Iron Age Mystics
IAM started in the summer of 2010 after Greg and Kevin met at a mutual friend’s wedding. Greg rallied Al and Clayton to start a writing project, and shortly after, the Sunday ritual became slamming ideas out in Greg’s downtown apartment.
Hamish and Tavish (Greg’s terriers) were instrumental in this process.
Practice ‘til your fingers bleed and the singer’s so hoarse he sounds like a howler monkey having a bad day… After a year of banding, bonding, and occasionally head-butting, we decided we liked what we were creating and should record it for real.
- Never Enough :
- Thought Police :
- You’ve Got Power :
- The Great Divide :
- Big Bad Motherfucker :
IAM ~ Band Members
“There’s so much shit going on, I’ve got to write something about it”.
After a few decades of singing/fronting/writing and performing, I can look over my shoulder and say, “Hey, I’m pretty privileged and pleased to have done a lot of what I’ve done.”
New Regime’s two records (New Regime and The Race), Son Of The Sun (solo album), Burn (rock musical) and Life On Mars rank as the more memorable highlights for me while on my never-ending learning curve of how-to-be-a-better artist.
I have a fairly extensive theatre background that enables me to ham it up on cue. This comes in handy when you’re trying to make some serious point that nobody really wants to hear yet keep people entertained at the same time.
My passion to educate myself about “The Real World” took over a decade ago. After turning off the TV, I began challenging my own assumptions and questioning everything. Quality alternative media, good books as well as conversations with very bright and inspired friends continue to bring me up to speed. I mention this because, even though my gray matter was melting with daily “Ah ha’s!” and would occasionally pour out of my ears from over-heating, I wasn’t writing anything about it.
Enter Iron Age Mystics. Kismet strikes again.
Frankly, I’m one of those people who never really know when a song is finished, and when I think it is, I’m seldom sure if it’s any good or not. Maybe that’s for other people to decide. What I do know is that I really like the music we make. I like the spirit of this adventure. And so it goes …
Impassioned by all music, the phrase “like listening to heavy metal falling from the sky,” (used by a New York Times reporter to describe a Jimi Hendrix performance in the mid 60’s), is what best describes the sounds of 70’s heavy rock that inspired Allan at the age of fifteen to trade-in the family accordion for a “Roland Double Beat Fuzz-Wah” pedal which he plugged an “el Degas” P bass into, defining a life’s passion. (This got him a good butt whippin’ too).
In his earlier years, an insatiable appetite for music lead to solo project multitrack tape recordings of multiple instruments, including piano, saxophone, drums, bass, vocals and guitars distorted by unorthodox and sometimes unsafe methods. The digital audio workstation era of virtualizing the recording studio, re-ignited this passion and made it a lot safer too.
Participating in a variety of musical projects of many different styles, from Metal to Pop, Jazz and Gospel, has provided Allan with a breadth of musical experience, but joining with the other members of the Iron Age Mystics, has provided a long sought-after outlet for creative collaboration. His focus has been to infuse the standard alternative hard rock guitar riff with melodic and harmonic nuances borrowed from unlikely styles, while maintaining the straight forward power and excitement that has become synonymous of rock’n’roll.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, this French-speaking, oft-bearded Roughriders fan moved to Toronto to design roundabouts for a living. Though he started off playing guitar at age 5, he eventually migrated more to bass and has played one or the other instrument in a number of bands over the years (but don’t be surprised if he whips out harmonica during a show despite the other guys’ vehement opposition). Trying to find a band to gel with in Toronto, he met Greg when they were both temping in a pop-punk-rock band and the rest is history.
Clayton’s main interests are writing and performing, leaving the role of gearhead in better hands (Al’s). He mostly listens to rock and its derivatives, though folk and electronica pepper his playlists. One of Clayton’s most rewarding (and time-consuming) musical endeavours is writing a strings section into some of his original music. Whatever the arrangement, mood, or style, Clayton throws driving melodious bass lines into the mix known as Iron Age Mystics.
Greg’s musical roots date back to the ’80s, with a number of stints with local rock and punk acts in his home town just north of Toronto. After some time on the road, he transitioned to the role of live and studio sound and lighting technician. In the early ’90s, he purchased a Mac Classic II, a Roland JV30 keyboard and Cubase v1.8.1 only to discover 6 months later that he was equally excited about the process of writing music as he was about the enabling technology behind it.
As a result, Greg has built his life around computing, through his day job as an IT manager at the University of Toronto, and a second career in web and media production through his side business, Pasada Media. Despite the other interests competing for his time, music has remained a core constant over the years, and his oldest and dearest passion has not diminished with time. There’s just nothing like rocking a new groove with a bunch of gifted and devoted musicians like those in Iron Age Mystics.
Greg’s drumming and musical style is derived from an eclectic range of influences ranging from Rock (RHCP, RATM), Funk (James Brown, P-Funk), Progressive (Peter Gabriel, Merillion) and Electronic (Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk). He is most interested in the synthesis of the fantastic funk grooves of the early masters (e.g. Jabo Starks, Dennis Chambers) combined with the solid beats of contemporary rock greats (e.g. Dave Grohl, Chad Smith) and the amazing electronic beat masters and DJ’s of more recent years.