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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The bands of Tom Mody and Jeffrey Harris  

United Dictators of Mars
Band History Page


Band Members

Jeffrey Harris - voices Tom Mody - music

United Dictators of Mars - Tom MOdy & Jeffrey Harris


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UDM
Alternate Dimension
2011

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United Dictators of Mars - Alternate Dimension

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UDM
Questions for God
2008

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United Dictators of Mars - Questions for God

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UDM
Smash Hits
2002

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United Dictators of Mars - Smash Hits

 


OFFICIAL VIDEO
When I Die
Piece of Heaven
Heavy Dreams


VIDEO XTRAS
making W.I.D
QFG Video Outs
AD in Studio



Frehley Tribute
Christmas Songs

 

 

 

 

United Dictators of Mars

Tom Mody:
End on reality did not carry on without me when I left in 1998 though they may have discussed it. A short time later
a fellow musician introduced me to the world of computer recording right on your mac. As a long time mac user I was of course really intrigued as I had yet to have been exposed to the digital recording platform. When I moved in with my fiance I set up an office studio with the intent of home recording. Over the years I had maintained some dealer accounts with audio manufacturers that were probably suppose to be used for retail sales of their products and not for the sole purpose of getting me dealer discounts on gear. Because I had developed a successful business web site with a few unrelated products I decided to start putting these dealer contacts to their proper use and sell these items over the internet. This was not common practice in 1998 and there were some hurdles legitimizing a home business having audio dealers drop ship to customers instead of selling out of a retail space. I claimed my wife's book store as my retail space and carried on developing some other dealerships- Digital recording software was one of them.

Jeffrey Harris:
Of course EOR did not continue on and if we discussed it, it was very brief. I think everyone was pretty burned out and didn’t want to pursue having to search for another axe man and then the daunting task of getting them up to speed. So I took some time off.

Tom Mody:
Around the time I was married in 1999 I discussed with Jeff that though my live band days were over it would be awesome to just set up shop at home with this new technology and build a catalog of music at our convenience. Along with the back catalog of our previosu bands by the time we were old and gray we'd have much to be proud of and hopefully through this process we could write a few great sounding albums over the years that hit the mark with our vision. I know for Jeff the prospect of just coming in and singing without any technical or production duties was very appealing.

Jeffrey Harris:
When Tom pitched his idea to me and invited me to be a part of it, at first I was a bit reluctant but after digesting and giving it and giving it some thought, I became excited about it and took him up on his offer. The thought of walking into a recording studio with just my voice and all I had to do is sing seemed enticing! So we embarked on our journey and here we are years later still hammering it out in the studio.

Tom Mody:
I remember the first weeks getting this software up and running and recording the harmony tracks for Voice from the Past and working with the original drum machine sounds for Last on Earth and just being overwhelmed with the technology of it all. Overwhelmed with excitement and the possibilities and how easy it was to change and correct the recording process. To be able to cut and paste audio as easily as you cut and paste text in a word document. Our project didn't really fly off the ground though. 1999 and 2000 were happy and busy times building a business, making money and being a newly wed. Plus the apartment we owned only had space for my main office. I certainly would have made it work for the recording process and about the time towards the end of 2000 I was ready for Jeff to start working with me we decided to move into a house down the street. One of the reasons for this was I could convert an out building into a studio. That was probably completed around early spring 2001 and I immediately set to recording music for our first project.

Taking the lead in many details of this project was just how we would work. I'd ask Jeff his opinion and would make sure he was comfortable with our process but there wasn't much discussion about naming the project. I wanted a name that was a bit out there. One that said we were not taking ourselves too seriously as band names can be a real issue between not only 2 guys but 4 or 5 people that have serious long term dreams that they'll be connected with. I wanted to be able to use whimsical imagry or dark imagry or whatever mood struck me and I wanted a name to do all that. I wanted a name that could also just say WTF when you see it. United Dictators of Mars was a name choice I had thrown out there before we named End on reality in 1996. No one wanted to use that but when I explained my rationale for this project to Jeff he seemed amicable and so it was. There is no story or genesis to the creation of the name. It's just one of those groupings of words that seemed to evoke some type of imagry. I'll be honest here and say if I had it to do all over again I'd probably have continued on with the Archivon name and gotten Billy Pierce more involved since we shared that from our High School yearbook. But at the time I really saw it as a funny name to keep things light and casual. I'm not sure how long we'll use it. It may seem silly if we're still recording together late into our 50's but I thought it might just keep us young at heart even if it carries into our senior years.

Jeffrey Harris:
When Tom introduced the name of the project to me, at first I was a little taken back but then I thought about it and at the time it didn’t really matter that much to me as it was Tom’s project and as he stated it wasn’t like it was a band and there was no need to take ourselves so serious.
Nowadays, even though I think it’s kind of a goofy name, it is now our stamp and there is much material under UDM’s belt.

 

Tom Mody:
I made sure the artwork for the first album "Smash Hits" carried that whimsical imagry because the album was made with old material we revamped. I thought this a good way to get comfortable with the process of recording digitally. I knew the album wouldn't sound like a band trying to make it because the songs were not newly written and I wanted the listener to expect it's just a fun project.

I have always maintained that if I'm going to do something I'm going to present it in a professional way even if my intent is for my own personal appreciation. I make jacket artwork for all our family DVDs. My kids always have slick designed birthday cards and anything that can be packaged I will take the extra time to produce. I have an album release poster for the "Questions for God" album. Only two exist... Jeff has the other. It makes great wall art. It's part of the full process of making music and presenting it in a way with pride and creativity. Maybe I still have issues considering myself an amateur or hobby musician but I've accepted I make music for free, not for sale. I want it to be heard and seen with only our stamp of approval.

Though I have appreciated packaging the last few albums in a fun way I don't really want this to be whimsical anymore. Having my daughter praying on an alien world or creating an alternate universe of Leonardo Davinci art does represent a certain campy space theme but there also is a certin edge to it. I'd prefer people say, that's cool than say that's funny and I hope our musical progression towards good conetmporary hard rock music will be represented in sound and visually. Well, the acoustic album may not be considered hard rock but it comes from that place of origin and it was written from a serious place. I expect the future of UDM to be heavy and progressive as our musical heroes have continued that tradition into their elder years. I have no expectation that my musical tastes will change. Infact, I'm becoming more heavy and aggressive in my tastes migrating from my Judas Priest and Iron Maiden youth to finally discovering bands like Nevermore and Opeth that will shape future UDM releases.

Jeffrey Harris:
Tom has really advanced in this software recording b’ness and it is kinda funny how back in the days where recording for us was non digital, I was the master but I must admit, although I know my way around in the new recording world somewhat, I am not a master of it as Tom is and I’m proud of him for his progress. Aside from that, Tom definitely has mastered video. I mean holy sh!t he is the MASRER! I am extremely impressed with his work and it is always soooo much fun!! This may sound odd since I am not a famous musician but I feel very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunities that have come my way in my musical career.

There have been many accomplishments that I try to remember not to take for granted as many would only dream of being able to do some of the things I have been blessed with doing musically.
Many of them have been with or via Tom Mody. Oh yeah, did mention the incredible artwork and design work that Tom pumps out consistently? And just so I can keep him “Earthed” I will also mention he is not quite the producer he would like to be…haha…sorry Tom…we need your intelligence down here on Earth. Looking forward to the next in waiting…

Tom Mody:
To date we've released three albums under the UDM name- with some new individual tracks in production. So far I'm most proud of the "official videos" that have accompanied some of the songs. I'm most disappointed it took 6 years between the first two albums but I had moved again and had to rebuild a studio space plus had children. Jeff and I seem to be on a good path now. I have fresh influences of music as I noted above and am collaborating with other musicians for the first time in a long while. I still have yet to master the production and technical recording of a great sounding metal album. The UDM releases to date have been serviceable but like everything I've ever released- flawed to my ears never having a professional producer and engineer work their magic on our songs. But my dream of building a huge back catalog for my enjoyment and hopefully the appreciation of my kids is well on track and there's one masterpiece out there in writing, performance and sound quality that is waiting to be created and I told that to Jeff when we first started. That is our grail we are chasing.

 

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

 

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