Gympie man taking Aussie country music global
"I STARTED out playing country music on the radio and now I've kinda come full circle,” said YouTube program producer Mark Piepers at his Glastonbury property.
Not only does Mark produce his show, Out in the Country, but he scripts it, shoots it and stars in it.
"I had a friend who is a teacher tell me his students guessed that a crew of around 10 people had put my show together. But it's just me,” he said.
A former photojournalist, radio announcer and TV cameraman, Mr Piepers says he's been waiting 40 years to do what he does, which combines all the unique skills he has honed over the years.
Moving on from working in news and current affairs in Sydney, a job he describes as "soul-destroying”, has been the best move for him because now he gets to do something which he loves and invigorates him - spending each day producing his polished product.
I've got about 13 episodes in the can and I've done over a hundred interviews,” he said.
The 30-minute show is gaining popularity and the feedback Mr Piepers has received from fans has been glowingly positive, with people from as far afield as Switzerland and the US embracing the uniquely Australian country music program.
Each show features four or five country music performances (usually original songs), an interview and a main story, and with episode 11 released just Friday, the subscriber base is steadily growing.
"I had people in Melbourne telling me they look forward to the show every Friday,” he said.
"I've got a variety of guests - rising stars to some of the legends of Australian country music.”
The set, an authentic, decked out ranger's cabin that used to be a forestry building, is set in landscaping that perfectly frames the Glastonbury hills and was initially set up as a place for Mr Piepers to shoot music videos with his company Marymark Media.
The spot oozes country charm and features an old and rusty EH Holden, which stars in a popular segment in the show, Over the Bonnet.
Doing these interviews is the best part of the shows for Mr Piepers.
"You find out amazing things from artists - things you wouldn't expect,” he said.
Mr Piepers releases a new episode each Friday at www.youtube.com/ channel/UCMLklJLEq1MjooiEAdzko7Q and can be found on Facebook and Instagram.