ProgDay - Chapel Hill, NC
Entry by Jay Taylor

"From the ProgDay 2006 Event Program

Hush for a moment!
Listen to the sound of nothing!
Read in 7/ 8 time.

The era was the late 80’s. A young Joe Piscopo set out to conquer Hollywood. It was a magical time…but not for guitarist / vocalist Brett Kull. His plan for the construction of a cold-fusion powered International Space Station had just been rejected by NASA for the last time. Dropping the key to the evolutionary future of humankind from his hand, Brett decided to form a rock band instead.

“This should get me some respect”, he said. Little did he know.

Brett turned to his old war buddy, bassist / vocalist Ray Weston, for help. At that time Ray was the owner-operator of a chain of lucrative car washes stretching from Philly to New York City, a line of work that caused Ray to associate with the most unsavory type of characters. Growing tired of looking over his shoulder for the inevitable mafia hit man that would one day come, Ray decided to get out while he still could.

Too late.

Drummer / landscaper / part-time hit man Paul Ramsey one day walked up behind Ray, put a gun to his ear, and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed. While he tried to fix it, Ray played him some of the demos that he & Brett had recorded. Impressed, Paul had the hit called off, and became the drummer for Brett & Ray’s new band Narcissus… which went nowhere. Back to the drawing board.

Enter bassist Tom Hyatt and keyboardist / vocalist Chris Buzby.

Tom was on vacation from his job as a gorilla counselor for a famous Swedish circus when he auditioned for the band, showing up in a Spandau Ballett T-shirt – which got him the gig automatically. Tom’s gymnastic expertise on the bass allowed Ray to focus exclusively on vocals, his wardrobe, and the perfecting of his craft as a front man.

Chris was in Egypt searching for the famed tomb of King Hutchentoot when he called Brett to find out what in the hell had happened to all of that money he had invested in the cold-fusion powered space station. Brett deftly evaded answering the question, and instead talked Chris into abandoning his career as an Egyptologist for an even more respectable career as a progressive rock keyboardist. The die was cast!

Naming their new band after the lesser-known sister of porn stars Ginger & Amber Lynn – Echolyn was born! They released their debut CD independently on their own label, Bridge Records (run by the maniacal revolutionary writer Greg Kull) in 1990.

Although this disc is now a collectors item, and contains classics such as “Seize the Day”, “Shades”, and “Meaning & The Moment”, it is far to full of ‘gayness’ to have gone anywhere. The band members themselves now recognize this fact, to the intense disagreement of their many fans. As you can imagine, the disc was rejected by every label that heard it.

Unleashing all of their pissed-off maleness, the band recorded “Suffocating the Bloom” in 1992, and released it to fanatical accolades that still reverberate 14 years later. Containing the epic “Suite for the Everyman” (a middle finger to mediocrity as celebrated by corporate music culture) this disc has garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest progressive rock classics of all time.

Following the release of a 4-song paean to hippie nature mysticism called “And Every Blossom”, the band was signed by the evil Sony corporation to record their infamous “As the World” disc. A company overlord stood upon the castle walls and, shouting thru a petrified elephant's trunk, proclaimed the new Prog Rock Revolution!

Mythologically speaking, this is where the darkness descends. It did.

Echolyn headlined the first Progday in 1995, and then promptly broke up in acrimony. Becoming wolves to each other, they recorded a parting shot called “When the Sweet Turns Sour”, which contains a cover of the Genesis tune of the same (pre-transvaluated) name, as well as some live tracks recorded from the Storybook Stage.

Brett, Ray, and Paul formed a 3-piece band called Still, which later morphed into Always Almost. Chris formed a fusion band called Finneus Gauge. These bands were mean spirited attempts to hurt each others feelings, and will not be spoken of. Tom Hyatt left music to become a rabbit Manual Mating Technician.

In the year 2000 the love returned, and Echolyn released “Cowboy Poems Free”; a lyrical tour of historical Americana that represents an evolution in the band’s sound, and is distinguished by the addition of percussionist Jordan Perlson.

In 2002, Echolyn recorded their dark masterpiece “Mei”, and debuted it live to the Nearfest crowd of that same year. For this gig Tom Hyatt left his rabbits, returned to the stage, and rejoined the Echolyn family.

“Mei” was one long song. Their new disc, “The End is Beautiful”, is a bunch of different songs, most of which have something to do with guns, smoke, heartbreak, and finality. I don’t really know what it’s about. It rocks!

Every word of this bio is true. At least some of it is. I mean, come on, you know all about this band by now. If you don’t, get outta here!

If you really don’t know about Echolyn, and want the whole story, log onto the internet and read the many biographies for yourself. Or better yet, ask the band members themselves to tell ya. They are very friendly and approachable. Just be sure to ply them with many beers first.

Hush for a moment!
Listen to the sound of something incredible.
Please welcome Echolyn back to the Storybook Stage!
Or, as Brett Kull might say – “Suck it!”

- Werbinox"

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