The HAARP Unit is currently a "one man" band. At the moment the only member is founder Brian Vaughan (myself).The concept of The HAARP Unit is a free-form idea which can include having a band with several members or remain a solo performance entity (my setup is a sound system with effects & playback devices with which I can do layered loops while performing live with several instruments and use pre-recorded backing tracks if needed- so if no-one is available for band members, I can still play good tunes with more than one part). I have done a string of live radio gigs since 1996 (an acoustic set on KKUP 91.5fm, an electronic guitar set on KKUP in November 1997- which was the first HAARP Unit gig, then on 4-30-98 I played a longer set on KFJC 89.7fm, nearly 90 minutes or so long consisting of both guitar & synth music, then another acoustic set on 10-25-98 at KKUP. My most recent radio concert was on 11-13-2002 on Larry Grant's show "'Til Morning Come", an all-nighter also on KKUP, where I played solo electric guitar with plenty of effects. The show got positive feedback from listeners). I also have recorded with Skip Spence, jammed and composed with Peter Lewis, also jammed with Bob Mosley (all from Moby Grape). All these sessions were in private- not in concert. I have been with 6 different bands from 1987 to 2016, & quite a few recording projects in studio. A little bit of my early history: I started playing guitar (my main instrument) seriously in June 1978 and never stopped. The passion of music kept burning in me. Becoming self-taught out of necessity, I developed my own style early in my practice. I spent the first 5 years of practice mostly studying music & woodshedding on my own, so I didn't do hardly any jamming with other people until the 5th year. From that time on I got positive feedback from other musicians who found out what I play during sessions and parties, etc. Since 1984 I've been involved with numerous jammers, projects of various types, many have resulted in some good recordings. Even if the recording isn't always good, the ideas are worth keeping and doing again. Some of my early influences on guitar include Tony Iommi, Dave Brock, Robert Fripp, Jimi Hendrix, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, a later influence is Michael Oldfield, & others. I've also experimented with making sounds on guitars that aren't readily recognized as guitar music, making it somewhat more "synth" like. The styles run through a very broad spectrum- from hard rock, fusion, space music, psychedelia, some jazz & blues influences, ambient, metal, progressive, folk, Celtic rock, East Indian and Middle Eastern influences in addition to Western classical influences. A short list of influences can't say enough- a lot of music I like goes back centuries ago, in addition to the modern stuff I love just as much. The HAARP Unit is my ongoing solo project. The tunes "Gothic Cathedral", "Shifting Sands Of Sumer Part 1", "Shifting Sands Of Sumer Part 3", & "Caravan To The Sacred City" on this page are from the 1998 concert on KFJC. In any studio project coming later I will likely play most instruments (but will be looking for a really good drummer who can dig what I'm into, so he or she can have this slot, so if that sounds like you, contact me!). I have a lot of material & archives & want to get a lot more done.
The HAARP UNIT sprang into existence in late 1997,when I performed a solo concert on KKUP 91.5 f.m. Sunday, Nov. 16th. 1997 on Don Campau's "No Pigeonholes" show, consisting of various pieces of music I had written from 1985 to Nov. 1997. The broadcast was recorded & I'm planning on using some of the pieces for a live compilation. I did another radio concert on 4-30-98 at KFJC 89.7 f.m. & recorded this too (Solomon Grundy's "At The Mountains Of Madness" show), it is the first release, The HAARP Unit "Live At The Mountains Of Madness", named after his show. All the tracks were tested online & have received positive responses, there is a growing fan base.
I have performed at open mics, showcases, did a 3 month residency with a friend at a club in 2003, & have done several outdoor festival gigs, along with several live radio performances on air. It can be the most rewarding experience (along with just playing music by itself). There are challenges & pitfalls with situations at times, but the experience from a good performance is always great, without equal.
Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Skip Spence, King Crimson, ELP, Rush, Steve Hillage, Genesis (old style mostly), Mike Oldfield, Ozric Tentacles, Brian Eno, Celtic, Middle Eastern & Asian musics (I'm a big fan of Indian music, also Persian, Arabic, & Kurdish), many rock bands from '65 to '78, & others, too many to mention on one page!
Guitars: 1979 Gibson S.G., 1980s B.C. Rich Mockingbird, 1991 Fender Squier Strat, GTX electric (it's like a Jackson Dinky Reverse), 1995 Charvel acoustic, 1999 B.C. Rich Warlock, late 1970s or early 1980s Aria "Mach I" Les Paul copy- pretty good guitar for a copy, & a 2013 Fender Stratocaster replica, a really nice one .
Amps: ART Attack Module stereo combo with 12AX7 pre-amp tube, Hafler T-2 rackmount guitar pre-amp, an old 1950s Supro small blues combo (all tube! A total tone monster!)- (gotta get this one cleaned up & going again!), Plus 2 Fender SK-20 Stereo Chorus amps, which I use for reinforcement in my guitar sound system, plus a Line 6 Flextone 2 (another real monster).
Synthesizers: A Korg MicroKorg, Kawai K-11, & a Roland Juno 60.
Bass: 1980s B.C. Rich Mockingbird bass (the Derek Smalls model), & an Epiphone bass.
Loopers ( Lexicon JamMan & Boss Loop Station), a whole list of other effects (Boss DD-5 Delay, Boss BF-2 Flanger, Boss Octave Pedal, Boss Noise Suppressor, Boss Enhancer, Boss Heavy Metal pedal, DOD digital delay, DOD stereo phaser, Snarling Dogs Black Dog distortion, Dunlop Crybaby wah pedal, Rolls volume pedal, J-Station guitar amp modeling & effects box, DigiTech RP-20 effects & guitar amp modeling floor unit, & a 1995 ART FXR Elite multi-effect rack unit, one of the more amazing multi- effect units, has great sound & combos of effects (200+!).
Mixers: Tascam digital 16 channel, Ross analog 12 channel, Behringer analog 6 channel.
2 drum machines (Yamaha & Alesis), one electronic drum kit (Yamaha 7-pad).
Digital workstations: (2) 2008 iMACs (hot rodded with later operating systems & the max amount of RAM -4GB- for these models, loaded with Logic 10), plus a Behringer UMC 1820 interface, 2002 iMAC G4 with flat LCD screen, loaded with MOTU DP-3.22 software, & a MOTU 828 interface, Roland VS-880- the original from 1996, it still works!
Microphones: 3 Shure SM-57, 2 SM-58, 2 AKG C-1000S
Headphones: AKG K-240, & AKG K72.
Things I have that were used more in the past, but still have & will use again sometime:
Tascam 424 cassette 4-track, Sony cassette 3-head mastering deck, Sony DAT machine, Sony double cassette tape deck.
That's pretty much it for now!
The album "Live At The Mountains Of Madness" by The HAARP Unit is now out in digital distribution, on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify & lots of other places. Check this "hyperfollow" address here to go the those sites:
"Live At The Mountains Of Madness"
Physical C.D. releases are still on the way.
A new album with both studio & live tracks is being worked on in the meantime.
Stay tuned, I'm working on getting more recordings done & released, much more to come.