Mat Eiland An independent artist! ' I started my musical adventure in the black forests of Southern Germany. I was a military brat who moved around frequently. To curb the overwhelming loneliness that this type of lifestyle evokes, my mother made sure I always had access to some type of musical instrument. Between the ages of 6 and 14, I switched between piano, guitar, and saxophone while singing with the songs on the radio ( Sting and Prince were my childhood idols). Around the age of 15, I hocked my saxophone to buy a bass. My main goal at the time was to get in a band and hang out with girls. I figured that the bass only had four strings, so it must be easy to play. From the first pluck, I was hooked. At the same time, I was being influenced by such innovators as Kim Deal, Les Claypool, Flea, and Paul McCartney. The first noteworthy group I was involved in was a band called Weak Old Rice. As with many high school dreamers, I skipped school, drank alcohol, and played music without a care in the world. It wasn't until three years later that I had my first introduction to the music of Jaco Pastorious and Stanley Clarke. Every bass player that has heard these players had two choices, either quit playing entirely, or try to figure out what the hell they were doing. I chose the latter, and that choice led me six months later to the Shenandoah Music Conservatory. There, I majored in Commercial music with a Jazz Performance minor. The five years spent there exposed me to many types of music and musicians. Also during this time, I co-founded EHP Productions, and the progressive rock band BOUD DEUN. There was an advertisement for a bass player into the Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, Yes, and Naked City. Although the average radio rocker wouldn't know these groups from gurus, these were the exact influences I was looking for. So I joined and spent the early to mid 90's playing every weekend to knowledge hungry kids at coffeehouses, to middle aged progressive rock aficionados in smoky nightclubs. I also played with such icons as Aquarium Rescue Unit, Gong, and the Dismemberment plan. But as many bands before us, we suffered from major artistic differences and eventually disbanded in the Fall of 1997. Since then, I graduated from college and joined United Airlines. I figure I need to see the world while I was still young, and at some point I would return for another try. During this time, I honed my skills as a composer, slowly evolved form bass player, to musician. And then of course came September 11th, 2001. Although I was not laid off as a result of this incident, I realized the precious gift of time and decided to return to my musical goals. I fell into a job in book publishing to make the ends meet, and began to gradually buy my home studio. During this time, I was sitting in with I lent my services as studio musician and live performer to such bands as Thinking Out Loud, Tengo Ongo, and Nefrit El-Or. Finally this summer, I have completed my first solo album entitled NOW. I believe these new compositions I have created encompass my musical voyage through life, and are only seeds of a forest yet to come.