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Style Hard Rock/Progressive Melodic Metal

Country USA

PhotobucketChris Karp and Greg Millikan were destined to make interesting music together. After 7 years of playing thru cover songs including the likes of Poison, Aerosmith and AC/DC we began to build our skills and confidence and at the ripe age of 18, we began the journey of creating the music that would become Mata Hari. Joined by high school friend and guitar prodigy, Caesar Hernandez, things started to progress. Caesar added the icing on the cake to our songwriting and was easily my guitar twin as our playing together was seamless and as tight as any guitar duo I’ve ever heard. Darren Rhyne, 19, would enter in the picture as he worked alongside myself and Caesar at a restaurant together. The two of us would talk music all night long. Our chemistry with songwriting started with writing a simple joke song for a friend of ours. It was so easy that we found ourselves coming up with idea after idea…eventually presenting them to Chris and Caesar.Mata Hari was born. ? After recording a disaster of a demo in 1988, we kept pressing on and moved our studio location to our good friends, Mike and Lew Sheffield.

While recording the “1989” songs, we discovered the last piece of the puzzle, 16 year old bassist Scott Hicks. ?Unfortunately this lineup would only survive until 1991.Both Caesar and Scott would exit and while Todd Longfellow would come in on 2nd guitar, we would go without a bassist for quite a while. The next demo was recorded in late 1991/early 1992 once again at Sheffield Studios with bass duties handled by myself.?Finally, in the spring of 1992, we stumbled onto Dan Conroy, a bassist that could hold it down while being able to hang with the intense drumming of Chris Karp. 1992 proved to be quite successful for us in the live world as we would play at classic/legendary venues such as The Gateway Theatre, Avalon Niteclub, Thirsty Whale and Club Dimensions. This was a major step for us as we were following in the footsteps of acts who had frequented these venues such as Dream Theater,King Diamond, Alice in Chains, Lizzy Borden, Manowar and Lillian Axe to name a few.

In late 92’, we connected with Caesar again realizing that original spark was still there, he wanted to give it a shot again and so did we. Todd was replaced with Caesar and we played easily what was some of our best sounding shows. We entered the studio in early 1993 to record our longest effort yet (8 songs). Once again…as things were looking up, we would lose Caesar again to “creative differences”. ??Left as a four-piece, we decided to carry on with the recording. Most of Caesar’s guitar tracks were eliminated with the exception of a couple harmony solos, subtle fills, and guitar synthesizer.

Upon completion of the recording, we discovered another band located in Florida using the name Mata Hari. We were quite flustered and decided it time to change the name to Hypnotic Symphony.?As fate would have it, that would be the end of Mata Hari as Darren would make his exit, followed by Chris…leaving me to hold the torch. Replacing Darren and Chris was not an option for me as not only were they my musical brothers, but they were my best friends. Through the years, I have kept the music of Mata Hari alive by continuing my writing/playing of the material and also through Darren and I recording and writing in 1999 and 2003. I posted some of the classic MH material and low and behold, Retrospect Records and Aaron McCaslin comes along to rekindle the fire that once was Mata Hari and after 15 years, with this release, the fire in my soul for this music burns stronger than ever and I’ve been reborn.
Mata Hari – Mata Hari [’91-’93]


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MATA HARI, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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