Mark Montgomery French

Bristle-Pop / Indie Alternative Rock / Modern Classical / Experimental Funk • Bay Area, CA

I’m Mark Montgomery French, bristle-pop musician and award-winning composer, formerly of the Bay Area band Endangered Species, and I’ve set my guitar pedals to “stun”. My solo debut EP One is Exotic, Two is a Threat., a semi-orchestral misfit song cycle, was released October 5, 2016.

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Mark Montgomery French plays “bristle-pop”.

What’s bristle-pop? Thick chocolatey melodies over salted caramel grooves, sprinkled with cinnamon strings topped with nutmeg vocal harmonies. One is Exotic, Two is a Threat. is bristle-pop’s pure chewing satisfaction.

As a 6-foot-9 Black dude who’d rather play Pet Sounds than play basketball, I physically and culturally fit nowhere comfortably. (Even in First Class.) These songs are my joyous armored defiance against the isolation, grief and paranoia of being permanently out of alignment. And it’s got a beat and you can dance to it!

Co-produced by Bay Area producer/arranger Sage Baggott at The Compound, One is Exotic, Two is a Threat. explores the beauty found within self-sabotage, self-awareness, and self-preservation. Armed with fuzzy guitars and fizzy synths I composed all five tunes and performed nearly all the vocals and instruments, save for drumming from producer Baggott, an appearance from the 25-piece Awesöme Orchestra, and my kids on horns since I asked nicely.

One of the few bands in the early ’90s Bay Area scene with both a Black guitarist and front man, the music of my group Endangered Species turned confounded audiences into rabid ones, combining influences from Jane’s Addiction to James Brown to King Crimson. After three recordings (including one with renowned guitarist Charlie Hunter) and a hundred live shows, we  took a hiatus, reuniting in 2013 to play our first live show in 20 years. Much of the interim has been spent expanding my musical projects into multimedia ones. I wrote, directed and scored the jazz-noir short film mantis in 2004 which played festivals nationwide. I began the blog Uppity Music in 2005, and quickly gained a wide readership for my reflections on unsung Black departure albums and the covert racism of rock criticism. Always interested in the intersections of art and technology, I moved into full-time work as an Interactive Creative Director in the late ’90s and continued to compose, winning a Silver Addy for Composition in 2006 for scoring the Kaiser Permanente Zen Garden Desktop Widget.

As the father of three boys, I represent the real life of many musicians today – someone who makes music in busy times and in crazy times, but who never stops making it. I’m able to compose on the go (thanks Apple), making music in the midst of a life lived, and One is Exotic, Two is a Threat. reflects the eclecticism and intelligence that have long been hallmarks of my work. Where funk meets prog, where field hollers meets modern classical, where sounds collide and are reinvented amidst the turns of existence: those are liminal spaces, in-between spaces where very few musicians go, at least not comfortably. Have a listen.




Band Members

Mark Montgomery French:
composer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, beatmaker

Other Info

Latest Release:
Questionable Behavior (single)
out September 7, 2016
Theme from a Pirate Film (single)
out September 7, 2016
One is Exotic, Two is a Threat. (EP)
out October 5, 2016
on CircusTall Recordings

Record label website:

Original music?
Hells yes


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Watch “Questionable Behaviour”

Watch “Theme from a Pirate Film”


Photos and Album Art


tap for hi-res versions

photography: Liz Morgan