I was born and raised in Northern England, in a place called Idle Village. (Yes, that is a real place.)
I had a quite typical childhood: school, homework, goofing around with my friends ... the highlight of which were the summer holidays, six weeks of adventures with my friends, from riding our BMX's down to the woods, making dens, walking through the disused railway tunnel, and occasionally going into the tunnel still in use and propping myself into a really shallow alcove as a train went by (which in hindsight is very foolish and I don't recommend).
At the age of nine, I saw the movie "The Exorcist" and thought it was a pretty scary movie (as you would), but what really impacted me was seeing that is was based upon the diaries of a Roman Catholic priest. This kinda freaked me out more than the movie, and through that experience I realized there had to be something more to life beyond the natural. There had to be a spiritual realm. I now believed there must be a "god" out there, or at least some "higher power" a "designer," and I believed that whatever path you chose to God was okay.
I went to my first live concert: Adam & the Ants at Leeds University, when I was 11 year old.
Over the next few years, I was introduced to all kinds of music, thanks to my mum and her library pass. She'd bring me home a bunch of albums every week, and at around the age of 13, she returned home with two albums that had a huge impact on me: Iron Maiden's "Killers," and Japan, "Quiet Life." The Maiden album grabbed me mainly because of the energy and attitude; the Japan album due to the musical genius of bassist Mick Karn.
In 1986, I saw Anthrax and Metallica play, and loved sound of their guitars. I was now hooked on the heavier, harder-edged music.
At some point in my teens, I started skateboarding, and around 1987/8 became friends with a group of out-of-town skateboarders who introduced me to Hardcore Punk music. Some of those skaters were involved in bands in that music scene, so I started to attend any hardcore punk gig I heard about. Before I knew it, I was asked if I wanted to play drums in one of those bands, to which I said, "Sure, why not?" I joined the band, played my first gig about a month later, and that was my induction into the UK Hardcore Punk music scene in the late 1980s.
Over the following 10 or so years, I continued to play in a host of different bands, mainly on drums, but sometimes on bass guitar, and occasionally electric guitar and vocals, covering multiple genres of music, having the opportunity to open for many US bands including Sick Of it All, Slapshot, Clutch, Biohazard.
At some point I made the decision to become what was called 'Straight Edge,' and through the influence of several big names in that scene, I began to get really interested in Krishna Consciousness, a form of Hinduism. I started reading the Bhagavad Gita, meditating, and was considering moving to a Krishna temple in the Himalayas until one night outside a nightclub, I got into a conversation/debate with a young lady about religion. The things she shared with me that night, and multiple other conversations with her that followed, made me realize that there was no possible way that "all roads lead to God".
In the mid 90s, I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. What followed was much ridicule and verbal abuse from some whom I considered to be good friends. I realized I'd become everything I never wanted to be, a Christian. Yet, there was no turning back, I knew the experience was real, that Jesus was real, and there was no denying Him.
Was my life made a lot easier by that decision to follow Christ? No, not at all. There were many struggles and issues for several years following, and yet I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had made the right decision.
In early 1998, I reconnected with an old friend that I'd known for quite some time who was a believer, and he encouraged me and sent me a box full of Bible studies on cassette by various pastors and Bible teachers. This was revolutionary in my walk as a Christian. I was hearing the Bible being taught verse by verse in a way that made sense. Before long, my friend, who was living and attending a church in Central London, invited me to a Christian Surfers' event in Devon. It was there that I felt the call to move to London and be involved in Christian ministry. I met my wife in London, and in early 2001, we moved to Southern California, where I currently serve as the Media Arts Program Director at The School of Worship & Media Arts
I am the founder of thebezalelproject.com
I also host a monthly creatives gathering.
I am available for freelance work in the following areas:
• graphic design (logos, posters, books, cd's, etc.)
• fine art commissions (oil, charcoal, pencil, acrylic, pastels, digital etc.)
• drumming (recording or live)
• music engineering/ mixing/ production
• speaking, or teaching creativity classes
If you have a project that you would like me to be a part of, or if you have any questions, contact me. I would love to hear from you!
So what do I do?
I am a Christian and believe the Bible is the Word of God.
I am married with one child.
I teach graphic design, Adobe software, and classes on creativity at the Calvary Chapel School of Worship, Costa Mesa, Ca.
I am a drummer, percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, and occasional songwriter.
I also engineer, produce, and occasionally mix peoples music.
One notable project I produced, played on and engineered received a nomination in the 2016, at the 47th Annual Dove Awards, by the Gospel Music Association, for Children's Music Album of The Year.
Who's Got Their Armor On? - Bear Hug Band