local music scene south carolina
Bio (provided by Michael Till):
In the mid eighties during the height of the “Hair Metal” band scene, musicians Paul Bozard and brothers David Till and Michael Till began their own musical journey with a metal band named Battalion. Although this project did not go far, the relationships developed between them would. Over the next few years, Paul Bozard and David Till co-wrote several songs together with the hopes of being able to record them one day. With these songs, Paul would later come up with the concept for the band Gunpowder Tea.
It was in 1989 that Paul Bozards’ project was able to come together. As the “brain child” behind Gunpowder Tea he secured the resources needed to record the concept album entitled “I Told You So.” Together with long time friends and musicians Rob Ferrell and Todd Meeler, Paul and David Till laid down the tracks to “I Told You So” at Mark Five/Sandcastle Studios in Greenville, SC. Drummer Michael Till, who would later become the full time drummer, was also called upon to play 4 songs on the recording. Ferrell and Meeler’s involvement with the band was limited only to the recording process and not live performances.
After the completion of the album, guitarist and singer Wayne “Crash” Andrews joined the band. The members now consisted of Paul Bozard on bass and vocals, David Till on guitar and vocals, Michael Till on drums, and Wayne “Crash” Andrews on guitar and vocals. To promote their new album, Gunpowder Tea received local radio airtime in Orangeburg, SC and in Anderson, SC with the songs, “Looking Glass” and “Rock Me to the Limit.” Copies of the album were also available for purchase from music stores in Orangeburg, Columbia, Anderson, and Clemson, SC. Orangeburg music store, William’s Music, was especially supportive promoting the band locally.
Gunpowder Tea played at a variety of clubs and festivals in Orangeburg as well as in Columbia, Charleston, and in other towns across the state of South Carolina. Spots that the band frequented often were Rockafellas’, Greenstreet’s, and Shangri-La in Columbia SC. The band also competed in several band competitions both in Columbia and Charleston, SC.
After a couple years of playing together, Bassist Paul Bozard left the band to pursue other interests. The three remaining members would continue on playing together, later adding David Thompson on guitar from Denmark, SC who had previously played with the band Stone Alley. When the band finally disbanded, all members continued pursuing their musical careers. David Till went on to play with the band “Subway” for some time. After that he joined back up with drummer/brother Michael Till forming the band “Teal.” This band was formed with members from the Hampton, SC area. David Till continues with his outstanding guitar work playing with various musical projects as well as doing solo work. Wayne“Crash”Andrews moved to Columbia, SC and formed the band Crash Cadillac. He continues his successful music career in Columbia, SC. Michael Till continued playing with several projects including the band “Teal” formed with David Till. Since then, Michael has provided rock solid drumming, playing with church praise bands. He also has worked on several recording projects. He played in Sanford, NC for 10 years and now resides in Greenville, SC.
Gunpowder Tea is another great example of a hometown band from Orangeburg, SC. The music was exciting with lots of energy. They were unique in that there was no major influence to this band’s music. They had their own style and their own sound. Many great musicians and bands came from the Orangeburg area including Gunpowder Tea. They may never have gained the success and fame that so many of the bands from the West Coast did but were equally as talented.