Keep in mind that the magic number is 2
I met Mark Duncan over the internet. He had posted 2 ads on separate websites looking for other musicians interested in forming a progressive rock band. I was drawn to the ads and replied as soon as I saw them. I’d had my share of band-hopping for the past few years and was anxious to settle down into a steady gig.
Mark and I got together for the 1st time in June of 2000. We listened to demos and discussed a plan to form a band. I liked Mark from the start. He seemed to be someone who could compliment my style; like a ying to a yang. We started making calls to recruit a few other musicians.
After a few unsuccessful attempts at forming a group, Mark moved on and joined Dread34, a newly formed ska band and The Nerve, an acoustic groove project. As long as I’ve known Mark, he’s always been in 2 bands. I continued looking for players but had little success.
In November of 2000, I regrouped with an old friend and formed Thursday’s Farm; a folk duo. We finished our 1st album, Seaside Daydreams, in April of 2001. Mark and I got together again to try our hand at formulating a prog band. I even went as far as to scrap the 1st set of songs we were working on to give us a fresh start.
In October of that year Mark and I recorded our 1st 2 demos; my song Hammurabi and our collaboration (my all-time favorite collaboration) Minrose Isle. Despite our happiness these first demos I continued on with Thursdays Farm to record our second album, Wisdom For A 2nd Harvest, and Mark left Dread 34 and joined Porchfire; a jam band.
At the end of 2001, Mark and I decided to go full steam ahead with our band idea. And why not? It was the year of the palindrome, 2002.
Initially our idea was to write new songs for an upcoming ‘community’ project. We got to work in January of 2002 and recruited a few players from the local scene to help us out. Those initial sessions were very promising. We had Carl Blackwell-drummer from Jackson Road, Neal Leazer-bassist for Big Money Grip, Leo Kishore-bassist with Evil Jungle, and a few other guys. It seemed like we were on our way.
Now we needed a name for this project. I had written the 1st 2 letters of our first names on a folder and we decided on that particular four-letter word, MaJe.
Just as soon as our wheels got rolling we hit a few speed bumps. One by one, our recuits backed out of the project. Mark and I were almost back where we started. But in the spirit of trying to create original music we pressed on. It was back to phone calls and emails looking for members of our new band.
We found 2 candidates. First to join our ranks was drummer Chris Kennedy. Chris initially signed on as one of the session recruits but agreed to join us as our full-time drummer. Next I contacted bassist Daniel Marks. After email #2, Daniel was willing to give us a try.
The four of us got together and rehearsed for the 1st time in April of that year. It seemed like we had finally formed a band. But Daniel seemed a little unsure of us and wanted to give it another shot before committing.
From that moment on, MaJe has evolved into what
we had hoped... an amazing group of musicians performing smartly written
- Jeff Pflaumbaum