Play loud! LOUDER!!
Hoo boy. It all started about 1977, when another kid into punk at my high school said I "looked like a bass player." Shawn Pike (guitar) and I played off and on together for a decade after that.
1978- The Sacred Version - Some would argue, but we maintain we were the first band to play in the notorious 7th St. Entry, opening for Curtiss A.
1979-1980- Bwana Devil - Bizarre pre-post-punk. Two bass players, with myself doubling on vocals.
1980-1983- Timbuktu - Originally me (Tim) and Buck Hazlett from Curtiss A on drums. Drums, bass, vocals. Tim, Buck, two. Quickly expanded from a cool idea that sounded awful to a real band when Shawn joined; then Ivan Daniel, from the same high school, to make up for my vocal deficiencies; and finally Sari Gordon on keyboards. We quickly learned to reinforce each others' strengths, cover each others' weaknesses, and put the band above all. We practiced EVERY day. We considered ourselves a Tribe. I still consider this to be the best (if second-most popular) band I was in -- we didn't sound or look like anybody else, and it was all good. Got to open for everyone from The Birthday Party to SPK to the Psychedelic Furs to Killing Joke. The critics at the time hated us -- often complaining that our singer used a fake English accent. He was, naturally, from England.
1983-1988? - Dark Carnival - The most popular, and in Minneapolis at least, most influential band I was in. Also musically interesting, in that we were essentially a power trio with two drummers -- one who could handle the flashiest metal solo and another who could lay down the rock-solid jungle rhythms. The main influences on us were pretty obvious visually -- The Damned and Bauhaus, including their B-movie theatricality. Then, of course, the Batcave bands -- which we were immediately accused of ripping off. In an amazing stroke of evil karma, we once again happened to have a member from England -- this time the drummer Rod Welles, who had once been Ollie Wisdom's roommate. So, uh, yeah. We opened for Specimen and Alien Sex Fiend and Sex Gang Children and Tones On Tail. We were what we were, and we weren't half bad at it. And we also took gigs like opening for Whitehouse or doing "Teen Night" at a Sho-Biz Pizza Place that took our fans to some new and interesting places. A complete and utter lack of business sense, or willingness to hand over the reins to someone who had some, was probably what finally sunk us -- with a brand-new 8-track EP mixed and ready to be mastered sitting in a can somewhere. (I would love a copy of that.)
89?-91? - Grind
The last hurrah. We were burnt out. We were broke. We all knew how to play, and we wanted to play what we wanted -- original '70s style punk and heavy metal. As much Aerosmith and Ted Nugent as the Dead Boys and Generation X. (And really, in retrospect, were they as different as we thought back then?) I was so fucked up I agreed to be the lead singer, something I still may face hate crime charges for. We played one motherfucking great gig in a sweaty basement full of crashing bodies. We did a guest set in the First Ave. Mainroom, and I ran across all the hands on stage I could, kicking over beers as I went. We played a final catastrophic Halloween ball in the Uptown Theater before the Rocky Horror Picture Show -- and it ended in chaos, back where it all began.
I played from the early Minneapolis punk scene (right behind the real pioneers, like the Suicide Commandos, Suburbs and NNB), through the proto-goth/industrial scene (known as "Darksider" here) of the mid-80s, wrapping it up when myself, just out of Dark Carnival (yeah, before ICP and around the same time as Niagara/Ron Asheton's band -- never name your band after a book), Ian Shillock and Jeff Winter of Heathen, Tom Lischmann of the Magnolias and the late Scotty Grier gave ourselves one last blast of pure, raw '70s punk in the form of a little band called Grind.
I like so many kinds of sound. Metal of all flavors, from dirge to thrash. Punk. Funk. Jazz. Blues. Son House and tons of other roots blues. Proto-industrial (TG, SPK, etc.) Hip Hop. Pop. Pop Hop. Hop On Pop Hop. HELMETICRONONONAUT! Experimental, esp. Harry Partch. Philip Glass. Ambient. Psychedelia -- especially Cream. And the rest of that crowd -- Lord Sutch, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, John Paul Jones, the Yardbirds old and new. The great American poets -- Woody, Hank, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan. And that sneaky Canadian, L. Cohen. NNB -- Never forget! The entire Minneapolis music scene. Dan Deacon!
Nice 'puter box w/X-Fi Xtreme Music; Reaper; Acid 7; Audacity; Creative Wave Studio; numerous VST FX & instruments, incl. Proteus VX; M-Audio Oxy8 v2 MIDI controller; Yamaha DX21 FM synth; super-cool Prodikeys MIDI/computer keyboard (regular keyboard with a set of piano keys under the wrist rest); GuitarPort w/PodFarm software including all but one expansion packs; Digitech RP90 effects pedal; 1 '80s Harmony MIJ Les Paul fake; 1 Drive Wildfire guitar (small but mighty); 1 Agile LP Goldtop copy with humbuckers instead of P-90s (my true love); 1 Washburn XB100 Bass; 1 Yamaha DD55C electronic drum kit/machine/MIDI trigger; a couple of cheap-ass Nady dynamic mics, 1 Behringer Eurorack UB802; one Behringer GMX212 V-Tone amp; one cheap 15W amp with nice overdrive sound; one very versatile Randall 30W amp; one Ampeg S-210 original blueface cab.
And OMFG! Not a single tube in my entire setup!