Leading Kaine to a Crisis …. A Crisis of Faith [Part 1]

I thought I would write a blog about the process behind the new album while it was fresh in my mind. Many found the blogs I wrote about The Waystone helpful so I decided to jump on to A Crisis of Faith now rather than leave it until later.


Kaine “Justice, Injustice” line-up 2014-15


So where did this album really start? You have to go back to 2015, The Waystone had been out a year or so officially, and the band was playing as a five piece with Saxon Davids [Lead Guitar] joining us after playing for us on tour in 2014. The band hit a really bad run of gigs in 2015, crowds were very poor for most of the early part of the year and things were looking pretty bleak.

Around this time we started writing songs for what would be the third Kaine album and recorded the first single for that album, a track called Justice, Injustice which was due for release in August. We worked hard and pushed on but it seemed to keep getting worse. It was with this that Dan Mailer [Bass and Vocals] decided to leave and pursue other musical interests.

Losing Dan was a huge blow to us, both musically and personally. Dan had been with me in Kaine since pretty much day one and had soldiered up and down the road through two albums with me, he even lived with me for about a year and it was something that was hard to come to terms with initially.

However, Dan being a professional had given us fair notice and would do his remaining dates with Kaine, up until a sold out show at Melbourne Rock Club which would be his last official gig on August 7th.  It ended up being one of our better gigs of 2015 which was a great way to end Dan’s time with the band given some of the stinkers we had played that year in terms of turnout.


Dan’s last gig, featuring Saxon…


We were looking at a potential replacement, not only someone who was a good player but someone who would fit in personality wise with the band. Chris MacKinnon [Drums/Vocals] had suggested Stephen Ellis as someone who could potentially cover for the band should we need a player. Chris and Stevo played together in a band called Drop Dead Fred, who were like Essex’s equivalent to Nirvana. Stevo was someone’s who’s playing I already liked a lot, and had remarked to Saxon while watching him play earlier that year that he would be someone ideal for the band should Dan ever leave.


Dan at his last show with Kaine


We invited Stevo to a jam at Pioneer studio while Dan was fulfilling his last dates with us. Stevo came in, having learned pretty much the whole set he knew plus a few additional songs. We were impressed with his professionalism and how quickly he had learned our songs. After a brief chat with the guys, I asked Stevo to join the band which to my delight he agreed. Stevo was also very quick to adapt his image to the bands which helped keep our identity moving forward.


Stevo joins the band!


Stevo played his first gig with Kaine on August 28th of that year at the Firehouse, Southampton. He was introduced to Kaine gigging in the best way possible as Chris managed to lock his keys in his car and having to call out a mechanic to get that sorted. We played three gigs that weekend and four sets, after Southampton we played The Rock Den in Hatfield, twice on the same day and then on the Sunday we played at the Asylum, Chelmsford.

Around this time, I had been writing a song called Voice in Hell. The main riff idea I had from way back in 2013 but I had never done anything with it. I structured the song and took it to practice where we started working on it as a band. This was the first song written for A Crisis of Faith and it started to shape up really good. We played it live for the first time in September at the B2 in Norwich.


Kaine last ever 5 piece line-up


Towards the end of 2015, with the band now rehearsing more regularly than we had been for years we started work on two more songs, Afterlife a song that Chris had written and Fall of Jericho a song that Stevo had put together. These were the first two song ideas both Chris and Stevo had brought to the band and we started to iron them out in the practice room, while still gigging with a set that was still mostly the Waystone material.

Show wise attendances started to pick up again as the year ended, but that wasn’t to be the end of the change for Kaine that year. We played our last show on December 12th at Woodys Youth Centre in Rochester and had planned to take January off to focus purely on writing the rest of the new album. I had gone to my then girlfriends for the Christmas break through to early January when Anthony Murch [Lead Guitar] left the band. Ant had also been with me a very long time in musical terms, he had played guitar on our debut Falling Through Freedom (2012) and then The Waystone (2014) and it was sad to see him go, but he even admitted at that time he didn’t feel the band was going anywhere and with that he was gone.


Ant’s last official show with Kaine, December 2015


Around the same time, my long term girlfriend left me abruptly and that really set the mood of a lot of my writing, both musically and lyrically into 2016, much of which ended up on the album.


Working on A Crisis of Faith Material – February 2016


I hope you look forward to the next part, until then, as ever, Love – Rage