For better or worse, music has always been a part of Craig West.
His parents will tell you that – when in nursery school – he would sit in front of the speaker while classical music was playing looking very much like the little dog in the RCA ads. Craig doesn’t remember this personally, but figures his parents probably wouldn’t lie.
Piano lessons at age four followed with the boy showing little aptitude towards the instrument. When he was eight, he took up the saxophone and played for eight years in school bands before putting it down in favor of the guitar.
His love of progressive rock took hold when he was given a copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. He found this music to be an oasis in the desolate musical landscape of the 1980s. He delved deeper and discovered groups like Genesis, the afore-mentioned Tull, King Crimson and Marillion.
He became a passionate acolyte of progressive music.
Like a lot of people, he thought nobody would like his progressive music and so tried to do what he thought people would like. This was a classic case of someone not following their heart and for many years the donkey chased the carrot at the end of the stick.
He was the lead guitarist for a singer-songwriter named Chris Belsito for many years, wrote most of the material for Startlefish, a folk-rock group whose second album began to show hints of prog, and – through the borrowing of a drummer – became acquainted with Nick Jackson and would play in IT for a few years.
This was the real turning point. IT were proof that you could follow your heart into progressive rock land and actually get gigs, make friends and influence people.
Machines Dream is the manifestation of his journey from progressive rock, away from it, and then back.
Craig owned and operated a recording studio for a few years, worked in the advertising and transportation industries, and loves dogs, cars, Apple computers and science fiction. He’s roamed the Earth a bit, obtained a degree in English literature, written a lot of words and music, and thinks Peter Capaldi is the best Doctor Who to date.