- The Story So Far -
Being in an experimental frame of mind, I spent the year of 1985 working on an album with Mark Gouldthorpe, the vocalist from Artery. From the outset we had no set ideas of what we were going to record, but we knew we wanted to create something that would reveal hidden facets when listened to "in an altered state of mind."
Studio technology then was still primative by today's standards, which in a way was a good thing, because when you don't have a lot of toys to play with you learn to invent your own fun. We worked mostly in down time (late nights) at Input Recording Studio in Sheffield, where I approached using the studio equipment as an instrument in itself, to create soundscapes in which Mark's words could exist.
After working on this project for about ten months, both Mark and I were beginning to lose our grip on reality. I was heavy into lucid dreaming and astral projection at that time, and the line between the dream state and reality was becoming vague. Mark disappeared for several days (during which time I recorded the track "Hidden For Days") and when he returned he said he'd suddenly found himself out in the middle of nowhere, with no idea how he'd got there.
The resulting album we named "Flight Commander Solitude and The Snake." I must confess the title referred to Mark and myself - Mark spent a lot of time on his own, and I used to have this cool snakeskin shirt, so a mate of mine started calling me "snake" as a joke.
It was only a couple of months after releasing this album that I got a call from Wayne Hussey, inviting me to audition as guitarist in (what would eventually become) The Mission, so that seemed to be the end of the Flight Commander project. However, some years later, after quitting The Mission, I had the itch to revisit this headspace, and did so in 1992 by getting back with Mark and recording "A Room Full Of This" at my home studio in Sheffield.
"Room Full" received a mixed reaction - some critics hailing it as a masterpiece, and others hating it. The fact is, this album happened at a bad time, as Britain in 1993 was immersed in the house music explosion - which I most certainly was not. We followed up with a 4 track CD single which included 3 new pieces, which to date was the last Flight Commander release. I hope you'll check out the audio clips on the next couple of pages, and feel free to download full song MP3s from my locker.
There is some talk of compiling the best moments from The Flight Commander's recordings. Possibly in 2009.