The Bodhisattva Beat
Music and Life

Stealing the Fire


Stealing the Fire began as the brainchild of keyboardist / drummer Chris Bond. It should not however be seen a solo project with a backing band. Guitarist / keyboardist Tim Lane played a prominent role. Bass Player Chris Phillips, whom Bond had worked with in Earthstone, was enlisted into the fold, and the unique vocals of Saff Edye added much to the signature sound.

In the beginning Stealing the Fire was a keyboard only band, formed by Bond and friend Chris Hylton (what is it with all the guys named Chris?). They played around with ambient electronic, and experimental jazz, before settling into progressive rock. The evolution came through the various musicians that were added to the mix. Chris Bond described it as a collective based around his small recording studio. Eventually, Tim Lane came aboard, and old friend Chris Phillips was called in.

Even though Stealing the Fire and Earthsone were two different projects, the involvement of Bond and Phillips in both initiate comparisons. The overall musical view was similar, and once again the “pagan” aspect was prevalent. Just as before, only one album was recorded. “Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow” was released in 1999, and that was it. Most accounts say that it was an improvement on Earthstone’s “Seed.” Saff Edye’s full folky vocals were a welcome addition and the presence of acoustic drums brought sighs of relief. At first glance one might think this is a standard Neo band cut from the template created in the ‘80s. It is the other varying influences that set Stealing the Fire apart. The band includes Pink Floyd, Camel, Hawkwind, Kraftwerk and folk music on the list. In Combining modern sounds with a classic sensibility, “Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow” became a worthy, albeit obscure, addition to many prog collections.

Stealing the Fire was one of the more eclectic groups of Neo-Prog and sadly fell under the one album wonder category. Work began on a follow up titled “King of Shadows,” but the realities of everyday life got in the way. As Tim Lane put it, “…we’re not pro musicians and we have jobs and families and various difficulties resulted in the project getting shelved.” Rarely do musicians put down their instruments for good. Chris Phillips and Chris Hylton are in a space rock band called Iron Sun. Chris bond has been involved with various projects, most notably the electronic/space/ trip hop band Army of Mice. Tim has definitely kept busy with other bands, solo projects, writing a musical, and becoming a music and technology teacher.

In 2012 they decided to try one more time and embarked on the task of bringing “King of Shadows” to completion. For the long awaited sophomore effort the lineup will consist of Tim Lane, Chris Bond, Saffron Paffron (yes, the same Saff), and Gary Wortley on drums. Phillips and Hylton have chosen to bow out and continue on their current trajectory. There is no release date set as yet, but it should be sometime in 2013.





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2 Responses to “Stealing the Fire”

  1. There appears to be some confusion here. Stealing the Fire was not a follow-up to Earthstone, but was an entirely separate project. I originally conceived the Earthstone project in 1984 and made numerous unreleased recordings over the next seven years, until in 1992 when Chris Bond was in contact with Kinesis Records, who showed interest in releasing some of the Gnome Music back catalogue (my label for releasing bands I was involved in, such as Ranata Spirit, Silas, Gods Acre and The Ire). It transpired that they would be even more interested in releasing new material, and as Chris Bond and I had, at that time, been rewoking old Silas material in the studio, we decided to offer an album’s worth under the Earthstone name. So, although Chris Bond was involved, in no small way, with the Earthstone album, it was largely my project. Stealing the Fire was, and is, Chris Bond’s project. The two bands are entirely separate. The Earthstone project is still a going concern, and when I get the time, I will release a second album, much of which has already been written.

    Chris Hylton and myself were not included in the new Stealing the Fire project because we are both extremely busy with our space rock band Iron Sun, and NOT Silas, a band we were both in during the 1980’s!

  2. Wow, thanks for the additional information Chris. When doing research for the original version I somehow got the idea that there was more in common with the two bands. I did mean to say Iron Sun, but for some reason I guess Silas was stuck in my head. Thanks again and I will definitely be checking out Iron Sun. Keep in touch and let me know of any other new developments. 🙂

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