Ken went back to his roots and began to write from a more personal headspace. Unwillingboro was released the way ?and so the martyr says had been; completely born and produced by one person. Ken played and recorded every instrument and track on the EP and once again was greeted with rave reviews…. but to a less than enthusiastic band. The rest afforded by Ken?s writing didn?t brighten the prospect of another year of touring and promoting that was in store for them. The efforts they once enjoyed to put forth in the past were proving pointless. The band needed a drastic change.
I love it when these guys in bands pretend someone else is writing about them.Here is the entire goodbye letter, since it probably won’t be online forever –
TRAGIK 1997 – 2003
The seed that was Tragik was planted prior to 1997, in the New Jersey-bred heart of a young hip-hop DJ named Ken Hylind. A natural musician, Ken began picking up drumming as creative complement to the beats he worked with on a daily basis. Soon, he was building original rock songs around his hip-hop influenced drumming, and began attaching lyrics and melody to his creations. By 1997, Ken released his first album ?and so the martyr says, entirely self-produced and performed.
Encouraged by the album?s positive reception, Ken performed with two unremarkable and nameless bands. Unsatisfied, he ultimately decided to form Tragik, and put out ads in every local paper he could find in the hope of meeting the right members.
The better part of a year elapsed while Ken auditioned and turned down all the wrong members. Although frustrated with stale cover-band musicians, he held on to his patience and finally met a confident, youthful bass player named Bill Carpenter. He was a perfect fit, energetic and skilled with a desire to grow as a musician. Thrilled with the match, Ken soon found himself following his sister?s advice and calling an eager, local drummer named Johnny Smith, who had been in the first unnamed band with Ken a year before.
The three piece band played several warm up gigs, but it was time to call on a second guitarist to bring to life the Tragik sound. The band auditioned an unorthodox axe-man named Mike Giangiulio, whose demeanor and interest was perfectly in line with Tragik?s vision. He was immediately adopted into the family.
With most of the second album of songs written, the advent of the fully formed band helped to complete Ken?s sophomore effort, simply titled Tragik, by collaborating on the last three songs. Backed by a solid CD and inspired by new gigs, the band felt full of promise for the future. They stormed the local scene in Philadelphia, eager to get noticed.
Throughout the next two years, Tragik found themselves on a rigorous touring schedule, scrambling to create a web identity, promoted themselves even harder and managed to record both a veritable studio album as well as several live shows. Fueled by the activity, and hoping to recoup some of the losses brought on by the studio costs, Tragik closed out the year with a Beef and Beer Christmas Party that brought in over 200 people. The event was a huge success, but unfortunately this would be the largest crowd ever in attendance at a Tragik show.
By 2002, each member had been hit with personal tragedies and struggles. The strength of Tragik?s studio EP convinced the band that the upcoming year was hold bigger and better opportunities. Shows were being booked from Boston, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Baltimore, but the band found themselves becoming tired of the seemingly fruitless effort. Scattering themselves all about the northeast only served to wear them down with the extra workload and absence of suitable payment. The invisible local scene had taken its toll, and the band worked themselves into exhaustion, pessimistic about starting over in other cities. Ken decided to give the band a rejuvenating break, and began to record the last album Tragik would ever create: Unwillingboro.
In the face of such adversity, Ken went back to his roots and began to write from a more personal headspace. Unwillingboro was released the way ?and so the martyr says had been; completely born and produced by one person. Ken played and recorded every instrument and track on the EP and once again was greeted with rave reviews…. but to a less than enthusiastic band. The rest afforded by Ken?s writing didn?t brighten the prospect of another year of touring and promoting that was in store for them. The efforts they once enjoyed to put forth in the past were proving pointless. The band needed a drastic change.
In late May 2003, a week of disappointing shows brought bassist Bill Carpenter to the usual band meeting where he expressed his feelings to an already weary group. The band decided to take the weekend off to relax and regroup for the following week of rehearsals. After much thinking, that following week Ken announced his departure from the band, and his desire to embark on a solo career. The three other members didn?t appear to be surprised….it merely seemed like the eventual end.
Tragik was and IS a great rock band. In the end, perhaps the band’s name became a self-fulfilling prophecy, but this isn?t the last chapter.
Tragik music will be survived by the writer who created it. It has been a long joyous ride for the four members of TRAGIK, and they have only you (the fans) and the memories to show for it. For a short while this page will be available to fans and friends of the band. Please feel free to click on the link below and leave them a message or share a memory. Look for news on the members in the future.