“United States Of Mind (USOM) came about after I’d jammed & recorded with lots of different people through ’91 & ’92 and wanted to put together a large band that could be as spontaneous, eclectic & bizarre as those jams. I put out a cassette of some of these in a few local shops credited as ‘Dada’ but soon changed the name to United States Of Mind.
We began at the end of ’92 at Red Box with: me on guitar & vocals; Pascal Eloi on analog synths, sequencers & tape fx; Simon Cox on keyboards; Andy Roberts on bass; Mike Beck on drums & electronic pads; Rat Fink on drums; Lynton Andrews on lamps & projections.
Our debut gig was at The Queens, Layton in June ’93 and made quite a psychedelic impression! Nevertheless with other band commitments it was nearly a year before a 2nd gig in ‘94, again at The Queens but this time Simon Finnie had replaced Mike, Tony Mitchell replaced Andy, and Mike Allen was added on violin.
I’d broken my wrist that week but managed to find a way to play in a plaster cast. Not long after, a fashion show was organised at the Adam & Eve with displays from 3 shops from Blackpool, Cleveleys & St Annes culminating in a USOM performance, this time Paul Hargreaves replacing Tony. Through until late ’96 we did only about 15 gigs in all, including The ‘Tache, Jokers, The Raikes, never venturing beyond Blackpool but it was always an event & had a great following.
There were many lineup changes along the way: Mike B returned to replace Simon F, followed by Kim Sweeney, who was finally replaced on percussion by Jon Blacow (there were always 2 drummers until Jon, when it became the more traditional drums & percussion); Simon C was replaced by Joe Orban; Andy returned on bass; for a short while Mick Wright was lead vocalist; other changes that never made it to the gigging stage were Bones on 2nd guitar; Stuart Hill on lead vocals; John Shields on bass. The only constants throughout our 4 year lifespan were myself & Rat.
In ’95 some songs were recorded in Surrey engineered by Doc Milton (also of Alien Sex Fiend), one of which was later played on Radio Wave when USOM were guests on Tom Bright’s show.”
Alan Pill 12/8/2020