Anubis Spire

After fashion falls to rubble … we will still remain

Reviews


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Anubis Spire reviews (see the Al Pepiak “Guitar World” interview in yellow at the bottom of this page):

Old Lions

ALBUM REVIEW by Kris Forsyth Harris (Madhits.com )

It’s not hard rock, it’s not heavy metal, it’s kind of a rebirth of gothic rock, with a Middle-Eastern twist to it, but not completely. Anubis Spire defies all traditional categories, in order to define themselves. Not only do they stretch current boundaries to form new ones, they do it mostly instrumental style. While beginning to listen to this CD, I wasn’t quite sure if even my broad taste could stomach the sounds. Was I ever wrong. The more I listened, the more I wanted. If it wasn’t the jamming melodies, then it was the long, pronounced guitar solos. The opening track, So Be It, comes at you Metallica style; hard and out to prove a point. The second track (It has been a long time, hasn’t it…)is by far the most diverse track on the album. It sounds like a combination of The Mission U.K and Pat Methany Group, if you can imagine the two together. Track three, Into The Four Winds, is a short piece, only a minute and half in length, but I felt kind of robbed listening to it. It’s much too good to be that short. I just hope it’s a precursor to another track just like it. The tracks, Underneath the Roswell Sun, and Talisman Of The Dreamer, have an almost modern-day Celtic sound to their lyrics, aside from having completely different beats. More Weight, is just that. More weight of the heavy sounds of the earlier tracks. However, this track is slightly different from the others, in that it never deviates from hard cord after hard cord. The track, Ransom (I’ll Take My Chances) and The Prisoner’s Song (to a lesser degree), sound a lot like they could have come off of Pink Floyd’s album, The Wall, which I consider one of the highest compliments any group can receive. It has that poetic melody tone to it, with a mixture of nice, simple guitar overlays. Road To Damascus, is one of my favorite tracks on the album. I don’t know if it’s the riff, or the beat, or better yet, the combination of the two, but it’s sure to please. Amida Rising and Anubis Rising, continue the sounds of the earlier guitar strumming songs, with that frequent solo to back it up, while May This Be Forever, has more of talking guitar sound to it. The title tack, Old Lions (in the world of snarling sheep), not only has the coolest special effect sounds, but finishes the album with you wondering where do you go from here. You may wonder, “Will I be able to find another experience like it again?” Because, let me tell you, if you like the sounds this album has to offer, you’ll want more.

Rating: 4CDs. If you like it, you love it. ( MAD Hits . COM – Artist : Anubis Spire )

Track not to miss: Gone West. If you like lighter instrumental music with a definite “California” sound to it, check this one out.

“Progressive rock is back! Well, it never really left, but if you can’t get enough Arabic and Indian influenced guitar driven rock music and you’ve worn out three copies of Page and Plant’s “No Quarter” than Anubis Spire is for you. Their first album, “Old Lions (in the world of snarling sheep)” is a progressive rock feast that goes from blazing sandstorms of guitar and bass effects to fairly mediocre Rush or Yes rip-offs. Okay, it’s true that this album has got some material that’s derivative and commercial, but I suppose Bill MacKechnie, Michael Leo Brothers, Tim Costley and Mick Loher would like to make a little money at what they do. I won’t begrudge them that.

As for shortcomings, even the most derivative stuff sticks in your head like a good commercial song should. “Underneath the Roswell Sun” has Bill MacKechnie doing his best Geddy Lee on lead vocals. As a Rush fan, at first I was kind of offended, then I shifted over to moderate dislike, and by now I think I kind of like it. “The Prisoner’s Song,” on the other hand, is just cumbersome listening. It’s too drawn out for its own good. Anubis Spire has the songwriting skills of a progressive rock band, but the lyrics tend to fall down a bit. Fortunately, very few tracks are cluttered with them.

The soundscapes of Arabic percussion, double bass guitars, and bagpipes are where this record gets strong. Leaving aside “Roswell” pure instrumentals like “It Has Been A Long Time, Hasn’t It…” and “More Weight” will make you wish you’d kept that long, rock-guy haircut so you could head bang again. The excerpt from a live version of “Eternal Resonance” is honestly danceable, although it’s too short. Never fear, it’s followed by “The Road to Damascus,” with heavy duty guitar work that breaks it down faster than your average United States imposed peace accord. They do a little Jimi thing, making a guitar talk to you, on “May This be Forever.” They scale the heavens in “Anubis Rising” with a guitar crescendo that builds throughout the piece. They’ve got what is takes to be progressive rockers, a desire to see what a guitar can do, and a willingness to try any instrument that contributes to the sound they want to make.

Curiously, Anubis Spire rated a mention in an article in Yahoo Internet life, where they joined the list of “mediocre music by bands with mediocre names.” The writer of that article concluded that pop is as much about image as about music, and that while pop fans may not be musicologists, they can tell a satisfying pop experience from an unsatisfying one. As a non-musicologist, that’s garbage. Music is about music, simple as that. With a few exceptions, Anubis Spire delivers the goods in terms of a satisfying music experience.

So what it the cover graphic on their album is blurry? You keep the cover; I’ll keep the record.”

—-Kevin Kreiner– MP3critic.com – The Internet’s Independent Music Guide

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REVIEW—ANUBIS SPIRE-OLD LIONS(in the world of snarling sheep)

“Remember the final scene in the movie LORD OF THE FLIES? The one where the little kids had degenerated to a mindless tribal mob and were hunting down the last non-tribal kid? Remember where they chased the poor kid to the beach and came face to face with ADULTS? The scared look on the kids faces told it all. In their little made-up tribal society they were kings. But standing before the soldiers on that beach, they were exposed for what they really were-scared, confused kids following along like the lemmings they’d become. With that little scenario fresh in your mind, let me just say that the title of this CD might be the most appropriate title I’ve seen in ages. ANUBIS SPIRE is a band of veterans, OLD LIONS for sure. One listen and there can be no doubt. From the opening drum beat you can tell these guys take a back seat to no one. Most of the music is instrumental and shows a laudable tendency to avoid the ordinary. Where other guitarists would go for a safe modern distortion tone, their guitarist goes for one that sounds like something squeezed out of some ancient desert wind instrument. The drums change from monstro Zepp-style in-your-face to almost sounding like the drummer was recorded from a block away. Where you expect cymbal crashes there is only unsettling silence…Where other bands would go out of their way to impress us with their slick arrangements, ANUBIS SPIRE just keeps flying along in a musical equivalent of stream of consciousness poetry….

OLD LIONS(in the world of snarling sheep) is my favorite cut on a disk of nothing but great cuts. It flows along like a gathering sandstorm on the horizon, building and rising higher and higher in the sky, folding back upon itself until you’re so entranced that you don’t even notice that you’ve been swept up and carried along with it for miles…. SO BE IT, IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME, HASN’T IT…, and especially the clean toned GONE WEST are guitar workouts par excellence. Remarkable all the more for all the cliches they avoid.

ANUBIS SPIRE have managed to craft a brilliant piece of music while rebelling against –and most of the time– ignoring completely, the tendency of a lot of independents to over produce, over refine and over rely on slick packaging and studio sheen to cover a lack of anything original in their music… I don’t really think this band fits the progressive rock genre and to be quite frank, I can’t really think of where they would fit. I would definitely not recommend them to anyone enamored by today’s MTV fodder. ANUBIS SPIRE are true dinosaurs, but if you’ll forgive another movie analogy, I’ll qualify that statement by saying that just as modern scientists now know that dinosaurs were not the slow, plodding beasts they were once believed to be, the current view that scorns any band who plays more than three minute pop tunes might in the future, actually make the term dinosaur a badge of honor. So, remember that scene in the original JURASSIC PARK where the T-rex rips the roof off the restroom? Remember what happens next? ANUBIS SPIRE is that dinosaur and the guy on the throne is just about every other band you’ve read about this year. Get the picture? Get this CD!”
—John Bettman–MIASMA magazine

All Music Guide

“This is the debut release by this band, and the title alone shows that they have a definite grasp on being clever. The album combines diverse influences, ranging from Pink Floyd to Hawkwind, Rush and even Genesis, with minimalistic chord patterns. The picture is completed by covering a good deal of those patterns with tasty guitar soloing. The result is a fine album in the mode of other albums which draw their dynamics from instrumental meanderings more than from intricate chord structures. Most of the tracks on the album are instrumental, but when vocals do show up, they are quite strong and well arranged. The production on this one comes across a bit harsh on early listenings, but after repeated exposure, it seems to be simply a nice flavor. Anubis Spire is Bill MacKechnie, Michael Leo Brothers, Tim Costley and Mick Loher. They are joined on this album by a backing vocalist (S. Michelle Klemens) and a bagpiper (Angus MacDrone).” ~ Gary Hill–ALL MUSIC GUIDE

OLD LIONS REVIEW—

“Starting metal-like, the music immediately gets just as much progressive. “So Be It” is tight with its Arabic tune but with “It Has Been A Long Time” the band goes improvising while retaining this Eastern feel, the trick’s repeated later with the authentic (sounding) “Eternal Resonance” and “Road To Damascus”. Vocals are introduced only on the fourth track, light and catchy “Underneath The Roswell Sun” makes me think of TRAFFIC. I won’t be surprised if guitarist Bill MacKechnie appears with any major name.

Well, “More Weight” is indeed heavy and it’s clear that ANUBIS SPIRE just tries everything they think could suit them. What fits the most are compositions with warm guitar like “Gone West” rather than cold ones, though FLOYDian “Ransom” sounds good anyway. But what’s annoying is how some instrumental pieces end abruptly with no fade out, however the ballad “Talisman Of The Dreamer” compensates that impression to a certain extent.

Epic title track ends the CD very strongly and if ANUBIS SPIRE concentrates for the next album it’ll be terrific.”

****(Four Stars) D. Epstein LET IT ROCK webzine

“Good prog rock. I keep trying to think what the guitars in ‘It Has Been a Long Time, Hasn’t It..’ reminds me of. Peter Banks’ stuff from Self-Contained? That’s a question, because I’m not sure. All I know is – I like what I’m hearing.

‘Underneath the Roswell Sun’ is a Very difficult song to extract from your head once it’s there. The vocals are of the type that could only exist in prog. They aren’t perfect (imagine someone trying to tell you a joke – someone on the verge of laughing, yet nary a chuckle escapes), but THANK GOD they aren’t the Broadway kind. (You know, voices that sound so alike you wonder why bother hiring more than 1 person of ea. sex.) Still, as I say, they are damn memorable tunes, and if you like listening to Steve Howe sing, you’ll marvel at these.

Then there are epics like ‘Talisman of the Dreamer’ which creates a musical mood beneath the words which swirls and chases its tail; like trying to chronicle the sea by labeling waves. You know it’s hopeless, you know you’ll never get it done, but something keeps pushing you on. A beautiful image.

These guys know how to play and fashion worlds in their 15 tracks. It’s a cd of 66 minutes, giving you enough time to really get into the story. Anubis Spire are in every store in the online world. Order one.”

—–BEN OHMART @NZone Magazine -

“Anubis Spire is an indie project spearheaded by a guitar player -a good one, too- name of Bill MacKechnie. Between the desert-pyramid cover art, the irresistable album title, and the fact that this is available at (and thus tacitly endorsed by) the GuitarNine website/store, I figured ´why not take a shot?´. But before I get to why I like it, I should point out the production is -well, underwhelming´s an appropriately diplomatic term….. However, OLD LIONS is pretty nifty regardless, especially if you like a touch of psych mixed into your sonic stew. There are both aggro and mellow moments aplenty here, powered by MacKechnie´s slashing guitarwork, which is usually informed by the kind of swirling, serpentine, slightly-Arabian vibe that I´m a hopeless sucker for. From the moment opener ´So Be It´ starts to churn, you know you´re in for a magic carpet ride of mystery and majesty; prepare to tune out the world for the next hour or so, ´cos the rest of the cd doesn´t let you down (even the few vocal numbers work well). Just play it a few notches louder than you normally might to compensate for the slightly muddy sound.”

4 stars from Fowler at PROG.NET DAILY REVIEWS

“I like these guys quite a bit. Memories of Alan Holdsworth, King Crimson, Happy The Man, and also Hawkwind come to mind. But I would quibble with that label, “Middle East Flavor”. To say they have a strong “Middle East Flavor” just because they use riffs In Phrygian Mode for several songs is a lot like saying that Al DiMeola or Metallica (both of whom favor Phrygian Mode) likewise have a strong Middle-East flavor. And Anubis Spire definitely does not stick to Phrygian Mode; some of their songs are even in a Major Key.” Rated 4 stars. (franz@kafka.gov) Spaceship Mir -

“Right from the outset this CD gives you a taste of what you can expect from this band from New York. Bill MacKechnie (Lead Guitar&Vocals), Michael Leo Brothers (Rhythm Guitar), Tim Costley (Bass Guitar) and Mick Loher (Drums and Pecussion) have PROFESSIONAL written all over them. The use of Mid Eastern rhythm’s and grooves, Indian & Arabian Percussion and slick rock provide a feast for the listener. This is certainly one band you must give a listen.
From the hot 1st Tune “So Be It”, the commercial “Underneath the Roswell Sun”, the power of “More Weight”/ the floyd flavour of “Gone West”, the live “Eternal Resonance” with bagpipes by piper Angus McDrone this album is 1st class. This CD contains 15 quality tracks and over an hour worth of great music.
If this wasn’t meant to be a concept album, then it better become one. Superb writing by MacKechnie Excellent all round effort. Great Tracks are: “The whole CD”. Stand out commercial track: “Underneath The Roswell Sun”. My favourite track: “Talisman of the Dreamer” If you are thinking of buying a CD you must consider this excellent album.”

—————- Tony Watkins ( STOMPIN GROUND MUSIC ) Review for Music Monster Network

“Anubis Spire, a four man progressive hard rock band from Greene, New York deliver a heady mix of heavy ’70′s guitar rock infused with middle eastern and indian melodies on their debut album “Old Lions (in the world of snarling sheep).
Largely instrumental, with several vocal tracks that showcase strong songwriting skills, this CD takes the listener on a musical journey filled with great playing!
Lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bill MacKechnie is definitely the star of this show! Although the remaining three members(which consist of Michael Leo Brothers on rhythm guitar and vocals, Tim Costley on bass and Mick Loher on drums) are very talented, it’s MacKechnie’s fantastic guitar work which dominates and captivates the listener from beginning to finish. His lead work could probably best be described as a cross between David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, with a little bit of Jimmy Page thrown in for good measure!
This is great progressive rock! Influences are very evident, within the fifteen tracks I can hear references to many classic progressive bands, such as the aforementioned Pink
Floyd(MacKechnie’s vocals sound very similar at times to David Gilmour, especially on the tracks “Ransom( I’ll Take My Chances)”and “Talisman Of The Dreamer”) Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin (the short instrumental track, “Eternal Resonance” could easily fit on Led Zeppelin III) and the Hendrix inspired guitar licks on “Underneath The Roswell Sun”.
Anubis Spire have created an album that will grow on you more and more with repeated listenings, each time discovering something new in the process! My only complaint about the album is the sometimes uneven production quality on a few tracks. Otherwise, this is a great debut album from a band I will be wanting to hear alot more from in the (hopefully near) future! If you are looking for something a bit different, yet still desire an album with great playing that rocks, I would definitely recommend this album! ”

Rating: 8.5/10 —Review by Keith Langerman Metal and Hard Rock Area Homepage

“Usually I am suspicious when someone sends me a CD, tape or product to review. If they tell me they read my column and like it that makes me doubly suspicious, since I really wonder who is reading this stuff out there anyway. So I have to admit that when I received this CD, as usual, I hesitated before putting it on the stereo. A snow day home from the day gig helped to expedite the process.
I threw in the CD, cranked up the volume and sat back in my chair. It took all of about 30 seconds and I was hooked. It had to be voodoo… musical heroin; I really don’t know how to explain it. All I know is I liked it and was craving for more even before the first song was completed. The musical hooks and the musicianship right from the opening notes floored me.
…What makes it stand out is that it is very original, and is so different from what you are currently hearing on the radio…The raw talent involved in this CD is just staggering. Almost every track is a winner. “So be it” opens the CD and sets the tone for the musical adventure to begin…Listening to this music is a delight. It is refreshing to hear something so fresh and interesting on the horizon. This band does not follow trends but makes them, or should I say have never compromised their integrity.
OLD LIONS is a must have…If you are a fan of the strange, the bizarre, the obscure and the extremely talented then you need to own this CD. As an “old lion” myself I have to admit that I now feel like I should be throwing out my U2, Pearl Jam and Offspring CD’s and getting into the “Anubis” groove…”

—Al Pepiak– Guitar Digest –

Read Al’s entire review at– RANDOM BULLET RECORDS ONLINE and his interview of Bill MacKechnie at– GUITAR DIGEST INTERVIEW

“More than interesting, innovative! Progressive rock with a lot of elements mixed in a smart way and with an underground feeling! The guitar work is more than brilliant and the whole concept is great! Melodic songs like “Underneath the Roswell sun” and instrumental ones like “It has been a long time, hasn’t it…” are my favorites. So if you’re looking for something actually different, this masterpiece is for you!”

—Paul Cordova (GATE OF HORROR #3)

“I’d heard alot about this band and quite frankly some of it was not all that flattering. Now, a month after buying the CD-(yes, I never request a free one for my reviews– that way if I hate it, I feel no compulsion to take it easy on the band)–I realize those negative comments are mute. Those that said the CD was aimless jamming weren’t really listening. Many of the others simply didn’t know what to make of them. The music and the production sound very different to what most are used to, but that should be applauded in this time of safe conformity. The desire to seek categories and lump dissimilar things together is only human, but ultimately dumb. These guys hide behind funny hats, sunglasses and self deprecating humor, but one listen to cuts like SO BE IT and OLD LIONS and you know they can more than hold their own musically against anyone on the planet… Bill MacKechnies’ guitar is the lynchpin of this band. Once in awhile you hear a quick homage or tip of the hat to people like Hendrix, Page and McLauglin but most of what he plays is pure MacKechnie. I have never heard another guitarist who sounds like him. Blindingly fast descending and ascending chromatics that are more akin to the trance dances of the Dervish than the gymnastics of the shredder. In a lot of guitar-based music you can almost hear the guitarist thinking “this will impress the guys down at GUITARPLAYER magazine!” with MacKechnie you really wonder if he’s still in his body or has been possessed by some alien entity that has just been dying to play for an eon or two. Timing and accents seem to be from some other dimension or alternate reality, and sound wrong on first listen and only begin to fit when you stop trying to make them fit… This is a band that matters. If their next CD is as good as their debut, ANUBIS SPIRE has a bright future.

—–Charles Jalewski–MERIDIAN NEWS–INDIE REVIEWS

“ANUBIS SPIRE hits you right between the eyes with the Arabic guitar-frenzy of “So Be It”. Starting with a spooky voice lead-in right out of a grade Z horror movie, this tune literally sent shivers up my spine! MONSTER guitar meltdown alternating with a driving Whirling-dervish beat… If this doesn’t get your blood boiling SEE YOUR DOCTOR!…you may be DEAD!>>Price Walther-MUSIC SANDWICH MAGAZINE<<<<< “If you are into instrumental music, Anubis Spire is a band that you will have to hear. The guitar work on this CD is great! There are some vocals on here but the instrumentals really give you the taste that I think you would like on this CD… This is a good CD with some GREAT guitar work. Being mostly instrumental, you have to be a music lover to really get the whole picture of what they are giving you here (and I am). If you are a guitar lover, you NEED to check Anubis Spire out! I’d love to hear more from them in the future… —STICKS- ZINE OF THE TIMES “The album combines diverse influences, ranging from Pink Floyd to Hawkwind, Rush and even Genesis…the result is a fine album… >>> MUSIC STREET JOURNAL

OLD LIONS (In the world of snarling sheep) “Debut CD only issue from this 4 piece NY based heavy prog/psych guitar driven band with a strong eastern vibe . Long tracks and with over 65mins running time, makes this an excellent debut. Bill MacKechnie lead’s the band on guitar and vocals, on this mostly instrumental outing, wild guitar parts and strong band sound making this one of the best I’ve heard for a long time. Opening track “So be it” cooks all the way with thundering guitar work,other excellent tracks are “Road to Damascus” and “Amida rising”, with “Talisman of the dreamer” a more melodic track with great vocals, if your a fan of guitar rock this ones worth tracking down”. ——— ACID ATTACK MUSIC : REVIEW

“Progressive Rock-scorching guitar work! Passionate and soaring rifts dance and play with eastern melodies, acoustic guitars glide thru celtic sounds, a veritable buffet of sounds. All original Anubis Spire is the kind of band that doesn’t compromise vision for conformity.”

–HARDLUCKCAFE

“Bill MacKechnie is the only new guitarist I’m genuinely in awe of. I’ve been called on this simple statement by countless hotshot players who list a litany of unforgivable musical “sins” he commits every time he straps on a guitar. My answer to them is simple and straight to the point, Bill’s music TRANSCENDS the instrument. While others look for peer approval and a pat on the head for their faithful execution of the guitar ” rules”, Bill refuses to recognize that any rules exist. He is, as one of the faithful told me, not so much a guitar player as a force of nature. Spontaneous and gloriously irreverent, he’s at his best when he’s flying against the sides of the box the guitar-police try to put him in. From his releases of over a decade ago to his current work with ANUBIS SPIRE, Bill MacKechnie remains uniquely untamed and untouched by convention.”MARANDA BLACK in Z-ZAM magazine

“These guys deserve to be famous! I was expecting to hear the usual psuedo-classical claptrap that these days passes as PROG, instead, I was belted upside the head by exotic soundscapes of incredible fierousity and beauty… >>>>DAWNLIGHT<<<<<<

“At the heart of the music is MacKechnie’s exciting guitar work which strikes me as a combination of Steve Hackett, Dave Gilmour, and Glen Phillips, all on some pretty serious steroids…..What seems to be a MacKechnie trademark is alternating between blistering runs and tasteful melody lines. The guitar is always in the forefront, but he doesn’t wear the listener down with flash….certainly a guitarist that will appeal to prog fans who like both emotion and fury”.

Jerry Kranitz (Anubis Spire Review- Music Sites Page )

“New Age Metal? If such a label exists, it should be applied to Anubis Spire… Many of the cuts on this debut album are instrumentals steeped in middle eastern / Indian melody. The driving force in many of these songs is Bill MacKechnie’s pyrotechnic fretwork, particularly noted in “So Be It”, the first track. If you like the band Rush, you should give this band a good listen”
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—THE LAZERS EDGE

“Wow, I can’t believe that this music has been kept independent for so long. The bands playing style reminds me of Pink Floyd. The guitarists (Bill MacKechnie) work involves soothing, airy guitar work, and incredibly fast work… The songs are crisp, technically superb, and melodic. The skill of this group amazes me, as the guitar solos are as fast as most guitar players only dream of, and the melodies are intricate and fascinating. The more one listens to it, the more one falls in love with the style. (They) draw upon hard beats at times, Arabic music, and world music. … everyone should try out the old lions because the music has a lot to offer.”

- THE RECORD REVIEWER-

“I DEFY YOU to find another band that blends so many different influences so seamlessly. Instead of sounding like a bunch of disjointed stolen licks grafted over a rock beat (like SOME popular prog-rockers I could name) Anubis Spire ASSIMILATES and comes up with a signature sound of their own! That, my friends, IS the mark of a band to be reckoned with! If they’re not signed by this New Years day, it will PROVE my theory that the major companies are now run by spineless, pony-tailed, fashion-FASCISTS who couldn’t find real talent if it hit them in the ass! ”

STANLEY P. (IUMA comment #103-comments page)

“A good album, played with great variation. Ranging from prog metal to jazz through to psychedelia and more traditional prog with arabian/Indian eastern influences. Albums and bands that have come to mind during listening to this, other than the already mentioned ones are, Roger Waters “Amused To Death”, Fish “Sunsets On Empire” Tea In The Sahara “Boomerang” and “Behind The Door” Of course when refering to most of these I am only refering to little snippets here and there. I guess that Spastic Ink would be the one most reoccuring comparison but to say that they sound like any other band would not really do them justice since their music frequently changes. This kind of music is not what I ordinarily listen to, since I´m more into traditional prog or even neoprog but since I listen to a wide range of different music I still find myself appreciating this very much. These are really competent musicians with good material and that will always be worthwhile and interesting. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future”.– anubis review(First light)

“…May this be forever”- reminds me of a Fripp/Belew sound. And that’s a good thing….when I say “reminds me” don’t take it as I think it’s a blatant ripoff, it’s actually a compliment… “So Be It”- wonderful guitar work, takes my auditory nerves to a new height! Great percussion work as well. I really like this song! “The Prisoners song”- nice Harmonies….nice beat….nice song….depressing as hell……LOVE IT!…..”Amida Rising”- Beautiful guitar work…..kind of a bluesy feel….”Old Lions-…” My favorite song on the disc….this song is infectious!”

— J.P.’s Ultimate Metal Links Page

“Take a sonic trip down the road to Cairo! This debut album features instrumentals with fast paced fretwork and melodic fusion patterns. This is an album that has to be experienced. Bill MacKechnie’s guitar work is simply as awesome as many reviews have already noted… Lets not dismiss the vocal tracks, which have a “Tullish” vocal style, which rounds off this trip to where Anubis is rising”

— OnlineExpress

“Old Lions (In The World Of Snarling Sheep) is an excellent progressive rock album.
… the tracks do have good strong melodies and show quite a lot of originality.
Except for four tracks, they are all instrumentals, showing a high degree of musicianship.
There’s a great degree of variety of mood’s within the tracks and a few of my favorites include ‘So Be It’, ‘It Has Been A long Time, Hasn’t It…’, “Anubis Rising”, which has a Hendrix style intro to it,”Underneath the Roswell sun”, and the title track ‘Old Lions (In The World of Snarling Sheep)’ …Highly Recommended!!!”

—-STORMBRINGER WEBZINE

“These guys are not amateurs to the music world. Their sound is unique and listening to the cd, they cannot be compared at any rate. Really cool guitar work on the first track “So Be It”. The band is really tight and the cd proves it. If you are looking for music strictly First Class, look no further. Anubis Spire will soon occupy a space in you cd player. Catch Them If You Can………”

–CRUSHED METAL

“ANUBIS SPIRE harkens back to a time not so long ago, when bands had vision, adventure, and an unquenchable desire to see what’s beyond the next curve. Back to a time when, musicians by their sheer power of intent, invented new genres rather than follow the herd. ANUBIS SPIRE blends and assimilates their influences with their own distinctive sonic signature, and plays with a wild abandon that is both joyful and ominously beautiful. This is not a band to be taken lightly. If you’re looking for “peer-group approved” music, ANUBIS SPIRE is not for you. If you’re hungry for something that has more than surface-sheen and attitude, and will surprise you with each new listen, you won’t be disappointed”. Faithfen– TEMPLE OF ANUBIS

“Old Lions” (In the world of snarling sheep), comes with 15 original tracks, four of them which are vocal songs and the rest instrumental. I would describe their music as heavy rock with metal guitar riffs and distortion. Very melodic and at times mellow. I hear maybe a little Pink Floyd influence in certain instrumental parts. And some 80′s rock influence as well. One of my favorite songs is “Underneath the Roswell Sun”…”Tell me about the yellow book. Tell me about the grey’s. Tell me how the universe changed, back in those post-war days. Tell me all the secrets that you hid now that your race is run. Tell me what you really found that day underneath the Roswell sun. Tell me how you lived with yourself, all these years. When you wake up in the dark do you still feel the fear? Tell me the truth, now that the lies have won. Was it really angels you found underneath the Roswell sun?”. –DIANES REVIEWS ( ISCH REVIEW )

“The musicianship here is top notch, no question…lead guitar work is especially fluid, although all players deserve a pat on the back. The bass and drums understand what it means to be a rhythm section….I’m not a big fan of this genre, so the fact that I did enjoy this alot speaks volumes for the quality of this tape. The band states they have a CD upcoming, and if it’s a little more focused than this tape, fans of the genre better get in line now”. –

– 100% Independent: The Reviews

“OK, OK, I guess it had to happen. The retro-cool clock has moved forward in time to 1983, and “Under the Roswell Sun” has been released by a hitherto unknown label-mate of Blue Oyster Cult. Somehow, they hooked an audio sampling device up to their time machine. (Sorry, but I had to make the comparison. Maybe it’s just the UFO thing.)
This is for sure a guitar band with a brain. Kind of like heavy metal that’s not afraid to get quiet – and not as zippy as the Steve Vai/ Joe Satriani freaks out in California. We ain’t gonna show off, unless you’re gonna really listen”.

—– DMR Diversions review

“Anubis Spire are coming from the States and they play Hard Rock in a very bluesy style. Someone might call it Blues in a Hard Rockin way. Whatever you like, we like both. They have a wide range of influences since in some songs they mix even Egyptian or Oriental elements in their music. Not that this is bad of course since it enriches their sound, making it sound not so standard American. It is very difficult to categorize them, since in some songs you can even hear influences from Pink Floyd ! An album with 15 songs, most of which are instrumentals. A very sentimental album, which in my opinion requires the full attention of the listener. Highly recommended to open minded people who like to have a break from Metal …

— Tombstone Fanzine -

Yeah, yeah…nice reviews, but what do the fans say?

“Amazing
These guys play stuff no one out there can easily describe… good luck trying. This is the coolest album I have bought all year, try it, you cant go wrong.”
–Marc A. Cantlin II –Guitarist/Bassist for the band BRUCE

“Highly recommended!
Incredible guitar work! Wonderful, passionate songs of such complexity and beauty that are appreciated more with every listening!”
—-A NY fan (from AMAZON.COM review page)

“Pretty trippy stuff! Pink floyd as played by king tut! Cool! Cool! Cool! Check it out!”
——(from the Bulletin board)

“Wow! music that doesn’t WHINE! No stupid teen angst? No “the world revolves around ME-and I can’t figure out why it STILL SUCKS!” blat-a-thons. No music to sneer by while I hang out at the mall. SHIT, YOU GUYS MIGHT BE ON TO SOMETHING HERE! HOW REFRESHING!”
—–(from the bulletin board)

“I just went to IUMA and listened to the RA files from the album-FANTASTIC! Thought that music this powerful was a thing of the past! Unbelievable musicianship and great writing. Ordered the CD, you’ve got a fan for life! Can’t wait to hear more!”–Bethany S. Long Island, NY

“These guys are like a timemachine trip back to the time music had balls AND heart!” Becky694u2@hotmail.com

–”Anubis Spire is a mystical TRIP!”

—”Anubis Spire rocks! Can I get a witness?”

—-”AMEN, Brother!”
(from the bulletin board)

From: Sasha (anonymous)
Date: Fri Apr 24 15:08:51 PDT 1998
Band: Anubis Spire
Subject: Selling stock?

I’ve been checking out your sites. If I’m correct, Anubis Spire is a great world-class band with a large and devoted following, a unique musical voice and a complete and utter disregard for the current music scene, that will take a while to appeal to the scene-makers. I haven’t seen that combination since the Cavern club! Until the tide turns-and it will-QUICKLY-you should sell stock! Count me in!

IUMA comments page

frank754@gmail.com from Asheville, NC , February 3, 1999 AMAZON REVIEW

Great guitar & percussion, lots of 60′s-70′s esoterica
I love this band. Having heard so much over the years, it’s refreshing to hear some real genius and innovation as well, taking from the 70′s sounds of Pink Floyd and John McLaughlin, as well as 60′s King Crimson and Hendrix, mixing in a little of the fusion of Jeff Beck and others. Here’s a bit of variety as well as some familiar sounds, but always very original. Warning: it really grows on you, would love to hear more of their original and mindblowing sound as soon as it’s off the press. They are as they say “Old Lions”, well gifted and conversant in the art, much of which you haven’t heard till you hear their album. Just when you thought you had them pegged, they go on a new tangent, always with great originality, and real ear candy for sure, with their lush guitar mixes, solos and very original percussion interpretations.

AL PEPIAKS INTERVIEW WITH BILL MACKECHNIE OF ANUBIS SPIRE
This interview is from the FEBRUARY–MARCH issue of Guitar Digest (volume 14 number 1) it is posted here with the kind permission of it’s author.
**** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****

Alexander M. Pepiak: Let’s get some of the obviously questions out of the way. How did you come up with the name Anubis Spire?

Bill Mackechnie: This sounds like a promo schtick, but the name really did come to me in a dream. It was such a WEIRD dream that when I woke up I scribbled the name down. In the dream I was standing in the middle of a long avenue. From the clothes of the people around me I think it might have been just before WW1. Suddenly, I could see an army marching down this long avenue towards me. Everyone panicked and started running the other way. I turned to run and crashed into a huge Egyptian obelisk. I jumped up and pushed the damn thing over. Everyone suddenly stopped running and came to look at what I’d done. Someone yelled, “THAT’S done it!” Then I was alone with the rubble. The only piece large enough to read had only two words in english: “Anubis Spire”. Every time I told someone that dream they started going into all these convoluted theories about past lives, mystical revelations or psycho-babble! I remember thinking, “If these two words can stir up that much DEEP THINKING, they should be the name of the band!”

AMP: I hear many influences in your music from the 60′s psychedelic to progressive to jazz fusion. How would you describe your music?

BILL: I would describe it as ANUBIS SPIRE music. There’s no other band that sounds like us. (Drummer) Mick Loher and I have been in all sorts of bands from country to Jazz fusion, so we do have a lot of different stuff bubbling around in our heads and hearts. We do weave through a lot of different genres, but we’re not like a lot of bands I’ve seen, where you can tell they sat down and said,”let’s write a JAZZ number!” and assembled something by selecting the stock sound from column A and mixing it with the another easily recognizable stock line from column B. Most of the instrumental material on OLD LIONS was improvised in the studio and often recorded LIVE in one or two takes. We have a sonic signature that isn’t like anyone else. You can isolate influences and style elements but we are definitely a mutation rather than imitation.

AMP: If your stuff was improvised in the studio I hate to see your studio time bill ! You can’t tell me you went into the studio cold with no direction or ideas.

BILL: Ah! That’s why Tim and I built the studio! Granted, it’s not much of a studio, but it FREE! And yes, I CAN tell you that a large amount of the CD was indeed improvised through the interaction of Mick and I in the studio- blank canvas cold! We inspire each other. He’s the hardest drummer to work with I’ve ever known but when we click it really is magic! You have to realize that neither one of us practice, we PLAY! I’ve never sat down and practiced in my life, but I can improvise like crazy. All the lead work on this CD is improvised. That’s how I do things, I write on the fly-I’ve always been an “open cockpit, fly by the seat of your pants” kinda guy. I’m a firm believer that real music comes THROUGH you not from you. And the scarce moments of real transcendence have always come when I as a “guitarist” step aside and let the current go where it will. OLD LIONS emerged EXACTLY as you hear it. Obviously, things like RANSOM and THE PRISONERS SONG were arranged and fussed over–mostly by Michael, who arranged, sang on and produced them. He has worked at some major studios with BIG name clients, so he plays the studio like an instrument. I like both approaches, and I certainly admire craftmanship, but capturing the spark and that moment of creation is what I really want ANUBIS SPIRE to be about.

AMP: From some photos you sent me, I see that you are a fan of some double neck guitars and are quite a guitar collector, can you give us a rundown of say your favorite 10 guitars, why you like them and how you set them up. (strings, pickups, etc.)

BILL: Most of the stuff I write for ANUBIS SPIRE lends itself to electric 12 string. I always loved the sound and I wasn’t hearing it much in new music. I have so many doublenecks because I use a lot of weird tunings for rhythm but when I play lead, I need a straight tuned six string too. In the studio I can switch off, live I need a doubleneck. Up to now, I’ve been using a standard Gibson style doubleneck, but I’m building a double strat-style because the longer neck fits my hand better. Even though I use the doublenecks on stage, all the lead on the CD was done with my ’73 Strat. If you put me on a desert island, she’s the guitar I’d take. I guess a top 10 list would go something like:

#1- “IZABELLA”-The above mentioned 73 Fender Strat. She’s got the heaviest ash body I’ve ever seen. A natural finish and modifications like crazy! Currently, she’s got early EMG pickups, 3 volumes, no tone control and a “Mystery” switch. It was wired by (ANUBIS Bassist and resident electronic genius)Tim Costley to do all sorts of weird things! I put a Schecter fulcrum trem in years ago but don’t use it much these days. Please note that all this reptile dentistry was done when dealers referred to her as a “three bolt junker”.

#2- Recent EPIPHONE 6/12 doubleneck. When I needed a doubleneck, a friend sent me this. It’s got really nice necks! I always rework frets,wiring and pick-ups etc, so now there are Gibson PAFs in the 12 and DiMarzio’s in the 6 string.

#3&4–2 more doublenecks. These are early seventies Gibson copies probably made by the same folks who made Ibanez. Once again–new tuners, P.U.s and wiring. These are VERY nicely made quality guitars
#5 to 7–Fender Strats of various vintage-completely stock. I’ve got some 60′s Strats that have their own sonic character. I used a nice white one for the lead on “May this be Forever”, It just naturally has that JIMI vibe.
#8-My homemade sitar-guitar! I’m a frustrated Ravi Shankar impersonator deep down!

#9-A beast I made from a CORAL f-hole longhorn body and a tele neck. It sounds great! It’s got a strange single-coil that gets that TELSTAR sound.
#10-The guitar I used for the rhythm track to the song, OLD LIONS. This is a Strat-style I built with a quilted maple top over an alder body. I put Bill Lawrence P.U.’s in her. If you listen to the last few minutes of OLD LIONS you’ll hear the rhythm guitar all of the sudden get REAL thin sounding. That wasn’t done in the mixdown, that’s a faulty solder joint on the switch letting go! I was really banging away, getting into it!

All of my 6 strings are strung with FENDER strings- 009 to 42. I find Fender strings are pretty consistent. When I played with the Asylum blues band, I used heavier strings but this gauge works for ANUBIS SPIRE. I use DiAddario light gauge electric 12′s for the doublenecks.

I WAS quite a collector, but lately I’ve been paring them down to just the ones I really love and use. One day I picked up a ’67 Gretsch Country Gentleman from a stand in my studio and realized that it was dusty. I hadn’t played it in about a year. Call me crazy, but I really felt that there was so much music in that guitar that wasn’t being made that it was criminal to shut it up in a case just to have it. If an instrument isn’t being played I believe it loses it’s soul. Guitars are symbiotic that way, the more music they make, the more they take on the vibe of their owners and build up a soul of their own–I’ve seen guitars that will only sing for their owners!

AMP: Any thoughts on the vintage reissue guitar craze?

BILL: I think it basically gives us old fogeys a chance to recapture that guitar that we sold all those years ago for $100 bucks to buy chrome valve covers for the Nova. OK, so it’s not QUITE the same guitar, but it LOOKS kinda the same and it might even be made of WOOD! But then, what do I know about “collectable”? I used BEANIE BABYS as dipstick wipers for my chainsaw.

AMP: What is your preference for amplifiers?

BILL: Fender. I’ve had just about every amp ever made and I always come back to Fenders. I’ve got an old early silverface bandmaster reverb that I use for all my clean tones and a blackface showman that has been tweeked by Dan Torres that I use for lead.

AMP: Where do you stand on the tubes vs. solid state debate?

BILL: Tubes-hands down. I worked for McIntosh labs for 10 years and I remember when their new solid-state designs began to replace tubes. The old-timers (designers) had a big curtain set up and they used to do these blindfold style listening tests for perspective customers. I remember listening to both and always picking the tubes. They just sounded better.

AMP: Your guitar sound sometimes sounds very processed. Can you rundown the effects that you use.

BILL: It’s funny, I recently had a guitar-oriented website question whether the lead instrument in SO BE IT was really a guitar! It isn’t THAT damn processed! A lot of the way it sounds is because I play so weird. 90% of the CD was done with a Digitech GP7 processor. The weird sound was the pitch transposer setting–usually set to a 7th or 5th mixed in to give that Arabic or Indian sound. Because it wasn’t an “intellegent” pitch shift, it had lots of “out” sounding notes that bother some people when they first hear it. It certainly did give ANUBIS SPIRE a different sound!

AMP: Do you use any other overdrive or distortion pedals or stompboxes in general?

BILL: I collected effects for years! Just ask Steve Melkisethian, I bought every box of wires and knobs he could dig up. When I play just for fun I use your standard Jimi/SRV setup-an old crybaby to an original Fuzzface. I used to go the full shot and run those into an Octavia and an original Univibe but I eventually just hooked up a CORDIVOX rotating speaker and retired the Univox. I sometimes also use a DOD compressor and a Roland Distortion/feedbacker pedal. I used to use a ROCKMAN to record all my lead tracks. All the guitars on ROSWELL were recorded through the ROCKMAN.

AMP: Where do you stand on the analog vs. digital debate?

BILL: I love the ease of digital recording and processing but I have to admit I still find it “grainy”. Using the digital processor for all the guitars really gave the CD a thin shimmery sound with lots of grain and digital grit. If I had it to do over I’d probably just plug in my amp and wail. Even though we recorded entirely in analog, I really think you can hear the digital hollowness from digital processing.

AMP: Can you give us some of your influences musically and perhaps intellectually?

BILL: From the time I was a kid and first saw the documentary MONTEREY POP, I’ve loved Jimi Hendrix. There are lots of great guitarists that have influenced me, from Robert Johnson to John McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock and Larry Correll, but the thing I loved most about Jimi was that Jimi didn’t play guitar–Jimi played JIMI! He transcended the instrument. His soul would have come out in his music even if he played kazoo. MUSIC doesn’t follow rules, scales, modes and genre’s–PRODUCT does. That’s why we’re now in a musical dark ages, everybody wants to FIT. ANUBIS SPIRE is made up of four of the biggest misfits in the world and we’re damn proud of it! Intellectually, I’ve been influenced most by George Bernard Shaw and Hulk Hogan-not necessarily in that order.

AMP: And you thought’s on the Hulkster’s current bad boy image?

BILL: I don’t buy it. I think he’s an undercover agent for the WWF.

AMP: Your song “Underneath The Roswell Sun” basically blames the government for a cover-up. What is your opinion on the Roswell incident and in general what is your belief in the extraterrestrial scene?

BILL: Both my father and my older brother were in the airforce, and both of them admit that if the general public knew what regularly occurs behind those base gates they’d be blown-away! I think all REAL power is hidden. What we see is what we’re SUPPOSED to see. Ever since I saw the movie ZARDOZ, I’ve wondered who’s really pulling the strings. The Government continually says: “Please disregard the man behind the curtain”, especially about the Roswell incident. I do think that something happened back in 1947-something that had nothing to do with FUGO balloons, radar targets or parachuting test dummies. With UNDERNEATH THE ROSWELL SUN I was fantasizing an interview with someone who knew and had no reason to hide it anymore. Wishful thinking at it’s best! People always say ” If there is an intelligent, more highly advanced civilization coming here why don’t they contact us?” I think it’s because they ARE intelligent. Would YOU want to be on the planetary equivalent of a cosmic JERRY SPRINGER SHOW?

AMP: Watch it now Bill some good people live in trailer parks!

BILL: Don’t I know it! It’s people like my bass player Tim, who lives in an AMUSEMENT park that scare me!

AMP: What is your opinion of the vintage guitar market and do you attend vintage guitar shows?

BILL: I’ve been away from that scene for a couple of years. I’m a junkie though, and I know all it would take is one show and I’d be trying to find the Holy Grail (or at least a nice GUITORGAN or two)again!

AMP: When did you start playing guitar and what was your first guitar?

BILL: I got a late start. I really didn’t start playing till I was in high school. I’m entirely self taught because I’m just no good at following any type of instruction. (I’m sure this has something to do with my Scottish heritage- I’m not named WILLIAM WALLACE MacKechnie for nothing!) My first guitar was a one pickup Kingston that I bought along with a 5 watt amp for 50 bucks. Later, I stepped up to a FOUR pickup TIESCO!

AMP: You’ve mentioned you are into alternative tunings, How did this come about and what are they?

BILL: Just by fooling around. I could tell you my secret ANUBONICS tuning but then I’d have to kill you. I’m sure Joni Mitchell could tell you their names. I just fool around till I find something that sounds cool.
AMP: Many people feel that the last real energy in the music business died with the grunge movement. As an old lion, what are you current thoughts on the music industry, MTV and radio?

BILL: I think that the music industry is cutting it’s own throat. There are plenty of great bands out there, but you’ll never hear them because the suits are determined to ignore anything that will take any work to promote and break. They now have a plug-in mentality. Every band they sign is a smooth plug-in to a slot they’ve already defined. This works for a while, but eventually you end up with a lot of Dave Clark Fives (Am I dating myself,or what!) and no Beatles-if you get my drift.

AMP: to make it more contemporary we can say for every clash there is a Green Day

BILL: Yeah, actually, I think the Dave Clark Five…er, I mean the Clash.. were terribly under-rated. I think what I’m trying to say is that once in a while a truly original band will come along and by some fluke become successful. There’s nothing wrong with cashing in on that with a bunch of sound alike clone bands, but when they sign ONLY copies the gene-pool gets a bit murky and stagnant. Music starts marrying it’s cousin, you know? See what a terrible influence that Springer guy has had on our psyche!

AMP: On the CD “Old lions in the world of snarling sheep,” your music tends to be instrumental. Was this a conscious effort, do you have a problem with writing lyrics or did you lose contact with the person that was channeling lyrics through you?

BILL: Actually, ANUBIS SPIRE started as a completely instrumental band ala a more rock oriented Mahavishnu Orchestra. It wasn’t until Michael (Producer Michael Leo Brothers) got involved that we decided to add the vocal material. I’ve written tons of vocal songs but very few fit ANUBIS SPIRE. ROSWELL was written and recorded over 8 years ago as a publishers demo but IT seemed to fit. What you hear on the CD is the actual demo, we didn’t redo it, even though I played all the instruments on that one. (Mick also wants you to know that that’s ME on drums on MORE WEIGHT-he sure doesn’t want you to think it’s him!). The new CD-CHILDREN OF A FOREIGN FAITH will be more vocal oriented. I’ve already written more vocal tunes for it than are on OLD LIONS.

AMP: Does Anubis Spire have any plans for world domination?

BILL:Well…we might just be pressured into it. Lately, we’ve noticed a growing number of “followers” wearing red Fez’s and big blue work shirts showing up at concerts. At first we just thought they were confused Shriners but I fear it may be the beginning of a worldwide cult.

AMP: IF you find minature cars parked in the parking lot …..RUN you are in trouble!!!

BILL: Boy, knock on “multipiece Mahogany” that hasn’t happened yet!

AMP: How did you meet the other members of the band and how long have you been making music together?

BILL: I met Tim Costley in a Radio-Shack store back in 1925(or was it 1905), he helped me build every studio I’ve ever owned, from moving lumber to designing and building (and modifying again and again…) the studio console. I met Mick at a band audition. Neither one of us got the gig, but we formed the heart of ANUBIS SPIRE through our jams. Michael and I ran into each other at a music store. He had worked with all these famous mega-talented people and needed to take a break and work with a complete nobody. I introduced myself and the rest is history! The band has been together for 2 years now.

AMP: What advice would you give someone that wanted to produce or put out an independent CD?

BILL: Just do it! There has never been a better time. The internet has given the independent musician a real voice. Bands can now put their music into the ears of countless millions WITHOUT having to beg a label to sign them, so radio will play them, so magazines will write about them, so people will get to know them, so they’ll feel they have to run out and buy the CD, so the band can demand enough money to afford food to keep them alive long enough to make ANOTHER million for the label. Good riddance! The web doesn’t discriminate. No matter what kind of music you play, there’s an audience out there and with internet traffic DOUBLING every 90 days, this is only the beginning!

AMP: How do you think the internet has changed and will continue to change the music industry?

BILL: I think it’s taken a bit of control away from the mega labels. It used to be if you wanted to have a large number of people hear your music, you’d have to be signed. Labels controlled all the media and distribution machinery. You were out of luck unless you played the game. The internet allows anyone to put their art directly in front of fans without compromising their vision. I think that the labels will do the same thing they did when the indie labels started to break artists back in the 80′s–they bought them out and absorbed the threat. Right now they’re in panic mode, but that won’t last long. They’ll be jumping on the web and web bands real soon. I think there will be a flurry of signings just to make sure that there doesn’t emerge an internet-made superstar. If they let people find out that that can be done, their stranglehold over music in this country will be broken. Right now it’s just a crack in the dyke, but we all know what happens next. Once the cracks appear, it’s just a matter of time.

AMP: In a statement of shameless self promotion can you tell everyone how to get your CD and your website address.

BILL: The CD is available on the web from AMAZON.COM, CDNOW, MUSIC BOULEVARD, CDBABY etc, etc. It’s available in retail stores as a special order at SAM GOODY’S, TOWER etc. and I’m working with a distributor who’s trying to get them into the big national chains like BEST BUY, KMART etc. All of these details as well as reviews, interviews and music samples from the CD can be found on the web here and via our site links (-edited).

AMP: I think a true “Old Lion” would at least try to get banned in Boston!

BILL: I got an E-mail about two months ago from a guy who claimed to be an Airforce NCO. He asked me if I was aware that my song UNDERNEATH THE ROSWELL SUN had been banned from being played anywhere on any of their bases. It’s not quite Boston, but it’s a start…



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