So, I'm asked, what's a nice rock-type chap like you doing in some strange world of acoustic music with blends of Celtic, viking and renaissance sounds? A good question and sometimes I do wonder myself! Where did all this start?
I used to work in the aerospace industry. One day, looking round the office and seeing people sat at their computers gathering cobwebs and dust and complaining about "the company", I realised - without a change, that's my future! From that moment, I knew I had to move towards doing something I felt fulfilled with, as suicide seemed preferable to becoming like that!
When it comes to my music, at the heart of things is that I simply love guitar and guitar music. I guess, like many people, my musical journey really began whilst in my early teens. As a kid I used to love my dad’s old Beatles records and would play them endlessly and it was really through listening to their later material that I moved on to start listening to bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and a whole raft of other hard rock and heavy metal. For a young lad, the music was so powerful and intense…mesmerising and dark.
Until I was 18, I'd always lived around the Bronte moors in Yorkshire, I then went to study in London for three years and then, in my early 20s, relocated for a while to Somerset in the Southwest of the UK. Whilst there, I took lessons from the renowned guitarist and tutor Tom Toomey. At that time Tom had just released a Celtic folk album “Iron on Stone” with Simon Swarbrick, Roger Frost and John Burton and it was through him that I was introduced to some of the traditional pieces played on guitar. Many of these tunes shared the intricate melodies or ominous, dark flowing passages of the music I already enjoyed so it was easy to immerse myself in the music further. Mind you, I never laid down my love of rock; I may have been studying these intricacies with Tom but I was working with a terrific Black Sabbath tribute band at the time called Sabbra Cadabra. This was before the real boom in tribute bands but we were highly rated - I think we were listed in a "top ten tribute bands in the country" list published in the Daily Mail. Considering we were up against some of the top Abba and Led Zeppelin tribute bands...I'd say that was pretty good going!
Anyhow, the musical scene was set between those two influences and the "deal was sealed" by my general fascination with pre-Tudor history and I dare say a love of fantasy and horror fiction. Somehow, all these things came together to create my sound.