|Biografia : Theocracy|
|In his own words.....
For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with music. My parents have told me stories of how I would constantly reach up to the stereo and ask them to turn on the music when I was barely old enough to talk. Both sides of my family are very musical, so I was blessed with a natural ear for music and was constantly surrounded by it. I started singing in church at a very young age, so I always had lots of practice, and the constant sounds of Southern Gospel around the household allowed me to develop a strong sense of the way harmony works and the way chords are built.
As I grew older, I started to find my own musical path and generally wanted nothing to do with what the currently ÂhipÂ musical trends were. While I watched my peers in junior high and high school embrace each Ânext big thingÂ with open arms, I was increasingly drawn to heavier, guitar-based music. When I discovered more progressive bands like Queensryche, I knew I had found my musical home. The musicianship was so far above anything heard on the radio, and I loved the energy, the powerful instrumentation, the deeper subject matter, and the emphasis on strong melodies.
I started writing my own lyrics sometime in junior high, and eventually decided that it would be nice to be able to write actual songs. Therefore, I got my dad's old acoustic guitar and a chord book, and decided to teach myself how to play. Before long I was churning out simple little songs left and right and recording primitive demos, and I eventually got an electric guitar. After high school, I started jamming with a friend of mine who played bass. I handled guitar and vocal duties, and we played with various drummers here and there when possible. We knew that we wanted it to be a Christian band, and I loved the idea of mixing powerful music with the positive message of the gospel of Christ. And thus Theocracy was born.
As the years went by, I wrote a lot of songs and learned more and more about the recording process as I demoed the tracks I'd written. Never having been in a large professional studio, I learned everything through trial and error (and advice from those with experience). As my knowledge and skills grew, so did my collection of recording equipment; it didn't take long for me to outgrow what I was using and need to upgrade.
By the beginning of 2002, I had built a decent recording studio at home. Also by this time, most of the other people I'd played with had either moved away to go to college or had gotten jobs in other cities, so Theocracy had become solely my project (although I still jammed with other people from time to time). I spent the second half of 2002 writing songs, and with my studio ready to roll I decided it was time to record a high-quality, full-length album to shop to labels and try to get myself a record deal. I was 24 years old, and I felt like I had a killer collection of songs and that it was time for things to start happening.
Unbeknownst to me, however, the ball had already started rolling. I had recorded a 3-song EP the previous year, and had sent it to a few friends. These songs caught the attention of Deron Blevins, the reputable and well-respected owner of a company called MetalAges. Deron contacted me, and I told him about the new CD I was working on. He said that he would like to help me out with distribution, which was great news. As I made progress on the recordings, I let Deron hear a couple of new pieces of music, and he loved what he heard so much that he really got behind the project. Before long, he contacted me and told me that he had been wanting to expand MetalAges beyond a media/design/distribution company, and that he wanted to start his own record label. Not only that, but he loved my music so much that he wanted me to be his first signed artist. Needless to say, I was utterly humbled and blown away! Thus MetalAges Records was born, and Theocracy was the first signing. Since that time, the MetalAges Records roster has grown to include several more bands, and the release date for the debut Theocracy album is set for July/August 2003. I have been incredibly blessed to have someone with the same musical tastes, drive and heart for reaching out to people that I have behind me to help push this disc.
The recording process has been an incredibly daunting task, and an unbelievable amount of work. Not only have I had to play all the guitar, bass, drum and keyboard parts and sing every vocal line (which consisted of up to 70 layered voices for the choir sections), but I've also had to play the part of producer, recording and mixing engineer as well as handling all of the non-musical tasks like overseeing artwork, booklet, etcÂ
all while working a full-time job as a graphic designer. I am confident, however, that the end result will be worth all the work, stress and lost sleep, and it's wonderful to have total control over something I've put so much of myself into.
So what should one expect to hear when they put the debut Theocracy recording into their CD player? I prefer to call it epic Metal with occasional progressive tendencies. I definitely wouldn't call it straight-up prog, because although the great Prog Metal bands are influences, I'm not in the same galaxy as them in terms of instrumental prowess. But it's heavy, often fast, dynamic, and bombastic with crunchy guitar riffs, harmonized leads, powerful vocals, massive choirs, soaring orchestral arrangements, majestic, emotional melodies and deep lyrics. When you're dealing with the most powerful and serious subject matter in existence, you can't back it up with weak musicÂit just doesn't work, in my opinion. Some songs are more progressive and epic in nature (three tracks clock in at over 11 minutes each), while some are shorter, more straightforward bursts of energy. I'm heavily influenced by many Progressive and Power Metal bands, some classic Metal bands, and some film score composers. If I had to name one person as the all-time most prominent influence in my writing, I guess it would be Steve Harris from Iron Maiden; but there are SO many amazing musicians that have inspired, influenced and taught me in so many ways, that I could never list them all in order of importance. However, I don't think my music sounds exactly like any one band's because of the variety of my influences and my own unique approach. Each song on the record has its own personality and character, but they all have my style and 100% of my utmost effortÂmy music is my heart, and I think that comes across in the quality of the songwriting.
I have a long list of goals for the future, but I'm trying to take it one step at a time. I would eventually like for Theocracy to become a strong touring band with a solid lineup, because that has always been my plan. For now, however, I'm just trying to finish the CD and plan the release and the subsequent eventsÂ
the first of which is a well-deserved vacation! Thanks to YOU for taking the time to read this, and for supporting Theocracy; it means more to me than you could ever know!