Paul Welch

Paul Welch

Paul Welch was born the son of an Air Force Officer, and as such he was quickly hurled into a life of travel and constant adjustment to changing environments. His childhood was spent immersed in a wide range of cultures, varying from living in New York (attending school in Queens) to living in Osan, South Korea; Okinawa, Japan; and Madrid, Spain. It was during these formative years- wherein pulling up roots was more the rule than the exception- that Paul began his lifelong love for something constant, music.

 

His mother, being a well versed piano player, made certain there was always a piano in the house. Paul began playing the piano at the early age of seven, and in just a short time he was plucking out compositions by Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. At age 13, using odd job money, he purchased his first electric guitar. While attending High School in Madrid, Spain, Paul was given his first acoustic guitar, a classical built by a local artist in Madrid.

 

After high school, Paul began pursuing a self-financed education at CSU San Marcos near San Diego, California. Because the University was a newer one within the California State University System, it had a progressive arts program, allowing Paul to study the latest techniques in recording and digital composition. He also participated in a wide variety of pick-up gigs and played with local bands which offered early on experience in performing. For a period of two years after graduating, he was the only alum given access to the University’s music laboratories, despite no longer being an enrolled student.

 

Upon completion of a ten track album he produced in the labs, Paul re-entered the local music arena and began performing live again at local venues. It was during this time that Paul was introduced to one of his vocal idols, Dave Wakeling, the front man of the two-tone legend The English Beat. Paul was quick to study Dave’s approach to music in all aspects, attempting to draw anything and everything he could from Dave’s experience.

 

In 2005, Paul began playing keyboards on a regular basis with The English Beat as the band began full-steamed resurgence. As a fulltime member of The English Beat, Paul served on the front lines of an exhausting schedule that would take him through 48 states (some of them many times over) and three countries. In 2007 alone, he performed in over 120 concerts, a handful of live radio performances across the United States and a series of live recordings. It was during this busy year that his travels would take him back to Europe in the form of a small tour opening for INXS at two prestigious historical venues in England, the Birmingham Symphony Hall (with guest DJ Pato Banton) and the Apollo Hammersmith in London. This would be a significant event, as it marked the first return-to-England performance for Dave Wakeling since the break-up of the first incarnation of The English Beat in 1982.

 

2007 would also bring Paul and The English Beat through a whirlwind schedule on 311’s “Unity Tour” where they would open for Matis Yahu and 311. Following the completion of the “Unity Tour,” came a huge co-headlined show adjacent UB40 to a sold out audience at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles.

 

By performing live with The English Beat Paul shared the stage with legends in their own right, such as Thomas Dolby and Pato Banton, as well as Roddy Radiation and Lynval Golding of the Specials. Together they would participate in concerts with bands such as the aforementioned 311, Matis Yahu, INXS and UB40, as well as Third Eye Blind, Berlin, Everclear, The Gin Blossoms, The Fixx, The Alarm, The Psychedelic Furs and many others.

 

During the entire fast-paced schedule of touring with The English Beat, Paul still put his efforts back into what started him off in the first place, creating and recording original material. Now deeply immersed in his own conception alongside his band-mates and close friends: Michael Stauffer, Kurt Dunlop and Jason Wolfe he fronts the band FMera. A culmination of life lessons, experiences and wisdom gained from his previous endeavors come together to produce a sound that is unequivocally true to him.