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Class of 1987
The alternative rock combo Black Lab formed in the Bay Area in 1995 after vocalist Paul Durham disbanded his eponymous backing band. Durham, who had grown up the son of a Buddhist in the Mormon town of Twin Falls, ID, later attended Oberlin University and moved to California to live in Berkeley and teach high school in inner-city Oakland. Although he played with a strong band that was beginning to get noticed by record executives, Durham fired them because a lack of energy; instead, he recruited bassist Geoff Stanfield, guitarist Michael Belfer, and drummer Bryan Head. Named Black Lab, the quartet began getting rave reviews around the Bay Area and signed to Geffen Records in 1996. In October 1997 the band released their debut album, Your Body Above Me. Time Ago followed a year later with the band breaking up in 1999. Signed by Epic in 2000, Durham started a new chapter for Black Lab, collaborating with guitarist/programmer Andy Ellis. They placed a track on the Spider-Man soundtrack, but ended up leaving Epic before the release of their second album,See the Sun, which was eventually self-released in 2005. They also appeared on the soundtracks for Varsity Blues, The Shield, Blade Trinity, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They released Passion Leaves a Trace in early 2007. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide