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Cynicism Biography

Well as stated earlier it all started as an idea when I was 14 at the start of 1994 and only took essence over the summer of that year. We had a setlist of sorts and Line up no.1 (see below). Most of the songs were pretty dodgy quality wise to be honest. We then had to think of a name. Someone at school heard we were trying to think of a name and showed us a list of all the band names he had thought of and said we could use one of them if we wanted. Only one name caught our eye: VOODOO JUNKIE BASTARDS. We dropped the bastards and became The Voodoo Junkies. (I still have a hessian bag which I use for carting pedals, leads, etc.somewhere with that painted on)
We then got a gig supporting some band at Maidenhead Tennis Club in November '94. It was more of a jam session than a proper gig to be honest and my singing was truly awful. Although this was the first time my song 'Avon Calling' was aired. It went on to be one of our signature songs. The other band was good though.

Next we had been booked to play at Smurfstock Rock Festival in January 1995. The festival was organised by a friend of ours (James Murphy) who was in the band Innocence. As he had seen us at the Tennis Club we were billed to play quite early. We were about third on. By this time Matt had introduced us to his and Steve's friend Duncan who quickly auditioned and joined the band on joint Lead Guitar duties with Ben. We decided before we played there that a name change was in order and after spending an entire school lunchtime trying to come up with a name we could all agree on, in the closing moments I thought of Cynicism. The actul gig was much better. I thought it was great until I saw the video of it later. It was here that people thought the way I sung the Hello's on Smells Like Teen Spirit was strange and started to quote them back to me. Everytime after this when we played the song they were exaggerated on purpose and we got quite well known because of them. The song's name eventually started being referred to as Smells Like Dean Spirit by the time of the last ever gig. Plus this is probably the gig that really made 'Avon' famous. Also at Smurfstock, being linked to Smurfs, I had decided to spray my hair blue. Because of this even six months later girls I had never met before were coming up to me and saying "Wow, you're Blue Rinse, aren't you? You've been the topic of conversation at" then they'd name some school I'd never heard of. I don't know what they were saying about me - good or bad - but it was kind of nice to feel slightly famous for a while.

After Smurfstock Ben left the band. Soon after this we decided to try and record a demo tape as someone we knew had some proper recording equipment. The session itself took place at Matt's house and was really good fun. There was somewhat of a mix-up in recording and only two whole songs came out of it. 'Do You Want To Be My Friend' and a song Duncan had written 'Stereotype Teenager'. That song I can actually play to other people today and not be ashamed or embarressed about. The tune's good, the playing is fine and my singing seems to be not bad. I even liked my adlib line at the end (that way I can say I helped write some of the lines I suppose) But for some reason we never played it live.

Still not completely sure of my singing and not wanting to be dropped from the band I started I suggested we get another singer to share duties with me and so we could have one of us doing back-up in songs. We put an advert on the music block at school and the first person to reply was Girl. Okay her real name was Michaela but because it was a strange name to pronounce (and we didn't trust our memories) we christened her Girl. We figured it was short and easy to remember. Somehow though it just seems to suit her.
She came to my house with two friends, to a band practice to 'audition'. She sung along to Smells Like Teen Spirit and we were blown away. Man that girl can sing! She was 'hired' on the spot.
After this we started practicing for the Nirvana Tribute. Somehow out of nowhere though we were suddenly sounding good!

The rest as they say is history. It's all covered in the timeline. We went on to play the Nirvana tribute which was reviewed in a county-wide newspaper. Supported another band and blew them off the stage and finally played Smurffstock 2 to an eager audience this time. It seemed incredible to me to be standing on stage and having people yelling for us to play 'Avon' - a song I had helped write!

That then is the main history of Cynicism. Gone are the days when random people walk up to me in a pub and say Avon, "are you Blue Rinse?" or even starts singing Hello at me in a strange way. I also don't get to hear Girl sing either which is a bigger shame. But just as this chapter in my band history has closed, another couple have opened (finally). Click here to view the other bands I am currently involved with.

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