Mark Phillips is a prolific composer commercially, having written music for over 1,000 television series since 2002. The Black Operator came about from a desire to create music of a more pure sort, authentic, unique and in no way bound by commercial interests. The idea came about after Phillips ran into an old friend, the supremely talented drummer and uber mensch Josh Freese on a session for a client in 2009. Freese had recently left Nine Inch Nails and was going to be around for a while. The two recorded over a dozen songs over the next few years, but somewhat inevitably, progress slowed when Phillips became busy with TV work and Freese joined Weezer, Sublime and the Replacements all more or less at the same time. The project was thrown back into overdrive when Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta, Suicidal Tendencies) took over on drums and Mike Garson (David Bowie) got involved. “The rules completely changed” Phillips explains, “it wasn’t only about the sound, it was about the combinations of the sounds regardless of origin or genre and at that point, the whole thing became a firehose of creativity”. What resulted is a concept album that is equal parts personal narrative, science fiction, and deep exploration of the human condition. “If you could take all of the love and all of the pain in the world and hold it in your hand, thats what I’m going for”.