This project had its beginnings while I was playing in another band, the eccelctic Tony Island based out of Boston MA. While we were working on a Tony Island CD in 2000, I started to do The OWL WATCHES simultaneously. Inspired by working with a multi-faceted artist like Tony gave me tons of impetus to try something of my own, which he wholeheartedly supported and encouraged. I gradually constructed it at my home studio in Boston MA where I lived at the time and finally unleashed it in May of 2002 in the form of "Tales From The Inflatable Forest". It was me (Phil McKenna) playing ALL instruments (guitars, bass, keyboards/fake Mellotron, drum programs) and wrote the whole thing. I self-produced it and sold/marketed it online. Even though doing everything on it, I am primarily a guitarist who doubles on bass. I would consider my strongest influences to be Miles Davis, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and composers like Ravel, Stravinsky and Debussy. My musical background included private lessons and being self-taught (or rather a self-inflicted musical miseducation so to speak). I played with fusion, art-rock, folk, blues and rock & roll bands of varying descriptions. When home recording technology became more and more sophisticated and affordable, I felt a clear calling to seek out my muse. I do however plan to put together a live Owl Watches band, still, nothing beats playing in front of an audience.
After having relocated to Atlanta GA in early 2004 and re-equipped myself for digital music production, I set to work on my new disc, "Ghost Of A Train", this time utilizing the contributions of live drummers and others. I sought to convey a loose theme/vibe of the long-gone steam age and the remnants it left behind. Jan 3, 2006 was the day I longed for, when the project was offically complete.
Phil McKenna: Electric 6 & 12-string Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Mellotron, Environmental Sounds, Treatments, Misc Percussion, Drum Programs on "The Mysterious Old Roundhouse" and "Requiem For An Engineer"
Jim Dunn: Drums on "Ghost of A Train"
Eric Aguiar: Drums on "Dust Remembers"
Dave Condra: Mellotron flutes on "The Mysterious Old Roundhouse"
"Ghost Of A Train" is a dark, fiery and complex disc of instrumetal progressive rock best experienced at night with candles and your favorite pair of headphones or good speakers.