This criminally underrated post is a combination that is win-win no matter how you look at it. As a music icon, Nash The Slash stands very firmly on his own two feet. Known for his outlandish costume of mummy-like bandages, a penchant for standing off to the side and performing from the shadows, he is an amazingly eclectic artist who at one time provided back-up for my favorite musician, Gary Numan. The fact that Nash the Slash was also part of a fabulous band that spanned 20 years (off and on) is another formidable accomplishment. For all of those reasons, it is a pleasure to feature FM for this week’s installment.
FM formed in Toronto, Ontario in 1976. It started out as a “progressive space-rock” duo, made up of Cameron (Ronnie) Hawkins (vocals, synthesizer, bass) and Nash the Slash (vocals, electric violin, electric mandolin, drum machine). FM’s first recording included live performances of three fantastic and unusual songs: “Phasors on Stun,” “One O’Clock Tomorrow,” and “Black Noise.”
The following year, the group added a drummer, Martin Deller. Citing the “commercial” direction the band was heading toward, Nash the Slash left to pursue a solo career. The split would prove to be temporary. Meanwhile, Ben Mink stepped in to play electric violin and electric mandolin. The band later re-released Black Noise, and three other collections called Direct to Disc, Surveillance, and City of Fear.
Nash the Slash rejoined FM in 1983. Already signed as a solo artist with Quality Records, he was instrumental in getting FM signed, as well. He released his solo effort, American Band-ages, and FM, along with Nash, released Con-Test. Martin Deller ended up leaving in 1986, replaced by two new members, Greg Critchley (drums) and Simon Brierley (guitars). This iteration of FM released Tonight, and after one more personnel change (Randy Cooke replaced Brierley on drums), FM disbanded in 1989.
The break-up proved to be temporary as Hawkins, Nash the Slash, and Deller teamed up once again in 1994 for a two-year touring stint. There was one more rebirth for FM in 2006, but that seems to have been the final note for the talented and unique band.
Check out music by this group of uber-talented musicians, or miss out on yet another gifted Canadian creation that was light-years ahead of its time, and under-appreciated, to boot.
“Phasors on Stun” via YouTube user thecatkeaton:
“Just Like You” via YouTube user kurdtss:
“One O’Clock Tomorrow” via YouTube user sevenmaiden7:
“Dream Girl” via YouTube user molsonman36:
Black Noise (1977)
Direct to Disc (1978)
City of Fear (1980)
American Band-ages (1984)
Lost In Space (2001)