Our music will rock your soul
Our metal will rock your core
Our show will blow your mind
Our metal will fucking rules!
Metal Madness M.S. 1990
Willy Bundorf and I managed to hold a band together for nearly a full year once we settled on the players. I like to think that the time we spend going to clubs was research, research to find the right guys to fit in with exactly what we wanted to achieve, guys so in tune with what we wanted that we didn’t have to find the right wave length because we were already there. But I think the truth was that while I might have been improving in some areas I was still drinking and smoking the majority of my money away and I needed money which meant I needed a band.
Although I was fairly sure Steve wasn’t going to kick me out for not paying my rent, forming a band and getting gigs became a necessity, if only to fed my habits. Willy wasn’t as bad as me, he liked beer which was cheaper by volume so his money seemed to go further but he also had a job and didn’t smoke. So while I mentioned that I like to think the band was formed through research, I also probably should admit, at least to myself, that it was also formed through a need for money.
I probably shouldn’t take too much away from those guys. Brett Samuels was a good guitar player, he was playing heavy and fast and his solos were blistering, but his vocals, while better than mine, were not great. And Quinn McFarlane was a good bassist that could keep the back bone of our songs together with Willy’s drumming. Within two months we were playing a mix of our own songs and covers in any set and by four months we managed to get those covers down to only a few for every shows. Some shows went longer than others and we were able to throw out requests but in a very short time we’d moved from a cover band to an original band and our pay cheques increased along with it, as did our gig roster.
The song writing some how got left up to myself and Willy, I think maybe that the other two guys always consider themselves hired help and therefore felt like their writing wouldn’t have been received well. Maybe that was a fault of mine and Willy’s I don’t know but with every band session eventually turning into bong sessions with a chaser of our favourite booze the blame could have lied elsewhere. Another problem could also have been that Willy and I considered ourselves full time musicians, I didn’t have another job and Willy quit his job to concentrate on the band. Brett and Quinn kept their day jobs, and I don’t blame them for that especially not when it gave them something to fall back on after they both decided to quit in the same week of December 1987.
Willy and I didn’t take Brett and Quinn’s departure too personally, we did have gigs lined up headed to Christmas and the New Year which was an inconvenience but the effects of alcohol and drugs kept us from blaming ourselves.
In 1988 we came back even bigger. We renamed ourselves Raging Storm, we pooled together what money we could and had a back drop for the stage created with lightning bolts and angry purple clouds and we even had the logo designed by a group of art student from the local secondary school. While we were reinventing ourselves we also hired Travis Dimetrio on guitars and Dennis Davis on bass, both were very competent players with full time aspirations and dreams of playing fast metal to larger crowds. The only downside was that neither of them wanted to sing. We briefly considered hiring a fifth person into the band, a dedicated singer, but in the end the other three guys talked me into doing it. I wont kid you I was nervous and I really did not see myself as good enough to be a vocalist, but it’s amazing how far the right kind of encouragement can get a person.
We started writing songs almost immediately and although the majority of the them were still penned by myself and Willy both Travis and Dennis chipped in an enormous amount. Although we would still play some of our previous songs on stage by the time our first gig arrived we had more than enough songs for a full set of originals.
It was a big risk taking a new band on stage to a pub full of pissed patrons and playing an entire set of new songs they hadn’t heard and I must admit until the second that I stood up there in stage with the microphone in front of me I was convinced it was a bad idea. But I can happily say it wasn’t because the crowd went off like a frog in a sock.
Raging Storm was a raging success from it’s first gig. Not the sort of success that rocketed us to stardom in five minutes but the sort of success that had the venue manager booking us for a month of Friday nights. It was the lucrative Saturday night gig that most bands were striving for but after one gig to get the Friday night slot was almost unheard of.
Our lyrical content still wasn’t great and I did struggle a little bit with some of the higher pitched metal screams but the speed and the ferocity in which we delivered the songs was a huge hit. Crowd didn’t so much care for perfect vocals and lyrics that told a wonderful story they were looking to loose some aggression after a long hard week at work and speed metal was the outlet they were after.
By the end of our four week stint we were offered another three months of Friday gigs.