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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mody Harris Band history

 

Mody Harris Band History

 

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The bands of Tom Mody and Jeffrey Harris  

Lynx
Band History Page

The band Lynx


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Lynx
Breaking Out
1987

go to album page.

Lynx - Breaking Out



Band Members

Jeffrey Harris - vocals Billy Pierce - bass
Todd hensley - guitar Chad Darrah - guitar
Andy James - drums  

 


LIVE VIDEO
Norwich VFW


 

 

 

 

 

band Lynx newpaper story

LYNX
Jeffrey Harris - March 1st 2007.

In the winter of 1986, I was in between musical projects as I had to take an indefinite musical hiatus due to focusing all of my attention to helping my then fiance through chemotherapy. Toward the end of chemotherapy and the good news that the lymphoma was in remission, I received word from Billy Rock-n-Roll that he was in an all original star filled band and they were auditioning vocalists. Billy had pitched to the guys that I would be a likely candidate to audition and to this day I really appreciate him going out on a limb for me. I kind of new the guys but had only worked with Billy. I had seen Chad Darrah and Andy James as they performed live with other bands and had no idea who Todd Hensley was although there was always talk of this incredible guitarist brother of Andy's whom was kind of an introvert. I had met Gary Dalton, who was their manager at the time, at my first vocal performance as I did Chad Darrah as well.

Andy James had been the young drummer with Torrod 1 that I had the opportunity to attend as a spectator when they played a show at Howard Johnson’s ballroom in Norwich. Unfortunately, by no fault of their own, the PA and lighting system, which was massive and impressive, would not reach the full potential to give the guys the show which they had worked so hard to achieve. I felt a little bad for them but not too much as Tom had kind of snubbed me for an audition for this band that everyone was talking about. His loss. Although the systems weren't even 50%, I could appreciate the musicianship. The only person I was not impressed with was the singer whom I will not name for anonymity. The person I was most impressed with was Andy James, the drummer. That kid rocked! I knew that I would have to someday work with this drummer. Well, now we are back to the LYNX audition.

After discussing with my fiance, we decided that things looked good for me to at least audition and we would see what happened from there. So I contacted Billy and he slipped me a cassette with some original songs that had Gary Dalton and Andy trading off with the singing to give the person auditioning, a sense of what they were supposed to be singing. This would be the first time I would be subjected to how many talents Andy James really had. Not only was he a phenomenal drummer, he could carry a tune vocally pretty well and he had very good sound engineering skills. The cassette Andy had recorded was very well done and crisp. This would also serve as the first time I would learn of the sheer guitar talent of Todd Hensley. When I heard these arrangements, I was blown away. These guys and their songs were solid. They were the real deal.

I had to get in no matter what it took, even though I felt very intimidated. I think I had less than a week to have a couple of tunes down for the audition. Bear in mind that I had only been solely a vocalist since sometime in the summer of 1985. So I studied intensely, and was very focused on what I was about to pursue. I rehearsed to the tape every waking moment whether with or without my equipment. When I wasn't rehearsing at home, I rehearsed to a jam box. When I was in my car I rehearsed to the car stereo cassette player. By the time my audition came, so did the butterflies and anxiety. The strange thing about this audition is the fact that the circumstances normally would have made even the most polished vocalist a little apprehensive due to the fact that the audition was to take place to a cassette only. No live band, all eyes intensely focused on me at arms length away. My saving grace is that it was the very same cassette that I had so passionately studied and I had had sufficient live experience to just pull this off.

My opening lines of BEG FOR MERCY had the guys looking at each other with the "nod" of this is good so far. As I worked through the song with ease, the look of acceptance seemed to be on their facial expressions and all of the changes and ad libs I had made to the song at this point seemed to be going well. But when I reached the point in the song where I would add a scream that they had no idea I was going to do, their jaws dropped and the great Andy James dropped to his knees, raised both hands flat together toward the sky and mouthed the word "yes" a couple of times with that huge Andy James grin. I was only half way through the song but had a pretty good idea at this point that I was in. This added to my confidence and the deeper I progressed through the song, the stronger my voice became and then I belted out another scream. This would seal my spot in the band.

From there we would rehearse our asses off and build the largest stage show that the area had ever seen complete with a seven foot drum riser with a chain link gate we stole from the local salvage yard which, by the way, we could all stand behind underneath the riser during the intro and solos. When we had everything tight, we began every type of publicity promotion we could think of. Then we would perform the largest show to ever hit the area. The sound and light company was Star Fire, one of the best on the east coast. The show was massive with 5 Turbo cabinets per side, an enormous light show including a spot light, pyrotechnics, large EAW monitors and plenty of racked power and outboard gear. The list is endless.

Lynx band with Jeffrey Harris
Todd & Jeff at VFW show
Ironically and unfortunately, the very first show we played to several hundred that night at the VFW, would also be our last. Philosophical differences, attitudes and egos along with young musicians would cause scars far too deep to entirely overcome. I was kicked out of the band shortly after the show and begged for my position back thinking I would never have the chance to find as good local musicians to work with. My begging was to no avail and then I was left without my dignity which angered me as well as left me frustrated.

Just when I had all but given up, I was contacted to come back and work things out only to discover much later that the real intent was to use me to record a studio demo so they could shop their talent and possibly find another vocalist. I hate to publish this but the truth of the matter at the time was there was basically one person who wanted me out shortly after the show and the rest of the band followed suit only because they were kind of persuaded to do so as most of them would state to me confidentially in isolated instances later in life. I prefer to protect this person's identity as I have re-established a relationship with this person and besides, we were young and it really has no significance at this point other than it makes for an interesting story.

Lynx band with Jeffrey Harris
Lynx mirror promo photo
Anyhow, we all saved up our money, focused on pre-production rehearsal, rehearsing our asses off again and found a studio in Ontario NY. Hamster Cage Studio is where we would record and stay as guests of the owner/engineer and former Head East guitarist, Tony Gross. We recorded four songs and gained experience that will stay with me for as long as I have capacity in my brain to remember. This was my first "real" recording studio experience.

The vocal booth was unfinished so I had to record most of the vocals in the live room. The room consisted of walls where no one wall was symmetrical to any of the others. The reverb on the recording is natural and there is nothing else added other than compressor/limiter and EQ. We had a good time during our stay and became friends with Tony enough for him to take us out. I believe we went to see his girlfriend's band - Jeff Casco and Times Square. They were very good.

After we put our kit together and sent them out, we, as far as some of us knew, didn't receive any response at all. I think Todd and Andy had some sort of falling out and this would eventually be the demise of the band. We tried to rehearse and audition people, but it just wasn't the same. Todd could write a song better than anyone I had known up to this point and he just had "it". He and I wrote well together. He had the talent, but not the drive that Andy has always had. Finally I left and then the rest just kind of fizzled out parting ways for good at least as far as LYNX was concerned. Fortunately for me, I kept in touch with these guys and eventually would work with most of them again. To be continued...

 

 

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

 

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