When I was a teenager, Mark Key was one of the slightly older and much cooler dudes of the Lubbock music scene. He graduated from Texas Tech in 2004 and worked at University Records in the late 90s. He booked shows at Einstein’s and Kitchen Club, two long-closed venues that tend to bring up nostalgic memories when mentioned among the right people.

Key took off to chase his dreams in Austin a decade ago, but he still comes out here from time to time to grace us with his presence. I called him up to talk about what it's been like since he left town and to hear about his different successes in the metal scene.

How has it worked out since you left us little people behind?

"When I left Lubbock 10 years ago, I had a plan: Move to Austin, start a new band from the ashes of The Dead See and start dominating the Austin music scene. But as things usually go, my path took a different turn. Currently, I’m in two bands where I get to write songs and play with great musicians. What more could a guy ask for?"

Mark describes his two projects below:

"The most established band of the two is BLK OPS. It's been around in some form since 2015. Neil Barrett and I from The Dead See joined up with Champ Morgan from Kill the ClientWe had a strong start playing Shows all over South Texas and even opening the Decibel Magazine fest with High on Fire and Abbath here in Austin. Then, in 2017, Neil moved back to Lubbock and we found Pete Murray to replace him on drums. Currently, we are working on our first full-length album which will come out on Roman Numeral records in early 2021."

BLK OPS

Click here to check out BLK OPS.

"Dining with Dogs is the other half of The Dead See lineup. I'm on guitar and vocals, Josh Paul on Drums and Marcos Morales on Bass. The three of us have been playing together since 2000 when we met in Lubbock. Our first album as Dining with Dogs came out this year, The Problem with Friends. We haven't been able to play any shows since March, but we have done a couple of live streams."

(Side note: I absolutely love the new Dining With Dogs album, and you can check it out for yourself here.)

Grey Muncy

In closing, Key told FMX: "While I can't say that I dominated the Austin music scene, I have at least left a stain on it. That's the kind of thing a kid from Lubbock would do."

We agree. Rock on, man.

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