or do not. There is no 'try'" George
it all began...
the current 100 Bullets Back line up only took to the stage in June
2005, the origins of the band date back to 1994, when a new intake
of faces appeared at The Henry Box School, Witney, Oxon.
many of his friends, Noel Pearson went into the 6th Form as an excuse
to dodge the real world for another few years and hopefully then
move onto university further down the line. Free periods and the
thought of improving '60 seconds footie' skills were about all on
his mind. On his first day however, he, like his schoolmates, was
greeted by a new face in the school yard.
briefcase tucked under his arm, sporting a thin pencil line moustache,
buff side parting and wearing the finest suit M&S could tailor at
the time, David Alexander Clayton from Carterton announced himself
to his new classmates. Having recently moved down from Scotland,
David quickly found himself at home in the lazy atmosphere of the
6th Form block!
friendship was quickly struck up between the two, based on sport,
growing up and of course an increasing interest in music. With the
new wave of 'Brit Pop' sweeping the airwaves at the time (Noel Blur
- David Oasis), the two formed their first band with friend James
Wood. James, whose father had played in a covers band for years,
already played the guitar and encouraged David to do likewise. The
Hairy Palmers were born and would practice covers by The Beatles,
Oasis and other artists of the day. The shambolic outfit never performed
in public and disbanded when university beckoned after two years.
Noel and David went to Staffordshire University where sport became
a major part of both their lives as well as an increasing amount
of socialising. With Noel taking up the guitar, the amount of song
writing stepped up for both and a number of songs were written under
the pair's guise of Cider and Black. The two performed an acoustic
set live at Christmas 1998 at The Dorris Watts Centre, Carterton,
Oxon. A set containing mainly covers was most noticeable for the
debut of two originals, "Mrs Jones" and "Wallhead".
finishing university, the two changed their name briefly to Potatoman
and then to Atticus. Atticus performed live in January 2000 in their
converted studio to an invited audience. This set consisted entirely
of originals and saw David's debut performance on the bass and Noel's
on the electric guitar.
two spent the next couple of years working and travelling. They
met up again in May 2001 in Sydney, Australia. David had been performing
at a local open mic night, 'Green Jam', over the previous weeks
and with Noel's arrival, both performed a couple of acoustic sets
for the first time together in a year and a half.
June 2002, Noel returned from travelling and with David raring to
go, set about forming a "proper" band. With Noel on guitar and vocals
and David on the bass and vocals, a drummer was the missing piece
of the cake the two had always needed.
their time away, David's brother, Martyn, had finished his time
at drama college and had bought himself a drum set and was playing
in a band with some of his classmates. The 'skate rock' covers outfit
practised in the same converted studio as had been used by Atticus.
Martyn, Meat, Maximus or Del (you choose!), was quickly snapped
up and the cake was nearly completed.
the three practiced for six months a bunch of older original songs
as well as a number of new ones with an aim of playing live before
the year was out. A name was still required and with a few ideas
being put forward, Martyn came up with a seemingly random suggestion
after yet another heated confrontation. Unusually, all three agreed
on the proposal and an embryonic 100 Bullets Back began it's life.
three piece played four gigs together and although were well received,
soon realised the sound lacked a "certain something". With the onset
of having to record a demo nearing, the band set about their search
for a keyboard player and soon came across old school friend Andrea
Johnston. Andi was a classically trained pianist and violinist and
after the success of her "trial" during the recording of the demo
(Significant Silence EP), Andi joined the band full time and the
new look 100 Bullets Back was born.
band played a number of gigs throughout the first half of 2003 including
first appearances in London and Oxford. A new demo, "The Violence
EP", was recorded in July at Shonk Studios, Bicester and showcased
a new electro heavy sound the band were quickly moving towards.
Another couple of gigs followed, but all was not hunky dory in the
camp as Martyn was growing apart from the band and decided to call
it a day in July (musical differences/lack of drive blah blah).
Metal was Martyn's passion and this was anything but!
new drummer was needed and luckily after only a couple of weeks
searching, Helen Stevenson-Miller was "discovered" in the wilderness
wastelands of Carterton.
had previously been playing in a covers band "Ruby Red" and following
their split had been looking for a new project. Helen fitted in
nicely and following only two weeks practice, played her first gig
with the band at Bar Oz on the eve of the Reading Festival. The
gig turned out to be noticeable for the appearance of a certain
Mr. Sid Siddle in the audience. Sid was well known in the Reading
music scene and put records out on his Velocity Recordings ladel,
best known for their success in the late 90's with the female fronted
punk rock band Sugarcome. A friendship was struck and talks began...
number of gigs followed throughout the remainder of the year and
another venture into the studio to record what would become the
band's first single "The Lost Souls Club" (and the 'lost' live favourite
"Antibiotic"). Although things generally seemed to be
cool, internal cracks were again beginning to show themselves in
the line up (shown in reduced line up appearances).
January, David and Noel again worked with John Halliday to record
new track "I KnOw" for the fourth Velocity Recordings compilation
album release, the near legendary "Abuse Your Friends". Two local
shows followed including the band's biggest gig to date (supporting
Dogs Die In Hot Cars and The Zutons). This however was to be Andi's
last gig as she had previously decided to leave the band. Instead
of replacing her, it was decided to play as a three piece and play
all keyboard/synths live via a backing track. This was not the end
of the upheavals though. Before the next gig Helen also decided
to leave due to work commitments. In the space of two weeks four
were now two!
gigs booked and the upcoming release of their first single, another
drummer was needed quick sharp. A work colleague of David's, Scott
McFadzean, had seen the band live recently and jumped at the opportunity
to join on the pots and pans. Scott, who hailed from Glasgow, was
a metal fan by trade but quickly adjusted and picked up the electro
heavy dance beats the two were now after.
April 2004, the band's debut single "The Lost Souls Club/Violence"
was released as a limited edition 7" on Velocity Recordings.
The positive reviews and interest the record received were a pleasant
surprise for the band who had only initially recorded the track
as a demo! The single was play listed on America's KROC for 2 months
and also saw airtime on London's XFM.
played with the band into the summer of 2004 (including a support
slot with Bloc Party) but although his addition was valued and productive,
differing musical tastes began to manifest themselves and it was
decided to part company before things got too far. The vacant drumming
position was filled by the experienced John Halliday, best known
for his previous adventures as the drummer of The Candyskins.
saw the release of the band's second single "I KnOw/Bangkok".
The more electro pop offering again drew favourable reviews and
airplay across Europe. The band also featured on a couple of compilation
albums put out on indie labels during the summer. The profile of
the band was beginning to grow thanks to the records released and
the energy of live shows being performed.
Xmas, Noel and David decided it was finally time dig in and record
the album they had always wanted. After demoing a number of new
songs over the previous few months, they set about turning hese
into a more polished package. During this recording period, as the
pair's love of electro and dance beats began to really show themselves,
David moved over to the keyboards/synthesisers full time. This left
a vacant position on the bass which was quickly filled for the recording's
duration and a number of gigs in early 2005, by another ex-Candyskin,
Brett Gordon. Brett had recently set up a rap/hip hop outfit called
Acarin and was happy to help out on his old instrument of choice.
album, "Refute Fake Icons", was recorded in the first
half of 2005 and showcases the band's mix of electro, pop and dance
styles. The album is set for release on September 26th 2005 on Velocity
finished recording the album, it was mutulaly agreed to part company
with John and Brett. Although their input was appreciated, it was
decided easier to go their own ways before promo for the album began.
It was at this point (after hints from several people!) that after
working with so many different musicians in 100 Bullets Back, the
bright idea occured to actually peform as a 2 piece. With the change
in set up and more electro/dance nature of the songs, this was now
considered a possibility for the first time. The set up was tested
at the last two engagements the band had arranged before the summer
sun warmed our shores and the results were most positive. After
starting as a 2 piece, the circle was now complete!
is electro. This is pop. This is dance.This is where it starts...