The History of The OBViOUS: 19971998 1999 2000
-Christopher visits China in January/February 1998, stars in a TV commercial and rekindles several business relationships including starting a new relationship with China Record Corps. in Beijing which occurring in a somewhat surreal way. mr christopher explains;
"After several attempts at getting a response from our previous contact at China Record Corps, I decided to visit the office in Beijing. We came to this huge old bleak, old "cold war bunker" looking building complete with a guard house and completely surrounded by a iron gate. It was like an old Russian fortress from a KGB movie set."
"Calling our contact from the guard house, we finally reached her somewhere deep inside. However she refused to see us as she said it was very sensitive to bring a foreigner onto the premises. 'It would take a week to get permission.' she said."
:Discouraged we started to walk away when I saw a studio guitarist come through the gate.. I asked my translators to ask him if there was someone else we could talk to inside as we'd come all this way. (tastes of "The Wizard of Oz" here!) Although he said he would see what he could do, we didn't expect much."
" After 5 minutes, he returned with a lady who obviously had some power as she brought us right inside the compound into the dark building which we found to be very cavernous with it's off-while paint peeling in the far reaches of the huge walls."
"Amazingly we entered a studio, which was actually a huge vault we talked to her about what we wanted to do. She introduced us to a top Chinese music producer who soon started recording our most helpful Chinese studio guitarist. We were also visited by an upcoming traditional Chinese pop star who gave us her CD, completing a very surreal experience. We left feeling very hopeful."
-mr christopher returned to the states re-invigorated and determined to do The OBViOUS but now accepting his role as "the voice" for The OBViOUS instead of wasting time looking for another singer.
"I was originally doing the tracks for someone else to sing them. Tim encouraged me to 'take the bull by the horns' and give it my best shot... so I did." -mr christopher (1999)
-At this time a Miss Kalen was appointed head of The OBViOUS China office in Zibo China her duties were to begin the process to set up the CD label deals, and promotion strategy.
-In June '98, mr christopher finished mixing the CD and sent it to PR China. Proposed artwork designed by the Sunflower Music group/China was being emailed back and forth via email until a design was agreed on. [See proposed covers here]
-The OBVIOUS's album is put into production in Jinan, China through Beijing Radio/TV Center. Finally after two years, the Chinese release date is finally set for the end of October (Later pushed back to the 6th of November!!!!
-That Fall, "Bradley B" becomes an offical member as bass player for The OBVIOUS after sessions for the next OBViOUS CD begin in August. Brad had previous played with Tim in The Offering.
"Bradly had the perfect balance of funk and jazz bass chops with a hunger to kick some butt. ...I also loved his hair cut." -mr christopher,.
-mr christopher flew to Beijing on 11/4/98 to begin a month long radio station/university tour that was set up across China to coincide with the release date.
[Go here for the November ,1998 Tour itinerary and photos. Or here to listen to two radio interviews from Xian & Nanjing.]