JTM (left to right)
Brookes: Bass & backing vocals
Dave Sutcliffe: Drums
Coddy (Mark Caldwell): Lead vocals
Howard Roberts: Guitar
Adie Whyatt: Guitar & Backing Vocals
JTM came together in the autumn of 1995. All the members had been in other bands but none of them had really 'clicked' and produced that elusive chemistry that is essential in all good bands. Originally, Coddy, Mick and a bass player, Dave Briddon, had been in a band known as "John The Milkman" but the infamous "musical differences" resulted in Step, the only guitarist and main songwriter, leaving. Mick had previously played in a band with me (Howard) and the band asked me to join.
The results were good but the sound wasn't full enough. Another friend of Mick's, Adie, was asked to join. Immediately that chemistry was there. Adie is a really good songwriter and I had some ideas for songs while Coddy had lots of lyrics. This chemistry gave rise to a brand of melodic powerful pop with a funky edge and some excellent original songs.
The influences of the members were pretty diverse and ranged from classic rock, through punk, reggae, funk and blues. Most of these influences come through in one way, although the band had an identity of its own. The sound has been compared to a Canadian band called 54.40 who the members of JTM had never heard of, but when Mick visited Canada and played people our demo tape, many people commented on how similar the two bands sounded to each other.
In April 1996, Dave left the band to take up a position as an engineer and designer for a major aircraft manufacturer in the United States. After several attempts to find a new bass player, Adie suggested trying out a friend of his who played drums in another band, The Candidates, but also played guitar. Matt sat in with the band a few times and then joined as a permanent member. In his previous band, as a drummer, Matt never had the opportunity to write, but now he was playing guitar and bass he really began to grow as a songwriter and brought an extra dimension to the band as a backing vocalist.
In the Summer of 1997 there was a sudden outbreak of pregnancies among band members' wives/girlfriends. In combination with this, Adie got a new job working contacts which meant he was away from home too often to be able to rehearse regularly. After one final gig he reluctantly decided to stop playing with the band.
A friend of the band, John Walmsley, who had played with another local band, Suburban Daze, joined in Autumn 1997 but due to pressure of nightschool work he left at the beginning of 1998. Adie, who was back in the area again, was the first one to get the call.
The band continued playing regularly, but during 1998 things began to fall apart. Mick was having a lot of difficulty keeping a decent rhythm going and this was seriously affecting the rest of the band. Finally, things got so bad that morale was affected and several of us wondered whether the band should continue. Eventually, in Summer, a drummer friend of Matt's, Dave Sutcliffe was brought in. Dave had playing in many bands and was a very powerful and skillful drummer. Things "clicked" immediately and the band's sound was enhanced, more musical risks could be taken and things started to groove again...
Finally, in 2000 things began to drift apart again. I was burgled and all my gear stolen and it took a long time for the insurance to come through. Adie had to go and work away again and Dave began to lose interest. After a few unplugged appearances at local singer/songwriter nights, JTM finally drifted apart.