This is the Biographical Page

So what's wrong with Why Not?

It's cripplingly easy to settle for mediocrity, to believe that other people know what's best for you just 'cos they say it enough. It's easy to curl up and fade into expectation.

Then there's fun.

18 Wheeler understand. Realise how easy it would be to whittle away at critically received hillocks, scamper around predictable signposts. Right now, though, they're busy sprinting up mountains. They're after everything.

18 Wheeler

The Once Upon A Time business has 18 Wheeler growing up in Scotland, loving Classic records, hugging perfect pop, playing notable gigs with the likesof Oasis and giving the world some cool singles, and, in 'Twin Action' and 'Formanka', a couple of groovily melodic LPs. Nice nuzzily stuff that unselfconsciously perdated the current fancy for guitar-led, spiky songwriting. Oh yeah, 18 Wheeler use to be good.

Now they're better.

'Year Zero'. That's the full-length start, swishing at you like a barbed-wire fisbee early next year. Prefaced by a couplf of singles, beginning with 'The Hours and the Times'. Preconceptions are all very well, but, boy, this is going to take your head off.

"We know the album is going to surprise a lot of people," says singer and main songwriter Sean Jackson, "but it feels right for us, it's full of all the things that are influencing us now. We used to go to clubs like Slam in Glasgow and really started getting into techno, and at first we wanted to make, like, a straight-ahead banging techno album. What we've done instead is use the techno influences for the rhythm tracks and then built up all these layers over the top. The album's full of 'proper' songs, the best songs we've ever written, but the way each song is built up, and the way that we've used samples and loops gives the whole thing a real kind of interesting depth. There's lots going on in there."

Jackson isn't worried about whether The Kids will be able to get their heads around such a radical change of direction.

"I don't think indie fans are as purist as they used to be", he reasons. "I mean, anybody who goes out and buys an Oasis or Teenage Fanclub album these days is just as likely to listen to Orbital or The Chemical Brothers. You can see that in all the trip-hop stuff that brings together elements from dance and rock. And at the end of the day, "Year Zero" is basically an album of very good songs. We've always been influenced by classic songwriting and we're not about to turn our backs on that."

Now based in London, 18 Wheeler admit their current living environment has played its part in shaping 'Year Zero'.

"We go out to clubs and we can't deny that the music we hear when we're out has influenced the songs we write. These are really good times to be in a band. There's a lot of energy and excitement. And a real open-mindedness. Hopefully we've captured some of that. This is the best record we've ever made, but we've got another three albums worth written already. We're on a roll!"

 




Sean Jackson (Vox/Guitars)

Sean was born and raised on a remote Highland Croft by his father, a lay preacher, and mother who tended the livestock. The only records his family possessed were "Snookeroo" by Ringo Starr, "6-Pack" by Black Flag and "Hot Cars" by the Sex Pistols. Sean was unaware of the existence of other music until he attended the University of Dundee where he gained both a doctorate, and an active interest in lithe young people playing electric guitars. He describes himself as catatonic with a drink problem, and he wishes he was old enough to have swung on the goal posts at Wembley in '77. The Tartan Army will rise again.

Neil Halliday (Vox/Drums)

Neil was born in Perth, Scotland in 1970 straight into the city's cosmopolitan music scene. He played in a trad jazz band and classical orchestra during his formative school years before going on to university in Glasgow where he met Sean. The two of them first performed together in an abortive hell band playing dreadful rock covers to pissed students.

He joined the "mark 2" 18 Wheeler in 1992 and has been swept along constantly on it's pop-wave of fun and melody. Neil is assured by Sean that both he and his drums will meet their doom in the near future!

Alan Hake (Bass Guitar)

Growing up in Grampian gave Alan a love of stylish passing football, '60s pop, punk rock, and, most importantly, a haunting sense of melancholy typical to the people of the north-east of Scotland.

A son of a carpenter in a rural suburb of Aberdeen, he spent his youth reading books in the countryside, playing football in the park or watching French films on his black and white portable TV. Nowadays he gets just as much pleasure from a Peter Beardsley solo goal for Newcastle as he does from an old Kinks single or an Aubrey Beardsley drawing - it's all great beautiful art. Heroes - Scott Walker, Jean Luc-Goddard, Richard Brautigan, Francoise Hardy, Phil Spector and Gordon Strachan.

Steven James Haddow (Guitar)

Born 11.15pm on 6th October 1971 with no face and a hernia, Steven's early years were marred by extensive bio-surgery and psycho-therapy. There is doubt over the success of said therapy. 1975-1989 and a Catholic education. His education can be summed up as an extended period of physical and mental torture.

In 1983 he was introduced to the guitar by his close friend Paul. Within a short period of time, Steven learnt how to play a pentatonic scale and was thus equipped to "jam" along to Jimi Hendrix, Trio Bulgarka, Debussy, Yes and the like. 1989-1993 was spent at the University of Glasgow studying for an unprestigious degree in the Arts, where he was introduced to a certain Mr. Halliday and then later Messrs Jackson and Hake.

Steven joined the band for a bet. He is still "playing" and wondering how he got there.


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