Guitarist Terry Gorle of the reactivated Seattle-based progressive/power metallers HEIR APPARENT has issued the following update:
"There have been many questions from all corners about the status of the band HEIR APPARENT over the past several years. Most recently, a 'news' post.
"In an effort to provide accuracy and perspective, I'm taking this opportunity to comment on a recent posting submitted to Blabbermouth.net by Jeffrey McCormack, the drummer on a recent trip to Europe with HEIR APPARENT.
"I find this whole announcement puzzling. First off, several parts of the statement are false, misleading, and disingenuous. Second, these players were recruited specifically to play these European concerts. They have no bandmember status in the sense that they've ever shown or expressed a desire to be in collaborative partnership (band) for the purpose of writing and recording new material.
"Prior to gathering for rehearsals specific to these November 2006 shows, we hadn't so much as spoken since May of 2004. Even during the period in 2003-2004 when we performed four concerts, they were only interested in participating in gigs attached to free trips to Europe.
"How could they possibly represent themselves as departing members of HEIR APPARENT while announcing their other pre-existing musical endeavors within the 'exit' statement itself?
"In analysis, the Blabbermouth statement appears to be crafted and suited to the personal agenda of Jeff McCormack, while paying lip service to the others in passing.
"The fact is, I never made any five-day ultimatum. I simply reiterated what I know works from past experience. I would be content with rehearsing three days a week these days, although I personally feel it's a serious compromise in productivity.
"In our discussions during December, Jeff only offered himself for one day a week. This was unacceptable on any level. Not to mention other factors detailed below which made his future involvement impossible in any case.
"Although they all had offered to be available for the quick and easy crunch-time rehearsals to prepare for trips to Europe again, the fans want new material (so do I). I've been trying to assemble a band capable of representing the old material, with the ultimate goal of writing a new album, for the past seven years. However, I was never under the illusion that any of these guys were prepared to do the real work involved in creating a new album. This is something I felt needless to advertise until a true band lineup was in place... but, here we are.
"Seeing what's actually behind this blindsided Blabbermouth announcement isn't rocket science...
"Jeff McCormack is a born-again Christian, totally at odds with the evolutionary reality of the Universe, and mankind's place on this planet as espoused by the lyrics of HEIR APPARENT. He expressed this to me two and a half years ago. But suddenly last spring he comes out of nowhere and contacts me about reconciliation. I came to find out later that he knew about the Keep It True festival gig before I did. He'd even talked to Bobby [Ferkovich] (the bassist) before I'd heard from either of them.
"So, imagine my surprise when I e-mail the guys to ask if they're interested in playing these shows, and they all respond within hours. Not even so much as a 'Gee, how have you been for the past two years?'... funny. What's more, I'd cancelled these gigs on May 14th because the promoters were not prepared to honor the original terms I'd discussed six months earlier. Jeff took it upon himself to go behind my back and resurrect the deal, lowering the minimum requirements we'd established two years earlier.
"Once again, I was surprised that these guys were agreeable to these altered conditions. But now, it all makes sense...
"This Blabbermouth post, and statements on his own website, indicate Jeff is simply using my name and contacts to self promote his new endeavor to resurrect FIFTH ANGEL, specifically to see if he can get another free trip to Europe. I know he enjoyed himself on our last trip. He evidently prefers the instant glory and attention of playing momentary rock star by copying someone else's work again... getting to play hero the easy way. No strings attached. After all, he can repent and become indignant tomorrow, right? That really seems to be all there is to it. While announcing his 'no-longer-affiliated' status, he's certainly making the most of the affiliation at his websites. In addition, Peter Orullian [vocals] made it perfectly clear in 2004 that he was unwilling to collaborate on new material in any sense of a band format. He refuses to accept lyrical or melodic direction, or collaboration, insisting that music be written in advance for him to pick and choose what he wants to complete on his own time, and of his own making. Aside from that, he revealed the day before that he was a Mormon... So, another guy puts his personal beliefs on hold to experience being in a rock band as a feather in his cap for 10 months, only to expose the truth when confronted with a serious proposal to step up to the plate.
"Well, Peter participated in this situation for his own personal agenda as well. Unfortunately, his performanaces in 2006 were a shadow of what he was capable of in 2003. Not to mention his personal beliefs are incompatible with presenting the lyrics and philosophy of HEIR APPARENT. He has spent 2-1/2 years in LYRANTHE. Excellent players all. And they are continuing to patiently await completion of the album on Peter's schedule... I wish them the best of luck.
"Certainly, when you find talented people, it's disheartening to later discover that the search must go on for one reason or another. It's particularly sad when the only thing holding them back is their own lack of commitment, or lack of support by a spouse. In my experience, your spouse will support you if you are being productive. You simply need to make enough of a commitment to be productive in the first place.
"Ultimately, since these guys were recruited to fill spots specifically for playing some live gigs, it sure is gracious of them to announce that they're allowing me to continue on with my project...
"Here's the reality behind trying to rebuild HEIR APPARENT since 1999:
* The talent pool in Seattle is very shallow.
* No lineup since 2000 has rehearsed enough to write new material.
* Typical rehearsal in this era has been two days a week, with the singer only showing up half the time. People usually start complaining about paying for rehearsal after a month or two. So, since that's just barely enough to learn the old set for some gigs, we play a few local shows to pay for rehearsals.
* It's a dead end if you don't take the next step to invest in the future.
"You guys all know what it's like to believe in what you're doing, spending a small fortune sending out CDs and hoping someone will listen and respond... Ironically, I have the opposite dilemma... I've constantly been sought out by record companies and promoters who are wanting new material. I just can't find four other guys to get on the same page. It's easy finding people to volunteer being a karaoke band for free trips to Europe. It's a hell of alot harder to find musicians who appreciate the real work/time/energy/investment involved in being a truly productive band.
"For me, this is all about love of music and having an intelligent message. I want to be in a great concert band, playing great songs. That's it.
"Very few aspiring rock/metal musicians get to the point of earning a living to legitimately call it their profession. Fewer still even consider the business side of things that make it possible until they're confronted with them; lawyers, partnerships, copyrighting, publishing, business licenses, trademarks, taxes, contracts, etc.
"Setting up and managing a business is expensive and time consuming in its own right. Then, be the guy who is responsible for funding, building, and equipping the studio/rehearsal room, managing the project, and then seeking people who have the talent, desire, and intelligence to understand and appreciate the shared responsibility of calling yourself a band. Offer them an equal split of profits if they'll share some of the load, after you've invested your life making their involvement as easy as possible.
"Now maybe you understand my position as a guy who expects a certain degree of commitment and dedication in order to accomplish something on par with (name the professional band) in a reasonable time frame.
"I don't feel my standards are excessive by any means. After all, they were barely enough to get this far.
"Aside from the positive reviews and generous praise we received in these 2006 performances, I have the videos. They don't lie. The fact is, no matter how others felt, we did not meet our expectations. Musically, the band played well overall (the few most obvious mistakes being mine). However, lyrics were forgotten in almost every song, every show. This only supports my view that practice makes perfect, and we simply didn't practice enough.
"On the question of finding time to rehearse, everyone has a day job and a family. Most people find excuses why they can't rehearse three days a week before they've ever even TRIED to.
"If you have a goal to be in a productive band, you'll easily find 2-3 hours on 3-5 days a week that you really don't need to be sitting in front of a TV or computer screen. If rehearsal time isn't something you arrange your free time schedule around, you're not going anywhere. Rehearsal isn't something you do because the band is counting on you to know your part by Thursday, it's something you do because there's nothing else you'd rather be doing. If you don't have that attitude, kiss it goodbye. It's a simple as that. You have eight hours to sleep, eight hours to work, and eight hours to do what you want. If you can't make quality time with your partner the eight hours you're in bed every night, Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the occasional lunch hour, that's your own damn fault. If you can't spend quality time with your kids, that's your own damn fault too. You can blame rehearsal for the 9-to-15 hours a week that it would take in a productive 3-5 day schedule, or you can take responsibility for making the most of the other 40+ hours of free time you still have.
"It's your choice. How bad do you want it?
"I can go weeks without picking up my guitar... it's easy to find a million other things to do with my time. BUT, when it's time to gear up, it easily takes precedence over every non-essential activity. You're either ready when the lights come on, or you're not. Pretending will only get you so far.
"I'm not excited about doing everything myself. That's not being a band, it's not a team, it's not inspiring. It's a drag. But you have to do the work to get in the game. Still, there are no guarantees. You have to want this. If you aren't self-motivated to acheive something significant, don't waste anyone's time.
"If you know any vocalists or musicians with a dream, and the drive to acheive it, send them my way.
"The candle still burns..."