United Dictators of Mars: The Music of Tom Mody & Jeffrey Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mody Harris Band history

 

Mody Harris Band History

 

Contact Tom & Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bands of Tom Mody and Jeffrey Harris  

ARCHIVON
Band History Page


Band Members

Jeffrey Harris - vocals Tom Mody - guitar
Billy Pierce - bass Todd Hensley - guitar
Bob Heath - bass Brian Blaine - drums

The band ARchivon 1993 - 1994. Tom Mody & Jeffrey Harris

Recordings & Releases

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Archivon
Road to Purgatory
2007

go to album page.

Archivon- Road to Purgatory DVD

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Archivon
das Boot DVD
2007

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Archivon - das Boot DVD

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Archivon
Best of
1993-1994

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Archivon - album Best of

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Archivon
Live das Boot
1993

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Archivon - album Best of

 

 


LIVE VIDEO
RockFest '93
The Purgatory
The Taz


1993
Year in Video


 

 

 

 

 

ARCHIVON

Tom Mody:
Harbinger was at a standstill mid 1992. I don't even know if Billy and Todd were officially "in the band". I was launching a personal business venture to hopefully keep me out of the 9 to 5 thing I'd avoided the past few years. No doubt much of my time was taken up with that but Jeff and I still were intenet on reviving things. In late '92 we happened across an article in the Hamilton New York paper about a local band. It was one of those articles bands write to trump up themselves and look good in the paper but we've been there before and Jeff and I assumed there wasn't anything special going on there and that maybe we can meet their drummer. He looked cool enough in the photo. I don't remember how we got in contact with him but we were right. His band was doing nothing really and we met him at his parents house. He was just out of high school and raw to this stuff. We went up to his bedroom and he had a really nice double bass kit. That was a plus. Then he sat down on his stool and just floored us- he was incredible. We left him a tape and showed up again and he played some of the songs. I'll steal Jeff's line- enter Brian Blaine.

Jeffrey Harris:
Sometime in '92, we took somewhat of a break as Todd and Billy were growing impatient and were either bored or losing interest because we still did not have a drummer. Todd had actually quit the band. In Early 1993, I bought a home in Randallsville NY and the "band" which wasn't really much of a band at this point, was without a rehearsal space. So Tom and I were determined to take this opportunity to write, locate a drummer and locate a rehearsal space. Tom & I have always been like Gene and Paul of KISS when it would come to managing and sticking it out. I am unsure when or how but Tom & I hooked up with this young drummer. Enter Brian Blaine. Brian had recently moved to Hamilton NY with his family from somewhere in the eastern part of the state or just outside of the state in MASS. Hamilton was 5 minutes due east of where I was living. Tom & I, though skeptical because of all of the posers we would encounter, decided to take a chance and go see what this new comer had to offer. We figured it was probably going to be a waste of our time because what kind of talent could come from this local area besides us?! Were we in for a shock?!! To our surprise, this kid was very good and showed extreme potential. We had no way of knowing though, if he would be able to perform our material because we were listening to him play to Led Zepplin and Rush among others. We discussed this topic at length while at my home after the initial viewing and telling Brian we would be in touch. I think we agreed to give Brian our Harbinger tape and try to coach him along knowing the material may be difficult to decipher as a "real" drummer. He agreed to give it a try and we left the tape with him. The next time we arrived at his place we were in awe that he had worked out some of the arrangements even though some of the arrangements gave him difficulty due to programming as we had figured would be the case. I think he may have also been in awe of what we had to offer after listening to the tape. So we patiently nursed him along and began looking for a rehearsal space. Brian was going to be the answer to our prayers.

Tom Mody & jeffrey Harris of Archivon
Archivon 1993
As we were striking out in our quest to locate rehearsal space, Brian's dad Chris Blaine was very impressed with us and he and his wife Linda had decided to let us rehearse in the basement of the new house they were having built. It was loud but beggars can't be choosers. I know that Todd came a few times as is evident on some video footage I have but for some reason he stopped coming. I think he said it had something to do with this sinus problem if I am remembering correctly but in reality it was a girl thing. So we decided to rehearse as a four piece and get Brian up to snuff. At some point we had to move out as the Blaine's had moved into their new home. That was the deal. So I beat on the door of local club owner, Bob Nardi, whom I had known for many years as a patron and had gigged his establishment dozens of times over the years.
He agreed to let us rehearse there on the premise that we pay him a little rent and I pull some favors for him, keep the place clean and by the time warm weather would arrive we would have to move out so he could be open full boar. So I did the DJ thing again whenever the strippers were in town and we would, at times, have to move all of our gear to another location in the building. Then move it back out to be able to rehearse. It became a pain but we had a large space to work in even though it was loud in there as well.

Tom Mody:
Nardi's was the place I played my first show with Harbinger. I also have fond memories of it in my highschool days as the place to go if you wanted to get in a bar underage. It was an infamous college dance club- though Bob Nardi didn't own it then. Again we had free run of a bar like back in the Torrod days with pool, video games, etc. It was a great place to just hang out and waste part of your day. Over the spring we met with a few guitarist and some guy name Chris Montgomery joined us in May for maybe two practices. I don't know why it didn't work out.

We also learned of another band named Harbinger that was up in the Albany area. I'm not sure who had the name first but in June we decided to change the name of the band. Usually it's the worst chore you can imagine but one of our unfinished Harbinger songs from a year earlier was called Archivon. It was song of memories past and it was also the name of our high school yearbook in Sherburne. Jeff and I really pushed that to be the band name and if we agreed on something, that's usually how it will be. I really connected with that name except people didn't know what to do with the "ch". How it was properly enunciated. That's a pain having your name pronounced wrong. Also that month Billy won some tickets to a Kiss meet and greet promotion so we drove to New York City for the day and met Kiss. No I didn't slip Gene Simmons a tape but I wish that was my style.

In July we were able to rent a room in the closed Smyrna grade school. We've had some interesting rehearsal spaces before but what I liked about this place is that there were some other bands and a small studio there so it had some social appeal. We certainly had a big enough room with a large walk-in storage area. By then Brian was comfortable playing most of the material and at some point Todd changed his mind and joined us.
Billy Pierce & Todd Hensley
Billy & Todd at Smyrna rehearsal
I'll never forget that first practice with Todd and how awesome it was to hear those Harbinger songs with a full compliment of guitar AND drums. The machine was in motion again. We had a nice photo shoot at the school where I used the reverse side of my Van Halen 5150 tour backdrop I acquired from Show Lights in Los Angeles in 1988 during my Torrod days.

Jeffrey Harris:
When we were finally a unit again, it was great. It was so fresh and fulfilling that I can't even describe it. We were complete and could now get serious again. We would hone our skills and polish our product. We had some very great times there. We were planning an outdoor show at Nardi's for sometime late summer so we did what came naturally. We focused seriously on pre-production rehearsal and began planning for our stage show. We built a rather large stage show with every resource available to us including scaffolding, which my dad owned, for the drum riser. The stage was planned on paper but we actually began building on site a week before the show so there were some hiccups along the way which were eventually worked out leading right up to show time. To keep us in touch with our drummer who would be 12' feet in the air from the ground, we built 10' ramps which would reach the drum riser from our stage which was elevate 2' from the ground. We had David Grace of Earthworks Design, paint the logo which Tom had designed, onto the ramps which I had built. Again, we used the black and gold concept for some reason. We began negotiations with a band named Floating Noah with Mosh serving as liaison to play on the same stage together since we were acquaintances. These negotiations took place in the beginning stages of our planning. But we needed someone to supply a decent PA. FN had ties with a band called Culprit because they had opened for Culprit on numerous occasions. Opening for them was a great strategy because Culprit had a huge following. So FN contacted Culprit and forwarded the word that we were all interested in combining forces to put on a large summer concert. We would provide the venue, stage and monitor gear and they would provide the PA and lighting. After some visits and negotiating, we finally agreed and gave Culprit the benefit of being the headlining act to play last. Finally, after days of building my as off, and some publicity stunts including K-Rock's "Backstage Live", show time had arrived and everything was coming together.

Tom Mody:
In August we really got things smokin' and a show was set up outside at Nardi's with some other bands. We actually were second on the bill with Culprit headlining. Poor Culprit. I'm not sure if this actually was Culprit's show or if we arranged for them to headline because they had been playing and we hoped they'd bring their fans.
band Archivon live 1993
Archivon at Rock Fest '93
But Nardi's was our spot and we set up a huge drum riser, easily 10' high with a ramp. The day before we did a half hour on-air radio interview at K-Rock in Utica promoting "Rock Fest '93". Our music was played and we discuss all sorts of stuff. Listeners could call in for tickets. It was a memorable day. The next day our friends in Floating Noah opened the show. We hit the stage in mid afternoon and had just a crushing set which was filmed on camcorder and eventaully became our Live bootleg style CD- "Live das Boot". I do remember Culprit being a bit stunned by it all. The stage set. The energy. The all original onslaught. I would know that feeling myself just one time and it wasn't far off.

Jeffrey Harris:
We played next in the early evening and even though there were a couple of minute technical instances in the early part of the show, we blew the clouds off the sky! A stellar, fast paced, action packed show! I remember it being hot and fun. Then Culprit played as darkness fell. They played a decent show but the audience was not even close to receptive to them as they were for us. That is just an observation of the facts and not to be confused with criticism. We enjoyed our headlining guests, hospitality and their show. But I think they were somewhat intimidated by the show we put on because they never spoke to us again and we never were invited to be their guests as openers even when we would inquire to do so. We heard some rumors but they were all here-say and we just shrugged it off and went about our business. We would then move our stage back to the studio and rehearse like this which was cool for a while, but we needed more. Somehow we established contact with Jon Moyer of luv-lite productions. He had worked with well known acts on the east coast including Benny Mardonas. I had met him before as I was friends and jammed with one of Benny's guitarists Steve Uhlin who had also co-formed and played in a band in Oswego with a young and talented singer named Lou Grammatica. The name of the band was Black Sheep who later would open for KISS. Lou Grammatico would join Foreigner and become Lou Gramm. So anyway there is this long history of music with Jon Moyer. Perhaps I had established contact with him through my channels. I don't really recall.

Tom Mody:
We set up a meeting with John Moyer of Luv-LiteProductions,a small management business that was booking acts on smaller tours. He was a nice enough guy and we left him a tape and waited to see what happened but it was the Harbinger tape with the drum machine. We needed a new demo with Brain and new songs. It seemed fortunate that in the Smyrna School was a guy with a recording studio. He claimed to run sound for the 70's band Argent. In every band money is an issue. Sometimes it's about what you put back into the band. Sometimes certain guys in the band put more in and that creates a power play. And sometimes certain guys are expected to shoulder more burden. We needed to pay for this studio time but we weren't making any money as a band. We recorded a few songs in this studio for about $300 or $400 and they were awful, horrible. He did a terrible job and bumbled over the whole process. We had done way better with our cheap mixers and cassette multi-tracks. When it came time to pay I had to front most of the money expecting to be paid back. Guys were not happy having to pay and getting no product.

Jeffrey Harris
In the winter of '93 we decided to record some of our new material so we would have better representation of our full 5 piece unit as with a different name. We had become acquaintances with this "recording engineer" down the hall named John Tagg. He supposedly had engineered with the band Argent decades ago. He had some fairly decent gear and had built a studio in his space down the hall. He was recording this talented guitarist kid whom Todd had given lessons. Enter Mark Sherwood, an extremely talented kid which Todd had given lessons to until he could teach him no more. Todd is an extremely talented and intelligent guitar player. For this kid to soak up everything Todd could teach him in a short time, you know he was very gifted. Our jaws about dropped upon Todd coming in one day and exclaiming "I have taught Mark all that I can possibly teach him. He has progressed beyond my instruction." But I digress. Mark was now recording with John Tagg and the stuff they had recorded sounded incredible. So why wouldn't we record with John? We would soon discover why. I don't remember what John's hourly rate was but it seemed to take days just to get a fair drum sound. When he finally did, I for one was disappointed with it and the antics he would use to get the sound he did. This should have been an omen of what was to come. Somewhere along the process we were about 3/4 of the way through Tom's guitar parts for Detector Of Lies. It had to be about 1 a.m. and John had this burnt out look in his eyes. I watched as he was going to punch Tom in on an edit he needed to do. His finger just started going back and forth as if he had no idea what track number he was punching. My instincts were correct. Tom was now playing his part in a track other than what it was supposed to be in. This went on until Tom was finished with his part. Tom and I had asked why we weren't able monitor certain other instruments during that section and if John forgot to turn them on for monitoring. He played the track a few times but we were hearing either dead silence or the part Tom had just played every time. We were furious. Frustrated, we went back to our studio and voted to cut our losses, scrap JT's recording and record on our own.

Tom Mody:
We made the decision to record again ourselves. We had a discussion about buying an 8 track and of course, I had the credit card to do it. The band was suppose to pay me back with album or show sales.
Jeff again was at the helm of the engineering and we set up the recorder in the closet of our rehearsal room. We recorded 3 songs though we neglected to record a song called All Walks of Life which we had been playing for years and which we recorded at the other studio. I don't know why- I think we wanted to do Comatose because we needed a ballad type song. So, like Grand Canyon and You Know Who, All Walks of Life would never get an official release- too bad on all 3 counts. Great songs. Jeff put together a really clean mix and we finally had our new demo which we promptly delivered to John Moyer. I think there was a bit of a rush because he wanted to submit the demo to the selection committee at the upcoming Empire Music Conference which would allow us to do an industry showcase there if chosen.

Jeffrey Harris:
When our demo was completed, we submitted it to Jon and he in turn entered us into the Empire Music Conference to take place October 15-17 1993. We had little time to polish up. But we did, of course. Before we would attend the conference, we played a show at a club in Binghamton NY called the Tasmanian Embassy or Taz as everyone referred to it. This place was a dive but we were playing.

Tom Mody:
Maybe the best night we've ever had came at the Lillie's Battle of the Bands in Utica. It was a packed house and we blew the roof off the place with a 4 song set- and we knew it. We won for best band, best drummer and best guitarist (for Todd). What can I say- he had the Comatose solo! He didn't stay to the end of the night so I had to walk up there and get his award, a number of guitar accessories, and say thanks on his behalf. I also kept the $400 first prize which was a bone of contention but the band owed me money. I think as a compromise I ended up keeping only half and splitting the rest so they would have some winnings in their pocket.

Jeffrey Harris:
Just before the Empire Music Conference, we played a Battle of the Bands at a place called Lilly's When we hit the stage we were very confident. Our show was solid! We hammered our set!! I must admit, that I had an incredibly great time and the promotion/production was one of the better and most memorable experiences that I recall in a club atmosphere. I believe Kelly Yacco was a promoter and kudos to him for endorsing such a worthy and successful cause. We won the following categories: Best band; Best guitarist-Todd; and Best Drummer-Brian. I can't speak for Tom but with regard to myself, I still feel as though it was a bittersweet victory. I probably shouldn't feel that way but I am very confident that there was no one that night that even came close to competing with me vocally. I believe a couple of the judges even felt guilty. One of them when congratulating us and handing us awards couldn't even look me in the eyes and said something which I have a hard time letting go of; "We couldn't let you guys win every category so we had to give a couple of prizes to others or people would be disappointed." What? What about the disappointment of Tom and myself? Give me a break. Hell, even the winner of best vocalist came up to me and told me that he knew that trophy really belonged to me. Obviously I took a liking to him and we had a good conversation. That really made me feel much better about the night. I really don't recall what his name was but he was an admirable person and a nice guy. That show was a huge confidence builder for us. I wish we had a copy of the video tape which was filmed that night.

Tom Mody:
We did get chosen to play at the Empire Music conference in Rochester We spent a few days up there attending the convention lectures and it was there I saw first hand the appeal of Motorhead's Lemmy Kilminster. Don Dokken and him were in a huge debate over how best to submit your demos to record companies. Don was all decked out in rock star casual wear. Lemmy was slumped over in dirty jeans milking an adult beverage. Don insisted with new digital technology that you had to make the best impression with a nice clean product and no tape hiss. Lemmy calmly responded that that's rubbish, a good song is all that matters. He then followed that up with this gem, "I always liked to hear the hiss on the beginning of a tape. It lets you know something's coming". The place erupted. Lemmy wins again. As for playing, different bands were set up a different venues around Rochester. Our club was a small dump with barely a PA. We were upset and so was the other band- Harbinger. The same band that convinced us to consider changing our name. Nice guys and they had heard of us as well. We made a big stink about it and the promoter showed up in his limo with a fat ass cigar hanging out of his mouth. He apologized for the crap set-up and booked us at a different location the next night. It was called The Purgatory and it was an extreme metal club. The band that preceded us was called Attica and they blew the doors off the place. I was now standing in Culprits shoes. Knowing there were industry executives attending these shows we had been rehearsing some of our more commercial sounding stuff but we hastily decided that we needed to play the heavy stuff. I think the lack of preparation made Billy nervous because he got lost in some songs we'd been playing for years (but hadn't rehearsed) and we didn't have a stellar set. None of us were on our game and I remember us botching the song XL to the point of embarrassment.

The sound man didn't help matters any with an atrocious mix but that's no excuse considering Attica blasted through their set just fine. I do also recall Jeff constantly pointing to his ears to let them know he couldn't hear himself and that's a death sentence for a singer but he got little help. Maybe Attica had their own sound man, I don't know, but it was frustrating. We didn't leave there with the same confidence after our Lillie's triumph.

In the cage of The Purgatory

Jeffrey Harris:
At the EMC after basically boycotting playing at this venue with a Mickey Mouse PA and light show, We had our way and were rescheduled to a different club. We traveled downtown to check out where the club was. The club was named Purgatory and the name alone made us a little nervous. When we went inside there was this band on stage surrounded by chain link fence. This added to our anxiety. The band was incredibly talented and probably were the winners of the conference. We decided to change our set around because of the notion that this was a biker bar and our planned set was not suitable for the club. We wondered what we had gotten ourselves into and before we knew it, we were on the stage. We chose our heavier songs last minute because we thought they would go over well being a biker bar and all. I remember Billy goofing up a couple of times but for some reason I am thinking we did well. I am sure Tom will have better recollection of the show. I do remember thinking as we hit the stage, I can't wait until this is over. Everything we prepared for had taken a detour to where and how we would perform. What a horrible feeling. The next day, we felt a little satisfaction in knowing that we did fulfill our goal of playing the Empire Music Conference with short notice.

The last day helped ease our pain as we met Lemmy Kilminster, Don Dokken, Lou Gramm and as our "Manager" had his turn to speak as one of the distinguished panel of guests, he totally led us into the twilight zone by commenting on the "Lula Polanza" tour. While being corrected by one of the other panel guests that it was "Lolla Paluza" , this guy in attendance broke out into his Jim Morrison version of citing Jimi Hendrix lyrics as if he were reciting poetry trying out for a part in a play. Just when everyone thought he was going to fizzle out, he stood up and walked out of his aisle and into the main aisle walking toward the panel and every step of the way reciting his poetry getting louder and louder. This is the point where I really began to think that we didn't have such a bad ordeal after all. And then we went home.

Tom Mody:
In January of '94 we finally started to do some shows like a real band. We played the Tazmanian Embassy (not the real one) in Binghamton a number of times and had a million laughs there. In particular was a night where in the basement dressing rom we found some extremely soiled underwear which seemed to be getting passed around into peoples guitar cases. Todd could be a bit eccentric at times and he's had a number "incidents" for such a low key guy. On this night while the first band was playing he actually walked into the crowd with this underwear on over his pants. Jeff came behind him and pulled them down and he just stood there with this dirty underwear around his ankles watching the band- outrageous. They must have liked us because I remember getting to bed about 5:00am after a show there and the phone ringing at 8:00, it was the owner wanting us back that night. I'm thinking "why didn't you tell me that last night, we would have left the gear?" This is also the point where we started to add some metal covers into the set. In fact, I recall opening shows with a Megadeth song. I'm sure I was vehemently opposed to this but I was the minority and it create a little spark in our rehearsals which I enjoyed. I was also surprised how this helped me as a player to improve and sparked some new writing ideas.

By early spring the "usual" cracks in the band started to happen...AGAIN! Both Brian, Todd and Billy all quit at some point in this time line. I don't know what Brian's problem was (probably me) but he reconsidered after a few days. Todd was probably in mid life crisis (approaching age 30 for musicians). Billy's issue was probably money. One argument we had concerned payback of the multi-track I had purchased. No one really wanted to pay me back assuming that if the band broke up that I would end up with it. Fair point but that's not what the arrangement was. Brian was the most opposed, Jeff was diplomatic but clearly in the middle. To me it wasn't about the money but the waffling and the "what-if's". This was just telling me that not everyone was completely invested in the band. I actually had done alot for Brian, I helped him get his drivers license, I employed him for work with my business on a number of occasions and fronted money for rent and such when needed. (some of which was never paid back.) So by late spring I'm not even sure who was in the band. It may have just been me, Jeff and Brian.

Jeff and I didn't waste the time, we worked sometimes daily at his house on new songs. The covers we were playing had given me some vibrant ideas and we fleshed out our best stuff yet. The 3 songs which would show up on our Archivon '94 demo and the same 3 songs which we would redo in 2007 under UDM.

Jeffrey Harris:
At various points Todd, Brian and Billy would quit the band and return all at separate intervals. As Tom and I discuss this, it seemingly happened several times. We also moved around quite a bit shuffling back and forth between rehearsal spaces. At some point, a majority of equipment would end up at my home in Randallsville where Tom & I would begin re-inventing ourselves. This was a great time in our musical lives. We wrote three songs which would set us apart from any project we had ever been a part of. The songs were totally different than anything we had ever written. Sometime in 1994 Billy was out and we landed this bass player who was still in high school. His name was Bob Heath. We immediately clicked. Bob was cool, witty and was a solid bass player. He lived in Windsor NY. His dad (Bear) would bring him to rehearsals and hang out until we were done. I became friends with Bear and as it turned out, we had a lot in common. Bear was an amateur on the BASS fishing circuit. I am an avid bass fisherman, mostly largemouth. So we always had much to talk about. Anyhow, Bob would always have these bass guitar runs and sayings which stuck with Tom and I enough to use them later in life in our recordings as well as everyday life. At some point Todd was back in with us.

Tom Mody:
Bobby Heath had answered an ad we posted in Binghamton. I send Bob the Archivon '93 demo and received a response back with a letter from his dad who was very impressed and really wanted Bob to join our band. I think Bob was only a Junior in high school and he was trying to relay the issues involving Bob's future. Bob was an outstanding bass player and we figured we try this and cross what ever bridges later on. What choice did we have. His dad actually hand made Bob's instrument and his support was big help, plus he wasn't too over bearing. However, he was formerly a Hell's Angel so even a little overbearing could be a problem. Bob also had an hour drive to practice so his dad would drive him or Jeff and I would go get him. I'd been chauffeuring Todd around for years, what's another 2 hours round trip? We were dedicated and did what we had to do which is why sometimes you can read a bit of sarcasm in Jeff's and my writing concerning others true commitment.

Upon getting Bob down to practice and realizing the incredible talent we had, Todd was contacted and told to get his ass down to practice. Todd was then back in the fold and we moved back into Smyrna school where the now defunct recording studio use to be. Rehearsals were quite lively as Bob was up with a more modern sound and what was in with kids in 1994. We added some new covers and rehearsed our new originals.
Tom Mody, Todd Hensley, Bob Heath
Tom, Todd & Bob- Smyrna rehearsal

Jeffrey Harris:
I think we recorded most of our new material in the Smyrna old school where John Tagg had previously had his recording studio. It was smaller than what we were used to but it had a control booth which we took full advantage of. All of our outboard and recording gear would be in the booth while we were in the live room. We even set up a camera in the live room which was connected to a stereo VCR in the control booth as well as the 8 track recording cassette device. We not only used this for recording our demo, we recorded live rehearsals. There was some pretty cool stuff on tape.

the band Archivon 1994
Archivon '94 photo shoot...out take!
Tom Mody:
In late August we started recording our next demo. Jeff did an great job of getting it a dirtier, heavier sound. Bob was not use to writing originals and he noticeable lacked the flair Billy put into songs but he had no problem recording the straight forward parts we created and that was proof enough he could handle all facets. Jeff however did not record vocals tracks at the time, I don't know why. He may have been recovering from throat problems or sinusitis or what ever plagued him ever now and then.

Jeffrey Harris:
Somewhere in all of this we played a gig at a friend of mines place out in the middle of nowhere. The guys name was Walt Palmer and he had this place on a small lake (Stone Mill Pond) in Lebanon NY. We called the show Walt Stock which would be the test to see how well we would do with Bob. It was a party which hardly anyone showed up to and it became very cold that night. It really turned into a fiasco and I think Bob and his dad were disappointed enough to where Bear told us we needed to either shit or get off the pot. His son needed to make money because he was driving now. Ouch!

Tom Mody:
Walt Stock was a in theory a good place for Bob to get some live experience but it was a mess. During set up something surged and blew some of our gear. I remember scrambling back to the rehearsal space to get replacements for stuff. Some of our rack gear was completely destroyed. We did have a nice stage set up and some guy brought down his DJ lighting so it looked cool but it turned really cold and was just another crazy thing we tried to pull together that probably went off better than we thought. Bear, Bob's dad however was not happy that Bob played for free and had to set up gear. I had to calm him down and explain to him why we played this show and that Bob needed a breaking in, no pressure gig. He eventually understood.

Smyrna School eventually was sold so we had to move again. First to an empty business space for a month the to another empty business space in the city of Norwich. That was actually helpful in getting us some exposure as kids would often hang out at practices which kept us on our toes some times, but it could also be a distraction. There was a small amount of tension due to Jeff not finishing his vocals. The recording equipment was at his house to finish up at his convenience, however, it actually took months before he did them.

We entered a Battle of the Bands sponsored by the State College in Morrisville and had another killer set. I remember we opened with a drop-D, steroid version of Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies". This event was a little bigger than The Lillie's show the previous year but we ended up coming in second. we lost out to a progressive jazz/rock outfit so we still felt we were the most lethal metal band around.

Jeff brought the recorder down to the Studio in early December and we finally mixed the damn demo. This was an important step in finally getting us some shows and presenting our new sound to industry. Bob needed the boost as well. He was now driving long distances on icy roads and he may have gotten himself a girlfried-trouble. But bigger issues were ahead for 1995.

Jeffrey Harris:
The talent show at a club in Oneonta which was a success. The crowd really dug us. We had a very good time. But this would be the last night that my world would be sane for some time. My then wife of 5 years turned my whole life upside down. Without getting deeply into it, she split and left me with a world of turmoil and grief. This hurt the band tremendously as I became less and less responsible and reliable and kind of "off the wall". We were moving around a bit to different rehearsal spaces and at some point had to complete the recording of our three songs which we had started. I inadvertently pulled a "John Tagg" and lost a piece of Brian's drum tracks during my "insane" era. But with my ingenuity, I was able to recover from my careless mistake with little time wasted. The space we were in at this point was the old Firestone building in Norwich NY. It was a huge warehouse which would have been cool if it were summer or was heated well, but it was very cold in there and definitely not the ideal conditions for musicians. Everything becomes very hazy to me during this period and the last few things I remember during this time is completing the recording, playing at a dive in Johnson City NY which actually turned out to be cool and rehearsing at yet another rehearsal studio in Norwich. I do remember meeting a couple of guys during this period named Shawn Dubois and his brother Cecil who became roadies before this move and perhaps we moved into a space which we shared. They too were musicians. After this, I only know that I was drunk much of the time and irresponsible. I wish that I could have that part of life to do over again. I'm currently waiting to catch up with Martian technology so that I can go back in time and make changes. I'll let you know how that works out. In the meantime, I will have to let Tom fill in the gaps. I am sure it will be an enlightening experience for me.

Tom Mody:
Brian had clued me in to a potential land mine in Jeff's marriage and when that blew the entire band with it's frail threads was torn into chaos. Jeff's not at fault, we all knew his wife, we liked her and respected the space she gave Jeff. It was an insane situation and not quite in the norm of what you may be thinking. Jeff would show up at practice zombie white in complexion just going through the motions. We played a show at an up and coming metal club in Binghamton that went over surprisingly well- then the club burned down the next week. Jeff and I had done some rounds in Cortland and Ithaca to scope out some potential clubs but I was hesitant to even approach managers. Jeff was a mess though I trusted in time he would recover. Todd could flake any day, anytime, anyway possible. Bob and Brian were having a hard time seeing the light. I was so happy with the direction of our demo. After all these years I wasn't feeling behind anymore. I felt in flow with the heavier side of the current music industry and I thought Jeff was really in a comfort zone vocally which to me was the key to it all. This style was his home, his strong suit. We just didn't have anyplace to play and though I would have been willing to spend what was necessary to do that. No one else was in that position and again I was feeling the burden of money.

In early '95 we again had to move to an upstairs studio which we shared with another band. That was uncomfortable and practices were usually based on who showed up that night. I again was loaning Brian money for rent and that was uncomfortable given the tenuous state of the band. Jeff actually quit in January amidst his issues. It may sound trivial but I was having a horrible day. I'm a life long Steelers fan they had just lost to the Chargers for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. I take those losses hard sometimes, being die-hard, and then Jeff calls me about quitting. My (future) wife again refers to that black day often in reminding me how low I can get. Jeff changed his his mind a week later. We continued on rehearsing and had a few meetings to try and figure out some gimmicks and other odd things to breathe life into us but to be quite honest, it seems like the wind just came in and calmly, gently dissipated the remains of what we called Archivon. Actually a funny thing was that we went to see Billy's new band play at a local bar and the next day, March 4th, the band decided to call it quits. It had nothing to do with seeing Billy's band who was average at best, but it was ironic. I don't know who instigated the decision but it was mutually agreed.

Maybe like Todd I was in musician mid life crisis. I was a year away from 30 but unlike Todd I was brimming with confidence in my playing and writing. My personal life was quite content and I had other things to fall back on. But health issues had been looming all through Archivon and I could get by with these musicians I had a comfort zone with. If I couldn't get this problem resolved I would definitely not be able to move my confidence to a better situation.

Archivon would be the last I would see of young Bobby Heath. I know at some point within the next year he would join a country rock band and start making some money. I didn't speak at all really to Brian. Todd I saw quite lot in Norwich and though I should have slapped him upside the head for all the cap over the years I understood people are who they are and I was comfortable with him and I was as much responsible for letting him back in the band. Jeff and I spoke often and soon he wanted to get back on the horse. Problem was it was the same old ass.

 

 

 
Band Histories
Tom Mody | Jeffrey Harris | Torrod | Lynx | Harbinger | Archivon | End on reality | I Storm | UDM
 

 

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