OKLAHOMA CITY, June 5, 1999… The History: The flight of a dreamer and the paths of those dreams are chronicled by nothing more than the artistry and heart of the dreamer himself. Born to a policeman father and a teacher mother, Michael Lewis was not exactly given a leg up in the arts. Not to mention growing up in a city with little or no emphasis on musical or artistic growth.
After a few years of crashing around in the mid-west with his band “For Love Not Lisa,” Michael packed everything he owned in his car and headed to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., he and his bandmates were determined not to become a statistic and were signed to East West Records.They released two records
OKLAHOMA CITY, June 7, 1999…Good Night Evening Star – Sequoyah’s debut – a sincere and eclectic effort.
OKLAHOMA CITY, July 13, 1999… Pseudo – Wooky
The merging of rock, soul, reggae and funk takes Ska to an entirely new level resulting in Wooky’s appeal to a much broader audience.
Emerging from the barren wastelands of Canada, Lamar Engel and his roommates from the Bible College, Moose Jaw Sask, answered the call for unity among musicians when the roller coaster punk scene seemed to be falling apart. After selling out clubs for the next two years, the band began to open large shows for bands like, “Five Iron Frenzy” (Five Minute Walk) and General Market Band, “Reel Big Fish”. With their single, “fat and happy” Wooky will be breaking new ground…making their place in the big band world!
OKLAHOMA CITY, May 19, 1999… In the tradition of the bare fisted fighters of old, Oklahoma’s Traindodge is standing tall in the face of anyone who dare step to the challenge of an all out fight. Being a native Oklahoman, this writer has had the opportunity, many times, over the last few years to see this trio fighting their way clear of a music scene that was seemingly nonexistent. With a ton of heart and calloused hands this group of guys has peeled off the gloves, and like John L. Sullivan once said, “They can beat anyone in the house.”
Late 1994, Jason and Rob Smith hooked up with Chris Allen. When I first heard them early the following year, they already had a definitive sound and style that was unlike any other band I had heard. Then, known as “Fiver,” they played shows with anyone, anywhere, anytime. When the band I was with at the time needed someone to travel weekend shots to Kansas City and St.Louis, we called them and they jumped. Their work ethic and drive, made them one of the tightest and most forthcoming groups out of the mid-west. At that time one could witness their development in the matter of weeks, from show to show. As soon as they wrote a new song there was a bigger and better one on the way. After traversing through a couple of different front-men in the earlier days, Jason, then the guitarist, decided to take on the role himself. This change only sharpened the point they were making.
In the summer of ’96 they changed the name to Traindodge, and continued to bash their way through the mid-west and the south. Everywhere they went, they flourished and grew, and took it all right back to the rehearsal room to shape the experiences into the songs that make up their first release, “About Tommorows Mileage.” Even the title is telltale, and as they tell it, loud and clear. One can only sit back and think about the mileage they have already traveled.
Their “no rules” approach to song-writing leads listeners through the dynamics of some of the most artfully constructed rock and roll around today. “About Tomorrows Mileage” allows their focus on an explosive live performance to shine, without abandoning the mood or quiet edginess lacing their songs. All ten tracks hit consistently with smart rhythms and methodic guitar layers. With Rob steadily crafting punches on the drums, and Chris’ open gut-heaving breaths of bass guitar, Jason’s vocals sit restlessly at the top, ready to jump in your face.
In 53 minutes of songs like “the Buzzard” and “Return to Exit” the listener is taken a great distance through landscape after changing landscape. Traindodge will surely change the day’s current tastes, with the release of “About Tomorrows Mileage” on “6 by 6 records.”
This band truly is “about tomorrows mileage” they have proven themselves in the past and will continue to do so in the future. This summer’s release of their debut, full-length record will find them doing what they do best, pounding it out mile after mile. As people used to say about Sullivan, the bare fisted fighter,” the hand that wrote this shook the hands of Traindodge.” <e.o.m.>
Sequoyah skillfully captures the old, and rhythmically takes hold of the new. This is evident not only through the soulful lyrics, but also through the obvious influences of such 60’s and 70’s mainstays as the Stones and Beatles, as well as, the classic sounds of Motown and the southern Californian scene of the same era. Miles strove to make music that would not feel so sterile but would rather weave the past with the present to create songs that hold history and heart. Good Night Evening Star gives us melodies that hold a mirror to the world we live in while embracing a new sonic collage of sounds. Sequoyah, is essentially Miles, the artist who credits the beginning of his musical journey to KISS – the first concert he was allowed to attend. He grew up in Oklahoma, riding in his father’s Buick, listening to the 8-track blare out the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, Elton John, Marvin Gaye… Those artists, as well as DJ Shadow, The Verve, Beck, Chemical Brothers, continue to influence Miles’ style. Miles seems to view the world through a filter that is respectfully mindful of the past but always aware of the present.
Miles began his musical career with Oklahoma band, For Love Not Lisa (Atlantic Records). Mike Lewis, singer and songwriting partner, shared a taste of success when FLNL (after moving to Los Angeles – home to Miles ever since) gave their acclaimed cameo on The Crow soundtrack with Slip Slide Melting. FLNL made 2 records with Atlantic and parted ways. Miles again joined forces with Mike Lewis for the band Puller (Tooth & Nail Records).
After graduating from making 4 track demos in his bedroom, Miles purchased an MPC-2000 sampler/sequencer and 16 track for his El Segundo, CA based (& shared) studio. These purchases helped provide the necessary tools, as well as the freedom, to help Miles make his musical thought somewhat more tangible. Most of Sequoyah’s ideas originate from the acoustic guitar, a simple vocal melody and the sequencer to find the right beat or drum loop. The layering process usually begins with a drum track – live samples or loops. Then, the basic chords are put down with either electric or acoustic guitar. “From there,” Miles adds, “I start to get an idea of where the song wants to go, sometimes I can take it there, sometimes I … Well, I heard someone say one time that all the songs are already written it’s just a matter of reaching up and grabbing them, I definitely endorse that sentiment.” If the song is based off of drum loop Miles then likes to add shakers, tambourines, sleigh bells and other live percussive instruments to the track.. “I like the rhythm tracks of my songs, especially the rockers, to have a definite groove to them, if you can’t find the two and four in one of my songs you probably have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time.”
Sequoyah enlisted the help of great friends, who conveniently happen to be great musicians, for the making of Good Night Evening Star. Without the hard work of Judith Cunningham (vocalist featured on the soundtrack to the film “Beyond Paradise”), Paul Duncan (from the band Kepano Green], Neil Taylor (Bass), Mike Lewis and Geoff Riley (Puller), David Kelley (Piano and Hammond Organ), and Jon Bunch (from the band Sensefield), “this record would have been impossible to make.”
Good Night Evening Star on 6×6 Records available 6/22/99.
OKLAHOMA CITY, October 24, 1999… Remember August
This quartet has all of the smarts and heart to carry them through the millennium with jet-like speed.
Their brand of rock & roll itself proves worthy of national acclaim. This self-titled first album has obvious fury and beautiful melodies abound. The first single, “Smile You’re Still You,” jumps right out on top of your head and gouges mercifully into your ears. This young band has the depth that usually takes years to develop.
Remember August employs the same “Emo-Rock” style as others but has a definitive twist – their roots. If the backyard redwoods can stand for a hundred years, so can this band. They are unavoidable … and will be everywhere all at once!
“Merge” and “Information Super Driveway” and had a hit song on the multi-platinum soundtrack for the movie “The Crow.”
Early 1996 saw the birth of Michael’s second effort and a definite step up in creativity known as “Puller.” With Puller, he has released two more records “Sugarless” and “Closer Than You Think” and is in production on their third release due out this winter. When Puller signed to the independent label Tooth and Nail, Michael took over the overall operations of the band and has since become a jack of all trades in the music business. He has moved through almost every facet of the business including producing numerous albums, graphic art for many labels and bands, and also directing a few music videos. He has toured the country on a spoken word poetry tour in support of his self-released book “Animals Wind and Plaything.” He has not slowed at all in the last five years, and with the birth of his own label 6×6 Records the pace and fervor will only quicken.
As if there was nothing else he could accomplish, Michael set out with a handful of songs that stood apart from what Puller was doing musically, and began production on his first solo effort “Dig fir the Light.” The album’s title was inspired by the Dylan Thomas poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight.” Michael has managed to capture the urgency of Thomas’ work, all the while retaining his own identity. The intimacy of songs like; “Sound of My Heart” and the hidden hooks in the title track “Digging for the Light” lead the listener through Lewis’ heart with every twist and turn. Although the album is mostly acoustic, the edge that sets Michael’s work apart is ever apparent and shinning.
One can only expect to see a lot of Michael Lewis with the completion of the video for “Digging for the Light” starring ex-Melrose Place actress Amy Locane. The video was shot in the Hollywood Hills and proved to be as stylish and devoted as the album itself. “Dig for the Light” is an album that will lodge itself in your head and drop down every once in a while to pound at your heart relentlessly. <e.o.m.>
OKLAHOMA CITY, August 10, 1999… Puller
Puller Live is the newest installment from this acclaimed group. After years of requests by loyal fans, they have answered with a scream! This bomb is set to go off as an explosive live powerhouse … by doing the best they know how to on stage.
With generation X acclaim for their song, “Slip Slide Melting” on the multi-platinum selling “Crow” soundtrack, East West (Elektra) recording artist, For Love Not Lisa (FLNL), Puller has also shared the stage with pop punk band MXPX, ex-tron Maiden Metallist, Bruce Dickinson, and Swervedriver, just to name a few.
“Closer Than You Think” represents a fresh collaboration at its fullest, giving each musician the space to explore. Live @ Tom Fest pushes the envelope to the point of exploding with Puller giving it all right back to the fans that come out to every show!