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12:06 began as a series of demo songs written by guitarist George O'Connor. After playing in male-fronted bands for years, George wanted to try playing with a female lead singer. He asked friend Tracy Horovitz, who had performed in musical theater and other bands, if she would be interested in singing on his project. So George and Tracy started working on the songs that eventually became 12:06's first album, 12:06 AM.
George and Tracy enlisted the help of George's former bandmate, Jon Burnim, to record the album. These recordings were meant to be demos for an eventual "real" recording with a full band, which is why George used a drum machine and played all instruments on the album. He also added a lead vocal track on "State Of Mind" and back-up vocals to "The Lesson". As the album was nearing completion, the feeling was that the recordings were good enough to be released as is, rather than re-recording them later with a full band.
As the recording was finishing up, the album and eventual band still did not have a name. The title 12:06 AM came from a different sources. In an homage to X-Files, where creator Chris Carter could choose times displayed on clocks based on people's birthdays, they choose 12:06, December 6 being the birthday of a mutual friend. And as George explained, "A phone call at 12:06 AM is never good news and the last song on the album is not a "good news" call." As for naming the band, George said, "I wish there was some deep, powerful, spiritual reason we choose 12:06 but really, it was simple, it was chantable and no one else was using it."
In September 2001, George and Tracy were married. After the wedding, they started putting together a band under the 12:06 name.
Filling out the band
Jon was recruited as a second guitarist, marking the third band George and Jon had played in together (Last Wish, 1991–1992 and Rogue, 1992–1999). They then turned to Shawn McHatton who had been the drummer in Rogue during the final years of that band. The search for a bass player lead them to Kyle Kydd. The same day Kyle left his previous band, George and Jon asked him to join 12:06.
Post 12:06 AM
12:06 began practicing as a five-piece in January 2001 and made their live debut in April 2001. Their early sets included all the vocal-driven songs from 12:06 AM. To fill out their set, they also played songs from Rogue as well as covering Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask". As new 12:06 songs were written, the Rogue songs were bumped from the set. Other cover songs 12:06 performed included Nine Inch Nails' "Wish", AC/DC's "Big Balls", Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" and Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell".
12:06 AM received positive reviews from both USA and International music magazines. Live shows started to include songs written by Jon.
In 2004, 12:06 began recording their second CD, Compulsion/Control. This was a full band effort with everyone contributing songs to the album. "State Of Mind" was re-recorded from 12:06 AM, this time with Tracy singing the main vocals. The album had a more human feel thanks to Shawn's drumming and Tracy's vocals. Rather than going for note-perfect takes, Tracy's main vocals were record as one take and allowed for more emotion to come through. On the song "Absence Of Light", Tracy can be heard crying at the end. George and Jon also triple-tracked all of their distorted rhythm guitars, giving the album a very thick and full sound. Each song had its own guitar tone to match the story and tenor of the song, giving each its own sonic signature.
After a year and a half of recording, 12:06 released Compulsion/Control in October 2005. The album received warm reviews, noting the strong vocals and guitar work. They continued playing gigs across Massachusetts. They also played CBGB's the summer before the legendary club closed its door.
During the summer of 2006, Shawn announced that for health reasons he was leaving for California. The band's final gig with their classic line-up was in October 2006. The concert was recorded for an unreleased DVD but clips can be found on YouTube and MySpace. Shortly after their final show, Kyle decided to concentrate on another musical project and left 12:06.
After their search for new bandmates proved fruitless, George, Jon and Tracy decided to suspend 12:06. Since then, Jon has been recording and involved in other Boston bands. George and Tracy went on to form the punk rock band Viper Rash. George and Tracy have also been working on songs in the "12:06 style".
|Year of release||Title||Label||Line-up|
|2002||12:06 AM||Roscoe Productions||T. O'Connor, G. O'Connor, Burnim, McHatton, Kydd|
|2005||Compulsion/Control||Roscoe Productions||T. O'Connor, G. O'Connor, Burnim, McHatton, Kydd|
- Tracy O'Connor - lead vocals
- George O'Connor - guitars, keyboards (12:06 AM) backing vocals
- Jon Burnim - guitars, keyboards (Compulsion/Control), backing vocals
- Shawn McHatton - drums
- Kyle Kydd - bass, backing vocals
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