On a hill somewhere in the Navaho desert The High Priest made a pact, as lightning seared the night sky. The pact was to make music, to be music, and to never give up. Since that time he has been in countless projects and several bands with a rotating cast of artists and musicians. Some projects have been better than others, but all of them had two things in common; moving music and the fresh, exotic flavour of innovation.

The members of these projects have travelled the world in search of music, love, and "a life less ordinary." In their wake they have left a multitude of new friends, experiences and music to connect it all. The High Priest's projects are about many things, but always about connections; connections to all people and places and things through the universal language of music.

How do you want to experience the story?

The Bicameral Sessions

The High Priest

So far in 2017...

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Electronics
  • Steven Ellis - Lead guitar
  • John Biscomb - Drums (except Money)

Route 666

The High Priest

I am very proud to present my latest solo album; potentially the most exciting musical work I have created so far, on this long and intriguing journey.

Buy Route 666

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Electronics
  • John Biscomb – Drums
  • Protect your Brain: Drums - David Lozdan
  • Bass - Carl Spectre
  • Artwork - Nick Banning
  • All songs written and produced by The High Priest
  • Protect your Brain: Words - Baz Bradley
  • If I were the Devil: words by Paul Harvey
  • Bonus Track Bad Path: Words - Baz Bradley, Music - The High Priest.

This projected started early 2015. Following on from the thrill of creating Bring out The Demon, and working and touring with Dark Science I felt I had to keep releasing the creative juices. I started recording some cool tracks pretty much following the same method and creative process that I had used on the Demon project.I was reasonably pleased with the 15 songs in total that I had but then something happened; I wrote a song called "Blackstone".

Using drum loops as I had done on the other tracks just didn’t work on this song so I used live drums by Dark Science drummer John Biscomb. This took the song to a whole new level. After mixing this track it just felt so much more exciting than the other songs so I scrapped them and pretty much started again, from scratch but using real drums, from a real drummer!

The songs all came easily and I am extremely excited about the album I present before you. 21st Century hard edged, alternative rock songs – True, dark pop.

Recorded in my studio in Greenwich it differs from the more experimental Bring out the Demon album in that its much more traditionally based music (Demon being more electronic based). This bad boy is me rocking out on guitars and vocals, with Biscomb driving the whole thing on drums like a bitch!

Nick Banning, the artist responsible for all the art on Bring out the Demon, and Natural Justice, listened to the rough mixes and created what I think is his best work so far for the cover of Route 666 and, lo and behold! We have a wonderful piece of 21st Century Rock and Roll art.

I am very excited about getting this project pressed up on vinyl, but meanwhile please enjoy it in digital form!

Realms

Film in production

Originally titled "The Club"

My friend Bobby Crowe and I had the skeleton of a great story! The protagonist dies at the beginning of the story and enters the afterlife, he then has to circumnavigate his way through this manifestation place, travelling through mysterious dimensions and multiple worlds of past, present and future where he quickly discovers things are very different here.

Interacting with powerful elements that make up the human condition, elements such as Love, Fear, hate and lust, to name but a few. The story takes an intense and exciting journey through this strange and incredible place where our main character must face all the good and bad parts of himself to forge his escape. In many ways the story is a 21st Century Everyman.

So various attempts at the screenplay were experimented with, I even started trying to novelize it at one point, however it wasn’t until 2013 when I spent a week with Crowe in Prague where we came up with an awesome intro to the film.

When Wild Street Productions used my music for the Urban Explorers docs I pitched this Intro to the CEO John Pickard, he liked it and simply said lets shoot that intro!

Then in December 2015 we filmed it in one day at Studio 15 in Windsor.

At this point it became "Realms". Myself and Bobby both took the lead roles, and I had the pleasure of recording the full soundtrack and sound edit for the demo!

We are now in currently in the stage of pitching for the full funding for the movie and have at last completed the first full draft for the movie.

See below to enjoy the teaser trailer and the full 7 minute intro!

I know I had an absolute blast making, recording and editing the start to our film!

Special thanks to Wild Street Productions, whom without their incredible help we would have never got this project off the ground.

Realms promo shot

Dark Science

Dark Science emerged in late 2014 with an intoxicating blend of melody and noise, taking core metal beats and effects laden guitars to new heights. Eponymous titled album released on CD 2015.

    Credits

  • Jonny Hill – Bass
  • John Biscomb – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley – Vox

Our debut London gigs were explosive, and lead to us performing at the gaming industries Golden Joystick awards. Soon we were on a whirlwind tour of the USA's southern states. Before we could even stop for breath, we were invited to play the prestigious 'Camden Rocks' Festival. Then, somehow, we managed to find enough time to get working on our debut album.

With our 9-track, self-titled record finished, we launched the album to a packed warehouse in Leeds and a sold out show for BMI in March 2016. Acclaimed songwriter and guitarist Matt Backer honoured us by supporting us for this show.

Bring out the Demon

The High Priest

Channel 4/Wild Street Productions documentaries "Urban Explorers" featuring music from Bring out the Demon were nominated for a BANNF Rockie award in March 2016! Watch Urban Explorers - Dangling from the 33rd Floor and Urban Explorers - Vertigo Sunrise at a Skyscraper Hotel. The songs The Submarine Badlands, The Motel, We are Animal (and the song" If I were the Devil" from my forthcoming album Route 666) all featured on the above 2 award nominated documentaries.

Buy Bring Out The Demon Buy Bring Out The B-Sides

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Electronics and programming
  • All songs written, produced and performed by The High Priest
  • Artwork Nick Banning
  • Recorded in a house in Greenwich London

OK – So this is my biggest project so far. A veritable beast of a double album!

I started working on this project in my home studio in Greenwich in 2011. Its started out with the song MARY then NORTH by SOUTH. The initial plan was to do a 4 song EP and release it digitally on iTunes.

Before I knew it I had 6 songs recorbded and I thought, what the hell, I'm really enjoying this vibe, lets make an album! Then I looked around again. At this point It was nearing the end of 2012 and I had about 15 songs so I decided to split the project into two albums. Bring out the Demon and Bring out the BSides.

Some artists talk about not been able to record music whilst under the influence, or when they listen back afterwards it sounds terrible. Not the case with Demon; a plethora of stimulants and such like where all used in the creative process and making of this album and I went to places musically I would quite simply not have reached if writing and recording straight. Different horses for courses I guess!

One particular instance I remember in the recording process was when I was recording A beautiful Noise. This song actually finally turned out really well, but I remember I was working on it and it felt so standard; you know, bass, drums, vocals guitars...blah blah blah. That process felt so tired and boring.

Anyway I took some coke to shake things up a little and within 5 minutes put the entire song on hold. I wanted to make some music that sounded like it was beamed form the future. Something electronic and dark that wouldn’t feel out of place coming out of a seedy nightclub on the set of Blade Runner. The song "The Submarine Badlands" was born which was the first song used in the series of documentaries made by Wild Street productions.

32 songs were recorded in total and I split them into two albums with 11 songs per album, so I still have a secret 10 song archive that never made the cut.

The piece of work for me really came to life when Nick Banning did the awesome artwork for the album. I then came up with the idea that the B-Sides album should be the same cover, but blue as opposed to the striking red for the main album (of course when released on vinyl it will be red and blue vinyl to perfectly match the covers!)

By the way, the B-sides thing does not mean that the songs featured on B-sides are sub par to the A side, in fact many people prefer Bring out the B-sides to the main album, it just seamed kind of a cool thing to do? I don't know, the B-sides are mostly all rock numbers whilst the A-side tracks are a lot more electronica and experimental, some would say, and have said avant-garde. Which I agree with.

I released it digitally in 2013 and nobody but my inner circle of friends and fellow musicians heard any of it. The Submarine Badlands was used commercially for a USB Speaker company but other than that it remained way under the radar.

Then, in early 2015 John Picard the CEO of Wild Street Productions heard some of the tracks and asked if he could use them for his Urban Explorers documentary that had been commissioned by Channel 4. I of course accepted this and I think the tracks Jon used worked extremely well with the content. Many others agreed which led them to be globally recognised and nominated for a BANNF Rockie award. Held in Canada. Didn’t win unfortunately, but was still really cool to get the nomination!

Working with Wild Street Productions on this actually led me onto one of my most major creative endeavours.

A movie idea that myself and Bobby Crowe worked on whilst doing the Red Haven Motel project in 2005 became a reality, as the Gentleman at Wild Street agreed to film the intro sequence to the Movie!

Natural Justice

Global Police Force

Global Police Force Youtube Channel

The sublime album Natural Justice was released digitally in 2012.

Our debut gig was at The Water Rats in Kings Cross, London on May 4th 2007. We had a great turn out and pulled off a pretty exciting gig. The thing with me about GPF though. I always missed the presence and feel of a real drummer. Q our electronics wizard was always happy hanging about in the sidelines, the shadows and as such it just appeared like a 2 piece act, with Baz and I really going for it front of stage!

Buy Natural Justice

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Q – Electronics
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • All songs written produced and performed by GPF
  • Artwork Nick Banning
  • Recorded in a house in Somerset

Indeed, probably our greatest show was literally as a 2 piece using my old faithful Sony Vaio laptop with the backing tracks on it (in the absence of Q) at Kings Cross, London SCALA venue, a venue which I had always wanted to play. The venue was pretty empty at the start, however by the end it was packed to the rafters and we ended on the GPF version of White Drugs which speeded up to a cacophony of overdriven, digitally delayed guitars, distorted vocals and Nazi terrorist drum lines. The crowd went totally insane!

But alas, as per most of our projects, no matter how great they were, they have always managed to float underneath the radar, and like ghosts across a landscape could, and would disappear in the blink of an eye.

The highlight and lowlight if you will of the GPF trip was a headline slot at the Limetree Festival 2008. Everything was set for the most amazing show, the crowd was there and totally into it from the first note of the show. Unfortunately the local council pulled the plug just 2 songs in to our headline set (things had been delayed) both to the bands and the crowds complete dismay, so the true, beautiful euphoric potential of this show was never realised.

Our final show was at a venue in Leeds called Eiger, I seam to remember it been pretty full on, and a wild party ensued afterwards...

The album Natural Justice was a lot of fun to make. Baz, myself and Q all shacked up in a cottage in beautiful Somerset, got all the equipment set up and just recorded for a full week. Lived it!

Mixing took quite a while, on my return to London I mixed the entire album, and I know on some tracks there were over 30 mixes before we got it were we wanted.

The final product is a very solid effort, and in many ways once again the world missed out. The song White Drugs became quite an anthem for the time with DJ's and artists from LA to RIO re-mixing the track!

Of course, with this iconic track there is yet another Easter Egg/Connection. This went on to be the opening track for our most up to date project Dark Science.

Memetic Engineering

The High Priest

So this was my first REAL solo album. Along with the Red Haven Motel project it was mostly all recorded in my rented 2 bed flat in Bethnal Green, London Between 2004 and 2005. I then recorded the final parts of this project when I moved to Greenwich in 2005.

Buy Memetic Engineering

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Programming
  • All songs written produced and performed by The High Priest
  • Caroline: Words - Baz Bradley, Music - The High Priest
  • Strange Kind of Girl: Words - Neil Priestman, Music - The High Priest
  • Is it Real? : Words - Bobby Crowe, Music - The High Priest
  • From the Darkside: Words - The High Priest and Martin Lister, Music - The High Priest
  • Recorded in a flat in Greenwich London

The project was mixed and mastered throughout 2006 and I released it digitally in 2007.

I remember it was recorded on a really weak Sony Vaio laptop (weak by todays standards – I think it had a 30 GB hard drive) using Cubase SX, an ALESIS SR16 drum machine, a program called STYLUS, and my trusty American Strat and Boss GT5 guitar FX processor. The Mic I used was a Rode NT1.

It feels a little basic today, certainly compared to how I progressed and developed to Bring out The Demon and my latest album Route 666, however it still has a powerful heart, and after revisiting it after I don’t know, 7 years + there are certain elements in there that are pretty damn strong – Great energy! Listening back I think the song Money has a fantastic musical backing track. I could sing the verses way better nowadays. The vox is too harsh at the start, but I like the way I sing the chorus, and the climax is quite special. The Collector is pretty damn strong too. Other highlights? The middle section of Strange Kind of Girl – euphoric! And from the darkside – cool song, I like the sombre, kind of dark lyrics.

Cosmetics and The Wave both were re-recorded and appear in superior form on Bring out the Demon. However, I could imagine some people would prefer the Memetic versions, Ill let y'all decide!

Oh yeah, and Caroline, also appears on the GPF album Natural Justice – best version? I'll let you decide!

Red Haven Motel

I remember living in a two bed flat in Bethnal Green in 2003 and I was paid an impromptu visit from a certain Lucky Lane (I can neither confirm or deny that this was Mr Bobby Crowe in some crazed disguise). Lucky needed to hide out for a couple of weeks, I wasn’t working (at all!) at the time so to pass the time we thought we would record a couple of songs.

    Credits

  • Bobby Crowe – Vocals and guitar
  • The High Priest – Guitars, Bass, Electronics
  • All songs written by Bobby Crowe and The High Priest
  • Recorded in a flat in Bethnal Green, London

So I powered up my SONY Vaio Laptop with Cubase SX music production software installed. Lucky had brought a pretty nice mic and semi-acoustic guitar with him. I had a keyboard and some pretty cool synth plug ins. And of course my trusty Fender Strat guitar with my BOSS GT-5 FX processor!

We then set to work, high above the hustle and bustle of East end London city life. Of course Lucky was armed with some high powered Skunk weed so we were all set!

The two songs that emerged from this session were the very experimental Indian Song (If things were different) and the stoned up Tramsong.

Bobb...I mean Lucky already had the root of the songs, we made some arrangement changes. I produced the whole thing and then mixed the tracks in...what? About 4 days.

I really liked how experimental they were. It sounded fresh, very different to my other work.

So Lucky went on his merry way. About a year later the exact same impromptu visit occurred. From this session emerged the wonderful BURNING BUSH – Without doubt the most alternative and original piece of musical art I have worked on. Still to this day 11 years from its creation its sounding as unique and fabulous as ever!

I think the next time I saw Lucky was in Prague in 2013, still on the run! We shot the video to Seymour on this visit.

Oh, one more thing! Where did the name Red Haven Motel come from.

Well, there is a small town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences. Myself and a certain Mr Jeff Boles discovered this town in 1995. It’s a great little find. Since that time its become a popular hideaway for many people in this circle of musicians. Red Haven Motel is the name of an actual motel in this town!

So there you go. There is the Red Haven Motel story so far. Will there be any more RHM activity – who knows? I definitely hope so, the sessions are always a great trip!

Diphonia

A total solar eclipse occurred on 11 August 1999, It was the first total eclipse visible from Europe since 22 July 1990, and the first visible in the United Kingdom since 29 June 1927. This was the day when we began work on the biggest musical release of our lives so far; Diphonia's debut EP "Time Well Spent in Oblivion".

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • David Lozdan – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • All songs written and produced by Diphonia
  • Recorded in a house in Wisbech

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • David Lozdan – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • All songs written and produced by Diphonia
  • Engineered by Roy Merchant
  • Artwork by Wolff Olins
  • Recorded at The Dairy, Brixton

We were once again booked into our favorite London studio "The Dairy" in Brixton with Roy Merchant once again at the Engineering helm. This was a little different though, we had money and time and I think we were booked in for about 3 months. At this point we had had funding from various sources (Eve Cantelmi, Island Records New York, some city bankers who had been following The Dip on our London shows, and a fellow called David Feldman)

Some of this money was used by said investors to set up an indie record label called Alien Records Ltd. A great label, great name.

Wolff Olins the company that created London 2012's infamous Olympic logo created the Alien records logo and the Diphonia logo, and did the design for our EP. All of this work was exemplary.

So we went into the studio on this historic day. I was happily settled in Finchley Central, London in a cool 2 bed party house right next to the Tube station. All paid for for the year! We had a solid enough fan base, a cool set of tunes and good people working for us, all of The Dips hard touring had paid off and we had the luxury to focus on creating an EP in a great studio. It felt like the world was ours to conquer almost a year on from our powerhouse New York trip. All the while we were of course partying very hard!

Now, as this was going to be an official release, going to the press, the music stores etc, I now look back and realise one thing. It was an over indulgent use of the bands cash and time, and on top of this we were only adding 3 new songs to the mix. The Dip's earlier 1999 single release of Come Alive and Lost Souls was getting re-mixed and mastered and would also appear on the DIphonia EP.

Anyway the new tracks we were bringing to the table were East 24th Street, a song wrote in the aftermath of our explosive NYC trip along with an old re-worked Spiritual Dip song Vampire, and a new funky little number called "Global Police Force (yep folks, there is the link!)

There was another 2 minute interlude track that was just that. As a review said a copyright loaded changing of TV stations with music that washes over to bridge into the tracks final number Global Police Force.

So we settled into our new home, The Dairy. The recording process for this project was a long, and laborious one. We had decided to follow Trent Reznors creative approach he had used on The Downward Spiral. Just record loads of drums, loads of guitars, bass etc, then take the best bits out, and copy and paste them into an arrangement inside pro-tools production system. I was intrigued by checking out this approach, and we had some laughs but looking back, we were a live band and we

should have smashed these tracks out, captured some soul. I think we probably captured too many zeroes and ones, and the final result was a little too synthetic sounding and over produced.

Anyway – This was the product that was going to market.

So we got some great reviews in the music and London press (see images) and we got some wretched ones. I remember Top of the Pops magazine gave us 5 stars full marks on the day Q magazine ripped us a new asshole and gave us 1 STAR, I mean this reviewer hated us, literally despised us, even though live we were kicking every band on the circuits ass, this dude just listened to the opening track, didn’t review any of the others and based the whole review on the opening song alone – which was East 24th Street. It was a dark day.

Listening back to East 24th Street – probably doesn’t deserve the utter slating it got, but you know, we opened our EP with the weakest track. Global Police Force was the strongest track and that ended the EP, oh how things could have been different?

Either way, East 24th St got airplay on XFM, and we picked up a professional management team RISE Management who were having big success with a band called Republica at the time. (shout it from the rooftops?) This was probably where the music industry started to suck the power, energy and soul from the unit. We had two management offers at the time. Ricochet Management and Rise Management, both big pro outfits.

Ricochet wanted us to scrap Time Well Spent, go back into the studio, with a new producer and capture our amazing raw live sound, as they believed Time Well Spent just wasn’t doing that. Rise management on the other hand said they loved Time Well Spent, and would be able to get us Major label funding for the band AND Alien records within 6 months. We of course chose the latter. How could we scrap Time well spent after all the time and money we had spent on it, and all the promotion...But you know, hindsight is a powerful thing!

This is by no means a slate to Rise management, the team genuinely loved the band and I think they tried everything to fulfill there pledge but the stars just didn’t align, and we as the band were all up our own asses and ended up treating them like shit, the moment the 6 month time hit and we didn’t have what we wanted.....well the writing was on the wall. We went our separate ways.

Through this process we had also cut loose our great friend and original manager Eve Cantelmi. The best and most successful days was with Eve upon reflection. I think if we would have stuck with Eve and kept rolling , things could have really happened for this outfit, I mean live we were a force to be reckoned with. With Alien Records as the figurehead we were getting great gigs lined up, pretty much all the universities, London venues every week, we didn’t need the outside music biz influence, we were taking them on by ourselves. If I could go back in time that would have been the advice I would have given to the naïve band of four.

Anyway the band played on, and we kept touring and writing LOTS of new material. At this point we had stopped using electronic backing tracks and was just pure, sci-fi fueled rock and roll. Bass, drums, one guitar and vocals. And it felt good!

This time, no posh expensive studios. We released a single to a belting live track we had called Fine Edge Line. It reminded me of Oasis's Acquiesce in that Baz would sing the verse then I erupted into the

chorus, it was a great live track (see live videos and sound cloud link). This also got a lot of regular college radio play and started turning heads. We recorded it on a really cheap desktop computer which back in the day I think had a tiny hard drive down in our local rehearsal studio. Then I overdubbed the guitars and vocals at Lozzo's flat. I remember nailing the vocals in his hallway!

So 2000 bled into 2001 and we played more stella shows. One show that really stands out was a headline spot at The Cobden Club on Kensal Road. The night was been filmed for some SKY TV show and was filmed by the legendary Don Letts. Now this show was amazing, a packed out excited audience, in fact we blew the roof off, then partied all night. We NEVER saw this footage, which hurts. Does this footage exist? No way of knowing or tracking it down now. Other great gigs? Too many to list, we had a residency at a venue called Pop just off Oxford Street and had many a great gig there! I remember Canterbury University was amazing, so was Reading. We would play The Monarch/Barfly on a regular basis – One of the greatest Diphonia gigs was on a Saturday night at The Monarch called Casino Royale (see review). We released a 2 track live single taken from this amazing gig at Josephs Well in Leeds, and we around this time started work on our full album, we didn’t know this at the time but it would be called "The Healing Power of Music" and bar a couple of slight problems I believe remains one of the greatest "lost in time" rock albums ever created. The work was painstaking though.

We recorded the initial drums down at our rehearsal studio in Mill Hill. The guitars and vocals were recorded either in Lozzo's flat or also at the rehearsal studios. The albums creative process really came to life though when a friend of mine Andy Elder, let the band borrow a big detached house he owned in Wisbech to go live there and finish up the recording of the album. Magic was captured. I remember us all residing there and recording when the world Cup 2002 was in motion.

The pain with getting this album completed wasn’t with the recording. That was smooth sailing. Once we had completed the recording the real pain came with the mixing. All the information was on Lozzo's computer and trying to get us all round at his place for prolonged mixing sessions was difficult. Baz would be travelling down from Leeds, we as the band were producing the whole thing ourselves but it was difficult scheduling us all. After an explosive, exciting and progressive birth to the band I think it was around this time that the cracks were really beginning to appear. Hey, we had been living in and out of each others pockets for over 5 years. We at one point had the music industry in our hands, but we let it slip away. But you know, some marriages don’t last that long, and all relationships require lots of hard work to sustain and keep growing.

So we completed the album, we got the right track listing and it was sounding fantastic. We booked a gig at Camden Towns Underworld venue for the album launch.

Now the artwork for this album has always been controversial. I cant even remember who did it, but the idea that was subjected was a classic picture of Jesus Christ but instead of holding the crucifix, or the holy water or whatever the original shot was he was holding a necklace with the DIphonia logo (see pics)

I had mixed feelings about this cover art. Nothing else was submitted so we kind of just went with it, thinking it was clever. I still don't know what I think of it, but it is what it is as the saying goes. Anyway we had been sending some early mixes to certain music industry people and one label really wanted a piece of us. Edel records which was part of Sony (I think?). At this point funds had all but dried up so we certainly were looking for fresh cash injection.

So the launch date arrived and we had our headline show at the Camden Underworld. The show was a sell out. We didn’t really know it at the time but Diphonia was really starting to collect mass momentum. We had a following. The show was awesome, we kicked it's ass. We distributed promo copies of the album to the wanton, hungry audience, we all embraced as we knew we had pulled off a truly amazing show. I remember we went back to my flat with a select few and partied all night.

We expected Edel to come to the show and sign us, but we had no contact after the show (they were based in Hamburg – I think?)

We subsequently discovered that the whole labels team had indeed booked plane tickets to London to come to the show and offer us a record deal, however right before our show the division got the plug pulled on it. Fate eh? It's many twists and turns.

So after this show what happened to the once mighty, could have been giant DIphonia?

I remember it was January 2003 and we were in our usual rehearsal studio in Mill Hill. We went in and outside the weather was a bit chilly but just your standard English January. We worked on a new song called Warm Tide (see Global Police Force) and then went to pack our equipment away. As we walked outside we were blinded by a deep blanket of pure white, thick snow. We were pretty stranded, we had to dig our vehicles out and then slowly drive home, a normal 10 minute drive took us 3 hours. This imagery and stark change will always stay strong and poignant in my mind, for the change of times. The end of an era. I remember when I finally got in from the snowy drive I got a phone call that my Father was seriously ill. He had been fighting off the reaper for many years but I felt this time it was the end. And it was. As his life ended, this project that had been my life for many many years also came to an end. Looking back I think it was sad that the band split up. I kind of wish we would have kept it together, but all good things etc. I guess the story had run its course. The arc was complete.

But it was the best of times, it really was an exciting trip with many amazing memories and colossal highs. I still think The Healing Power of Music album stands up very well today and I'm very grateful for all of the amazing times, laughs, gigs, parties and the fact that, unlike other manifestations we got to record the majority of our material. I also find it quite poignant that the last track on the Healing Power album, Closer, kind of end and the music right at the end turns a bit dark. New darker waters lying ahead. It always makes me remember that contrast and change with the snow, and the beginning of the end.

For the first time since I was very young I took a bout a year out from playing and writing music. Baz Bradley and I were to return in 4 years with our next musical project Global Police Force. However great GPF was, and I think we recorded a fantastic album, it never lived up to Diphonia as a live entity. Not until the mighty Dark Science was to emerge 10 years later would there be a project that had the camaraderie and buzz of being in a great rock and roll band...

The Dip

After the burning star of The Dagobah System faded as quickly as it began, I think John Mark Turner had completely come off of the rails and ended up in a drug induced mess in the middle of Prague? He quickly was rescued and welcomed back to the warmth and security of Montgomery Alabama after London's excesses had literally bled him dry! At this point it seemed for the time being that Bobby and I's project had come to an unexpected end. Thankfully my veins were full with the buzz and lights and opportunity of London. My musical learning curve had been steep but I felt good, and felt like I was progressing musically at a rapid rate. I felt a massive, dare I say huge impulse to re-connect with Spiritual Dip.

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • David Lozdan – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • All songs written and produced by Diphonia
  • Engineered by Roy Merchant
  • Artwork by Free Barrabas!
  • Recorded at The Dairy, Brixton

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • Steve Fizackerley - Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitars and SFX
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • Songs written by Bradley/Priestman
  • Produced by Bradley/Priestman
  • Recorded at Riverside Studios – Ossett, Yorkshire

I was happily settled in London and riding the crazy mogwai but made the call back to Bradley and Spectre in Leeds. We quickly re-formed, and timely as it was Baz had been writing a whole set of new tunes behind the scenes. Fizackerley, as opposed to the powerhouse drummer of Robinson was re-invited back into the drumming seat. Regular coach trips from London to Leeds ensued and the new set was put together. Like the proverbial Phoenix Spiritual Dip was re-born. This time, we came back simply as THE DIP.

Our "rebirth" gig was held at Leeds famous Duchess of York venue (although I think it was simply called "The Duchess" at this point). The Place was heaving, and thankfully Bobby Crowe (still decompressing after the collapse of The Dagobah System) came along and filmed it on a giant VHS cam. The vibe was good. One thing I do remember before this gig happened; we were all booked in to perform and then out of the blue Baz got a Kidney stone and was rushed to the hospital. He literally got out on the morning of the gig and the show did go on. I always remember that as being absolute conviction to the art!

Where did we go from here? First we recorded a new 3 song demo at Riverside Studios in Ossett. I had started experimenting with Special FX and electronics and injected some subtle electro into our sound. Little did we know at this point but something exciting was waiting just around the corner.

Enter Eve Cantelmi – Eve worked for Island records in New York as an Artist Development Director. Bobby had met her whilst we were working on The Dagobah System, and upon hearing that The Dagobah System was dead and The Dip was very much alive, a show was booked in New York City for us to perform at the Continental Club. To build on our sound I invited Dave Lozdan, drummer of The Dagobah System, to run electronics and percussion on this trip as a fifth band member. The invitation was accepted, tickets were booked and rehearsals for our New York gig commenced.

We arrived at JFK Airport NYC November 28th 1998, the day after my birthday. Eve Cantelmi had very trustingly loaned us the keys to her apartment on East 24th Street as she was remaining in London for a further few days. We arrived at the very small apartment to notice the place was a total mess. Not thinking much of it other than Eve was a kind of messy girl, we prepared to hit the bright lights and big city of Manhattan. On her arrival she advised us she wasn’t that messy and indeed that her apartment had been robbed! Barely really knowing us, Eve quite rightly took some convincing that this wasn't the work of 5 inebriated English musicians.

It came to the day before our show at The Continental club, we were booked into a rehearsal studio in Manhattan and the excitement was palpable. Unfortunately, in the cab drive back to East 24th Street we left a load of our equipment in the boot, including essential samples we were using for our set. To keep our chins up, we went wandering round New York the following morning of our show, recording city street samples to build into our set! (note: Taxi Driver Harry Swift – Did return our equipment a few days later, in exchange for some shades we also left in the boot!) We hired the rest of the equipment required.

So the evening of the gig arrived. To our instant dismay we were told by a grumpy sound engineer we had no sound check, just a line check and then we are on. To compound matters we were first on the bill of about seven bands. It was safe to say this gig situation was far from living up to my expectations. So we played the gig. We played with heart and gave it our best shot, but the vibe was dead. I was also using a hired Gibson Les Paul guitar as opposed to my trusty Strat, which didn’t work for me either.

The gig came and went, and it wasn't the spectacular life changing event we had expected. We had built a pretty cool set and what the hell; we were living life in Manhattan! We partied pretty much for the rest of the night and then the following day Baz and I went on a pub crawl around the city. I remember us both feeling very positive and alive.

That positive energy must have reached the universe, because when we arrived back at Eve's cramped Manhattan apartment we had some very good news. Earlier on in the week we had walked past the famous East Village gig venue The Mercury Lounge, jokingly Eve had said it's a long way to go until our band plays there! Well the universe likes jokes; an Island Records exec – Paul Boshci - had bagged us a Saturday night headline slot at this prestigious venue. Eve, being the true artist developer, planned the day of the gig perfectly. The cool thing was we got a full 30 minute sound-check at around 11am, and the sound engineer had skills as well.

Now there are quite a few gigs I've played in my time where I wish we had a recording of the show. This was the big daddy! In fact I would probably pay every bit of cash I had JUST to see this gig again, as this was one of the greatest gigs I've ever played, and the crowd went crazy and adored our set. I had my strat, the sound was great the band all played out of our skins. I do enjoy American audiences, they tend to be so enthusiastic!

So we blew the roof clean off the Mercury Lounge. I remember sitting with all the owners after our show and they said they adored our band and set, and we could come and play back their anytime. Feeling elated, and feeling like our trip had now been completely worthwhile, the party began and didn’t stop for a couple of days. Some of us dropped some high quality New York ecstasy and hung out on the Manhattan rooftop of East 24th street. It was there that it became apparent that a real rock and roll journey had begun. Unfortunately for Steve Fizackerley he was about to get cut loose from the Dip for a second time, as it had become glaringly apparent that Lozdan was the man needed behind the drum kit to take the band forward.

Another truth that had emerged was that Eve had fallen in love with this misfit band of Englishmen and had decided to offer her skills and services as The Dip's management. An offer we accepted with open arms! Before we were to leave NYC we would actually suffer arson and nearly get burned alive in Eve's apartment on East 24th Street, but that's another story!

The rest of the band flew back to the UK but I flew on to Atlanta were my buddy from The Dagobah system, a recovered John Mark Turner, picked me up and we drove back to my home from home, Montgomery Alabama. I spent all of Christmas there and it was one of the greatest Christmas times of my life! I met a whole host of fabulous people and partied non stop for 2 weeks; playing gigs and getting high, it seemed the whole town kicked into party mode. I flew back to NYC whilst still tripping on acid for New Years Eve.

Miss Cantelmi had Island records pick me up in a stretch limo at the airport. As if this trip couldn’t get any better, Eve and I spent New Years Eve in Reeves Gabrels (David Bowies then guitar player) Manhattan apartment. This was a massive buzz for me as I am a life long Bowie fan, and indeed a huge Reeves fan! Reeves allowed me to jam on his Parker guitar, and played me some of the music he was making for Bowies forthcoming album "HOURS". I also shared some of my samples with Reeves that I used on the latest DIP demo. I showed Reeves a particular sample I had used, and coincidently or not, that sample appeared on Bowies song "Something in the air". You can hear the very same sample on The Dip's "Uprooting Trees". I would like to think that a little bit of me managed to get on a Bowie record!

Back in the UK the real work with THE DIP began. As part of the bands rig we were using a mini-disc player for the backing track electronics that Lozzo and the band would play along to. I remember spending hours and hours with Lozzo, painstakingly building these backing tracks. We quickly got our set together as the new DIP sound was constructed.

In February we returned to Paradise club in Kensal Rise to showcase "The NEW DIP". Although a decent crowd was there, this debut just didn’t really work. However, the band did bond over this gig and we really came together. From this point on the sound, conviction and commitment to the band was iron clad. We were on an upward trajectory that would mark out the next 5 years of our lives.

Meanwhile, Eve had sorted out some development funds for the band, had organised a really cool two bed flat in Finchley North London for me to live and booked us back into our favourite London recording studio "The Dairy" for us to record our debut single as this re-born version of The Dip. I remember this recording session was special. We got a great vibe in the studio and had really gotten our heads around how to record the two tracks we were releasing; Come Alive and Lost Souls. This was a really satisfying session and the end product was strong.

Shortly after this we got a front cover and double page spread article in London's LAM magazine. I always remember Eve, Lozzo and myself walking around the centre of London and checking out everyone who had a copy (it was a free magazine). It was everywhere! We where everywhere and it was a good laugh! More bookings/gigs were coming in and we seemed to have some great momentum, as well as a cool story which the article in LAM covered! And so our skills and the gigs started mounting up, and we started to amass a following.

So record companies started getting in touch, publishing and management companies started to get in touch, lawyers started to get in touch. One particular law firm got involved. I don’t remember the name of the lawyer himself but the firm was called Clintons. This law firm "advised" that we change our name from "The DIP" to something else, due to the fact that money and business was on the horizon and there already was a French Hip-Hop band called The DIP – So fucking what? Big deal? Were my feelings. However a band is a democracy and I was out voted by the other band members in favour of listening to the lawyer and changing our name to something new.

I was not happy, after the years of organic formation I had experienced under the trail of Spiritual Dip and The Dip, we were, on the whim of a lawyer about to change and undo all that natural work? I can't even remember who, but someone came up with Diphonia (pronounced Difonia). Even though there was no pronunciation of "The DIP" in the band name, it had D I P letters. That was the tenuous compromise. It must be said. A decade after DIPHONIA ended I have grown to appreciate the name much more than I did at the time.

The Dagobah System

In the winter months of 1997, my friend - musician and artist Bobby Crowe moved over to Leeds to work on a musical project with me. Previously I had moved to Montgomery in Alabama to play in a band with Bobby so he was kind of returning that Karma (see SOUP Project). He brought along with him our mutual friend and awesome guitar player from Montgomery John Mark Turner. The plan was this; I would play Bass (as per the SOUP project) JMT would play Guitar and I would recruit my friend David Lozdan (whom I'd met in the States 5 years earlier) to play drums.

    Credits

  • Arnie Singh – Bass
  • Dave Lozdan – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • John Mark Turner – Guitar
  • Bobby Crowe – Vox
  • Songs written and produced by The Dagobah System
  • Engineered by Roy Merchant
  • Recorded at The Dairy, Brixton

Initially Bobby, myself and JMT began jamming and we recorded a song called Seymour (see also GATE demo 1), a catchy tune that a buddy of mine and my brothers had wrote back in 1988. I used an Alesis SR 16 Drum machine and laid down the bass for the recording which was done in a filthy rehearsal studio in Wakefield and you know, this track is still one of my favourite tunes recorded to this day. It's rough around the edges but has absolutely stood the test of time. Curiously this track has now seemed to become part of the Red Haven Motel stable of tunes as opposed to The Dagobah System (see Red Haven Motel), I guess it just fits better there. I don’t know? Also I guess because Lozzo didn’t play on it, it just simply doesn’t qualify as a Dagobah System tune?

So the four of us started jamming, the lead track we were riffing on was a song that Bobby myself and Pete Tanka in the SOUP project wrote called BRIDGE. The lyrics tell the story of Pete's cocaine addiction from his years in LA.

"Guess its time to take these chains and throw them off the bridge of night"

This lyric comes from Pete's story of he and his friends pact to kick their habit as it had spiraled completely out of control. They all got together on a bridge in LA, made their pact to quit the angel powder and all threw their cocaine pipes off of the bridge.

This song had a great backstory and a lot of balls. So Turner, Crowe, myself and Lozdan all got together for a week at some studio in Hackney East London and recorded two tracks. One Bridge, and the second track Myopia.

The recording session and our time in London was so much fun that myself, Turner and Crowe all decided we need to move to London permanently – And so it happened, with a little help from our friends and a whole bunch of credit cards! A 20 year ride of art, hedonism and general rock and roll carnage began!

After the initial Bridge and Myopia Hackney recorded demo I was enjoying the bass but yearned to get back onto the textures and power of FX driven guitar.

So I invited a cool dude, a friend of Lozzo's called Arnie Singh to pick up bass duties and I went back onto Noise guitar. With JMT playing the bluesy rhythm, Arnie on bass it seemed like this 5 piece had a lot going for it.

However The Dagobah System was essentially a very short lived star, I think we only played three gigs? Kentish Town Bull and Gate (debut gig), Covent Garden Rock Garden ( I remember the show ended quite climatically with JMT hurling his stratocaster at me!) and some Pub in Putney, The Half Moon I think it was called. The System did burn bright but faded almost as quickly as it came! However it did lead on to one of the biggest musical chapters in the story; DIPHONIA.

Spiritual Dip

Back in the UK after one of my many road trips to the States I met lyricist and singer Baz Bradley. Baz would be my song writing partner for many years to come, in fact, right up to present day with the Dark Science project.

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • Mick Robinson – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley Vox
  • Songs written and produced by Baz Bradley and The High Priest
  • Recorded at Underground Sound Ossett

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • Steve Fizackerley – Drums
  • The High Priest – Guitar
  • Baz Bradley – Vox
  • All songs written and produced by Baz Bradley and The High Priest
  • Recorded at Ric Rac Studios Leeds

We came up with the name Spiritual Dip in 93 (in a pub in Wakefield or Selby, definitely West Yorkshire!) and recorded a two song demo on my 4 Track tape recorder. Then in April 1995 we started writing and recording lots more songs (now on my 8 track recorder) in my attic Studio at the once infamous Number 8 House in Leeds! With a view to put a "real band" together and take the music to the street.

Fast forward to April 96 and after recruiting Steve Fizackerley on drums and Carl Spectre on Bass we were ready to unleash our band and (very loud) rock sound on to the unsuspecting public. And release it we did...

Leeds Soundcity April 96. Basically London's music industry descends on Leeds for a full week of gigs to examine the musical activity that was going on in our home town. Unfortunately we had no management, no booking agent, in fact no contacts at all, and try as we might we just couldn’t get onto any of the officially scheduled gig slots. So we took matters into our own hands. We hired a big dirty generator, got a friend who had a transit van to take us, the generator and our guitar amps, PA and drums to Leeds Town Hall where we proceeded to set up at the bottom of the steps under the War Memorial "Our Gracious Dead".

And that is where we played the first ever Spiritual Dip set. Loud screaching distorted guitars and pounding drums with Baz singing like his life depended on it! All our mates showed up to watch this very unique birth to our band. On top of that large crowds began to form and I remember looking up at the office blocks and seeing a wall of people all lined up against the windows. They certainly seamed to be enjoying this impromptu guerilla style show!

The big regret of that day was the lack of visuals we got of it. No film footage (of course no-one had smartphones back then, if you wanted to film something a big expensive VHS Camcorder was the order of the day) exists, the only photo we have of this day is of the performance after the Town Hall (we switched location to the steps of the Leeds dole office.) This is where we were offered a plethora of meetings, further gig opportunities and actually made some good contacts from the descending Industry Soundcity bodies. We even got our first slice of press with the NME saying Spiritual Dip whipped up a storm on the steps of the dole office!

Creation records who were having massive success with a band called Oasis at the time left us their cardand asked if they could see us again (note: they did come and see us at our second gig at The Famous Leeds Duchess venue, but they signed 3 Colours Red instead as their next band)

So Spiritual Dip was born and a year long tour of the UK began, with us constantly rehearsing and gigging across the country. We recorded our first demo at Ric Rac studios in Leeds. I just recently listened back to it after many years and was really surprised how fresh we actually sounded. And indeed the demo still sounds! It still stands up very well today apart from a few arrangement issues. Aside from the demo, the only other content we have, is a very scrappy VHS recording of one of our early gigs at The Josephs Well venue in Leeds. Thankfully, the full gig is just about in tact!

Anyway, call it a mix of naivety, hunger to start a career in music or just plain stupidity but some Music Industry execs were following us round at gigs, I can't even remember who they were, one guy was an A&R man who signed Dinosaur Jr or something like that, but they told us we needed to get rid of our drummer Steve as he was the "weak link" , So like the sheep we were we cut Steve loose and employed our next drummer (after try outs with about 5 other drummers!) Mick Robinson. Who was a savage beast behind the kit, a Metal drummer applying his skills to our alternative rock. This in many ways foreshadowed the emergence of the musicality of Dark Science 16 years later, with John Biscomb taking drum duties. Also a metal drummer who was applying his fierce drumming to an alternative rock project...I digress again!

We played our debut gig with Mick at the Café Mex Club in Leeds (no phots that I know of in existence)but I do remember wearing a shiny silver shirt, had dyed black hair and we had this kind of wall of sounds overdriven guitar thing in the vein of The Velvet Underground (we also did our first and last cover version at this gig – David Bowies TVC-15)

The UK touring then continued for around another year. Although their was somewhat of a personality clash with Mick Robinson and the rest of the band, I have to say this. Every gig we ever played with this guy was an absolutely fierce energy fueled Joy, and I loved every performance we ever did. The only recording unfortunately that exists of this phase of the story is the two track demo Spiritual Dip 1997 which includes the tracks Forcefeed (note: this also was played in Diphonia and Dark Science) and a very cool track called Presence. I really wish we had recorded our full set of tunes as it was a storming collection of powerful, modern rock tracks.

In fact, the highlight of this "phase" was this roof blowing performance we did at London's Red Eye Club in Islington (long since closed down). This show was just before I moved to the capital after forming a new band with my pals Bobby Crowe and David Lozdan....This I guess would be the next chapter, and the next project!

Gate 2

So the SOUP project was complete, I was back in England gearing up and planning another explorative trip around the USA. I was keeping in touch with my friend Lozzo and we arranged to hook up for the first time since our epic voyage across the States in 92. Lozzo was a keen drummer, I was recording a lot of music so it made sense for us to hook up again in London and have a jam. I called up Steve Ellis from Gate, and recruited a very young Carl Spectre for bass duties.

    Credits

  • Carl Spectre – Bass
  • Dave Lozdan – Drums
  • Steve Ellis – Lead Guitar
  • The High Priest – Vocals and guitar
  • All songs written by The High Priest
  • Produced by The High Priest, David Lozdan and Steve Ellis.
  • Recorded at Ric Rac Studios Leeds

It was a great time. Mid nineties fun and games. Smoking lots of pot, drinking copious amounts of booze and making music and having as great time with friends and girlfriends.

Lozzo booked us into some hole of a rehearsal studio and we jammed on two songs I had recently cooked up called Wait to be Woken, and Relaxing in the backseat.

We then booked back into Ric Rac studios in Leeds, I think it was the following week and we laid the songs down. Done – Boom! I really loved Steve's guitar sound, he was using a really nice Mesa Boogie amp, and we really copped a great sound.

I think its interesting to note that further down the line I worked with Lozzo on The Dagobah System, The Dip, Spiritual Dip and Diphonia and I have to say I think the Gate 2 project was his best recorded drum sound.

I actually still have the 2 inch tape reel it was recorded on and I would love to one day go back into the studio and totally re-do my vocals, and a few other touch ups.

Strangely, very shortly after this Spiritual Dip formed and I lost contact with Steve Ellis as he moved to Germany with his wife. I only recently this year (2016) managed to get back in touch via Facebook. So enjoy these mid-nineties rock and roll songs!

SOUP

I arrived in Atlanta, Georgia in March 1994. Following up on an invitation from my American friend Bobby whom I had met on the road in The States two years earlier. The invitation was to play bass in a band he had formed in Montgomery called "SOUP". This was an invitation I couldn’t refuse!

    Credits

  • Tony Mcarty – Drums
  • Pete Tanaka – Guitar
  • The High Priest – Bass
  • Bobby Crowe – Vox
  • All songs written and produced by SOUP
  • Recorded at a Studio in Montgomery

My first big shock on my arrival was the absolute shit hole we were going to be living in for the next 3 months.

Winter Place, built in 1858, a whore house in the American civil war, and a hospital in World War 2. At this point in time it was split into apartments. The occupants seamed to be arty, creative types, or general weirdos. Word on the grounds was this place was haunted. Me being from Leeds, I didn’t believe in shit like that.

So the next 2 months were a broth of weird experiences, amazing music, terrifying times in the house, gunfire outside every other night. Truth is, if it wasn’t for our Doberman Pincher, T-Bone, I would have got the fuck out of that place.

At the time I was so far out of my comfort zone it was terrifying. Looking back it is one of the strongest and most memorable experiences of my life.

Anyway – we wrote the four SOUP songs in this crazy house, and recorded them downtown at some 16 track studio. I remastered the tracks in 2015 – Here they are for your enjoyment!

Gate 1

So I guess this is the start of the story, well the start of the epic musical journey at least! I had just come back from a life changing 3 month road trip of the USA where I met two of my life long friends Bobby Crowe and David Lozdan. (as you travel through this website you will notice these guys pop up on many "projects")

    Credits

  • The High Priest – Vox, Guitar, drum programming
  • Steve Ellis – Guitar
  • Here's to Everything written by The High Priest
  • Seymour written by Nick Revill
  • Produced by The High Priest and Steve Ellis
  • Recorded at Ric Rac Studios Leeds

After my mind bending road trip all I wanted to do was plug into my four track recorder and start making music and putting down to tape the songs I had wrote whilst I was on the road in the States.

I did this and recorded a 12 song album called "Dolphin Chase hawk" (this will remain deeply hidden in my archives!)

A friend of mine and my brothers called Steve Ellis who is a fantastic lead guitar player heard my work and asked if we wanted to record for real in a full 24 track Studio. I was like "HELL YEAH!"

So we went to Ric Rac studios in Leeds ( Great studio btw, I think it still exists?) and laid down our first Gate demo.

A song from Dolphin Chase Hawk called Here's to Everything – The lyrics feel as relevant (maybe more so?) today as they did back then:

"last night I awoke haunted, it was the darkest dream that I had ever been served. I saw the thought police, in the streets, fighting for the planet earth"

The second song we recorded was a song I loved which was written by my brothers buddy Nick Revill called Seymour. (Seymour was also recorded again in 1997 with Bobby Crowe on vocals and appears under Red Haven Motel)

So, this session was fun, the results were kind of cool, it didn’t really follow the "sound" of the early nineties though. The UK music scene was still gripped by rave/Dance/Electronic music – Which I myself loved and I was very happy that I caught that game changing, mind expanding pleasure fuelled ecstasy 1990 explosion/wave; However at this point I wanted to record rock music, I guess returning from my States trip that’s where my musical mind set was at?

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