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In the summer of 1982, at the age of 11, I formed a New-Wave/Synth-Pop rock-band with friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We would eventually settle on the name ‘Neo Vogue’.  It was the 80’s when I came up with the name.  It sounds dated now, but I assure you that at the time, it was profoundly cool (Random subjects, under no physical threat by me, objectively attest to said profound coolness).  I actually rejected the name ‘Nirvana’ for it...and ‘The Oak Ridge Boys’ was already taken.  Shucks.  Neo Vogue recorded and performed frequently throughout the 1980’s.  I, quite ingeniously, managed never to get paid.

In 1988 the band recorded with Detroit Techno producer, Art Forest, at his studio.  It was the same studio that produced dance mixes for techno/electronic groups such as ‘Inner City’ (with Kevin Saunderson) and Derrick May.  During a recording session, we were introduced to the manager for Detroit rock band, ‘The Romantics’.  He spoke of plans to sign us onto his label, Paragon Records.

In August of 1989, Neo Vogue relocated to Las Vegas so I could wash dishes at the Imperial Palace casino and deliver pizzas to unfamiliar locations (thereby remaining consistently late).  I saved up for a bag of Corn Nuts (out of hungry delirium) and a cat ate them.  We had no furniture and I washed my clothes in the sink with bar soap.  I ate stale dinner rolls pitched from the casino buffets.  My stomach ached.

A recording contract was offered from Paragon Records.  We were flown back to Detroit to meet with a lawyer to get, to discuss the terms of the contract and to record our first single for Paragon.  The record contract was signed during the recording sessions on the evening of October 5, 1989; the day I turned 18.  The song, produced by Charles Scales, was called ‘Nightmare’.  The storyboard for the accompanying music video began conceptual development and a tour supporting Minneapolis band, ‘Information Society’ was planned.  Don Was and Ben Grosse were on the short-list to produce the album.  We moved back to Detroit in November 1989.

Dissatisfied with the band, I left Neo Vogue in 1990 to attend college.  I was courted to play guitar for local hard rock bands and I indulged them very briefly.

I continued writing new material throughout college.  News of a music scene in Kalamazoo akin to that of, at the time, recent Seattle caught my attention.  Two years of studying electronics were thankfully abandoned.  In January 1993, I packed my bags and transferred to Western Michigan University to fail miserably at Electrical Engineering.  They say studying would have helped.  But I hated it.  I graduated with a B.S. in Behavioral Science and Writing to rule out any possibility of employment.  The music scene there was disappointingly tepid and uninteresting.  So I concentrated on my power-lifting and kickboxing and competed as a member of the WMU Martial Arts team.

I met Soundgarden after one of their shows and reminded them how unusual it was to find a good band to join.  I made regular trips to Chicago seeking out the band Ministry as I heard news of an open guitar slot.  I found Ministry’s recording studio only after they had moved it.  I drove to Toronto and gave a desperate resume and cassette to a member of The Sisters of Mercy in an attempt to join them.  I don’t recall if my resume included my invaluable dishwashing experience in Vegas.  But I tried.  You have to try.

The first three Compact Deity songs were recorded at Detroit’s Tempermill recording studio in December of 1999.  They were ‘Dismissed’, ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’ and ‘Silver’.  ‘The Desolation’, ‘Do You Still Believe In Anything’ and ‘Myriad’ were recorded in 2000.  The official website was created in June 2002 and officially launched in March 2003.

Compact Deity has rejected a few recording deals; I’ve already been screwed.  Now I want some money for it… and flowers.  Don’t forget flowers.  I created my own label, Sanctum Records.  We do things my way.  I’m not getting rich doing this and I don’t care.  I love music.  I love to play guitar.  We hope you dig it.  Turn it up.  The rest is in the ‘NEWS’ section.

Tarik Al-Kadhim