It's been a long haul for the youngest member of Ahymsa, me. From a strict upbringing with old-fashioned parents where Christianity, Homosexuality, Immigration and Politics were the unrelenting focus of many dinner-table conversations, I generally didn't care about any of these issues. And by the time I was old enough to be interested I had other things to focus on. Acting, music, fame, power and women! And so far I have only been successful with one of those.
Like many young men I have been burned by love and betrayed by those closest to me. My struggle for power still rages on but I fear to no avail. I find myself acting only to escape this awful existence and right now I am about as famous as George Bush's orator.
Which leads me to perhaps my one ray of hope in this dismal cavern of doom and gloom. Music. In the grand scheme of things in my life I have only recently become interested in pursuing a musical life. During my early teens I was a fan of the pop music scene (God forgive me) until Alex introduced me to rock and metal in the form of Metallica, Nirvana, Offspring and such. My first album was in fact Metallica, or The Black Album. From then on my musical mind blossomed and by my 16th birthday my CD rack was full and I had my mind set on being a part of the music world.
Enter, my first Bass guitar, a Squire P-Bass, in red no less! I learned from any source I could, from my brother's bassists of previous bands to classmates at my school. From then on I learned from song to song, riff to riff. I had never had a single constructive music lesson in my life and yet here I was playing a musical instrument! I remember the New Year's eve after the Christmas on which I received said guitar, quite clearly in fact. A rather tall guitarist named Patrick asked to see it so I obliged and simply asked him, "Now how the hell do you work the damn thing?"
As you can imagine the list of Ex-girlfriends piled up after that as one by one they succumbed to my musical seduction! Most of them didn't even know the difference between a guitar and a bass guitar! That didn't matter one bit to me. I was happy at last.
Upon hearing of my new musical won-tons a young, and increasingly annoying guitarist named Ben Maydon asked me if I would play the bass for his "Band". This ensemble consisted of just the two of us! Surprisingly, we worked quite well in creating some of the most stupid, insipid and downright daft songs ever conceived. But alas, that did not last past the second jamming session for the simple reason, I just couldn't stand the mongoloid.
For two years I wandered the weird and trippy super-highway of musical ineptitude until the off-ramp of distant success presented itself one night while on the way to the pub with my brother. By that time Alex was already the drummer of Ahymsa and they had just axed their bassist for some reason or another (I believe the exact words of Graham Lewis were, "He walked all over our music"). So the opportunity to record some songs in the coming summer were presented to me. I had never even played in a proper band before and here I was being offered a chance to put my talent on tape. Naturally I was ecstatic and with a delighted expression on my face I replied "Sure, why not".
My first gig was at the "Hope and Anchor" in Islington. I was terrified, naturally, but with my prior stage experience I knew I could do it. Forty-five minutes later and I was part of the subtly and constantly misspelled legend that was Ahymsa. Patrick approached me afterwards, patted me on the back and said, "I remember a few years ago a young man with a shaven head pointing a bass-guitar at me and asking how he was supposed to work it. Now, look at you. You still don't know how to work it!" The joke was well taken.
Gig followed gig, flyers fluttered, the jamming sessions came and went and all the while I marvelled at Graham's ability to churn out song after song. Then I realised that he was unemployed most of the time so he had nothing else to do anyway. Still time went on. The hair got longer, the skirts got shorter, the audiences grew and no less than a "Gibson Epiphone Explorer in original Corina wood finish", an "Ashdown 300 watt Bass amplifier", one Album and an EP later, I was an entirely different creature. I was a part of something that, although I didn't quite understand, I appreciated. I had gone from a lonely bassist without morals, cause and focus, to one quarter of a seriously cool rock group.
I go on I know, but until Ahymsa, I had very little. I still have little except my bass and my music, but at least now I can share that with you.
Ex- Metallica bassist, now playing with Ozzy.
Hero of dry wit. Not known for his smiles.
The Big Bad Buddha
Speaks for itself really.
Quentin's favourite, star of Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill.
American cartoonist, creator of Finding Nemo.