In the absence of an official current biography your trusted webmaster e-mailed History Of Guns' Max Rael and asked him the story of his life. He replied, and after cutting out all the rubbish that wasn't about the guns (and some necessary editing) we have what follows:
"After A-levels we were supposed to take a year off and have a serious go at making the band (Apres V) work… Unfortunately half the band decided university was more important and the band was left in tatters and eventually collapsed.
A year or two later i was taking yet another year off before uni and i'd failed to find a new band and was working selling car parts for a Rover garage, drinking tonnes, taking whatever and heading nowhere when the bloke who worked behind the bar in my local pub started saying he'd heard i was this great keyboard player and he had an amazing new band called, 'Pre-Hate Machine' who happened to need a keyboard player... i was a bit scared not having played for a while but agreed to audition...
It turned out he was a pathological liar, a dreamer and a genius called Stagger Lee... there wasn't really any band... but he'd been lying to someone else called Del Alien who turned up to audition for the role of vocalist.
Stagger was still learning to play bass... and our first rehearsal/audition was utterly pathetic, we didn't even have the drum machine... We tried to put a few things together with just voice, keyboard and bass in Staggers bedroom without any success. Del suggested we should go to the pub for a few drinks to loosen up… A few pints at The Woolpack (Cheshunt) broke the ice... the three of us got on well, and by the time we drunkenly staggered back, ideas appeared to fall out of the sky... and thus began the pattern of combining band rehearsals with epic drinking sessions…
Next rehearsals i took got me old drum machine 'Malcolm' along... we had various people come and play guitar, Del changed the name to 'History Of Guns' and it started to take some kind of shape... due to the improvised nature of the songs it was quite hard to play any of the songs twice, but some early classics that stick in my mind are 'Slimelight' , 'Angel', 'No One Dies' and of course the song, 'History Of Guns'. How it worked was that someone would come up with a chord sequence, or a riff and we'd just jam with it for ages, often in the dark. We'd tape the rehearsals and mean to join parts together some day, but it never happened. We've still got drawers and drawers full of tapes.
But it was good times... shite job during the week, getting drunk most nights, then band rehearsal and lots of drinking and whatever else we could get our hands on at the weekend... some girls started hanging around us, and… well, things were good... we recorded a demo called, 'Reformation Day' at Discipline Studios in Tottenham with Malcolm the drum machine, Del singing, Stagger on the bass and me playing keyboard and guitar. On the strength of the demo we got a manager who was into us and was convinced he could 'break us' in Germany. Time passed...
Sadly good times never last forever and our manager turned out to be a wrong'un and did us for a grand... Del and Stagger started arguing whenever they met... i took out an enormous loan to pay off all my debts, get a car and a PC. We started tentatively recording tracks on the PC using an early version of Cubase. The end result was the Little Miss Suicide EP in 1999 and an aborted first album Enough Is Too Much (a few test pressings of which still exist)
Stagger sadly quit the band, and we couldn't really rehearse anymore with only two permanent members, so History Of Guns fizzled out for a while…
With a record contract never looking further away, i decided to try and get a 'proper' job and did an intensive computer programming course with a guaranteed work placement at the end of it... the work placement turned out to be at Sony Music. Great, i thought, get in through the back door... only it turned out the back door was very far away from the house… and i was working at a massive warehouse in Aylesbury and not where all the sexy stuff happens in London...
Crin from the underground extreme metal zine Godreah was a mate of Del's and he persuaded us to come out of hibernation to submit a song for the 4th volume of his No Holy Additives compilation series. After messing around with a sample of Del saying, ‘unkown terror’ from the earlier song 'Floods Back' we ended up with a new song, 'Reconstucting Terror'. We also revisited a few left-over ideas from the Stagger days that had never been finished and started some new ones, leading to the recording of the 'Disconnect EP' (also on a PC in a spare room in me mum’s house) which although we were really happy with it we didn't have any ideas of what to actually do with it... (or indeed any money) i left Sony when the contract ran out, and managed to get an almost reasonably paid job in London...
We finally managed to scrape enough money together to get 100 copies of the Disconnect EP pressed in 2002 and much to our surprise people actually liked it. We gave copies out to our friends and the rest quickly sold out thanks to word of mouth. Another pressing also sold out and it continues to steadily sell mainly via online retailers such as Music Non Stop.
Due to the amount of time it took to raise the cash for Disconnect, by the time it came out the follow-up The Mirror Pond EP had all ready been recorded, this time with a fantastic new bass player, Kevin Gerrish... but he went mental soon after we recorded it... and errrr... left... With the money we made from Disconnect and more scraping begging and borrowing, we got a substantially larger pressing of The Mirror Pond EP made up which came out last month (Jan '03) and initial press and sales have been very encouraging.
Fi and i were gonna get kicked out of my mum's house so we got a scary mortgage and bought a house in Hertford where Del also lives... (just north of London... 40 mins on a train from Liverpool St. or Kings X)
Having given up on our hopes of ever getting a proper band together we'd started messing around with some long dark atmospheric electronic tracks which gradually grew into the Flashes Of Light LP. We were about two thirds of the way through recording Flashes, when we managed to recruit a new bass player called The Goose... The Reverend picked up his guitar once more, and we took off to rehearsal studios and once again got into some long jamming and produced probably our most melodic work yet, titles included 'Death Of A Nation', 'Meat', Your Obedient Servants' and 'Grab At Hold'
We decided to keep the two projects separate and finished Flashes Of Light LP and managed to properly release it (it's on Amazon and everything!) in March 2004. On the whole it was really well received (see 'press' section) but there was confusion from some quarters because it was technically our debut album (in that it was the first one we actually managed to release) but it was a bit of a departure in that apart from the track Learning Curve, it didn't include any guitars.
By this time we'd also recorded about half of the other more guitar orientated project now given the title Apophenia )
In 2004 History Of Guns finally became whole. The Reverend got his first love out of storage and began hitting her with sticks. He always was one of the best drummers we'd ever heard... and angels smiled on us and coughed us up a shiny new guitarist in the lovely shape of Fester. We rehearsed a set made up of old and new material (though completely ignoring Flashes Of Light) and played a few live dates culminating in a wondrous, delirious set at the Hertford Marquee Club, which was filmed by independent film company Goat Films for the DVD release Twenty Seven Paces.
As ever with the guns a period of success is followed by a more shadowy time... Goose quit the band, people got busy, fell ill, had breakdowns, were stamped down by the corporate machine etc. but the band struggled on grabbing whatever time fate would allow us to complete the recording of our second album proper Apophenia.
It's now January 2005, and Apophenia is all recorded and mixed, and we're just in the tricky stage of trying to raise the finance for it. In other news, Goose has rejoined the band, and we've been in talks with promoters about putting on a short uk tour later in the year. Things are poised for greatness... it's in the hands of fate now
this biog originally created Feb '03... updated Jan '05
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