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Gossamer

Gossamer is an underground gothic rock band, formed in Columbus, Ohio, USA, which was active from 1995 - 2003, known for music that defied genres as well as an ever changing lineup and sound. They were characterised by blending dance club rhythms with deep male vocals and shoegazing guitars. Known primarily as a Midwest act, although they were also successful as one of the pioneers of the downloadable internet music scene.

The beginning

Gossamer was formed in September 1995, by vocalist Christopher Gray, bassist/keyboardist Erin Grooms and guitarist Gary Thrasher. After auditioning several more musicians, and adding guitarist Andy McFerrin, they recorded their first EP, The Zero Decade and played their first series of shows in early 1996. By the end of 1996, Gossamer had played with Switchblade Symphony, The Azoic, This Ascension, and Morphine Angel, as well as many other bands throughout the midwest. They had also begun to have some radio success, with many US college stations playing the song "Her Ghost" in their playlist. By this time, McFerrin had left the band, leaving the three core members in the wake of rising dissention.

Conflict

In the beginning of 1997, in what was a sign of Gossamer's fragility as a cohesive whole, Thrasher left the band due to personal conflicts. McFerrin briefly filled in for a few months, but he was soon replaced by keyboardist Timothy Flowers and bassist James Bahleda, with Erin taking over duties on guitar. Their first shows with Timothy and James were quite chaotic, due to conflicts between Erin and Timothy on songwriting styles and a sound moving further away from the "Death Pop" sound, but eventually they melded into a cohesive musical unit. Personal issues, again, got in the way of the success they achieved from the release of their second EP "Memoirs", and by the end of 1997, Timothy Flowers was out of the band.

1998 saw Gossamer as a trio once again, until the spring when keyboardist John McCluskey and producer/guitarist Brent Grooms (no relation to Erin) joined Gossamer during what was to become their busiest year. They first recorded and released the EP "Sweetest Misery", and then, through their own i.D. Entertainment released the compilation record Of Passion and Remembrance, which featured Bella Morte, Vampire Nation, and others. In late summer, they were in Los Angeles recording an LP with Mission UK founder Wayne Hussey. The band came back fractured once again, and while the Hussey sessions gave the gothic world the dancefloor classic "Run", Gossamer was once again left short on personnel when both James and Brent quit the band shortly after returning from LA.

The elusive taste of success

After the departure of the last two members, Gossamer drafted guitarist Michael Manard and Erin switched back to playing bass, and they were soon back to their old tricks, playing with bands such as Crüxshadows and Faith and the Muse around the midwest and east coast. They also had enjoyed success on mp3.com, having cracked the overall top 40, and maintaining the number one song on the gothic charts for well over a year, with the bittersweet ballad "Shell full of Sand". In the fall of 1999, Gossamer signed a record deal with Los Angeles based label Carpe Mortem Records. They recorded their first LP, "Closure" over the course of the next year, which featured re-recorded songs which had been included on their previous efforts, as well as the Hussey remix of "Run". The album became Carpe Mortem's best selling record of all time in a short time, and "Run" was featured on the Cleopatra Records compilation The Unquiet Grave.

Gossamer's plans for 2001 included their first headlining national tour, but due to the departure of Manard and the events of the September 11, 2001 attacks, they were forced to cut the tour to include only the midwest and the West Coast. They were joined by guitarist Jim Dinan, late of former Gossamer guitarist Gary Thrasher's ethereal rock project Stare. The first part of the tour coincided with Chicago gothic band Urn's tour of the midwest, and the bands played the majority of their dates together, with Urn vocalist and former The Electric Hellfire Club guitarist Dominic St. Charles joining Gossamer on stage several times. On the west coast, they were greeted with much enthusiasm, and sales of Closure soared until the record was completely sold out by the spring of 2002.

The end

Gossamer played what would be their last live performance to date in June of 2002, opening for Voltaire in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Carpe Mortem Records stopped releasing and production of new records in 2003, concentrating on emptying out their cache of older releases, which left copies of Closure in short supply. In early 2003, Gossamer released the B-sides and remixes collection "And All", which features Black tape for a blue girl flautist Lisa Feuer. Shortly afterward, Erin Grooms left the band due to health reasons. Gossamer eventually replaced Erin with former Wake bassist James Tramel, but this new lineup was short lived and Gossamer went into indefinite hiatus in mid-2003.

What now?
  • Christopher Gray and Jim Dinan keep a loose musical collaboration(new material to come?).
  • John McCluskey is continuing to make music as Valmont.
  • Erin Grooms moved to New York City in 2003.
  • Michael Manard (Mike Fiction) has a project called Pressure : Penetration.
  • Gary Thrasher formed the bands Stare and Faded Sympathy.
  • James Bahleda became the bassist for the (now defunct) folk/jazz trio Schooley Station.
  • Tim Flowers relocated to Texas in 2001(?) and has not been heard from since.
  • Brent Douglas Grooms is the bassist for the band Back To Mono
Discography

The Zero Decade (1996)

  • Entropy
  • Constant Pain
  • Her Ghost
  • Taken
  • I Once
  • Seven O'Clock
  • Babble (The Cure cover)
  • Black

Memoirs (1997)

  • Of Darkness Approaching
  • Memoir
  • Resurrection
  • Her Ghost
  • Run
  • Entropy
  • Shell Full of Sand
  • Constant Pain

Sweetest Misery (1998)

  • Sweetest Misery
  • I Go Down
  • Taken
  • Regret
  • Deceit and Betrayal
  • Hollow Eyes, Hollow Soul

Closure (2000)

  • Memoir
  • Sweetest Misery
  • Resurrection :resurrected:
  • Her Ghost
  • Deceit and Betrayal
  • Hollow Eyes, Hollow Soul
  • Run
  • Entropy
  • Sin Again
  • Shell Full of Sand
  • Run (Wayne Hussey Mix)

And All (2003)

  • Resurrection.final
  • What Child is This
  • Her Ghost (Skin Mix)
  • Song for Shadow
  • Regret (Maybe mix)
  • Crazy Angels
  • 7 O'Clock
  • Sweetest Misery (Hussey Mix)
  • Shell Full of Sand (MUXMix)

Compilations - Babble (1996), The Pink and the Black (1998), Of Passion and Remembrance (1998), A Shoulder Where Death Comes to Cry (1999), The Unquiet Grave (2000), Darkness and the Machine Volume 2(2001)

Personnel
  • Christopher Gray (1995-) - Vocals, 12 string guitar, Bass VI, Bass
  • John McCluskey (1998-) - Keyboards, Vocals
  • James Dinan (2001-) - Guitars
  • James Tramel (2003-2004) - Bass
  • Erin Grooms (1995-2003) - Bass, Guitars
  • Jason Gruzleski (1999) - Drums
  • Michael Manard (Mike Fiction) (1999-2001) - Guitars
  • Brent Grooms (1998) - Guitars
  • James Bahleda (1997-1998) - Bass Guitars
  • Timothy Flowers (1997) - Keyboards
  • Andy McFerrin (1995-1997) - Guitars
  • Gary Thrasher (1995-1997) - Guitars

This biography was taken verbatim from the Wikipedia. We're providing a snapshot just in case the Wikipedia servers were temporarily unreacheable. The original page is not only much more up-to-date, it also features links to other pages and sites. This snapshot was last updated: 08/16/2006. (mm/dd/yyyy)

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