Scott is a musician, songwriter and producer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has been playing with President Gas since the late nineties. President Gas has released three albums "Star", "Sound on Sound" and "Perfect Circle". The band recently regrouped after Scott's return from the US and is busy working on album number four to be released late 2017.
Strange Idols was my sole focus while in Sydney. Playing together from 1990 through to 1996 in a couple of different configurations, first as a stripped down four piece and then a more elaborate affair involving sequencers and big production. This was the band that I really put my heart and soul into along with Kieren Colville, the other half of the band.
We had some early interest from Peter Dawkins (produced Mi-Sex, Dragon, Aussie Crawl and many more) who I'd met earlier in NZ when he did a brief stint here - he was about to sign Secret Egypt before he left for Australia again. Peter was setting up his new label and recording studio in Balmain and we did some recording there including a new take of "Hear my Prayer" a song he was particularly keen on. We tried a few different things with Peter including a female vocalist ( a fantastic singer Natalie Gillespie who went on to tour the world with Yothu Yindi) but unfortunately we didn't progress beyond that stage.
The next opportunity came through producer John Bee (Divinyls) and Rod "Tommo" Thomas (Triple M radio stalwart). They were putting together a new label "Radio Friendly Music" or RFM and, once again, were drawn by "Hear my Prayer". We started recording a bunch of songs (that eventually became "Live Forever") at nights at EMI 301. While we actually were signed to RFM the record never saw the light of day, or a record store shelf!"
About this time family commitments took me back to NZ and so the band went out to a studio in rural NSW and just recorded the songs as we'd been playing them live. It felt good to finally get something done in a short time that documented what the band was all about.
From 1988 to 1990 I was touting my songs around London. A typical naive kiwi I just turned up at record companies and tried to talk my way inside. It turned out I wasn't very good at this :( - so I tried another approach of sending tapes off to every company and rock star I could think of. Incredibly for such a shotgun tactic I got a call from Sting's personal assistant saying he liked my stuff and would talk to A&M (Sting's then record company). There followed a few rounds of selection by committee within A&M and ultimately being told they weren't going to proceed - it was worth a try.
About this time I also did some work with a guy called Bill Crighton (Crichton? If you're out there Bill let me know) a really great Scottish guy who played picking style like Albert Lee. "Skyscraper" was one of the songs we did together (it was his riff!).
Secret Egypt was my training ground, the first band that I sang out front for. Formed after the demise of Shadow Fax together with Pat and Peter McLaughlin we somehow found guitarist Paul Lee (President Gas) and later Tim Hyndman on keyboards. We played many gigs at all the Wellington venues of the time - Clyde Quay, Cricketers, Southern Cross, The Broderick, The Dell - but strangely did very few recordings as a band.
Tokyo - ah Tokyo...was the vehicle of Wellington heavy metal identity Stefan Lavington (last seen in London). Pat was playing for Tokyo while in Secret Egypt and they had recorded a single that was about to be released. I was invited to join the band on keyboards about this time as was Barry White who came in on bass. I'm credited on the album but I didn't play a note on it. To be honest the only reason I joined was because the singer Charles Schultz was so brilliant. he had an absolutely awesome voice. Singing backing vocals with him was a real highlight - I really learned how to sing from him.
We played all over the bottom of the North Island, we'd go away for weekends an play places like Hawera, Masterton and Napier and it was a real eye opener for me just how much HM audiences get off on a live band, especially in the entertainment starved provinces. The music was sometimes not really my thing but the live rock 'n' roll experience was fantastic!
Sadly Charlie passed away in Melbourne in the early 90's.
Long before the current infatuation with all things Lord of the Rings there was a Wellington band called Shadow Fax (in a cunning twist we made it two words). This was my first real band after being in various cover bands. Led by the charismatic and indefatigable Nick "Tich" Rowney, man about town. Our very first gig was playing to 4000 people at the Brown Trout festival outside of Dannevirke. Somehow Tich talked someone into letting us, complete unknowns, play the prime Saturday night slot. What a debut! (it was enough to make Julian Lewis, our guitarist, realise that he didn't want to play live any more).
We recorded a whole bunch of songs out at the old EMI studio in Petone and were all set to release our own record when Tich walked into Chelsea Records and again somehow convinced Jim Moss to take us on his brand new label, Jayrem Records. With new guitarist Malcolm Ansell We re-recorded the five best songs which were released as the "Shadow Fax" EP (JAY101 - we were the first release for Jayrem) in 1982. We released a single "Lighthearted" (probably the least representative song on the album but at the time we thought it was the most commercial - I've always wished we had released an edited version of "Whisky Bottle" which better showcased the band) which got to about number 25 or something. We even did a TVNZ sponsored video which was actually recorded on film in various locations around Wellington. It played on Radio with Pictures which used to be the only music video programme on TV, one hour per week!
About 1983 we recorded a follow up album "Life Underground" with Ian Morris (ex-Dudes, DD Smash) producing. We did a tour on the back of this album visiting just about every town in the North Island. We had lots of fun, lost lots of money and on our return I think everyone was a little disillusioned - and I had decided that I wanted to do something a little different - and the band kind of faltered.