Formed eight years ago in St.Louis, Missouri, Pale Divine (then known as The Eyes), quickly became hometown favorites, and had soon attracted a large following on the midwest college circuit. The quartet is fronted by Michael Schaerer, who possesses a powerful voice, charismatic stage presence, and total commitment to his music. Richard Fortus pulls anastonishing variety of sounds out of his guitars, effortlessly switching from cunningly played accompaniment to burning leads. And the rhythm section of drummer Greg Miller and bassist Dan Angenend, Jr. forms a rock-solid pocket, providing driving support for Pale Divine's unforgettable songs. But, first and foremost, it is the group's intensity that makes their Atlantic debut, "STRAIGHT TO GOODBYE," an album to be reckoned with.

"For me, it's passion," Michael states. "We put our balls in every song." Michael had the good fortune of growing up in a musical family in St.Louis. His grandfather, who was a big band leader, is "one hell of an accordion player," while his father is an accomplished jazz vocalist and guitar player. In his teens, Michael attended St.Louis' High School of Visual and Performing Arts, where he developed his vocal and guitar chops during a time he describes as "the best and most relaxed of my life."

michael SCHAERER, vocals & guitar
(see current personal bio)

It was there, over a decade ago, that Michael met Richard. "He was really hip," Michael enthuses. "Right away, it was 'Let's write some tunes.' I feel very lucky to be working with Richard, and I can't imagine playing with anyone else." Today, Michael and Richard are the prime writers of Pale Divine's material. A player down to his bones, Richard picked up the violin and the drums while just a five-year-old in St.Louis.

richard FORTUS, guitars
(see current personal bio)

After extensive classical training and performing in a number of chamber orchestras and youth symphonies, he switched to the guitar at 13. His musical influences mark him as a true Anglophile, with the Beatles, the Stones, David Bowie, The Police, The Clash, and the Psychedelic Furs among his favorites. While in his early teens, Richard formed in a progressive rock/fusion band with drummer Greg Miller.

Greg, another St.Louis native, started drumming when he was nine. A powerhouse player, Greg brings real muscle to Pale Divine's sound. Describing his stint with Richard in the above-mentioned fusion band, Greg states: "We'd do long, extended songs, just instrumentals, where we'd play for 20 minutes. After a while, we realized we weren't going to get anywhere, and that we'd better get a singer. It just so happened that Richard knew Michael from school, and that was the beginning of the band."

greg MILLER, drums
(see current personal bio)

"Our initial success happened very quickly," Richard notes. "We opened up for a couple bands, and all of a sudden it was a happening thing. Within a year, we were the top of the pops in St.Louis, and we were also playing the midwest college towns, where we did really well." About four years ago, the group's original bass player quit, and they decided to take time off to write in order to return to the scene with an all-original set. The band's line-up finalized with the addition of the bassist Dan Angenend, Jr. Dan, who grew up in a St.Louis suburb, started playing bass in a grade school band. After working with several high school groups and a post-high school unit, he joined Michael, Richard, and Greg in the band then known as The Eyes.

dan ANGENEND, bass
(see current personal bio)

The group returned to the touring circuit, and quickly topped all the local readers' polls. The Eyes released their indie-album, "FREEDOM IN A CAGE," at the beginning of 1989, garnering extensive press kudos. "The Eyes seem set up to be this town's newest musical representation in the 'real world,' and fortunately they have the songs and the intensity to do it righteous," raved Jet Lag Music Magazine. "The Eyes' compelling sound and strong image earmark them for success," stated Billboard. "The Eyes are the best thing to happen to St.Louis since Chuck Berry," enthused Revolutions Magazine. The album's first two runs sold out in short order, but the band decided not to press any more, to avoid over-saturating the market before they had a "real" album out.

The next year saw a blizzard of record company interest, with A&R men coming out every other week for months. Even the St.Louis Post Dispatch cited this wave of record company attention, noting that the band was "being courted by practically every major label in the country and with good reason." Ultimately, Atlantic grabbed the golden ring. When the time came to pick a producer, the band chose Simon Rogers, impressed by his work with The Fall and Peter Murphy. Rechristened Pale Divine, the quartet headed to Hollywood for the basic recording, while the final mixing took place in London.

The result is an album which showcases the group's musical and compositional talents without losing the live punch and grit that is a Pale Divine trademark. The opening title track, "Straight To Goodbye," builds from a whisper to a screaming climax, while describing a complex set of emotions. "I promised myself I would never discuss the meaning of my songs with the press," Michael states. "If people think enough about the lyrics, they can come up with wild shit I could never dream of, and I don't want to limit their imaginations with my explanations."

Other outstanding songs include the bitter-sweet love long "Anything," and "Something About Me," a pumping tune that deals with small-minded prejudice. Two of the tunes, "My Addiction" and "Cigarette," trace the parallels between love and habituation, with Richard writing the former's lyrics and Michael the latter's. "I could be addicted to a lover, or my motorcycle, or cigarettes, or food," says Michael.

"So much of today's music is limp, heavily produced, and unemotional," Michael comments. "I want to take all the best things I see and experience, put them into our music, add passion, and move people again, because that is what it's all about."

©1991 Atlantic Records