and Kim halted touring for that year.
1991: While in Chicago, John and Kim worked with Steve Albini, producing ‘Incoming’ which was released in 1993. Another new drummer joined TMOC, Aaron Hewson. Promotion for ‘The Unclaimed Prize’ went underway when they returned from overseas.
1992 to 1994: TMOC performed throughout Australia and also supported many well known overseas bands. We also saw the release of ‘Incoming'(1993), ‘Viet Vet'(1994) and the re-release of TMOC’s first two albums.
1995 to 1996: The year saw the release of the single ‘First Time/Details’ and then the incredible album, ‘Ill at Ease’, which was produced by Henry Rollins. Huge success then followed and the band embarked on a national tour. However, the year also saw the departure of drummer Aaron Hewson. Campbell Robinson, who had worked with the band a few years earlier, rejoined the band.
A single off the album, ‘LMA’ was then released in early 1996. Gigs at large outdoor festivals were also a highlight for that year. 1996 also saw the release of a remix album, ‘Rock and Roll’ which was another huge success. The release confirmed that TMOC was not afraid to explore new grounds in music.
1997: The year started off with more national dates around Australia. ‘Rock and Roll’ continued to do very well in many non mainstream charts as well as receiving generous airplay on radio. TMOC recorded a cover of the X’s ‘Degenerate Boy’ for David Caeser’s movie Idiot Box and as a result, TMOC continued to gain widespread recognition and airplay. A single was also released from the Rock and Roll CD – ‘Interloper’ which contained five different tracks. The band also saw the departure of drummer Campbell Robinson.
1998: TMOC re-released all their albums in November, 1998. The albums were re-mastered and distributed through BMG. A TMOC box set, “The Complete Recordings 88-98” was also released in parallel with the re-releases. The Mark of Cain has recruited Stuart Baguley as their 9th drummer in early 1998. The Mark of Cain embarked on a national tour in late 1998.
2000 to 2001: TMOC began recording their new album with ex-Helmet drummer, John Stanier. Utilising the producing talent of Phil McKeller and Andy Gill, TMOC released their long awaited album, ‘This is This…’ in early June, 2001. 2 singles from the album, [R] Retaliate and Familiar Territory were released before the album release. TMOC embarked on a small tour in April 2001 and along with promoting their new album in July, 2001.
2002 to 2004: John Stanier continues to play in a multitude of other bands/projects, while Kim and John take a well earned rest to spend time with family. TMOC is no longer on the BMG label and will release any new material independently.
2005: This year has already had rumors bounced around in regards to new material and possibly a tour. John is writing new material and these rumors could turn into a reality in the not too distant future.
2006: TMOC kick off the year with their ‘Rock Against Apathy’ tour in January. The tour storms through the country with sell out shows in all cities. In October two shows were also played in Canberra (Stonefest) & Newcastle.
2008: In February TMOC enter the recording studio to put down tracks for a new album release. Old friend Henry Rollins also drops in to record some vocals for one of the new tracks of the new album.
2009: Work continues on the new album.
2010: Mixing of the new album commences in December with Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Cog, Birds Of Tokyo) in Melbourne.
2011: The new album will be officially titled “Songs Of The Third And Fifth” and is prepared for release in 2012. On the 1st of December the new single ‘Barkhammer’ is played for the first time on Triple J Radio in Australia.
2012: A second single ‘Heart of Stone’ is released on the 18th of September and finally the long-awaited album ‘Songs of the Third and Fifth’ is unleashed on the 2nd of December through Fuse/Feel Presents. An early announcement is also broadcast to advise that TMOC will be performing at the 2013 Golden Plains Festival and an announcement of a National Tour was also scheduled for 2013.
2013: The Mark Of Cain film a video for Milosovic in Adelaide on the 25th of February. Rehearsals commence with Adelaide based drummer Eli Green, sitting in for regular TMOC drummer John Stanier, who is unable to tour due to his current commitments with US band Tomahawk. TMOC commences the Songs Of The Third And Fifth national album tour in March, starting in their home city of Adelaide and also performing at the Golden Plains Festival.
On the 13th of June, Songs Of The Third And Fifth is released as a limited edition (600 copies) on clear Vinyl & on the 28th of June the video for Milosovic is also released. To celebrate the release, TMOC performed two shows in Adelaide on the 6th (The Gov) & 7th (Fowlers Live) of September.
2014: A tour is announced for October & November, with TMOC finally returning to Hobart and Newcastle as well as playing Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Coolangatta and Perth. Due to demand, Adelaide is also added to the tour schedule on the 5th of December. Eli Green tours again with the band due to John Stanier’s overseas commitments.
John and Kim guest host RAGE on ABC TV on the 1st of November.
2015: On the 7th of June, The Mark Of Cain joined the Iron Sheiks, The Plague and Crackling Static Fuzz in Adelaide (Fowlers Live) to play the sold out Big Boss Benefit gig to support the bands original singer Rod Archer fight cancer.
Various dates throughout November and December see TMOC playing Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane and two nights in Adelaide on their ‘Tour Of Duty’.
2019: This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of the ‘Battlesick’ album. A major national tour took place in October to celebrate the occasion. Eli Green again toured with the band fulfilling the drumming duties. Golden Robot Records released a limited edition remastered Battlesick 30th Anniversary vinyl also in October.
2020: TMOC played the ‘Fire Aid’ benefit gig on the 1st of February at the Adelaide University to raise vital funds and support rural fire services after fierce bush fires ravaged Australia. It has been 25 years since the release of ‘Ill At Ease’ and plans were interrupted by the worldwide COVID-19 infectious disease, delaying plans for a tour this year to celebrate this anniversary milestone.