Well here it is, the story of this band “Four Minutes ’til Midnight” from its inception up until the present, stripped down and placed upon the page. I will do my best to sum it all up without getting into too many details for it could easily turn into a book…..maybe later.In 2003 my close friend Jonathan Green and I decided to start a band. We wanted to have fun and we wanted to play funk. We moved from San Diego, Ca. to Sonora, Ca. and began writing songs in a barn on my parents property that we transformed into a studio. Jonathan was an amazing, naturally gifted bass player and...>>>
I was learning to sing and had a lot to say. Finding other musicians in Sonora was difficult to say the least so we saved our money and in 2004 headed out in search of the rest of our group. We landed in Hollywood, Ca. and enrolled in some classes at Musicians Institute (M.I.) where we would come to meet Kenta Hayashi and Joshua Vore. Kenta at the time was a young, dedicated, Japanese guitarist who barely spoke English. Josh had grown up playing drums in church in San Jose, Ca. but sounded as though he had struck a deal with the devil.>>>
We jammed once and decided to do it again, and again, and again, for the next 10 years.O.K. so it is not that simple nor clean. As any musician will tell you, being in a band is like being in a marriage minus the sex; emotions run high and things change. Jonathan and I were spending too much time together, living in a tiny one bedroom off the boulevard, playing music and going to school. Less than a year into things he decided to leave and move back to northern California and Andre Davis joined our band. This quartet (Andre, Josh, Kenta and myself) would remain intact for the next 4 years. >>>
We wrote so many songs during this period with Andre, many of them inspired by his melodic bass lines. We all moved into a house in North Hollywood, began playing the clubs around town, released our first album (Oak Tree) and went on our first overseas tour of Japan. Although eventually we would end up playing in different bands, Andre and I remain close friends to this day; he is one of the few people outside of our group that I still feel completely comfortable playing music with. There has always been a natural connection with Andre that goes beyond practice or perfection.>>>
In 2008 Andre Davis left and Yusuke Ikegaya became our new bass player. Kenta had met Yusuke through the tight network of young, Japanese musicians living in L.A. at the time. Yusuke’s thick, heavy bass playing, positive attitude and complete lack of ego were/are probably the best things that have ever happened to this band. He brought so much to the table and continues to believe in and push the group forward. We wrote two albums worth of music with Yusuke (“Find my way” and “Four Minutes ‘Til Midnight” self titled) and continued to tour the North West and Japan. >>>
The diversity of now having two members from the East and two from the West created a interesting and unique balance in our performance and music, however this diversity would eventually lead to a crack in the foundation and an unavoidable split.
In 2010-2011 both Kenta and Yusuke’s student visas, allowing them to live in the United States, expired and they were forced to return to Japan. This felt like the inevitable end to a wonderful run. At the same time Josh Vore opted to move back to San Jose to be closer to his family and well that was that……..until.>>>
Late in 2011 we received a phone call from a Japanese A and R rep. from Universal records in Japan saying they were interested in signing “Four Minutes” and funding an album and tour. We called Josh who I feel at that point was road weary and happy to be reuniting with his friends and family to see if he wanted to continue the journey, he did not. So Kenta, Yusuke and I got together, wrote a new batch of songs, recorded and hit the road. We have had a few different drummers in the past 2 years, each bringing something unique and crucial with them. >>>
And that my friends pretty much brings us up to date. I sit here today, writing this in a coffee shop in San Diego, two blocks from my house. We are on the brink of releasing our 4th studio album which will be out next year. I leave in two weeks for my 6th tour of Japan, to reunite with my band mates (Kenta, Yusuke, and Pat). We have shared so many experiences together and I feel as though there are many more yet to come. The one thing I can say for certain is that the force and will of this band to stay together and weather the storm is beyond anything I have ever encountered before.>>>
Our bond knows no boarders and so we carry on.
As always all of our love and gratitude to each of you, for coming out, listening, enjoying and supporting. Thank you so very much.
We hope to see you soon.
Sincerely, Eli TaylorI would like to thank Dustin Hall, Masaki Hidekazu, and Patrick Salmon for coming through for us in times of need.