…me and Simon I think would be Summer school Hols 1983, then Frazer and us the year after, maybe Easter. Can’t recall exactly, but I remember us walking around in the sun playing our cassette on one of those old players.

Vocals ??
Keyboards ???

FRAZER ‘SCIT’ CRASKE joins as Bassist

Then Frazer joined and we borrowed a drum kit, set it up in my folks living room, and recorded a few more.

Songs included

Addicted Tripper,

I Still Love You,

The Wizard Of Id,

Overdose (me on my mum’s piano)

Blinded By A Nightmare,

Wish Upon A Star and,

later to be used in HYDRAPrince Of Heaven.

Ironically prob the weakest of them all.

All sadly lost / thrown out. The things you do when you’re young that you regret later eh.
I’ve got cassette demos of loads of stuff I wrote when I was 15-18 ish


“I was at school with Martin. He was was the year below me. I had always wanted to play bass; I’d never understood guitar, it baffled the hell out of me. One of my friends was a blues player in Nottingham, and he had a bass, so I used to go round to his house and he taught me a few things – but I didn’t have a band. I was in the sixth form, and these lads in the year below me, in the fifth year , had got this band together. I sort of knew Martin already , because we were both in the drama department. We were doing a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’; Martin was playing Friar Lawrence and I was the sound engineer. I heard about this band he was doing, and he was going to call himself Doom and have his friar costume on with the hood up onstage, and he was learning guitar. The other guitarist was Adam Firman [AKA ‘Grotch’], who wrote everything, and they were called Mystic Wytch; this was even before Hydra. The thing was , for some stupid reason, because we were in different years at school, we were all enemies, – even though we were all grebes [i.e ‘greebos’, or heavy metallers] and the whole school was already against us. It was ridiculous really, so this one summer I grabbed hold of them and said, ‘This is stupid, everyone is kicking us all the time, and we’re fighting each other, it’s pointless! Look, you’ve got a band going … you haven’t got a bass player, and I play bass – let’s get together?’ So Martin and Grotch came round, and we got this thing going… we had a girl singer to begin with, and her sister was on keyboards – but that lasted all of ten minutes, haha!

I was into Jethro Tull and Marillion and that sort of stuff… And then they got me into Venom. Adam brought around his copy of ‘Black Metal’, and it was one of those life-changing moments; that was it, I never looked back. It was the right time and place for me, and Venom went straight to the top of my favourite bands. Everyone says they can’t remember a time before Metallica – but I can. We only listened to Metallica because they were fans of Venom…

So, there we were , doing all these classic rock sort of songs, with a bit of an edge to them, and Adam was singing, who had a ‘normal’ singing voice. But then, at the end of a rehearsal – in my front room – me and Adam started playing ‘At War With Satan’, just because we knew it. And Martin didn’t know the guitar part, so he put his guitar down and grabbed the microphone and started to sing – and this voice came out! After we played to the end of the fade-out bit, I looked at Martin and said; ‘Just keep doing that; don’t do anything else, forget the guitar, you can sing…’ Because we’d never heard anything like it! And that was basically where it started.”

“Me and Martin had always had a real fascination with theatrical bands – we were mad Jethro Tull and Marillion Fans, hand in hand with the Venom and Metallica and stuff like that. I had Demon painted on the back of my jacket – because again that was another massive influence. Mercyful Fate blew us out of the water because that was incredible when we heard them. All the dark, mystical stuff, that’s what we were really into, which was why our favourite band was Hell – we used to go and see Hell all the time, because they were head and shoulders over everything else at the time.”

And how did you become a metal singer then?

By sheer accident. I used to be a guitar player, and one day we were having a rehearsal, but the singer was ill and he didn’t come. Just for a joke we were playing “At War With Satan” by Venom, we started the intro to the first part of that song, and just for a joke I started singing along. Then all the guys in the room just turned around and went, “Wow, you’ve got a horrible voice! You’re the new singer!” (everybody cracks) I couldn’t play guitar and sing at the same time, it was too complicated for me, so slowly I started playing guitar less and less. It was kind of by accident! I always wanted to be an actor before that, at school I was always very interested in acting and things like that.




1984 HYDRA