Illusions of Control
M4 Messenger is: Tim McDonnell - bass, vox Rich Parris - guitars, vox, keys, programming Benji Rogers - drums, percussion Otis - vox, guitars, bass Est: November 2006 ARTICLE BY JOHN AMEN - THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE: 'I'm always trying to reconcile between being a pop craftsman or an avant-garde experimentalist,' says Otis, songwriter/singer of M4 Messenger, one of Charlotte, North Carolina's up-and-comers in the Queen City's diversified music scene. 'Right now, my pendulum is swinging toward pop, but I've been doing this long enough to know it's only a matter of time before the weirdness starts creeping in.' With a line-up rounded out by Rich Parris, Tim McDonnell, and Benji Rogers, M4 Messenger is in possession of a chemistry that can only come from years of friendship. 'We pretty much go back over 20 years. At one point, Rich, Tim and I were roommates, remarks Otis. 'Rich and I played together for years in Animal Bag (signed to Mercury in the 90's and recorded three albums), but we split in '97 after our deal expired.' In the aftermath of that demise, Rich dipped his toes in the waters of electronica as Treephrog, while Otis switched from bass to guitar and wrote idiosyncratic folkadelic 'silly drug songs' with Throes Like A Girl, Pinkwood Flat, and Jackacid. Tim recorded two albums with Colorblind, did some time in the Degenerate Kings and a myriad of Charlotte bands. Benji, (a free falling ninja) graced the skins with Eric Lovell, as well as the Essence. Combining the sound of a dark, more powerful U2 with the atmospherics of Pink Floyd, M4 Messenger easily shifts within a wide spectrum of classic styles. 'I see us gradually becoming more electronic and trippy, while keeping an anchor in classic songwriting, Otis said in closing. 'I'd like us to grow old gracefully like& Peter Gabriel or Tom Waits.' No doubt these guys will be around for a while stretching and re-defining their brand of 'new' classic rock. 'I've seen M4 Messenger four times now, and this is one high-energy band. Driving rhythms, timeless riffs, impressive solos, compelling lyrics, classic melodies. These guys clearly demonstrate fluency in a wide range of styles, and I could probably categorize them in any number of ways. The important thing, though, is that every time I see this band, I'm singing their songs for the next week and looking forward to their next gig!' On March 9, 2010, guitarist Rich Parris passed away from an unexpected illness, just after the completion of 'Illusions of Control', their debut album. Recorded on and off throughout 2009 by ace knob-twiddler Joe Kuhlmann, the album stands as a legacy of Rich's raw, fluid guitar style and M4 Messenger's passionate fringe pop psychedelic prog-power. Gunning for the vacant guitar slot, local fret-master Andy Seets stepped up to fill the big shoes. A stalwart veteran of the Charlotte scene, including stints in Sound of Mine and Black Market Radio, Andy brought a new inventiveness and melodic pop sense to the M4 fold. With new album and new member in hand, M4 Messenger are prepared to take the music to the people. Working on new songs as well as prime cuts from "Illusions of Control", m4 Messenger will be dealing a dose of passion your way. So open your mind and dig in...you'll never know what you might find in there. Much love - The Aliens & Ancients.