Simultaneously he learned by playing along with records of The Specials and Duran Duran. His technique in the early years of LIVE can be described as ‘funky’ and very present: on LIVE's debut album (Mental Jewelry) Dahlheimer's bass lines stand out more than for instance on Secret Samadhi. Patrick explains that change himself: “These days I don’t feel that I need to fill up a lot of ‘space’ within the songs. Some parts just fit better when they are plain and simple. Sometimes you can make a point by leaving out notes." The difference in experience is also reason to that change he says: "Songs like ‘Take My Anthem’ and ‘Mirror Song’ have a more or less individual bass line, not really distracted from the drum or guitar parts. That is merely because we didn’t really know better at that time. Not that I was naive or anything, I just did what felt right. And that approach can turn out to work really well. These days I sometimes wish I could still make my music in that way. But that seems to become much harder after all these years.”
For the outside world Patrick is known as ‘the funny one’. When asked if his personality indeed differs that much from the rest of the group he responded: “Different? Let’s just say there’s no one like me.” Different or not, according to Chad Taylor, Patrick is definitely the one person you need when you are ‘in the mood for lots of fun and hysteric laughter’. The image of the clown of the group is also somewhat confirmed by the tour diary the band wrote during their 2000-something tour: Dahlheimer always has the funny faces in the pictures or finds himself in the most awkward situations.
Despite his image, Patrick is always very serious in making music and his work with instruments. He can enthusiastically recall why he chose a specific bass instrument for that one song and how much the sound of the song is influenced by his choice. At one point it he owned about 30 different bass guitars: quite a difference with that one bass he had during the recording of Mental Jewelry. Patrick said: "After we recorded the whole album I walked into a store in Milwaukee where they sold a bass of about 4 thousand dollars. When I tried it, I needed to buy it. Only problem was that our total budget for Mental Jewelry was about 10 thousand dollars. Luckily I persuaded the shop owner to lend me the guitar for a while. I went back to the studio and rerecorded ALL songs on the album with the new bass…”
Chad David Taylor was born November 24th 1970 in Owing Mills, Maryland. That not only makes him the oldest of the four band members, but also the only one not born in Pennsylvania. The Taylor family moved to York when Chad was a little guy and where he went to kindergarten at Jacob L. Devers. At the age of 5 he was building blocks there with.. Yup, Ed Kowalczyk. At his 10th birthday Chad’s father, David, gave him a guitar as a present. One which Chad still owns by the way. Lives guitarist played the trumpet during his time attending high school; it’s how he learned to read notes. His music teacher tried to get Chad to try the piano at one point, but that wasn’t a big success.
Around the age of thirteen, Taylor met Patrick Dahlheimer and Chad Gracey in school. They formed a band with which they entered in on talent hunts and school shows. After a while, former kindergarten buddy, Ed got involved in the band which was then named Public Affection. One day after his Seventeenth birthday Chad played his first official concert show, in a full house of 400 people. Story goes that when classmate Dana flashed to him and his fellow band members Chad decided he’s never wanted to do anything else than play in a band…
Chad’s father played an important role in the early days of the band: he was the one moving all of the bands gear to wherever they needed to go and he also made the cellar available for the band as a rehearsal room. “I’ve always believed in my boys, like I call them, had something special, something different. That’s why I’ve always travelled to there shows, helped them buy some gear and drove them all over the place,” is what David Taylor said years later. He even called David Sestak (who until a couple of years ago was Live's manager) to tell him that he ‘really needed to listen to this band’, because otherwise he would commit the biggest mistake of his life’. Sestak came out to a show and was very pleasantly surprised: he thought that these four should start making an album of their own. Because the guys didn’t have a dime to spend, Chad came up with the idea to sell stocks of $100 a piece to friends and family. That way they collected the $5,000 that was needed to create the album, that was named ‘Death of a Dictionary’. The demo was noticed by Gary Kurfirst, former director of Radioactive Records and until recently became manager of the band. On his label the band completed their first real debut album, with the name ‘Mental Jewelry’.
It needs to be said that the life of a rockstar didn’t only bring success to Chad. As a consequence to his guitar playing and physical efforts he can’t use a certain muscle group in his left shoulder like he should. This repetitive strain injury (RSI) set in because Chad used to lift his left shoulder during playing the guitar. Physical therapy and acupuncture made sure he doesn’t have any severe pain to that shoulder anymore, but the shoulder will never be the same.
As you might know Ed usually takes up the biggest role as it comes to writing new material. The other three band members do bring in their part though. And because he’s a guitarist. Chad Taylor does a lot of writing too. He for example is the founding father of the well known riff in Lakini’s Juice, which was born on a late evening after a couple of bottles of wine. Also the quite unconventional chords to White, Discussion come from his hand. People often say of Chad’s guitar work, that it’s not that theoretically underlined: Chad doesn’t really look at what chords are ‘good’ or ‘wrong’. He just goes with his gut feeling and plays with pure passion. “Pat and myself express ourselves with our instruments as to where Ed does it with words. I rather leave the lyrics up to him and only read them once they're finished. Poetry and books are great, but I feel more attracted to songs,” Chad said.
These days Chad Taylor is also active on the movie front where he has recently co-produced a feature length film titled ‘Home’. Chad has also assisted in developing shows for a range of other television networks, like HBO, Discovery Channel and others. Most recently he has produced the debut album of his younger brother Adam,.Chad also appears on the album playing guitar.
Chad Alan Gracey was born in the local hospital of York, Pennsylvania on July 23rd, 1971 exactly one week later than fellow band member Ed. Chad taught himself how to play the drums, without any lessons - he used to listen to records in hisl bedroom and tried to play what he heard. Chad always played drums with bare feet, something which he continues to do. Chad also played the saxophone for over 10 years, but unfortunately he has since forgotten. So a thrilling sax solo is something we won’t see him do anytime soon.
One month after he bought his first drum kit he and Patrick started working on setting up a band. Together with the other band members he graduated from William Penn High School in 1989. From that moment on his focus was fully on the band. In an interview Chad once mentioned that if he had gone to college he’d probably have become a doctor or parapsychologist. Besides that he said he was sure that one way or another he would’ve found his way in to music as that is where his heart is drawn to.
Chad comes across as a calm person: maybe he needed some time to get used to the life of a famous rock star. During his drumming he magically changes in to a very passionate musician and he totally gives himself on the drums. It’s therefore not a big surprise that White, Discussion and Lakini’s Juice are Chad’s favourite songs to play. And the recent ‘Sofia’ even inspired Chad for a very danceable intro to that song. During one show he uses about 10 pairs of drumsticks, but it also happens that he needs 3 pairs for only one song!
It’s said, Chad is the band member that’s mostly in the background (even literally on stage). But he doesn’t seem to mind that at all: ”I’m not jealous about all the attention Ed gets, I love my place out of the spotlight”, he says. When someone once asked him what talents you need as a drummer, he replied: ”Have a solid technique and don’t try to catch any attention. The drummer is the centre of the band, not its face.”
That is also emphasised during the The Distance to Here tour: for the first time we see Gracey put behind a glass ‘fish tank’. But he has a very good reason for that: the sound intensity on stage needed to be decreased dramatically and well Chad can’t really turn down a volume dial. Luckily he’s usually seen on the large video screen at the bigger venues, which gives you a great view on how intensely he plays the drums.
While Chad isn’t the most extrovert person in the band he does have several other important roles within the band. Chad explains:” I don’t really get myself involved in the process of song writing, but I do organize. Probably I’m the one in the band deciding if a song is getting on the record or not. I think of myself as the most critical: if I don’t like a song or can’t find the right drum beats with whatever the rest is playing, then I don’t want to have anything to do with the song. Ed and Chad Taylor sometimes have an idea that they are both very enthusiastic about, and if I then don’t like it they hate me for it. But most of the time it turns out to work out best for the band..”
Edward Joel Kowalczyk was born on July 16, 1971 in York, Pennsylvania and is exactly one week older than his fellow band member Chad Gracey. Kowalczyk grew up – just as his fellow band members – in the small town of York, PA. He saw the band ‘First Aid’ play at the local talent show and invited himself for rehearsals the next day. Since then the four were inseparable and that friendship still forms the basis of the band.
Artists that were of great influence to Ed are R.E.M. and U2. Bands who LIVE would often be compared too at a later stage. “I will never forget my first U2 concert. It was 1987, JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. It was as if they took us to church. There was so much love from their music and passion.” Ed remembers that it was also the moment he realised he was doing something similar and wanted to keep doing that. “I’m living proof of the impact that a rock and roll band can have on an individual.” As far as looks go, Ed really showed his chameleon side. Chad Taylor recalls how Ed used to look: "I met Ed in middle school. He scared the hell out of me: with his long hair and ‘OZZY’ written on his left hand.” Lot’s of youngsters in York were totally in to heavy metal, but because the guys went to a more or less ‘black school’ Ed didn’t really fit in with his heavy metal looks. “I believe he even smoked hash and always thought he was just a creepy guy. Which is funny, because if you see him today, well he did clean up quite ok,” says Chad.
Over the years Kowalczyk was crowned with really shortened hair, dyed blonde hair stiff with hair products, curly hair with an enormous beard and in between those all the – very well known and almost his trade mark – a bald head. And despite the fact that Ed is in the full spotlight as the singer and songwriter of the band, there is little known about his character. During interviews he talks your ears off about his music and religion, but when you ask him a personal question he smartly knows how to direct the conversation back to music in general, or LIVE's music in particular. From the little things about his personal life he does share in interviews you can make out that he really wasn’t the ringleader when he was young. “I’ve always been somewhat of a loner; an independent person that sometimes has had a hard time integrating in the real world,” so Ed says, “Making music in a band was my ultimate form of therapy, because it forced me into a position where I can get into very intense relationships with people. But at the same time I can easily be left alone for several weeks without a lot of contact with the outside world. I’m happy the way I am right now.”
Kowalczyk established a solo career in 2009 and has had success with the solo album 'Alive' in 2010 and 2013 saw Kowalczyk release another solo album titled "The Flood and The Mercy". Over the past 7 years Kowalczyk has continued to tour as a Solo artist and with a touring band.
In late 2016 Kowalczyk and his LIVE band mate Chad, Chad and Pat all reunited and the original LIVE line up returned.