It's 1:23 a.m. on June 8, 2011, where I am now, which means it's 4:23 a.m. on Long Island, New York. Exactly six years ago, in a quiet parking lot, you may or may not have found me asleep inside the van in which I was living. I was a waiter - often working late and usually going out for a couple of beers after my shift. Some nights, I could catch a shower at the 24-hour gym near work. On others, I would settle for a wipe-down with wet napkins and brushing my teeth with a cup of water. The best places to sleep were the ones where I could back the van up to a wall and crack the back doors to catch a breeze. I would usually break out my guitar and expand on song concepts that I had begun to formulate that summer. Life was pulling me down in such a heavy way that I started to question where I was headed and what I was doing. Confusion and despondency are words that enter my mind as I reflect back on laboring through one of the strangest, loneliest periods of my life.
During my junior year of high school, my zealously-religious parents gave me an ultimatum: abandon my budding love for music, the few friends I had, and the mundane pursuits of an average teenager, or embrace the misled plannings of their confused, militant design. Despite being overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation, I made the best decision I have ever made: I packed my proverbial bags with my meager belongings, and struck on out on my own path. I legally emancipated myself to gain full control of my life, and dedicated my energies to survival, advancement, and the pursuit of a better existence. Writing and consuming music became a cornerstone of stability in those times of transience and uncertainty. It remains as such to this day.
The songs I had been tinkering with in the van eventually became real recordings of real instruments played by real friends of mine. When an opportunity arose to move to the West Coast, I took those recordings to California in search of other like-minded individuals with whom I could propel our musical ambitions to the highest levels.
Bass player John Hoge was the first to come aboard, as he moved from Arizona to California seeking greener pastures. In the Halos project, he found them. Shortly after, Josh Huber swept us away with his twinkling piano fingers. After a disheartening record label experience, guitarist Zak Freedman had all but given up on the business of music when he met us. Together, we helped rebuild his faith and passion. At a mere 18 years of age, drummer Sotiris Eliopoulos was singled out from a slew of talented drummers because he shone brighter than the rest, and after years of searching, the team was assembled.
Now, there are five of us. We don't play those old songs too much anymore, because together, we create better songs that reflect our collective musical vision. That vision has remained rooted in the idea that the music, and its associated aesthetics, could portray a harmonious marriage between whimsical, fairytale-esque themes and notions, and more grandiose, ethereal soundscapes, while forcefully prodding the envelope that confines so much of contemporary rock music.
The music has been described as:
"...an epic, a musical mountain few others could conquer. The variety, emotional dedication and musical ability ensure this stands out from a lot of artists on the radio..."
- Alex Brady / Clink Magazine (UK)