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Doug Keyser- Watchtower Where is he now

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blunt, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Any of you metal bass devotees surely have marvelled at the math metal stylings of Texan's Watchtower. Keyser's bass lines incorporated angular sequences, harmonics, slap, tapping and dazzling sixteenth note solo spots. Where is this guy. i know he has come up repeatedly in metal bass player discussions. But has he recorded recently. I know the guitar player is very active, Spastic Inc and solo releases.
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Watchtower is doing a reunion gig in The Netherlands (I think), but I don't know if Doug Keyser is joining them or not.
  3. Thanks man
  4. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I saw Watchtower open for Dream Theater in Dallas a few years back. The songs themselves didn't do it for me but they were very impressive musicians, and they did it while running around playing leapfrog and tumbling and so on. By the time their set was over I didn't want it to stop. Very entertaining group.
  5. kutabare


    Jun 13, 2005
    I found out about Doug Keyser when I read an article that Atheist tried to get him on board as a replacement for Roger Patterson but he declined and they got Tony Choy. That alone gave me the interest to at least find out who he was, he must have been good. I got some Watchtower and whilst the bass is great those vocals are awful and I couldnt stomach much of it. I would love to know what he is doing now though but I am not sure either.
  6. Well yes if you get into the Watchtower scene the vocals of Tecchio are indeed regrettable. What can I say. Move above and listen to the music of some remarkable musicians.
  7. the_hook


    Apr 9, 2008
    With talk on another thread of favourite Prog Metal Bassist, I've gone back to listening to Watchtower. As angular and harsh as some of it sounds, the bass/drum work is insane. Reminds me of Geddy/Neil x2! Anyone know more about Doug Keyser in terms of musical background, types of basses/rigs he used, other bands he was in, etc.?
    DavidHaley likes this.
  8. DavidHaley


    Oct 6, 2014
    This is an old thread, sure, but what the heck. I'll try to answer.

    Doug Keyser has been in WatchTower since about 1982. Back then, Billy White was on guitar. He would later go on to play in Don Dokken's band, which was quite a departure WatchTower's style. Jason McMaster was also in WatchTower; he went on to sing for Dangerous Toys (among many other bands), also quite a departure from WatchTower's "Rush on acid" style of metal.

    After Billy White left, they got Ron Jarzombek of Slayer (later renamed SA Slayer to show they were the Slayer from San Antonio so the other Slayer wouldn't file against them) on guitar. Then Jason left for Dangerous Toys and they got Mike Soliz from Militia to sing for them. After Mike left, they got Alan Tecchio and released an album on Noise, toured, then disbanded, although they tried to get another vocalist to record "Mathematics." They recorded some stuff during this time (early 90s) with another vocalist. I can't recall who it was, but there are recordings of these sessions out there somewhere.

    Also during this time, Jarzombek formed Spastic Ink, a progressive metal band like no other in a time when most folks didn't want to hear anything progressive.

    Doug Keyser spent these years in a funk band named Retarted Elf with WatchTower's drummer, Rick Colaluca. They were a mighty fun band, and Doug kicked severe ass playing funk. In between songs, he'd throw in some lines from YYZ and such. And then he'd make a mean face at the crowd. He was always making mean faces, and it was fun to watch. Another WatchTower record didn't seem likely at the time, but I am thankful they reformed in 1999 with Jason McMaster on vocals and Ron Jarzombek on guitar and recorded a song for an Accept tribute album. After the Accept tribute, they got an offer to play the Bang Your Head festival in Germany, which they accepted. They did a few warm up gigs in San Antonio and Austin. The San Antonio show was insane: people came from all over the frakking globe to see WatchTower. There were so many people packed into that little nightclub the fire department showed up and refused to let anyone else in the club - even people who'd payed to get in but went to their car to put away their Tower merchandise they bought that night. I'd have been pissed if that had been me, I tell you. I'm glad I stayed indoors. I was not missing that show for anything.

    After the Germany show, they toured Texas with Dream Theater. This was NOT a good pairing for DT fans, although both bands have known each other for quite a while, even before "Images And Words" came out.

    After that, they released "Demonstrations In Chaos," a retro CD which includes the Boss recording of "Energetic Disassembly," various bootleg recordings and rehearsals, and a 4 song demo tape they released in 1987 with Jarzombek on guitar and McMaster on vocals. Billy White's guitar tone on the Boss recording is superior to the Zombo version of ED.

    Presently, Doug is still a member of WatchTower (as far as I know) and "Mathematics" has been recorded with Alan Tecchio on vocals, except it's called "Concepts of Math: Book One" now. No one seems to know when if it has a release date anymore, although you can find some excerpts on YouTube.

    As for gear, I'm not sure what amps he's used, but I've seen him use a few different basses. One was a G&L, which he used with Tower. All I know about the G&L is that is was either white or cream colored. If I remember correctly, he played a RIC before the G&L. Later on, he used a Warwick. I don't know anything about Warwick, so I couldn't say what model it was. This was during his Retarted Elf days, and said he got it as an endorsement, and that it was worth more than a new car. Keep in mind this was the early 90s, when new cars didn't cost $40,000. At the SA / Austin reunion shows before the Germany gig, he was playing a badass Fender HM series bass.
    Herrick likes this.

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