In the early ’90s, keyboard player / vocalist Dave Boland, drummer Richard Brooke, guitarist Martin Hayter, and bass player Paul Brown had all either been playing in bands, or were looking to form one. In 1992, Dave placed an ad calling for musicians to join him. Paul answered the ad. Together, they took a trip to see Richard’s band play. While waiting for the rest of the group to set up, Richard drummed a solo version of Rush’s “La Villa Strangiato.” Dave instantly decided to try to bring him along. The trio did some rehearsal jamming (including Rush songs), and decided to look for a guitarist. Richard had tried to form up with Martin before, but nothing ever came of it. Being that Martin was also a Rush fan, bringing him in was a natural. The quartet jammed together (Rush again), and it worked.
The band wrote songs, many of which would form the debut album, and they created a live set. Some of the originals were included, but they were mainly a cover act. Much of the set consisting of, you guessed it, Rush. Dave was catching some flack about his vocals, so they tried to find a lead singer. Easier said than done, they weren’t able to find the right person. After a while, Richard came to tire of it all, and decided to leave rock drummer dreams behind him. Going through the process of trying to replace him proved to be too much, and the band split up.
Dave didn’t want to let all of their efforts go to waste, so he decided he wanted to record what had been written. Martin and Paul were up for it, and even Richard participated. These tracks became the “Lost in Relativity” demo. It also succeeded in reinvigorating the band, and they began to write again. Some more live gigs followed, but the project still had yet to really get off the ground. By 1995, Martin was collaborating with a couple of other musicians, Dave and Paul were in the band Medicine Man, and Richard had moved to the U.S.
In 1996, Dave and Paul had a falling out, and Dave left Medicine Man. He was still not ready to give up, and tried the old recording trick again. Richard and Martin liked the idea of making a proper album, and green-lighted the idea. John Jowitt was originally slated to play bass, but it didn’t work out. The position was mostly filled by Jonathon Thornton, and partially by Ian Salmon. Mr. “Wherever there is Neo, I will be there,” Clive Nolan, came in as co-producer. “Chasing the Dream” was recorded in April 1997, but not pressed until January 1998. Instead of shopping the album to record labels, Dave decided to form his own. HYBRID albums then became the property of Hybridian Music. Because Richard was in the U.S., and Dave was actually in Australia, there was no supporting tour.
Happy with the album, Martin and Dave wanted to do another. Richard was game, but insisted that this one have a more ‘cheerful’ tone. Writing started in early 1999. Jonathon Thornton couldn’t stay for the whole album, so John Mitchell was brought in. For a little boost, Oliver Wakeman showed up to add a bit of his key prowess. Not to be completely upstaged, Clive Nolan played some mellotron. “Integration” was released later that year to very favorable reviews, and much better sales than the debut.
A few years later, HYBRID seemed to be all set to produce another album. “Regeneration” was planned for release in 2002, but it has yet to surface. There was even talk of re-recording the tracks from the demo, but again there is no evidence of this idea coming to fruition. However, looking at the history of this outfit, I am not yet ready to close the book.