The T4 Project
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The T4 Project

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The best kept secret in music

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‘The T4 Project’ is set to officially street on March 18th, 2008 on the Mental Records label. ‘The T4 Project’ was conceived, created and produced by Shannon Saint Ryan with lyrics written by Jason Cruz of Strung Out. Pre-release promotional copies are available on request. Contact: merrill@mentalrecords.net

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Bio

The T4 Project Story-Based Concept Album captures the spirit of a punk rock revolution in its powerful collection of songs, compelling background story concept, and the impressive array of musicians called together to collaborate on the idea.

But what exactly is The T4 Project? This is not just some group of all-stars that decided to put together a side-project album. This is a labor of love conceived by Shannon Saint Ryan, a young musician from Ventura, CA, who had the desire to bring together the people, ideals, and musical styles that span the diversity of the punk scene.

The result is a community - not a compilation - of like-minded artists, contributing their time and efforts for free, working together in the belief that music can still inspire and teach its listeners.

"We all sing about things that are burning in our hearts. Everyone is going against the grain in the same way," says Saint Ryan. "The punk scene is the foundation of the way I live and breathe."

The message behind The T4 Project is as personal as it is political. The songs and artwork address vital social and political issues, but the story belongs to both the individual and the community.

"I'd like this record to be a way for people to not feel lost," says Saint Ryan. "You just gotta’ have some heart."

Just three years ago, The T4 Project was nothing more than an idea in its infancy, brewing in the mind of project founder and creative genius Shannon Saint Ryan.

At the time, few people outside of Saint Ryan's local punk scene had heard of him. Through a combination of DIY, dreams, and determination, Saint Ryan united pieces of a divided punk community, assembling a crack team of artists to begin working on the concept album to end all concept albums.

The roots of T4 formed when Saint Ryan's schoolmates, Mike Carter and Chris Campbell, enlisted him to play drums with their band for the school talent show. They introduced him to punk by giving him two CDs to practice to - Circle Jerks and Pennywise.

Saint Ryan fell in love with the underlying principles of punk before its sound. "At first I thought it was reckless abuse, crazy people," he admits. Then he picked up the liner notes and his world changed forever. "Punk is political and social movement through music. It... all made sense ... music as a weapon."

The trio continued to rock together as a band until a tragic motorcycle death claimed Campbell's life. Crushed, Carter and Saint Ryan disbanded.

After finishing school, Saint Ryan drifted, unsure about his future. "I realized I had to focus on one thing," says Saint Ryan. "Then, everything started to move forward .... I was able to put all that energy into music."

He started collaborating with old friend Kirsten Patches of Naked Aggression, revisiting the rough song ideas he had recorded over the years. The process clued Saint Ryan in to the incredible creative potential sparked by introducing a new musician's perspective.

After briefly touring with Patches' band, Saint Ryan left, hungry for something different. He started envisioning his concept album, then began a painstaking recruitment process, powered by his charisma and a polite yet fearless "don't give a fuck" philosophy inspired by Keith Moon, legendary drummer for The Who.
Saint Ryan would later call on Patches and Carter to join T4 as vocalist and guest bassist. Saint Ryan racked his brains to pick the other musicians, scouring over biographies, mentally compiling a roster of bands, and hitting up friends for recommendations.

First, Saint Ryan set about assembling the rhythm section. Drummer Trotsky of the Subhumans U.K. entered the picture when Saint Ryan and Patches, playing as Meet the Virus, opened for Subhumans (U.K.) in 2003. They lost contact, but Saint Ryan tracked down their tour manager and sent over a demo. A thrilled Saint Ryan heard back from the laconic drummer-"I got your tape, it's got some cracking tunes, and I'll put my sticks on it," he said.

Trotsky then recommended Spike T. Smith, drummer for Morrissey, Conflict, and The Damned. The two drummers together formed the perfect contrast in Saint Ryan's eyes. "Spike is just one of those technical wizards on drums," says Saint Ryan, while "Trotsky is ... that real hard, driving force."

Saint Ryan tracked down Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley at a bar, via his band's tour manager. "I thought he was completely insane," laughs Bentley. Despite his initial skepticism, he never wrote off The T4 Project completely, putting in his two cents and four strings when called on, his incredulity eventually giving way to admiration. "I was really impressed. I'm proud to be part of it," says Bentley.

Exactly how Saint Ryan and Tony Barber, Buzzcocks bassist, met is a question of fuzzy memories on both sides. Saint Ryan remembers contacting Barber by charming Southern Studios into passing on his info. Barber just remembers receiving the e-ma