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I just pulled this out of storage realizing I somehow didn’t have the mp3s on my computer anymore while compiling a Gilead MP3 packet for a friend. Overwhelmed with memories…
I had first met Adam Tucker (Guitar) and Matt Masurka (Drums) when I was working at a record store in my hometown of Oshkosh, WI. They would stop in and we would talk about excellent music, I always looked forward to seeing them come through the door. At this time Adam had been working with future ASD vocalist Travis Gasper on a project called Uncle Bob Drives a Combine, another righteous band I eventually released a digital only comprehensive collection for, and A Scanner Darkly was not yet but a twinkle in someone’s eye.
Over the years I kept in touch with Adam as life took him to Minneapolis and took me to Toledo, OH for work at a music distributor. As most once and current employees of a music distributor can surely attest, if you don’t have a label going into working for one, you’re probably going to start one while you’re there. The resources, information and connections are too abundant to overlook. Thusly I started Gilead Media. After releasing a split between my drum machine band at the time & some friends from Missouri I looked on to what else to do next. Having been familiar with the blossoming A Scanner Darkly, I checked up on them. At this point I was under the impression that they were still a drum machine band, as they had started as an answer to Uncle Bob’s inactivity. I was surprised to find they had filled out their lineup with a human drummer, Mr. Matt Masurka, and William Leighton performing low-end frequencies by way of synth & noise soundscapes. I pressed play, unaware of what was about to happen to me.
Now, much like the plot of any PKD novel, this one seemingly insignificant action would soon transform my life in music, the way I viewed the amalgam of literature and sound, and the way I wanted to take the label in general. This one moment inarguably made Gilead Media what it is today. It laid the foundation.
As “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” began, I couldn’t believe what was happening. Four young men from Wisconsin/Minnesota, two of which I’d known for years, had managed to create something so stunningly incredible and groundbreaking that I was completely speechless. I immediately emailed Adam Tucker to begin talking to him about working with Gilead to release the ASD record.
Adam sent me the rest of the tracks and I consumed them in such a savage manner. Listening to “Valis” & “Pay for the Printer” only reaffirmed my initial feelings. These were songs that were the likes of which nothing I’d ever experienced.
From there on out the story is a whole lot of typical release business, audio master, staying up until 5 am fixing art to make sure it met the templates etc. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if I had tried.
The ASD s/t CDEP was generally well accepted by people all across the more progressive metal scene. Decibel gave it a decent review, which was amazing for me at the time having only just started the label, and a number of other web/print zines gave the band some attention.
With all of this excitement you can imagine how unbelievably crushed I was when I was told the band would be no longer. After spending some time on a mini-weekend tour with them, getting to know and love them all as great friends, this was like hearing someone had died. My love for them as individuals and as a concise group of collaborating artists was beyond words. I was smitten like a child first falling in love, and heartbroken just the same in the end. So it goes.
Adam Tucker now co-owns Signaturetone Recording in Minneapolis (http://signaturetonerecording.com/) and masters most of my releases for vinyl or otherwise. He also plays in a number of musical projects, chiefly among them the wonderful NOBOT – http://www.myspace.com/nobot.
Matt Masurka started NOBOT with Adam and has moved onto doing his own electronic music under the name Gigamesh – http://www.myspace.com/gmeshmusic
The last time I spoke with Travis he was on his way to New Zealand to complete his masters and experience a new part of the world. I am jealous.
William Leighton and I have not spoken in quite some time, and quite frankly I have no idea what he is upto. But I miss him just the same and hope he is well.
Also, Post-script note: They started this band long before the movie was in production. Read a book.