||In 1998, Paul Durham and his rock band, Black Lab, released their Geffen Records debut Your Body Above Me to critical acclaim. The album yielded the top 5 rock and alternative single "Wash it Away," and the top 20 ac and pop track "Time Ago," going on to sell over 120,000 copies.
This year, Black Lab came out swinging with a song on the platinum-selling Spider-Man soundtrack called "Learn to Crawl." Produced by Durham and veteran mixer/producer Tom Lord-Alge, the song wraps an aggressive guitar riff around what Rolling Stone calls "Black Lab's tightly spun, highly melodic rock."
Paul Durham grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue his passion for musical invention. After gigging for years in the club scene as a singer-songwriter, Durham pulled a Dylan and went full blown electric, turbo-charging his detailed songs with roaring guitars and the intensity of alternative rock. A deal with Geffen Records was quick to follow, and their debut was tagged as "one of this year's breakout records" (Billboard). Hollywood called, and the band contributed songs to the soundtracks for Can't Hardly Wait, Varsity Blues, Permanent Midnight, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
After a year of touring, Black Lab was poised to fulfill their destiny as "the American U2" (San Francisco Chronicle) when their record label was quietly shuttered and folded into the huge new Universal Music conglomerate. The band went back home and Durham started writing a new album for a record company that didn't know who he was. Eventually, he moved to LA, perhaps the first person to do so in order to get OUT of a record deal.
Durham landed at Epic Records with a new band and a new album, produced in the living room of his apartment by him and his guitar player. "I got sick of being under the thumb of the record company," Durham says, "so instead of renting a studio, I bought my own. It's a lot harder for them to tell you what to do when you're running the machines." Fully in command of his own musical vision, Durham finished the new Black Lab album, See the Sun, earlier this year. The record takes the Black Lab sound to the next level, adding rich swaths of electronic texture to the crisp, heavy foundation of Durham's rock songs. The songs breathe deeply, the lyrics shine through the soaring melodies; then guitars crush in, tearing the roof off the house.
Now, while the band plays shows around LA and looks for a new distributor for See the Sun, Durham busy writing and producing new songs with other artists around town, including JoAnna Pacitti (A&M), Ryan Cabera (Atlantic), and Racheal Yamagata (RCA).