I was born in Muharraq, Bahrain, in late 1981… ah fuck it, let’s cut to the chase. I started playing in bands aged about 12 after I got into Iron Maiden because I thought the posters were cool. When it became apparent that the music also rocked face, I got a guitar and started nerding away. My teenage years were a typically embarrassing catalogue of musical errors (I was seen to play a ska song of my own composition live on more than one occasion) but I did play in some bands that some other people cared about. First there was a school-based hardcore/emo outfit called Knee-jerk, which came to an unceremonious end in around 2000.
After that I got involved in a punk band called Million Dead. We were around for four years, from 2001-2005, and in that time we released 2 albums to ‘critical acclaim’ and ‘underground success’ (i.e. we weren’t exactly U2). Nevertheless, we made a lot of friends and played a lot of shows, wrote a lot of songs and learnt an awful lot about playing music and making a living out of it. In the end we decided it would be best to part ways before we fell out and while we still had a chance of being a wicked underground band that no one liked at the time a decade hence (see: Slint).
Whilst in Million Dead, I’d started to do some shows on my own – sometimes out of necessity, say for a radio session – and started rediscovering a lot of the music I grew up with, like the Counting Crows, Johnny Cash, Weezer and so on, as well as getting more and more into my country and folk. I started out with folky versions of MD songs and graduated to my own compositions (often bits and pieces that were a little too light for the band). When the ‘Deadz came to an end, it seemed like the logical thing to do to try my hand at playing these songs more publicly and more concertedly than before. I also didn’t want to stop touring, so I kept going.
So from October 2005 to the present I’ve been on the road pretty much constantly around the UK, and there’s no signs of slowing down yet. In January, I did a split 7″ vinyl with my good friends Reuben on Xtra Mile Recordings. The same label were good enough to release a 5-track CDEP in May 2006, entitled “Campfire Punkrock”. Lots of people seemed to like it, all the way from Steve Lamacq to my mate Dave. Oh, and it sold out its first pressing in 10 days. I rule. Touring continued as ever, in the UK and in Europe as well as the release of a split 12” vinyl with the legendary Jonah Matranga on Xtra Mile in the UK and on Welcome Home records in the US.
Throughout the summer I toured more and did a whole bunch of festivals, as well as writing songs for my album. This has now been recorded with the help of the lovely Dive Dive and the wheels are in motion for the album to come out in January with, loads more touring.
See you on the road.