Paxton describes a sexually ambiguous world of hustlers, dreamers, lovers, users, adventurers and survivors – self-made, self-destructive, complex characters a lot like people he's known and a little bit like himself. Born and raised in Indiana in the '70s, Paxton's wonder years quickly turned bleak when his mother died and he was orphaned at age 12. One of the few vivid memories of his childhood, and particularly, of his mother, revolved around music. Learning Dylan, Baez and Paul Simon songs from her, Paxton developed a passion for music and internalized a musical vocabulary which would later help him to create the powerful lyrical imagery and insistent melodies that characterize his songs. Dropping out of school by his mid-teens, Paxton hit the road with his mom's guitar and did his best to stay alive. A pennyless but maniacally self-reliant kid, he criss-crossed the country, taking whatever work a fake ID would get him – busing tables, working in a fish packing plant, cooking on a tall ship and the like. He catalogued his experiences in story-driven songs and played them in small clubs whenever he could charm his way in. Tiring of his lifestyle as a struggling nomad by the mid-80s, Paxton pursued a career that he imagined would satisfy both his artistic ambitions and his wanderlust – and put some money in his pocket. He hustled a dance scholarship and, after some training, eventually landed roles in regional theater productions and national touring companies of major shows. Paxton took off for Nashville during the country music boom of the early '90s, but there wasn't much of a market for the sort of black humor and urban sexual drama that colored his songs. After a year in Music City, he was broke and discouraged. His luck, however, was about to change. Returning to New York City, Paxton started singing with various bands and landed any number of no paying gigs at downtown dives. One night, arriving at the Bitter End both literally and figuratively, Paxton's raspy vocals and straightforward lyrics caught the attention of record industry legend Nat Weiss. Weiss, whose guidance propelled some of the greatest pop songwriters of the rock era – The Beatles, Cat Stevens, James Taylor – to superstardom, knew he was hearing a great storyteller. Upon re-activating Nemperor, Weiss signed Paxton to a multi-album deal, fulfilling a lifelong goal for the kid from Indiana. The Paxton Band came together the way all great bands do -- by accident. Following a chance meeting between singer/songwriter Paxton and bassist Randy Jordan, who was playing with ledgendary rockers "The Front", the unlikely pair hit it off and began cutting the kind of twisted power-pop songs that would form the nucleus of their debut CD. Through Jordan, Paxton was introduced to former "Pleasure Bomb" lead guitarist David Matos and rhythm guitarist Rick Kolster. Ex-"Xanax25" drummer Rob Cournoyer was recruited as a permanent member by Jordan and Kolster following several unsuccessful stints by a number of temporary timekeepers. Since the release of the band's debut CD on Nemperor Records, they have been touring across North America in support of artists including Stephen Stills, The Tubes, Da Da, and Dee Snider. The band won the 1999 GLAMA award for Best Band and has been recieving great reviews from both the major and underground press.
Have you performed in front of an audience?
We love to play live. We've played all over the country and never seem to grow tired of the lifestyle. The best moment was opening for Stephen Stills at The Fillmore. I remember thinking, "If only my mother could see me now on the same stage that The Doors, Janis Joplina and Bob Dylan have been on...". She would have been freaked...!
Your musical influences
We love Radiohead and bands like Live--although very little of their influences seem to creep into our music.
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