The Doctrine is a nineties rock band that hit the tops of the charts with their debut single, Detour, in 1993. The band consists of its four members, Gambit, Tyler, Freddy, and Bassion. Their story of how they got to where they are today has never been told before. Today the four are here to tell their journey.
Bassion: We all grew up in the same town, though at first we didn’t know each other. We all went to different schools and hung out in different places. We all grew up in towns where everyone had a set plan. You go to school, you meet someone who you’re willing to marry and have kids with, and then you settle town with them along with a job you’ve never really wanted. No one had any dreams in these towns. We were all told to follow that plan, to not live out are dreams because there was a risk that came along with them. People in that town don’t understand risk. They don’t understand anything that’s not part of their set ways. That’s how we met.
Gambit: The four of us grew up in small towns, but not the same town. Small towns are generally surrounded by other small towns. Around all those small town is a town that’s bigger then the rest. That’s the ‘go to town.’ It’s the town with the big shopping center and all the entertainment places to go to. All the other towns only have a supermarket and a school. When high schooler's get tired of hanging out in parking lots at night, they like to go explore life in the bigger of the small cities.
Freddy: Smoking stolen cigarettes in the parking lot? I’ve done that since I was fourteen. Life is supposed to be fun, and that was not fun. It was either go explore the night life in another town, or advance from the cigarettes. I like to think I made the correct choice.
Gambit: There were many places to go in that town, but there was only one place for people with a love of music to go. Mashed.
Tyler: Mashed? To explain what Mashed is I would have to explain their policy. On friday nights you go in, and if you want to, you sign up for an instrument to play. Guitar, bass, drums, or your voice. Throughout the night they pick people randomly from that sheet you signed up on, and pair you together as a band for the night. It can either go horribly wrong, average, or amazing, but that’s rare. It’s more of a place for fun then for finding talent.
Bassion: Half way through the night, I hear my name being called to come on stage to be the vocalist. The next person was a person named Freddick, but we know him as Freddy. As soon as his name was called he jumped on stage. Literally. He got on a table and jumped on stage. He immediately went to the drums and ripped his shirt off. I had no idea what to think of Freddy when I first saw him.
Gambit: When I first met Freddy I questioned if he was sober.
Freddy: Gambit likes to refer to me as being insane. I prefer eccentric. My mom used it to describe me one time to a teacher that also called me insane, and after going home and looking it up, I prefer eccentric. It sounds more interesting.
Tyler: After Gambit walked to the bass, I was called. I was attracted to them the moment I saw them. Bassion looked as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He’s a big dude. He looked like a football player, if a football player joined a biker gang. He was hot and he didn’t even care. Gambit was also good looking, but in his own way. He looks the most professional out of all of us. If any of us was to show up wearing a suit on stage it would be Gambit. Then Freddy… he’s just Freddy. I was always quiet growing up. They were all intimidating to me.
Gambit: I will never forget that night. I don’t think I ever could. We were given a song to play, something chosen randomly by the audience. They asked if we all knew how to play that song and we did. Usually to get people to play a song correctly together it takes practice. Everyone plays differently and you have to see how to make each other sound the best you can. So we played, not knowing how the others play. It was perfect. We played together as if we had grown up playing together. If I believed in magic I would have thought someone spelled that performance to perfect.
Freddy: That performance? It was blessed by the gods.
Bassion: Freddy said something about us being blessed didn’t he? In most cases I would say he was wrong, but that night we might’ve been blessed.
Tyler: After we got of stage I think we were all shocked. None of us really knew what to say to each other. Except Freddy. He threw his arms around all of us and forced us to make plans to meet somewhere. I don’t think any of us really put up a fight about it.
Bassion: We met at my house since it was in the middle, and I had a garage we could practice in. It only took a few songs to know this was something we wanted to try. After talking, we all learned we felt the same way about our towns and their views. None of us wanted to become stuck in that. We all wanted to become something and live the lives we wanted, not something planned for us. So we called ourselves, Doctrine. No longer were we going to follow their rules or beliefs, we were going to follow our own.
Gambit: Bassion came up with the name. He came up with most of the names of our songs,and the songs. We all had the things we liked. Bassion liked words, and he was good at putting them together. None of us ever argued about Bassion’s songs. We just instantly fell in love with them.
Freddy: None of us decided to tell our parents about our plans. None of us could afford the chance of getting kicked out of our homes. So we met when we could, and played when we could. We wrote a few songs and then we started playing at different places around us.
Gambit: It was slow at first, it always is. We played at a bunch of random places. We got a small following at first. It was mostly a bunch of teen girls who were more into the idea of being with a guy in a band then the music itself, but a fan is a fan when you’re just starting out. It wasn’t until we got the lucky chance of playing at a hot music spot that we even got anywhere.
Tyler: Freddy had been signing us up for everywhere that live music was played. And I mean EVERYWHERE. He signed us up at karaoke bars. The only one of us who can sing is Bassion, and I somewhat can. If there was room on the list, Freddy signed us up. Luckily, The Avenue, one of the places where the biggest musicians are discovered, had an opening and Freddy signed us up. We were nervous. We were a little shaky, but we did it.
Freddy: I couldn’t believe we did it. We played at one of the big spots and it felt amazing. When we were done the crowd was so loud with cheers. It was the biggest crowd we had ever gotten at that point, and at the end of it, we got approached. That night changed our lives.
Bassion: I went home and finally told my parents that I might have a shot at making it in the world of music. I thought with someone interested in us it was enough to get them on board with the idea. It went bad. It’s hard to make people who are set in their ways change their way of thinking. The fight lasted for hours. I knew I couldn’t make them see it my way, so I did us all the favor of leaving. With the little money I had, I moved into a hotel, got a job, and worked on music.
Gambit: Skipping a head a bit, we got an album recorded with the man who was interested in us. It took a lot of work but we finally had a CD of us. The label wasn’t sure we would sell out though, so they only printed a bit at first. Freddy being Freddy though, made sure we got the publicity needed. He would do crazy stunts with our band’s name somewhere on him. He would go places and hand out our CDs that he bought himself. He did so many things trying to get people to notice us. At first, it seemed like what he was doing wasn’t working, but eventually, word of mouth kicked up and we started selling.
Tyson: Our music was selling, but not enough to get us anywhere. I don’t know if it would of sold as well as it finally did if it wasn’t for our song, Detour. It was the first song Bassion wrote after leaving home. It was full of the emotions he felt that night, and you could hear the emotion in his voice while he was singing. It felt raw and real, and people loved it. Someone loved it enough to play it on a radio, and from there, we started to rise in sales. Radio stations loved us. Places wanted us to play for them. We could see the dream in front of us, and it everything we wanted.
Freddy: The entertainment I wanted from life was here, and it was glorious. We were playing shows constantly. And if we weren’t playing gigs we were practicing, or making new music. It would of been stressful if that honeymoon feeling wasn’t there. Everything we wanted was coming true. I remember being scared that I was going to wake up in my bed at my parents house and go back to hanging out in parking lots.
Gambit: The next part of the dream was to play at one of the biggest new music festivals, Lollapalooza. We knew it wasn’t probable, but we tried. After pushing and begging, we got a spot. It was one of the worst spots, but it was a spot. It was more that I had thought we were going to get.
Tyler: As soon as we got approved to go to Lollapalooza, Bassion showed us a song he had been working on. I think we were all a little emotional when we heard it. It was Bassion’s best work yet, and it spoke for all of us.
Bassion: We were all nervous to play at Lollapalooza. We all had wanted to play at the festival from the moment it started and got big. The moment we walked on stage, people screamed for us. It wasn’t a lot, but it gave us the courage to put behind our nerves and play. It was our best show at that point in time.
Freddy: I almost broke my drum set. Tyler told me I had gotten too excited and tried to kick it.
Tyler: In the middle of the show Freddy started to kick his own drum. I have no idea how his mind works or why he would do that. If it wasn’t for the tone shift with Bassion’s new song he probably would've broken it, and we would have been out of a drummer.
Gambit: We played almost our whole set. Even with us being in the worst spot, we ended up gathering a pretty good crowd. We all had agreed that our last song would be saved for Bassion’s new song. This moment meant so much to us. This moment proved our families wrong, and proved to ourselves we meant something. For our last moment at Lollapalooza, we had to play Bassion’s song.
Bassion: Far From Home is a song I wrote when I started to miss my parents. I wanted them to understand, but I didn’t know how. So I wrote a song, telling them I understood why they were scared. Why they thought I wouldn’t be able to make it, but that I had to try. I wanted them to know I understood, and I’m not mad anymore. I had done what I had set out to do, and I made it. I tried, and I made it. I want them to see where I am now. The stage I was on. How happy I was on that stage. I wished they could experience this new life from outside the life they feel content with. The guys and I had all left everything we knew to try and live our dreams, and we did it. Our dreams had come true.
Gambit: Detour had gotten us known, but Far From Home made us who we were. It’s what brought us to where we are now. We stayed together for years making music. We were living the lives we always wanted. Doctrine played on TV. We were in movies scores. We did everything we had wanted to do, and that’s why we split.
Freddy: I never thought I would settle down. I always thought I would be the eccentric person I was. I was wrong. As we got older, we wanted different things in life. We didn’t break up because we argued, or because we hated each other. We’re all friends still. We just had lived the lives we wanted, and it was time to move and live more lives and create more dreams. We all started to have more and more parts of life happening from outside of the band, and there began to have no time to practice. We all loved Doctrine, but we had taken it as far as we could. It had been to split.
Interviewer: What is a lesson you learned from playing in Doctrine?
Bassion: A lesson I learned? I think I learned it from Freddy. When it comes to business, try until you can’t try anymore. Then try again.
Gambit: A lesson? Do what you love, not what others tell you to love. Everyone else has the chance to live their own lives, live yours.
Freddy: I learned that the best part of our lives are our memories we take with us. Make lots of them to look back on in the future. Be proud of what you did. Laugh at yourself.
Tyson: My favorite lessoned I learned from the guys was to take chances. You can’t live your life wandering about what you should be doing. You will waste your life questioning everything. Live your life, and take chances. It was the best lesson I ever learned.
Doctrine announced they were splitting in 2014. They said there was always a chance for them to get back together, but not to wait for it. Freddy had gotten married to a woman named Ann and had a daughter with her a year before the band broke up. Freddy now lives his life with his family. Gambit wanted to travel the world again like they had done on tour, but on his own schedule. Tyson moved in with his girlfriend Erika, and teaches guitar lessons to children. Bassion reached out to his parents. He said after years of not seeing them it was awkward, but they are working on it. Doctrine worked hard and achieved their dream. They came up from a small town and now live the lives they have always wanted. Doctrine hopes their stories inspire new artists to take the chances that come at them, and put in the work, so that they can listen to them in the future. Chances are rare, so take them when they appear.