Taking a page from the book of early 70’s super groups, One Tribe Nation is an eclectic mix of world-class musicians inspired by culture, diversity, and the concept of a single world community. Based in Los Angeles the group was brought together by the vision of guitarist Michael Sanders. His father, the late Will Sanders, was a pianist/singer who played and sang with The Inkspots,Cab Calloway, Mercer Ellington (The Embers), and Count Basie throughout the fifties and sixties. Michael grew up with his mother and brother in London Ontario, a small industrial city in between Detroit and Toronto with roads leading in but not many leading out.”When I was a kid I really didn’t realize how poor we were. My mother often struggled at two jobs to support my brother and I. For entertainment, all we had was a 13 inch black and white TV with three fuzzy channels and a cheap stereo that played eight tracks, cassettes, and records. The way I looked at it, I could either hang out in the apartment with no living room furniture, listen to music and play guitar, or get into trouble. I usually explored both options”.
Michael took to the guitar almost immediately, being able to mimic guitarists like Tony Iommi and Jimi Hendrix note for note with no formal training. However, like many of the young men in his neighborhood, Michael spent much of his youth in constant conflict with the law, in out of foster homes and detention facilities, and even living on the street. A defining moment came at the age of 16, while standing before a judge. He was given the choice to either use his talent as a musician to make something of his life or face incarceration. From that day on Michael became immersed in his music and explored London’s small but vibrant music scene, focusing on his guitar playing even more passionately, and never looking back. He formed his own group Dyoxen (Cargo/Caroline records), which had some international success and airplay in the 90’s but only released one Album.
After the split of Dyoxen he moved to Toronto where he graduated from the Harris Institute for the Arts Production and Engineering program. Michael continued to play live and record with various other projects in and around Toronto. It was there that he began to develop the idea for One Tribe Nation and released a five song E.P. entitled “The Search For Esoterica”. The Search For Esoterica was a metaphor for a place that is unabashedly rich with color, diversity and creativity, which is definitely reflected in the music. The EP received favorable reviews and even made it’s way onto MTV’s Real World. Since then, Michael Sanders and One Tribe Nation have completed a full-length album, that has received critical acclaim from around the world.
Joining the Nation for this release are all-star greats like Luis Conte, (Eric Clapton, Madonna, Santana), current Santana singer Andy Vargas , JimmyRoberts (Rod Stewart, Rick Braun) and long time Rolling Stones backup singer Bernard Fowler, as well as touring members and session players for such artists as Pink, Black Eyed Peas, Ricky Martin, Frank Gambale, The Goo Goo Dolls and the Rembrants.
The material can be “radio friendly” conforming to the station’s playing timeframe as well as more lengthy pieces that explore several different styles of music in just one song. The result is an explosive and unique brand of high-octane, beat-driven progressive fusion.” The thinking here is that simplicity is genius, but not always artistically essential. There is no shortage of simplicity out there and I don’t always subscribe to the formula that you should be able to express your most heartfelt emotions in under four minutes. I think what we are doing has greater significance than that, mainly because this music is capable of bridging musical, cultural and generational gaps, really taking you somewhere”, remarked Michael. Emotional intensity, catchy riffs, and overall good songwriting is what makes this record stand out not to mention the tension and synergy among these extremely talented musicians.
The Nation currently resides in the New School Hollywood Renaissance that is taking place in the City of Angels. Michael’s vision of a multi-cultural celebration of artistic expression has begun to take shape, and is now fully realized in the context of his debut album, “Servants Of A Lesser God”.
Michael Sanders: Guitar
Jason Hemmens: Vocals, Sax, Harp, Flute,)
Chuck Prada: Percussion ( Black Eyed Peas, Greyboy Allstars)
Dave Filice: Bass (Rembrants)
Dave Schulz: Keys (English Beat, Goo Goo Dolls)
Rocklin Thompson: Vocals
Joshua Eagan: Drums (Pink, Steve Lukather)