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Local Metal Band “Path to Midian” Sets Sights High

Mark Nicol, left is on drums, center rear is guitarist Erik Spiller, right is lead guitarist Paul Dontigney Jr., center front is lead vocalist and frontrunner Bruce Morrison.

By Zachary Daum

Dropping their first single, “The Morning After,” on Halloween, 2022, newly formed metal band, “Path to Midian” is made up of locals and have their sights set on higher goals. They released a music video to go along with “The Morning After” on Dec 9, 2022 with another single and an animated music video set to follow soon.

Self described as, “a metal band with a singer you can understand,” They are made up of rock veterans from the local area who have been involved in numerous bands throughout the Greater St. Louis area.

Frontrunner and lead vocalist for “Path to Midian” is Bruce Morrison, who is also known for frontrunning the 1980’s Belleville metal band, “Bronx Zoo.” “I’m a lifelong midwesterner. We’ve been together now since 2014 in various iterations. I grew up in East St. Louis, surrounded by musicians in my family. It was all soul, R&B, Funk and just listening to old records. Just mimicking Stevie Wonder, R&B artists, blues artists, it just went from there. I just loved singing. It was just this kind of desire (to get into music). I wanted to perform. It was the rush and energy of playing music and I just kept going with it and pursued it at 13 years old. Mimicking different vocalists, for some reason I think that’s why I kind of approached metal and songs we are writing a little differently. It’s just I can’t do the cookie monster vocal type stuff.”

Paul Dontigney Jr. is one of the guitarists for the band and also runs the Lebanon guitar shop, Hangar 18 Guitar. “I’m Paul Dontigney. I am the lead guitar player for ‘Path to Midian’ and I am the Batman of music. I don’t have a family of musicians or anything like that. Everybody listened to music so I was influenced by everything from rock and roll to my grandfather who liked country. When I was in school I was taught to play drums by an R&B soul drummer, so I had that side in there too. I was always drawn to metal but I was into everything. I think that guitar, I wanted to pick up and play guitar the first time I saw Megadeth. I was definitely always a metal head. I was never sheltered from any kind of music. I always listened to what I was interested in.”

Erik Spiller is a guitarist from Lebanon and has played music with Paul since they were kids. Spiller once was the second finalist in auditions for Limp Bizkit. Dontigney spoke about him, explaining how Spiller got into music and how it evolved for him as time went on. “He was a vocal student until he got older, when his changing voice caused him to be uncomfortable singing. He moved to guitar and learned from his father, who played for many years. Erik was taught music and piano by the local church organist, and later went to SWIC (Southwestern Illinois College) and learned music theory, which he uses as a primary music writer and composer today. His influences are like mine. We’ve been metalheads since we were kids and learned to play guitar together. We started out learning metal covers and later developed our own style and wrote our own music together.”

Mark Nicol is the drummer for the band. “I’ve been playing music since I was a kid in school. I founded my first band once I was in high school. I’ve played for multiple local original bands over the years, touring the Midwest. I’ve released several albums and eps writing, recording and performing alongside many notable producers and musicians alike. Started working with this group of guys about 10 years ago under a different name. After solidifying the lineup, I helped rewrite our catalog as well as write new material over the years. Through multiple recording sessions and producers we were finally proud to present this band as Path to Midian.”

Alice Media Group is a local group that specializes in Multimedia, Artist, Business, and Brand Development. August Evvi is the creator of Alice Media Group and discussed his part with the band and how he makes things happen. “I work with multimedia, anything anyone brings us. I just love seeing a project where somebody is like, ‘how do we do this’ and we can take an idea all the way through to make something that is a product or work of art. One of the big things I specialize in is brand and artist development. Everything else just ties in with that. A lot of people I work with want to do stuff and then they don’t. You need branding. So we sit down, make a plan and do that.”

Dontigney discussed their plans for the future and their highest goals. “I think we are planning on trying to start to book in the Spring. The plan right now is to do some singles, get some releases, get a following, then do some shows and promote what we release. From there, the sky’s the limit. If we get offered a really great tour then sure, we’ll jump on. Buy big mansions and stuff.“

Their first single, “Morning After” is out now and you can find it on Spotify and Youtube under their name, “Path to Midian.”

Next week, The Herald will do a deeper dive on the front runner, Bruce Morrison, discuss stories from his “Bronx Zoo” era and how he believes “Path to Midian” has the potential for so much more.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on January 19, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Always like Bruce down to earth person great talent had Bronx Zoo and the late great Angelo Torrez at my bar and events every chance I could. Rock on my freind! Barry Jones One Man Productions

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