Tension | 1999 – 2005
Ahhh, this band.
Tension were the most talented group of musicians I’ve ever been lucky enough to assemble in one space. Also, some of my very best friends, for all time. Little known fact: Shannon, drummer for Scalene, was actually the bassist for Tension.
Anyway, out of my handful of projects, we had what I and probably many others would consider the most potential for global success at a time when success like that was still achievable for a heavy band.
However, it was not to be.
As it was with Scalene, I was a chronic IV drug user and heroin addict, still caught up in petty crime all over the place throughout Tension’s whole career.
To this day, I still don’t know how I managed to pull off this whole juggling act for so long.
Regardless, we did good things and definitely rattled a lot of bones and ears throughout the industry – the only time any of my bands have been described as ‘the live music equivalent of a punch in the teeth’ in a review.
We received a bunch of interest from successful major & indie labels around the place but most were just plain yuck.
We went on – stupidly – to sign a one album deal with Faultline records in 2004 on which we released ‘The Blind, Leading the Deaf, Following the Dumb.’ It was owned by two arrogant grubs by the name of Mark Rachelle and Richard Norton.
It’s been digitally available for over 10 years and to this day, we’ve never seen a cent or been contacted about receiving one. Ah well, life does life and everything comes back around.
A special mention needs to go out to an absolute gentleman by the name of David Leonard of Modern Music, who championed and offered opportunity to Tension like, well, a bloody champion.
He did his best to provide us with what would have been a very successful musical life had I not been too busy destroying mine to notice. He offered us our first deal in 2002 and we definitely should have taken it. We live and learn.
The other saving grace I received from my work with Tension was the cementing of and respect for my profile as a songwriter amongst my peers. The friendships I’ve established and the admiration I have received from so many legends that were then and are still now some of the most loved Australian musicians of all time, is a blessing I will always appreciate. Whatever industry leg-ups or fortunate associations Helm & now Hammers have received have almost always come from my relationships with these people that have supported me along the way, but primarily for my time at the helm of Tension. (see what I did there..?)
I will appreciate that, always, as do my fellow members of the aforementioned bands do too, I’m sure… haha.
P.S. Naithan Mendoza is still the world’s best heavy riff-writer of all time, even from his lounge room today – he sells stairs for a living and you’ve never heard from him until now. Life is weird.