In 1994 I wanted a musical challenge and wanted to play metal. I was taking lessons from a school friend at the time and the band he was in Ragnorak had recently split up. The bassist was Martin Patterson who I also knew from school, and him and Dean Pettitt, one of the guitarists were looking to put another band together. I had seen Ragnork play and knew that they were much better musicians than me, but thought what better way to get better than to try and play with better people.
I bit the bullet and contacted Pat. He gave me a 4 x track demo and said "learn this, see you next week!". The tracks included sketches for Anubis and the introduction to Faces (of Fear), a song called "Whose Mind Is It Anyway?", and one other idea I can remember. I loved it, especially what would become Anubis, and I did my best to learn them. When we hooked up at Dean's house to have a jam through, what I though they were playing was nothing like what they were actually playing! Dean taught me the guitar parts that night and much to my surprise I was in.
We started writing in earnest with the help of a Boss DR-550 Dr Rhythm Drum Machine, and fairly quickly myself and Pat came up with Usurper. It was really exciting and started a writing partnership that lasted a good few years. Along side Usurper we wrote a song each for the demo. Pat writing No Longer the Dream, Dean coming up with Lost, and I wrote Eye of the Believer. Pat also
As would be come to be a reoccurring theme over the next twenty years of me being in bands we had trouble finding the right drummer. We were drawing a blank when I bumped into Dom in an amusement arcade in Gt Yarmouth. I had met Dom once before when I helped to record a band he was in at Purple Rain Studios. He was with his girlfriend who I had been to school with so it gave me an excuse to talk to him. He agreed to come an jam through the tracks with us and later agreed to come and do some recording. I can still remember playing through Eye of the Believer for the first time with the guys, not having ever played with a drummer or bass player before. I was a fantastic rush of excitement, one that I still get today when this start to come together.
We still didn't have a singer so roped in Grant who one of the others knew about through other local bands. We met once at his flat and played him the demos we had put down on 4-track, and he agreed to help. So we booked into Purple Rain Studio slightly more prepared than with Floodlund but not much. We had lyrics for our songs (only just, I finished mine the day before we recorded), but we had no idea what Grant was going to do with them. Fortunately he was great and nailed it first day! I remember feeling really intimidated by Dean's guitar playing at this point and really pushing myself on my solos to try and keep up. Listening back I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, it was certainly the best I could have done at the time, and the other guys really rocked.
Pat did the
We came out of this experience confident that we were on to something and set out finding a permanent singer and drummer...