Ok, for you and @ezbass! I will try to keep this brief!
The album is The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out, Wait For Something Wild by the band SikTh. It was bought for me by a dear friend as a birthday gift. Musically it was a breath of fresh air to my ears and I instantly fell in love with each crushing and brain melting riff.
Now, my memory is a little fuzzy these days as I attempt to recall what happened next, but at some point in SikTh's touring history I became frustrated that the band weren't playing in my local city. So, I did the thing that any self-(dis)respecting, slightly mental music lover would do and offer to front the cash for this band to come and headline one of my city's well known venues.
The plan, having contacted the tour agent and the venue separately paid off and I went on holiday for a couple of weeks. When I came back, SikTh were booked to play the gig. Anyway, I reached out to the band, told them my plan and they offered for me to come and hang out at the soundcheck and gig with them. Story short we all hit it off and are good friends to this day which is awesome. - James the bassist played with Devin Townsend recently, which is amazing as the DT band are one of my favourites!
Sometime after that gig and around the time the band took a break, I guess this was around 2007 I was called by Pin, guitarist and as we'd been talking about bands previously. He offered for me to come down and jam "audition" for a new band he and Jamie Hunt (previously of Biomechanical) were forming.
Story short I joined the band and I subsequently reached out to my friend and drummer Thomas Lang to join. Sadly, the band, due to busy touring and clinic schedules never really got off the ground, but Within The Void as we were known still have many songs, at least in part sat on my studio hard drives!
Jamie then invited me to come down and audition to play for his new band with Steve Smyth (Forbidden, Nevermore, Testament) that was code named "Firehead". I replaced Dragonforce's bassist. We recorded some demos but I left due to personal reasons about a year later. The band is now called One Machine. Interestingly one of the names I came up with but originally dismissed.
Off the back of my now working relationship with Thomas Lang, we set about putting a band together and doing some writing and we formed a band with Jamie Hunt with a great singer from the US.
Again, I can't remember the exact time line but my internet ramblings and music caught the eye of Lebanese maestro Amadeus Awad and we struck up a musical relationship that led to recording with Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison. The EP called Schizanimus featured the incredible talents of Danny Boy-Maron and Elia Monsef. Remember those names..
Amadeus being pleased with our produce called me up one day and told me all about a bassist he was looking for to play on a much larger project featuring Russel Allen and John Macaluso from Symphony X, Kevin Moore from Dream Theater, Amanda Sommerville from Avantasia/Trillium and a pile more of talented individuals.. that bassist could have been anyone but he wanted me, so we recorded that album and the EP mentioned above subsequently came out as a limited edition on that album too. "The Book Of Gates" and our band was called Eon.
Elia and Danny (yup I said remember them) are part of the Lebanese cinematic progressive metal band Ostura. After working with them previously they called upon me to record all the bass for the incredible album The Room (I know I played on it, but wow, it's a masterpiece!). My ole rhythm section monster Thomas Lang joined me once again along with .. and yes, get this The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra!!
Marco Sfogli (James Labrie, Jordan Rudess bands), Arjen Lucassen, Michael Mills (Toehider and Ayreon) and Turkish guitar legend Ozgur Abbak joined us on this epic production!
Somewhere in this timeline showing off my love for prog and catchy grooves and music, I was contacted by Dec Burke (*Frost) to be touring bassist for his new band AudioPlastik put together with Simon Andersson (Pain Of Salvation, Scarlet, Darkwater) but a some internal politics with another band member meant that the tour didn't happen. Aside from that, they are now amazing people to know .
I'm going to stop there for now as there are many other branches to this particular story! So, you can see how one particular album may (or may not have) set some fairly huge wheels in motion for me! I still love that album and I am hugely grateful to everyone listed and many who aren't for these opportunities I've experienced. I guess you could say it is life changing! Can't wait for the next twist and turn to this tree!