DENIZ TEK GROUP + SOLO
Deniz began his solo career in 1992 with the recording of the album Take It To The Vertical. The assembled studio band included Chris Masuak from Radio Birdman, Scott Asheton from the Stooges and Dust Peterson from Dust and the Rotorheads. The album was produced and financed by Deniz with Andy Mort Bradley engineering at the Sugar Hill studios in Houston, Texas. The album was sold to Red Eye Records, a subsidiary arm of Polydor Australia. It marked the beginning of an ill starred relationship with the major label.
The band, with Bob Brown replacing Dust on bass, toured Australia in 1993. The tour ended after experiencing artistic success and enthusiastic crowds on the one hand but a badly mismanaged, near career destroying financial disaster on the other.
From the ashes of the conflagration, and with the help and guidance of John Foy, RedEye label manager, Deniz assembled a stable line-up that featured Celibate Rifles' Kent Steedman on guitar and Nik Rieth on drums along with ex New Christs and Barracudas' bass player Jim Dickson. The new band rehearsed, recorded and began playing shows around Australia in mid 1993. This line-up was to become known as The Deniz Tek Group.
Early 1994 saw them release the hard rock album Outside on Red Eye. This release was followed by a national Australian tour, and then in 1995 a grueling world tour encompassing Australia, Europe and the west coast of America. In early 1995, while in Australia, they recorded six tracks for an EP, to be called "444: The Number Of The Beat". Four songs were on the final disc, renamed "4-4" by the label. One of these tunes, the instrumental "Hondo's Dog", was considered a potential hit. However, the needed airplay did not materialise.
At the start of 1996 they experienced major problems with Red Eye over the recording of their next album, Le Bonne Route, in Montana. Tough and experimental, this record proved to be a departure in more ways than simply it's stylistic differences to its predecessors. Under increasing pressure from it's parent company, Red Eye was forced to drop the band, leaving them to pay the already spent recording budget. Red Eye was subsequently dumped in turn by Polydor, the name continuing to exist to sell back catalogue only. The wheel of karma rolled on.
July of '96 was spent road testing the new material in Italy during what was a chaotic and unpredictable tour. A limited edition CD, the Italian Tour EP '96, was specially released to celebrate the event.
In November, three weeks of shows were undertaken in Australia to support the new album, by then released on Citadel. Le Bonne Route, unfortunately, was to be the end of the road for this exceptional line-up. Differences arose between Kent and other members, resulting in the band finishing the tour without him. Deniz and Jim regretfully decided to abandon the line-up, while hoping to work together again some day. Who could guess that would happen in the context of a revived Radio Birdman. Nik, one of the most hard hitting, powerful and adept rock drummers in Australia, went on to play full time with Tumbleweed, prior to quitting music altogether. The postmortem EP Bad Road and the CD concert recording Got Live were released as final offerings.
For Deniz, maintaining an Australian based band while working in the US, without the benefit of significant financial support in the form of advances, was untenable. In the end, with the tyrannies of time and distance, and with ever rising transportation costs, he realized a US based group was his only option to continue to perform and record in America and Europe. Art and Steve Godoy, who had played with Deniz on and off since the mid 90's, fulfilled this role.
Le Bonne Route was then released in America through Minneapolis based Prospective Records. The disc gained positive responses from both US press and alternative radio. Deniz did selective shows around the country with the Godoys.
Equinox, the next album, was recorded in Montana with engineer, co producer, sonic explorer and electronic guru Dave Weyer. Dave was once Jimi Hendrix's amplifier mechanic and confidante. Equinox, like Le Bonne Route before it, was a transition to the next phase. A most unusual interface indeed. Some of the old fans were dismayed. The album contained some true gems: "Seven Is", in 7/4 time signature; the Hendrix-inspired "Christmas Eve", the furious Latin rhythm / SciFi fusion of "Agua Caliente, and the Who-like "Billy Was A Cathar", a leftover tune from the Bonne Route sessions. There were the brutal lyrics of the Stones-like "Shellback". There were some edgy sonic experiments, like "Tone Poem". In retrospect, despite the highlights, the use of multiple singers and songwriters on other tracks tended to dilute the focus of the album, and to many, "Equinox" was too eclectic, too diverse, and just plain weird compared to Deniz' usual narrow-beam hard rocking approach. The album was toured around the USA and Europe with a new band of Montana musicians, Todd Eagle on bass and Tony Horton on drums. (Tony replaced the session drummer and percussionist, Clay Green, for the live work. See this lineup in action playing "Shellback" on Canal+ in France.
Equinox sold disappointingly, and marked the end of Deniz' solo work for the next decade.
Deniz spent the next several years focusing his energy on the reformed Radio Birdman, with extensive touring and the writing and production of Birdman's final studio album, Zeno Beach. Meanwhile, he found the time to fit in many various side projects (see: Golden Breed, Glass Insects, Last of the Bad Men, Deep Reduction, Powertrane, Three Assassins, Dodge Main, Angie Pepper, etc.)
After induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, and the final breakup of Radio Birdman, Deniz began writing for a new solo project, his first in ten years. This work culminated in the 2013 release of the album Detroit. Remembering lessons of the past, Deniz did all the songwriting, played all guitars, did all the singing, and even played bass on some tracks. With Ric Parnell, the extraordinary veteran of Atomic Rooster, Deviants, Spinal Tap and many more on drums, Detroit was sonically and artistically the most coherent, focused and intense of Deniz' solo work to date.
Deniz has toured extensively in the last 3 years, playing songs from Detroit as well as vintage solo material and Radio Birdman classics, to happy audiences worldwide.
Most recently, he has begun to perform occasional acoustic dates. Fan response to these acoustic shows, often played with just a bass player, has been very encouraging.
Currently working on songs for the next album, Deniz continues along his path as an avowed industry outsider, to produce music for devotees around the world in the same uncompromising manner that has always been his way.