Strangefates is a UK band originally from Mirfield West Yorkshire. They perform original, instrumental compositions using guitars, drums and a big effect knob. In the seventies, Dave and Rob Szczerba started making experimental multilayered recordings with old tape recorders. With no money for real instruments Dave built a sound generator out of electronic parts and started to loop synthetic sounds together. With help from their friend Cosmo Hodgson who had just bought a drum kit for his birthday they formed a band. Rob's tapes were running during Cosmo's first attempts at dramatic solos, and before he knew it the result was sampled and spliced into their first two albums. The band, initially known as The Galactic Quest gained some notoriety amongst the school sixth form common room, but Cosmo subsequently grew a moustache and left the band to join the police (literally). Dave searched for a drummer and met Robot Alien (AKA Boss 110a) in a shop "Music Ground" in Leeds and hired him on the spot. As expected, Robot Alien had amazing time-keeping skills, and turned up to every session provided a couple of 1.5 volt batteries were suitably inserted. This led to a series of 4-track recordings. The Szczerba brothers finally saved enough money to buy instruments. Rob's first guitar was ordered through a Kays Catalogue. It was supposed to be a Les Paul, but it had the neck bolted on back to front which made it only possible to play with his teeth. Meanwhile Dave ordered an Aria Guitar from Japan (because it was green).The only problem here was that it took six months to turn up. When it did he was practicing every night. As Rob was struggling to play diminished chords with his jaws, the brothers went back to Leeds and found (in a dusty corner of a shop in the Merrion Centre), a bass guitar which had been carved out of a single tree. They knew this because it still had signs of branches. Rob was the first musician known to be able to lift it up, but it sounded like a train derailing so he bought it instantly. The resulting sessions with drum machine The Robot Alien were tight and original and they relaunched themselves as the Molecules in 1980. A huge number of recordings were made up to 1990, and an album compilation of Double-B sides "All Beta no Alpha" was released. This demonstrated the range of soundscapes presented by the band and their recording techniques.
The band played with a number of drummers in the 80s, the first of which was computer programmer "Kev". Kev's drum kit was made out of paper and twigs. His playing style was unusual. He would follow every beat played on Dave's guitar which led to long compositions made up of unrelated sequenced riffs. The band had to learn to control their laughter whilst ridiculously heavy riffs were played in random sequences in between quaint tunes. After several months of performing in Youth Clubs, Kev left the band to tour the world, but he forgot to take his Paper Drum Kit. His friend Duncan found it, and with his muscles seemed pretty good at getting good beats out of it. Rob and Dave heard Duncan playing Kev's kit five miles away. They instantly hired him by buying him a Curry. Duncan toured Sheffield and Huddersfield with this legendry live outfit. One of the most noted gigs was at the Crypt in Huddersfield where the Molecules performed to pensioners who had been bussed in thinking they were going to see a musical spectacular with Frank Ifield. The band played support to a ukelele player and a whole team of people from Care in the Community. This peak of their live career was captured on video and can be found at the strangefates website. Duncan left the band to engineer for a number of famous bands including Tin Machine, Marrillion, and The James Last Orchestra. Another drummer Darryl was discovered in Kevs house. Darryl could only play one beat, although it was arguably good. He left under mysterious circumstances then he suddenly appeared at rehearsals a few weeks later with a couple of teeth missing. The band chose to break up before they lost their teeth too. Darryl was replaced with drummer Mike. He was very enthusiastic and liked to hit his drums very load. Unfortunately he used all his energy in two hits. He swam 400 lengths every day to build up his stamina, but couldn't play to a beat longer than 5 seconds. However, Rob and Dave discovered that Mike could play drum fills in time, so all compositions during this period consisted of nothing but drum rolls. Some of these tracks are available on early Molecules albums.
Whilst the band was struggling to retain drummers, Rob decided to make an 8mm movie. They joined forces with medical student Craig Smith and Rob's friend Johnny Nightingale, to produce a silent movie Captain Amazon. Johnny Nightingale, an Actor from Barnsley supported the molecules in their cult film Captain Amazon, performing as a hard mum with muscles. His incredible powerful presence in this silent film inspired the band to give Johnny the role of lead vocalist. His silent vocals were an instant success, with the added advantage that they could not afford a microphone. Johnny went on to patent many inventions including a sponge tuning fork and the extra large pint glass. He perfected his silent singing to the extent where he learnt how to stop breathing for the entire length of the live set. He left the band temporarily to tour Australian bars, became a world renowned traffic light engineer, and built his own boat to sail round the world. Some of his adventures are chronicled on the internet. The Szczerba brothers, Johnny, and The Robot Alien remain consistent members of the Molecules, and Drummer And.D from Dave's Welsh rock band Bouski has joined them for recordings over the last ten years. The band now uses the name Strangefates across social networking, and has enjoyed several years of album releases and performances through virtual world platforms and internet radio. Their back catalogue continues to be steadily released on the internet.