I began my life as a musician. I picked up my first instrument (drums) at 5, and in the way of so many middle-class kids in the early 1980s, spent countless hours doodling around on cheap toy keyboards gifted by my parents as an idle distraction. When it became clear that my predilection for songcraft wasn’t going away, I learned guitar in high school and got more serious about composing with rudimentary sequencers and drum machines. Being the introverted type, my music became my primary means of self-expression, and I spent all my free time holed up writing hundreds (if not thousands) of songs and song fragments.
By the time I went off to Boston University, I’d built a pretty large body of work, and I began taking practical steps toward starting a proper music career. In January 1997, I adopted the band name Science Park and, with the help of a friend’s primitive CD-R burner, pressed up a compilation of my late adolescent demos. That fall, I landed an internship at the formidable indie label Rykodisc. A few kindred souls at Ryko helped me assemble the second Science Park album, Futurama, which I released on my own label, Obscure-Disk, in September 1998. The album generated a nice amount of local buzz, and I spent the next year playing gigs with late-’90s indie darlings like the Clientele, the Delgados, Solex, Half-Handed Cloud, Floraline, and a They Might Be Giants side-project called Mono Puff. Science Park issued a 7″ single (“Ascension Island”) on a reputable Japanese indie-pop label, Motorway, in 1999, and our final album, Disinformation, came out the following year.
Science Park had a good run. We were runners-up for Best New Band in a Boston Phoenix poll; got written up with high praise in SPIN and the Advocate and CMJ and the Village Voice; and were featured in the Boston Globe. College radio was kind to us at a time when electronic pop was hardly au courant, and Banana Republic even featured our music in-store for a retail season. Our final album secured national distribution and led to a tour in the fall of 2000.
In the end, had I not been 24 years old, hemorrhaging money running my own label and retaining press and radio agents, quitting jobs whenever I had to go on tour, and somehow also trying to stay creatively focused and vibrant, I think Science Park would’ve had a fair shot. But I was a few years too early for the online revolution of blogs, Myspace, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and all the other tools and mechanisms that now help bands consolidate their fan base. It was just too much. I was cornered into taking a sanity break in early 2001, and as is the way of adulthood, it kept going indefinitely.
But music is the fabric of my life, and I knew that someday I would find the spark again. So, after several false starts and near-misses, Science Park is returning with a brand-new lineup and album in 2017. The songs are amazing and the band is coming together. I’ll be announcing more about that soon.
If you’d like the back-story on my illustrious career, check out the fine items available at the Store.