|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2010)|
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
|Also known as||Phideaux|
|Genres||Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock|
|Occupations||Musician, Singer, Guitarist, Composer|
|Labels||Blood Fish Media|
Phideaux Xavier is an American TV director and composer of modern technological music that he describes as "psychedelic progressive gothic rock", who grew up in New York City but now lives in Los Angeles.
- 1 Life and work
- 2 Previous bands
- 3 Friction
- 4 Fiendish and Shimmy Disc Kramer
- 5 Ghost Story resurrected and Chupacabras unleashed
- 6 March 13, 2004, or "313"
- 7 The Great Leap
- 8 Number Seven and Snowtorch
- 9 Current Live Band
- 10 Discography
- 11 Directing credits
- 12 Daytime Emmys
- 13 Notes
- 14 External links
Life and work
Xavier was born and raised outside of New York City in Hastings-on-Hudson, one of three children. He started composing music in high school and performed in several bands: Sally Dick & Jane, Neck Tie Party, The SunMachine, and Satyricon.
He released a number of recordings on cassettes for his friends, and then in 1992, produced a small number of copies of a CD entitled "Friction". Although it was not widely distributed, a few music reviewers were able to hear it.
Later, in 2002, Xavier started seriously mastering musical tracks. In 2003 he released his first CD with significant distribution, Fiendish. The year 2004 saw his second album Ghost Story, which was followed up quickly in 2005 by a third album, Chupacabras, and then a fourth album, 313, in March 2006. His fifth and sixth albums, The Great Leap and Doomsday Afternoon (2007) are the first two albums of a planned trilogy. In 2009, he issued his seventh album, Number Seven. He had begun working on a related album called Seven and a 1/2, but this sequel was cancelled in favour of an all-new album entitled Snowtorch, set for release in late 2010. However, the release date of this album was postponed until March 21, 2011.
Xavier first played with Molly Ruttan (drums) and Linda Ruttan-Moldawsky (bass) in a progressive rock band called Mirkwood, which later morphed into a punk/pop band called Sally Dick & Jane when they added vocalist/keyboardist Valerie Gracious. They played at various legendary NYC clubs, including Max's Kansas City and CBGB, during the early to mid 80s, but failed to record anything of substance and were marginal to the scene.
After Sally Dick & Jane ended, Phideaux worked on music alone as a one-man recording project. He attended school at New York University for film and television production. After graduating from college, Phideaux decided to return to the collaborative aspect of music and formed an acoustic-themed band called The SunMachine with childhood friend Ariel Farber (violin/vocals) and various other musicians. They played a mostly acoustic progressive rock style music with flutes, violin, keyboards, percussion, 12-string guitar, and electric bass. It was during this time that the first "official" (though now deleted) album, "Friction", was recorded.
"Friction" involved The SunMachine, but also included collaborations with other people, including the former members of Sally Dick & Jane. There were several tracks which were solo Phideaux, and many tracks included synthesizer and midi music. This album, though little distributed, was met with a yawn by the world and it has since been deleted, remanded to status of "ambitious demo".
After a few aborted SunMachine recording sessions, the band ended in 1994 when Phideaux met former Live Skull drummer Rich Hutchins. They began to rehearse music together and both played in a band called "Satyricon" (not to be confused with the Norwegian black metal band of the same name). During that time, they started rehearsing the songs that would become "Ghost Story", and developed a working relationship; however, no suitable recordings of "Ghost Story" were made, and Phideaux left NYC for work in Los Angeles.
Fiendish and Shimmy Disc Kramer
In 2002, Phideaux began to work with Gabriel Moffat, who is Molly Ruttan's husband, on a series of new demos. He got back together with Rich Hutchins and recorded the album "Fiendish". In the producer chair was Mark Kramer, known to Phideaux for his work with Bongwater, Brainville (with Daevid Allen, Pip Pyle and Hugh Hopper) and the Danielson Family. "Fiendish" was "progressive space folk", according to Phideaux, and contained 11 mid-length songs. The longest track, "Soundblast", took its lyrics from a leaflet dropped over Japan shortly after the detonation of the Atomic bomb at Hiroshima. This album was released in 2003, despite the copyright of 2004 on the artwork.
Ghost Story resurrected and Chupacabras unleashed
After completing "Fiendish", Xavier was convinced he now had the machinery in place to satisfactorily record his songs from the aborted album "Ghost Story". He and Hutchins quickly reconvened to redo that album with Gabriel Moffat producing and mixing. "Ghost Story" was released in 2004 and saw Phideaux bring a harder rock edge to the music. Standout track was "Beyond The Shadow of Doubt," which was the longest song to date and very much in the progressive rock style, featuring keyboard solo from Mark Sherkus, who joined the project at that time. Bass player on the album was Sam Fenster, who had played bass in The SunMachine.
While recording "Fiendish" in 2002, they had begun work on an epic song called "Chupacabras". This song was not completed in time for inclusion on "Fiendish", and instead, formed the basis for the 2005 release "Chupacabras". This album was made up of tracks that had been begun for the previous two albums but had never been finished. It took Phideaux further into the progressive rock style with multi-part epics (Ruffian on the Stairs and Chupacabras), and resurrected a song from Phideaux and Rich's previous band, Satyricon, called "Titan".
March 13, 2004, or "313"
Phideaux decided to make an "album in a day". On March 13, 2004 (which was actually before they'd finished the Chupacabras album), Phideaux musicians converged in L.A. for an unrehearsed recording session. During that day, they composed and recorded 13 songs, but the sessions were shelved until after Chupacabras was released. In 2005, Phideaux and Gabriel Moffat polished up the recordings, and on March 13, 2006, released the album "313" (named for the date upon which it was recorded). The cover artwork for this album was by Margie Schnibbe, another childhood friend of Phideaux's.
The Great Leap
In August 2005, while putting the finishing touches on "313", Phideaux and mates returned to the studio to record the first two parts of a projected "Trilogy" of albums dealing with "Big Brother" authoritarianism and ecological crisis. Part One, "The Great Leap", was released in September 2006, and Part Two ("Doomsday Afternoon") was released on 2007. Part One features shorter songs and is somewhat more of a return to the simpler song structures of "Ghost Story", whereas Part Two, more akin to "Chupacabras" in its breadth, resembles symphonic prog to a greater degree. Its overarching ecological theme of man's refusal to face up to global warming along with its recurring musical themes lend the album a symphonic prog style structure and scale. Phideaux Xavier and many fans alike consider Doomsday Afternoon to be his masterpiece. The album's regular musicians are supplemented by members of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. Listeners will hear musical passages which remind them, amongst others, of Pink Floyd and Camel. In 2007 Phideaux's band played in the USA and at the Festival Crescendo in St Palais-sur-Mer, France.
Number Seven and Snowtorch
After almost a two-year wait, Phideaux released Number Seven. Although Number Seven is technically the follow-up to Doomsday Afternoon, it is not part three of the "Trilogy." Number Seven is a continuation of the longer song structures as compared to Doomsday Afternoon and Chupacabras. Phideaux planned to release "Seven and 1/2" later in 2010[clarification needed], which the band states is an appendix to Number Seven. Phideaux has announced that he would like to release "Seven and 1/2", remaster "Doomsday Afternoon" and create a live performance DVD before working on "Infernal", the finale of his trilogy.
Current Live Band
The performers who work with Phideaux Xavier are people that he grew up with. They have played with him in many albums although the first one in which they, and only they, played all the instruments was "Number Seven". It is formed by:
- Ariel Farber: Vocals, Violin
- Valerie Gracious: Vocals, Piano
- Rich Hutchins: Drums
- Mathew Kennedy: Bass Guitar
- Gabriel Moffat: Electric Guitar
- Molly Ruttan: Vocals, Percussion
- Linda Ruttan-Moldawsky: Vocals
- Mark Sherkus: Keyboards
- Johnny Unicorn: Vocals, Keyboards
- Phideaux Xavier: Vocals, Piano, Various Guitars
This big band doesn't tour often and rarely plays live (i.e. Summer's end festival in the UK).
- Friction (1993) (Not considered as such by them.)
- Fiendish (2003)
- Ghost Story (2004)
- Chupacabras (2005)
- 313 (2006)
- The Great Leap (2006)
- Doomsday Afternoon (2007)
- Number Seven (2009)
- Snowtorch (2011)
- Infernal (2013)
- Sunset Beach (1999)
- Passions (2002–2008)
- The Young And The Restless (July 2007- May 30, 2008)
- General Hospital (July 2007–present)
- 2012 Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team for: "General Hospital"
- 2010 Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team for: "General Hospital"
- 2011 Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team for: "General Hospital"
- 2004 Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team for: "Passions"
- 2003 Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team for: "Passions"
- 2002 Outstanding Special Class Directing for: "Spyder Games"
- Prog-Resiste Magazine interview issue 44
- Interview The Grain Division.com April 2004
- Idioglossia.de March 2006