"Whoever said L.A. doesn't have good bands needs to hear 20 Second Cycle. I've seen 4 or 5 of their shows over the last year and I have been very impressed, particularly by their powerful songwriting. I loving seeing new bands before they're discovered and I feel as enthusiastic about these guys as I did when I first saw unsigned artists like The Doors, Jackson Browne, the Velvet Underground, The Ramones and Patti Smith."
---- Howie Klein, former President of Reprise Records
20 Second Cycle
What is the gestation period for a band? With some it seems to take years of discovery, experimentation and perseverance to step into that often elusive space known as "Youíve arrived." Since the first few acoustic shows in San Francisco to being one of the "buzz" bands in L.A., it has taken 20 Second Cycle five years.
Singer/guitarist/songwriter, Tom Chappell, a San Francisco native had been successful in his home town with previous bands when he met bassist Wade Hephner, who had made his way from Kansas to the Bay Area in search of some musical compadres. He was also used to playing to packed houses in other peopleís bands, but matching up with Tomís unique and powerful voice was THE opportunity Wade had been looking for.
After playing many shows together in the Bay Area, Tom and Wade moved to Seattle where they continued as an acoustic duo. "Seattle was a great place to further develop the sound of 20 Second Cycle, and expand the creative process," Tom said. "Although we moved to Seattle to play in a new place and to new people, we had planned to move to LA eventually where we knew our music would be well received".
Arriving in Hollywood in 1998, 20 Second Cycle, still consisting of Tom and Wade began playing acoustically around town. The duo knew the sound of the band was best delivered in an electric format.
After meeting with tons of interesting people, 20 Second Cycle found a perfect match with Mark Morrow on drums. Originally from Texas, Mark was young, but already a veteran of the L.A. music scene having played in several locally successful bands, which involved touring and recording extensively.
With Mark, 20 Second Cycle fast gained a following by playing clubs like The Gig, The Mint, Spaceland, Fais Do Do, The Rainbow, and The Joint. "We gained great experience and people really started to pay attention to us." This included such prestigious publications as Billboardlive.com who said, " These guys are building a buzz around town and with good reason. Combining a rock edge with beautifully crafted songs and soaring vocals, they are mesmerizing." That same year, 20 Second Cycle placed their songs into the MP3 derby and ended up on top. On mylocalbands.com, the band's song "Abused" made it to number one in downloads and "Mercy" made it to number two. At Hollywoodmusic.com, the same songs were the top two downloads for the entire year.
Tom, however who is not only the lead singer (Music Connection magazine calls him "undoubtedly one of the better rock singers on the LA club scene"), but also writes the songs for the band, felt there was something not right with the band. "I knew, that in order to become what I had envisioned for us, a powerfully melodic lead guitarist was the missing piece of the puzzle". This led the band to search for the perfect guitarist, and for Tom to seize the time in finding this person, to further define his songwriting style knowing the right guitarist was out there.
The guitarist found them. Gary White, originally from Manchester England had arrived in L.A. just after Tom and Wade and has built a strong reputation from his guitar work with several bands. While still a member of one band, Gary decided to audition for 20 Second Cycle. "His style of playing complimented the band perfectly, lending a texture and sensibility that was ideal in rounding out the overall style, " Tom said. Gary was in and rehearsals started in earnest.
During this time while the fans were wondering what was going on with 20 Second Cycle, the powerful car magazine "Super Street" came out with a CD insert from the Pioneer sound company. On that CD was the 20 Second Cycle song "Forget". Nearly a half a million copies of the CD went out to the public and hits to the bandís web site jumped up dramatically. "The reaction was great, " Tom said. "Suddenly our fan base expanded wildly and we were getting emails from as far away as China." The timing couldnít have been better. The newly defined version of 20 Second Cycle was ready to go.
"Within a month or so of Gary joining the band, we were in the studio with Julian Beeston, a great engineer, recording new songs," Tom said. "We felt we were now ready to complete a CD for our fans and to let record companies know how we had enhanced the sound."
The result is their first full-length CD entitled "Gathering the Stars". The band is now ready to take on anything that comes its way. The CD will be released in May of this year and after several warm up dates the touring will begin. Itís been five years of growth for 20 Second Cycle. The next five will be explosive.