In early 2008, Paul Mates (vocals, guitar), along with his best friend and brother in law, Andrei Prodan (bass), looked for a drummer to start a band with the purpose of doing something new. In the summer of that year, after finding Octav Capota (drums), they recorded their first song and used it to promote the band on the internet. With not having anyone to promote them, the boys began to look for opportunities to promote the themsleves and get exposure.
In October 2008, the band was finally complete when Claudiu Ursache (lead guitar) joined them and The Marker was established. Together they entered the “Global Battle of the Bands 2008” competition.
The Marker won the Romanian final after battleling it out with 30 other contestants and were given the honour of representing Romania in the Worldwide Final taking place in London later in the year.
While performing in London, they made such a good impression on the other contestants and organisors, that they received the award for “Best New Romanian Band 2008” from Glen Matlock, the Sex Pistols bassist, and competition judge.
Winning the “Romanian Global Battle of the Bands” brought them that much needed exposure, which in turn got the attention of a journalist named Alex Revenco, from The National Journal, a very well known Romanian newspaper. He recommended that they get in contact with the record label Roton.
In June 2009, the band and Roton came to an agreement and the boys were signed to the label. Because they were not a mainstream band in Romania, they continued to seek further opportunities for exposure and promotion which led to them entering The Golden Stag, an annual international music festival, the largest of it’s kind in eastern Europe, hosted and telivised by Romanian Television (TVR).
The national selection was very difficult, since there were more than 100 artists, but The Marker band qualified and was chosen to represent Romania at the festival that saw performing artists from 19 other countries.
In September 2009, at the festival’s finals the band was awarded the Silver Stag by an international panel of judges for coming second in the competition. This was the band’s highest award to date.
The Silver Stag brought a lot of media attention with many newspaper articoles describing The Marker as Romania’s “newest revelation”. Over a two and a half month period, the band found themselves on over 25 tv shows.
At the end of 2009, POPCORN magazine awarded The Marker 2nd place in Romania for breakthough acts.