1995-1996

What Were We Thinking?

Off Axis #6 (April 1995-March 1996)

Jack Burrows Drums
Jay Clayton Voc, Keys
Todd Sale Gtr
Shane Spooner Bass
Mike Stilwell * Gtr

*-Dennis Stilwell would also play some guitars in 1996

Gigs

July, 1995-Farmstock, Hanover Va.

Sounds-Cosmic Love Story (mp3 File)-Recorded in Jay's Home Studio

Even though Off Axis had proved their mettle playing live with Mike and Todd handling guitars and vocals, the search picked up again early in 1995 for a singer. By the spring, Jay Clayton (who had done time in a Journey cover band among other things) joined the band. The summer was spent rehearsing the material, and one show was played at a large gathering on a farm in one of the local counties, where several other bands would play.

Jay Clayton's contributions were largely of a divisive nature. His musical style polarized a few members of the band, as it was gradually to come to the fore that his preferred style was more of a top-40/pop sound, while others didn't aspire to play such music.

The band decided to record a studio quality demo without having played extensively live. In retrospect, this would be the start of the demise of the band, and would also lead to some bitterness that resulted in fractured friendships for awhile. With work, people relocating and general uncooperativeness at times the demo was recorded but not mixed, and was not a totally true representation of the band's sound, being over-produced by the vocalist, in whom's studio it was recorded.

This was the most dysfunctional era of the band, and in retrospect, the decision to find a singer and hire Jay was probably a very bad one. His personality didn't mesh with the others, and he didn't share many of the same interests. Also, he was most likely in possession of a personal agenda. Unfortunately, it took the working of a demo in Jay's home studio to start to bring all of this out.

Shane and Jack would both end up spending some time in Jone's Alley, a local band that did predominantely covers. Kelly Allison, formerly of Lonesome Crow and early Off Axis, would end up in Jone's Alley for a spell also. Mike Stilwell would also do sound engineering and play guitar with Jone's Alley for a brief period as well.

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