The Chemistry Set is: Stephen Duncan singing and playing the guitar, Cory Helms singing and playing the bass, glockenspiel and keyboards, Joshua Hoover playing the drums and Meredith Knoll singing and playing keyboards.
In 2002, after years and years of working at an all-Tasmanian health food store, and reinventing the Vietnamese language, Stephen decided to take a stab at songwriting. So, he created The Chemistry Set and began his search for a horn section consisting of 9 physically fit musicians with handle bar moustaches. This never panned out, however, but he did happen to meet a few interesting people along the way. Fate threw several parties in which these individuals became acquainted with one another. In the rock world, these are often referred to as "Post Rock Show Social Enlightenment Sessions."
First there was Meri. There was just something about her. Maybe it was the fact that she played the dulcimer, and wore men's overalls. Or maybe it was the fact that she had every word from the Back to the Future trilogy memorized. They quickly became friends, and began writing songs about the songs they were writing. Their first collaborative effort, "I am writing a song, this is the way it goes" came quickly in one of their first sessions. They developed this a bit more, and the songs started to get a little more complicated and even had melodies.
Then Cory came along. Stephen and Meri didn't quite know what to think of him at first because he would wear only vests and talk about the extensive research he had done on rare insects such as the Nicaraguan nut beetle and the Zimbabwean cicada (who self combusts in order to fight off its enemies). Anyways, the more they talked, they found out Cory was also a musician and had spent several years playing the steel drums for a reggae cover band in Jamaica. The money soon ran out. Apparently, people can only take so many reggae versions of Shock the Monkey and Jailhouse Rock. So he came back to the states to become America's premier purveyor of authentic, custom designed fanny packs. He also continued trying to make a bassoon sound like Randy Travis. The trio was now onto something. However, with the instruments they had chosen, they would need a drummer.
That's where Josh came in. Cory knew Josh from a creative movement class they had taken together. He thought it was only fitting to suggest him, even though Josh had no musical experience whatsoever. Except for the countless nights he spent sitting in his room playing Midnight Oil songs on his mouth harp. Josh declined the invitation at first, as he had no desire to pursue musical endeavors. His main focus was perfecting his Christopher Walken impersonation and hitting the circuit as a stand-up wrestler. One day, he had an epiphany. He looked in the mirror and saw Gary Busey's reflection, and knew he had to change. He took Cory up on his offer, and moved forward with the decision to become a drummer. The musicians began playing together and found that there was good chemistry. They also enjoyed spending time with one another after practice by playing tetherball, newcomb, and pin the tail on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. They were now a band. Their music comes from a wide spectrum of influences, including the most commonly shared: David Bowie, the Beatles, the Flaming Lips, Led Zeppelin, and not Simple Plan, or any of those other bands that sound exactly alike or are just horrible. Stephen, Meri, Cory and Joe-hash each provide their own unique elements, which in turn has taken the group to another magical land not foreseen by Stephen's initial vision. Another common thread within the band is that all of their instruments are custom made from recycled unicorn bodies. Listen to what others have to say:
"Top Ten Best Local Release" - Dallas Observer
"Best Local Dallas Release" - Dallas Music Guide
"Boo-ya, I’m Tom Petty" - Tom Petty