I was living in Southeast London going to Audio Engineering College. While in pursuit of my degree. I was trying to embrace the British Culture for all I could. Most of the music I had grown up idolising came from the U.K. So it seemed the obvious place to be. What came as such an eye opening disappointment was the realisation that the tide those groups had rode in on had fully run it’s course by the time I arrived. It seemed there was very little left of the magic I had become so fond of. I felt that I had simply missed the boat.
Still young and ambitious, I wanted to explore everything I could to perfect the craft and skill of being a technically savvy Composer / Engineer. I was on my own and after several failed attempts at putting a band together. I gave up and decided to take it upon myself to do it all. Once that decision had been made. I began refining my work with a different mindset.
My project to graduate from school was a 4 song E.P. I only had a few months to act and it was in the very cold Winter of 1990 where I finally had a tracked project. It was mixed in a South London Studio called “Joe’s Garage”. I remember the studio being very busy and seemed to have a good healthy stream of clients rolling through. But in typical fashion. I remember being amused at how they would hold the DAT masters hostage on its clientele until the bill was paid. I guess musicians being musicians. They’re always broke, and skipping out on the bill was always an area of great concern.
The studio itself while not shabby, didn’t have the flashiest of gear. But prior to this I spent a fortune mixing the same project in a very posh studio with an SSL mixing console. It came out sounding very dull and lifeless. It was at Joe’s Garage where I first met Martin Hawkes who happened to be assigned my job. He was a really skinny bloke with a typical English way about him. My mother sometime later very perfectly described him as “A Hippie”. Of which he would later take as a compliment. Despite being different tupes of people with vastly different tastes in music. I was relieved when he took on the mixing because he was very good at tapping into what I was after.
It was always impressive to see how Martin was able to cover up my shortcomings and inexperience at the time. “The Diary of Winter” was finally born. Shortly thereafter, College had finished. There was no choice now but to return to the states and try my best to apply what I had learned abroad.
1991 – 1995 – Homeward Bound
1991-1995: Upon returning from England. I began acquiring music equipment and writing new material. I really needed to put some kind of a band together and teamed up with Craig Gilmore who was a guitar player from a previous band a few years earlier.
I was always trying to find a way to visually tell the stories and feelings within the song material. I took to photography and then started playing around with Super 8 films. A timid little music video was the next step and it was through this that Leigh Bailey responded to an ad that I placed in a local publication. From this, the music video for the song “Denial” was made. There was soon what I would regard as an accidental chemistry between the 3 of us. The songs really did come to life! Eventually a full length album was the result of a rather dis-jointed effort.
“Shades of Blue” was noticed in some underground music circles. It made its way into the hands of various DJ’s around the country. It was a very encouraging sign at the time. It perked the interest of Todd Durrant who was running a local record shop in Provo, Utah. He wanted to create a new record label for the Electronic music scene. Most of which was widely being ignored by the mainstream music industry. Sounded like a great thing to be a part of. We signed with his small synth pop label ‘A Different Drum’.
1996-2003- A period of many small tours and album releases.
1997: “My Mortal Beloved”
1999: “Ghosts I Have Been”
Faith Assembly went on hiatus when I was asked to be part of the 80’s group “Naked Eyes”. Me and long time friend, Jack Gilpatrick had the dubious task of bringing this band back from the dead. Note by note, beat by beat. His catalog was rebuilt from the ground up with no access to previous files or tapes.
The 2 of us worked at an incredible pace that I am very proud of! Sadly, this was a short lived venture. Circumstances surrounding this reformation were less than rewarding. To this day, me and Jack have never been given the credit or funds we were due… Promises, Promises… But like anything else in life that burns away at you. You just have to let it go…
Even though Naked Eyes had been taking a majority of my time. I still continued to write, and once I knew the door had closed. The other door that opened was a new album “Descent Into Madness”. It was nice to work on material again that felt had a purpose. I reconnected with what it was that made me embrace music to begin with. Sometimes it’s very east to forget.
There was a series of shows that we performed around the country. However, the music world was changing. The combination of the MP3 disaster and a dreadful economy was killing everything before our very eyes! The avenues available to us and others like us were no longer to be found. The playing field was almost completely annihilated!
Faith Assembly had surpassed it’s 20 year milestone. It seemed that there was enough material now to make a best of compilation CD. “Dreams From Arcadia” was released with a small sense of pride. Where things are headed now. Who’s to say. It’s unstable, transparent, and seemingly on life support when asked about the future. Still, I reminisce about the passion that began this journey. That still lives within… And nothing quite moves the soul like a new song that inspires you sing along.