Archive for June 18th, 2009
The Center for Inquiry has just announced a new campaign to help defend free speech–particularly speech critical of religion–from suppression. The Campaign for Free Expression includes a website designed as a forum to report and monitor censorship. The site also publishes the kind of religious (and political) criticism likely to find itself censored.
It’s time for some Gratuitous Self-Promotion! Yes, in lieu of having anything interesting to say about anything interesting, I shall talk about myself.
Apart from being an interweb crank and having been described, just the once, as an “in-your-face modern atheist” (whatever that’s meant to mean – I’ll take it as a compliment though, because people say that kind of thing about Richard Dawkins and I think he’s a top bloke), I’m also a musician. Specifically a singer and lyricist.
Since the age of 15 I’ve been in numerous bands, starting off playing metal & hard rock covers in a high school band named Mothdust in 1992 and joining my first original act, Roger The Band, in 1996. In 2000 Mothdust reformed and we started writing our own stuff. Having those two bands on the go was awesome if a little challenging, especially considering I was doing some acting with a small Adelaide theatre company at the time. In 2001 both bands released six-track EPs within a month of each other and it was a tiny thrill seeing both records in the local Adelaide charts! Both bands managed to attract a small but loyal following and many, many great times were had.
Eventually though, Roger The Band gradually started falling apart, as bands sometimes simply do after six years. I decided to move to Melbourne with the members of Mothdust in 2003, to see if we could make a go of it in Australia’s rock city. This also was not to be though, with one member going back to Adelaide after nine months and another getting married and buggering off to Manchester with his new bride six months later. After the final member and his wife returned to Adelaide to spawn, my lady Jo and I were left alone. I thought I’d be happy just strumming my guitar and writing electronic music on my computer for my own amusement, but I really missed collaborating with other musicians and playing really loud music, so I started looking online for Melbourne musos who were at a similarly loose end. Long story short: after many woeful demos I found a highly motivated and creative guitarist (Jiz) and drummer (Mike) who had been writing and performing together for a couple of years. We hit it off instantly, shared many of the same musical inspirations and attitudes and starting writing straight away. Eventually we found a bass player (Lachie) to round out the quartet (no mean feat – good bassists who aren’t in bands are hard to find in Melbourne) and Jiz named the band From The Ashes. This was 2005.
Last month From The Ashes released our debut independent album entitled Incendiary. We’re launching the record officially on July 31 at Melbourne’s famous Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda. DI’s own Mike Pulcinella is featuring one of our tracks, Said & Done, on his latest documentary, Raising The Bar 3 (which I’m looking forward to seeing and no, not just because our song’s on it – Mike makes a mean doco).
What do we sound like? I never know how to answer that question. We’re a rock band with diverse influences – everything from Elvis Costello, Paul Simon & The Police to The Mars Volta, Faith No More & Smashing Pumpkins. That doesn’t mean we sound anything like any of those artists, it just means we like musicians who put a lot of thought into their music, especially into constructing interesting melody & mood, and who aren’t afraid to be a little bit self-indulgent. Sometimes. That being said, we also just love bands that rock the f* out like Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters.
Now, I’ll do what I always do when asked what we sound like: invite the questioner to have a listen to the gear, decide for themselves what we we sound like and maybe leave some feedback. Here are some links containing preview tracks and other assorted rubbish:
Thanks for your attention & I hope you like the material.
Mike, Lachie, Jiz & Hank