In the beginning, Tim Closs was studying for a post-graduate diploma at Cambridge University under Stephen Hawking, in 'black holes and string theory'. He passed with distinction - a bright academic future beckoned. Instead, Tim chose to move to London and four years of drudgery on the Camden gig circuit.
"There's a romance to that whole scene, but also a soul-destroying monotony", he confesses. "I formed and dismantled loads of bands at the tail end of the Britpop era, met some lovely people, and got precisely nowhere. People kept telling me that the demos I was recording at home were far more interesting. Eventually I realised they were right".
Born from a couple of white-vinyl singles back in 2001, Tears In X-Ray Eyes quickly drew the attention of the music press. NME were moved to declare "lovelorn lyrical sharpness not heard since Morrissey took a sharp right-turn into irrelevancy".
Debut album 'Half-Life' (Test Tube Records, Feb 2002) secured a live session on Radio 1's 'Blue Room' show early that year. Fans were by now beginning to applaud Tim's growing lyrical personality. "Shield your tender skin/Don't rush headlong in/Don't read those teenage magazines", pleads the sweeping chorus of 'London's Most Unwanted Child'.
Initially live performances had been quirky solo affairs, accompanied by an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. Expanding the line-up with live drums and bass, Tim honed the band over the summer before recording 'My Strange Love' (Test Tube Records, August 2002), the band's first EP, and the first to be played by national radio. BBC 6Music were intrigued enough to host an interview and live session.
'Sleep Like A Dream' (Test Tube Records, April 2003) continued to win fans with the EP format, NME heralding it "a tiny pop empire". Xfm's Claire Sturgess got the band in for a live session, and added the EP to the station's playlist.
After a year of writing, recording, and quiet reflection, Tears In X-Ray Eyes have finally completed their long-awaited 2nd album. 'The Way We Live Now' is released on October 18th (Test Tube Records XRAYCD04).
Visit www.tearsinxrayeyes.com for more details.