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THE RISE AND FALL OF PSYCHOTIC REACTION PART 4

Now that Ace was out of PSYCHOTIC REACTION we had to find a new drummer. So like every other band in need of a new member we posted flyers and classifieds on the internet in search of a new drummer. After a few unlikely candidates we met Michael Sanchez (aka Sanchez), a drummer from Ledyard,CT. Sanchez was the best candidate we come across at this point. He could play fast and picked up our songs relatively quick. The downside was that he wasn't "punk rock" in the sense that he didn't listen to the music we were into and didn't dress the part (which wasn't as important to me at the time) and had little experience playing in bands. But he was willing to play with us and seemed to agree to share the goals we had for the band. This turned out to be a misperception on our part later on. Dennis and I were confident in picking Sanchez but Rob had reservations. One of the few contributions that Rob made which turned out to be true.

Sanchez, 2002

Now that we had a new drummer we (Dennis and I) we're looking to move forward. In 2002, we started to play shows again. Some were good: Toxic Narcotic, Total Chaos, The Krays, Two Man Advantage, Hudson Falcons and more. Things were somewhat good except for Rob. After Sanchez joined the band, Rob was becoming more and more detached from the band. He was skipping practices and when he was there he wasn't really there if you know what i mean. That plus the new girlfriend (Rob's Yoko One) had the rest of the band starting to talk about firing (kicking, booting)Rob out of the band. That summer it just happened. It was a mutual decision according to Dennis who told Rob. Rob was tired of playing shows and was fed up with the CT punk scene. And i'm sure he wasn't happy with Sanchez (another omen). So in 2002 the second original member of PSYCHOTIC REACTION was gone and now there were three. For the record, i like Rob. He is an excellent guitar player and could have been so much more if it weren't for certain personality flaws, personal issues and the infamous girlfriend. His departure was truly a loss for the band but a hindrance at the time. The downward spiral continues...

Psychotic Robb, 2002

 

With the departure of Psychotic Robb in 2002, PSYCHOTIC REACTION were now a trio and we continued on playing as a trio until one day at practice when Dennis suggested that we try to get a lead singer instead of another guitar player. I think Dennis was getting into guitar playing and lead playing at the time and wanted to focus on that other than singing. Sanchez suggested we try a friend of his, Max (aka Maxwell Murder), guitarist for the band Bloodshot Hooligans. Apparently Max was interested in singing so we tryed him out. For the record, i was opposed to getting a lead singer. I enjoyed singing for the band and i felt that we all ready established our sound with Dennis and myself on vocals. And as we would learn later on people liked our singing styles better than the lead vocalists that joined Psychotic Reaction. But I consented. And so in 2003, PSYCHOTIC REACTION got their first lead singer in Maxwell Murder.

Maxwell Murder, 2003

Max's tenure in PSYCHOTIC REACTION would turn out to be short lived and i wasn't surprisingly the one to influence that move. We started playing shows with Max in 2003 and Dennis and Sanchez began to regret their decision to have Max in the band. Sanchez was the most outspoken member to get rid of Max and this was one of his good friends!?! They thought Max was lazy (true but not troublesome) and apparently he wasn't meeting their expectations. Personally i learned to like Max's singing style and i thought he was good for the band at the time. We played some good shows with Max including CBGB's (which we recorded) and The Roxy (which we recorded as well and ended up being used for the live album "Summer Boot Camp"). By the time 2003 was up Max was out of the band. Due to reasons stated before and his committment to Bloodshot Hooligans it was a mutual departure and another page in the history of failed members of PSYCHOTIC REACTION. During the studio lean years i attempted to keep PSYCHOTIC REACTION afloat. I remastered our first, self-titled album and re-released in 2002 with bonus, live tracks from our CBGB's show. We had a song on the WHUS compilation "Supports Connecticut Music Volume 1" in 2003, the Skratch magazine compilation "What'd You Expect For Free Vol. 15", the RebelNoise.com compilation "Rebel Noise Comp. Vol 1" and the aforementioned PSYCHOTIC REACTION live album "Summer Boot Camp". These releases all had PSYCHOTIC REACTION songs from "Last Train To Nowhere" and once again brought us what seems to be little exposure as was intended.

With Max gone, PSYCHOTIC REACTION decided to search for another lead singer. Again this was something i was against but went along with due to keeping the band alive and realizing i didn't want to be the sole singer of the band including singing Dennis' songs and playing bass. That would have been too much for me. So the search began and my increasing dissatisfaction grew....

In 2005, PSYCHOTIC REACTION moved their practice space to my house. We were being frequently being visited by the local police for noise complaints and Dennis couldn't handle it anymore so we moved. And after a seemingly long search we found our new lead singer. David Muirhead (aka Pirate D. Rats) was from Glastonbury, he had never sang in a band before and had no experience so you may ask yourself why did we hire him? Well i'm still asking myself that question. The only conclusion is that he was a nice guy, willing to learn, committed and liked our music. He wasn't entirely "punk rock" but those days of trying to keep a united image for the band were over. I was struggling just to keep this band afloat. So the second lead singer for the PSYCHOTIC REACTION lead singer experiment was brought aboard.

Pirate D. Rats, 2005

PSYCHOTIC REACTION only ended up playing two shows with Pirate. The rest of the time we spent teaching him how to sing our songs. Practice after practice. It wasn't working. He had physically wore his voice out after shows or practice. But before the Pirate's ship would sail another member would be saying Adios. In the summer of 2005, Sanchez decided to quit the band. And i was glad! I was tired of him for so long. He, despite his agreements (bullshit), in the beginning, turned out not to take the band seriously and took off every summer for Colorado leaving us stranded without a drum for the busiest time of the year for us. He was a clown and a disappointment and i was relieved. We were ready to fire him but he quit just the same. He never recorded with PSYCHOTIC REACTION and never contributed a dime for the band's benefit. We ended up getting Ed LaGraize (aka EdRocks)from Blastmat to play drums for us but Ed had to leave the band at the end of 2005 due to personal issues. Ed is an excellent drummer and a cool guy and his departure was a great disappointment to the band. Pirate D. Rats would be fired soon thereafter in 2006. Dennis felt he wasn't making any progress and i concurred with him. And then there were 2....

Part 5