4:FIFTEEN formed out of the ashes of new wave band 'Impulse'. Drummer Pete Ribi and singer/songwriter Richard, looking to find a vehicle to explore new musical ideas, started working with Richard's brother Michael on Keyboards/programming with bassist Martin Finlayson completing the line-up. In the 90's the band released the single 'September Rain' which achieved UK national radio airplay and was featured by Radio One's Steve Wright.
'Kneeling at the Crystal Cathedral' was the second 4:FIFTEEN studio album. The aim of the album was to create a unique fusion between alt/indie rock and EDM and 4:FIFTEEN were one of the first rock acts to use pre-recorded sequences and samples in live performances - something that is now common practice. The resulting production is lavishly detailed, awash with ethereal textured synthesisers and gritty electric guitars. After a decade long gap the band made a brief return to the indie music scene playing a number of festivals including Glastonbury in 2008.
A remastered version of the album ‘Kneeling’ was released in late 2019 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first issue and 2020 saw the release of two new singles ‘Call Me’ and ‘Believe in Yourself’.
2021 sees the band continue to write and release new songs including a cover version of David Bowie's Heroes.
With the lockdown restrictions starting to ease, 4:fifteen hope to start rehearsals in April with a view to playing some live gigs over the Summer, as guidelines allow.
As a child I was drawn by the sounds and melodies radiating from my sister's record players. They had wildly different music tastes, I was fed mix of Ska Reggae, Tamla Motown from one and Progressive and Folk Rock from the other. Then this face appeared on the front of a teen magazine.........it was Marc Bolan. His beautiful blurred gender image plugged straight in to my young fertile imagination. It came with a style of Rock n Roll that made my young heart race...... of course then came Bowie with whom we could be what we wanted, we swam in a vast endless sea of wonder and nothing would ever be the same again.
It wasn't long before I took up guitar and made my first tentative steps towards writing songs. Not great to start but slowly they improved, now they fill my life - reminders of my journey.
The Synthesizer brought a whole new world of sonic joy! ...my first a Roland SH09 (that I still own) is a simple affair with a beautiful voice, it still finds its way onto many of my productions. In 1981 I bought a 4 track recorder, a mic and a Dr Rhythm drum machine and started building my studio.
Now I'm surrounded by £1000's of £'s of the most astonishing and brilliant technology. I indulge daily in the pursuit of creative joy.
I am minded to remember that I am hugely privileged, I try to make the best music I can. I hope you find something for yourself here.
Take care to follow your dreams.
I'm not sure if it was one single thing or a combination of things that first sparked my desire to play drums but I was always drawn to the guy at the back of the stage thrashing away surrounded by loads of 'stuff' - I just knew I wanted to be that guy.
Some of my earliest influences were such great drummers as Simon Fox (Be-Bop Deluxe), Steve Jansen (Japan) and Stewart Copeland (The Police) all of whom played a significant part in my development and style as a drum player. Ultimately, for me, it’s all about the song and the drums should always compliment the story without stamping all over it. That said, there is no better job than being the driving force of a band in full tilt and I can't think of a better place I'd rather be.
As far as my gear goes, I've owned a number of kits over the years and all but one have been Pearl drums. I currently use a 7-drum Pearl Vision birch kit for live work as it not only sounds awesome but Pearl make bullet-proof hardware, which is exactly what you need for the punishment of being lugged on and off stage at gigs. For recording I have a Yamaha Recording Custom 9000 kit which I bought in the early 90’s. These iconic kits are still recognised as the most recorded drum kits in modern history and have been played by many of the top artists for decades. Mine is a 6 drum outfit finished in stunning Cherrywood red lacquer and it still looks and sounds as good today as it did when I first bought it and I use it for almost all of the 4:Fifteen recordings.
You can never have too many snares in my book and I have a Ludwig Supraphonic 402 (aluminium), a Yamaha Recording Custom (birch) along with 3 Pearl snares including a 12” x 7” (maple) which I call my ‘Pork Pie’ snare as that’s what it reminds me of!
When it comes to cymbals, it's Paiste all the way for me. Paiste 2002's for recording and PST7's for live although I do also have a wonderfully trashy Stagg 12" splash which I adore.
Apart from drums, I love to sing, write a bit and mess around with the sax occasionally.
Like most younger siblings, my early musical tastes were formed by my elder brother Graeme. By the time I started playing the bass guitar at 10 years old I was already listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Motorhead and their contemporaries. As the Bass took over more of my life I started listening to Jaco Pastorius, Alan Thompson and Pino Paladino, these artists inevitably drew me to the fretless bass where I have felt most at home ever since.
Playing with Richard and Pete has given me the space to explore the role of the bass in music. Over the years 4:FIFTEEN have ranged from a 3-piece to a 6-piece band, all the while I try to weave the bass into the overall sound to sit somewhere between the rhythm and the melody, not quite one or the other but complementing both... hopefully.
Currently I'm listening to a lot of the new Progressive Rock artists that have emerged in the last 30 years, the likes of Riverside, Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Lifesigns, Spock's Beard, Anathema and IQ to name but a few.