The Messy Divorce of
Waiting For God
An exclusive interview with former lead singer Daemon Cadman
Waiting For God were a terrific female fronted industrial band from Canada. Their first release, Quarter Inch Thick , was influential for many industrial bands, especially ones with female vocalists. Their second release, Desipramine , showed even more maturity, promise, and progression. I became a huge fan. So, one day I decided to get in touch with lead singer Daemon Cadman to ask her and her bandmates Martin Myers and Greg Price for an interview.
When I reached her, I was shocked to discover that the band had broken up. Desipramine hadn’t been out in the U.S. for long, but as it turns out they had broken up some time ago. Apparently the break-up was a less than pleasant experience for Daemon, who as it turns out is one of the sweetest, most modest, and bravest women I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to. As it turns out that her bandmate, Myers, wasn’t such a nice guy. I had only one question for her at this point: “What happened?” The following is her account of the things she went through. It was a painful subject for her, which she had not yet spoken about. I am honored that she told me the story that follows.
On a happier note, she is now in England collaborating with Jonathan Sharp of New Mind, for his popular side-project Hexedene. They are recording a song for a Good-Bye Tribute to the soon to be defunct Re-Constriction Records. Hexedene is currently without a vocalist. Is Daemon going to end up the new front-woman of Hexedene? I sure hope so. Anyhow, here is her story. Just for the record there was never any romantic involvement between Daemon Cadman and Martin Myers.
“What happened? Start at the beginning? Of course I will, as there isn’t any other way to begin. Unless we are going for a non-linear, David Lynch deal on paper…
“I met Martin Myers in January of 1993, just before my 20th birthday. He was looking to start a project, of some sort, and a mutual acquaintance introduced the two of us. I had been playing around with the punk thing for awhile, but I was always intrigued by electronic music. Even today, I don’t listen to electronic or industrial music too much, but I love to perform it. Some may criticize me for it, but I have my reasons. As I said, though, Martin was just starting to learn/play a sequencer, and he handed me two very rough songs. I took it and two days later I handed them back to him with full vocals that I recorded in my basement with a four track. That was the beginning of the working relationship.
“So, now I finally had a project to work on, and normally, that would have been enough to make my life happy. In this case, though, my personal life was in ruins. In Oct of ’92, my 16-year old brother, Jesse, was walking home one evening when he was attacked, beaten, stabbed, and left for dead on the side of the road, just a few blocks away from our home. The motive for the murder? According to the people responsible, they ‘didn’t like the way he looked.’
“I can’t go into great detail about how my brother’s death affected me because 1) it would take an incredible amount of time to address even half of the stories that stemmed from it, and 2) I’m not sure I will ever be able to fully articulate what I went through and how much I hurt. Let’s just say I was absolutely devastated.
“So there I am, everything I had known seemed to be gone, and everything that was there, was upside down. In walks Martin Myers. He is over 6 feet tall and he uses his height. He speaks very matter-of-factly, he looks you in the eye, and he can, at times, be very intimidating. He is very convincing, a control freak, and he talks tough. If I met someone like that today, I wouldn’t give them the time of day. Back then, it seemed perfect for me. He could do all the talking, and tell me what to do, and I will not make any decisions for myself, take direction, be quiet, and focus all my energy into not crying every second of the day. Isn’t that a healthy start to a partnership?
“We agreed to be 50/50 partners, and use other musicians live. We ‘borrowed’ the name Waiting For God from an episode of Red Dwarf . I had to fight and tooth and nail to keep that band name, as Martin wanted to get rid of it. Funny, years go by and now he can’t part with the name…
“So we started writing, he would be in charge of the music and I would have complete control over the lyrics and vocals. We never worked in the same room together, as he would hand me a tape and then I would do my part. We never had any idea as to what the outcome would be until we actually would go into a studio and record the vocals. The first album, which was originally released independently and self-titled in Canada, and then later re-released as Quarter Inch Thick , was worked on by myself, Martin, and Tom Ferris from Moev. Tom did all the production and was responsible for a huge amount of the music. Contrary to what he has said, Martin was never a member of Moev. Tom Ferris is the only reason why there is any ‘link’ between Moev and Waiting For God.
“Obviously, because I was still in emotional turmoil, the lyrical content of the first album was very focused on my brother. What else could I possibly write about at that time? The Government? Religion? Do you really think I was able to get outside of my own head at that time? I was desperately searching for a way to fix myself and to try to come to some understanding, and in the process, maybe find a little peace.
“People have asked me if it was therapeutic to sing my songs. I honestly can’t say it was, at least not in those days. I would be sick to my stomach before I would go on-stage, at times I did throw up. I would stand there, center stage and feel incredible terror because I felt so vulnerable and naked. A few times, I remember those shows vividly, I lost it on-stage. I cried, I’ll admit it, though I don’t think that the majority of the audience could tell. Sometimes the tears would just start, and actually take me by surprise. On a few occasions, I completely broke down when I walked offstage, though I would always run off somewhere to try to be alone when I did, because I was embarrassed over the fact that I couldn’t control my emotions. I probably wasn’t a very fun person to be around in those days, and for some sick reason, I feel like I owe some people an apology for that.
“Years went by, and we played live shows and received modest recognition. We toured the U.S. west coast with Numb, and did several other out of town shows. All this time, Martin was handling the business and I was starting to get emotionally stronger. But a curious thing happened, and it took me a long time to realize exactly what it was. People started to become interested in what I did and they wanted to speak with me because I always kept a very low profile.
“Just last year, I ran into a guy that was a singer for a band that WFG frequently performed with, and we had a nice chat about things. He informed me that he (and a lot of others apparently) always thought I was so mysterious. He said people in the ‘scene’ occasionally would wonder if Daemon actually existed in the real world, as no one ever saw me besides the times I was on-stage. I found that quite entertaining and at the same time, I could understand why people would think that.
“Part of the reason I garnered a certain amount of attention is purely because it’s part of a lead singer’s job description. Whether, I wanted it or not, or whether I even deserved it, has nothing to do with it. Having said that, I found that Martin was becoming increasingly hostile towards me. He would do interviews and other related events without letting me know, but that stuff doesn’t really trouble me. However, what bothers me to this day is the personal, emotional, and mental manipulation that was used on me. Remember that at the time he met me I wasn’t in a good state. I had absolutely no courage and the strength I did possess was focussed on just making it through another day. I did what I was told, kept quiet, and never questioned him.
“Well, slowly, over time, I was able to start fully functioning in this world, and in essence, coming out of my cocoon. [I’m] not sure if I can say I’m any sort of butterfly, but we’ll stick with that description. I started gaining a little bit [of] confidence, and the fact that people were accepting me as a performer made me feel good. Martin didn’t have as much control over me any more, and that’s when things started to get nasty.
“It would start by him criticizing my image. ‘Daemon, you should really consider wearing or changing this…’ or ‘Daemon, maybe you should start working out at the gym and then you could lose a bit of weight and you would feel better about yourself.’ He would always follow that up with a quick, ‘I’m not saying you’re fat or anything.’ My favorite one was, ‘Well, let’s face it Dae, you’re not beautiful… I mean, you’re not ugly, but you’re definitely not a model…’ Those statements, maybe don’t read like horrible insults, and maybe they are accurate, but when you hear stuff like that for years, you start to believe that who you are just isn’t good enough. Tapping into my own insecurities was a way of him keeping me in line. Making sure that I never started feeling too good about myself was a wonderful technique to prevent me from questioning anything he did.
“In the beginning of ’96, we had new songs, and we were set to leave on our first cross-Canada tour. Around that time, a very close friend of mine committed suicide, and though now I am quite resilient when it comes to any sort of a trauma, I was plagued with more questions that only someone who leads a paradoxical life, like I seem to do, would have to face. Suicide vs. homicide… I actually had to leave after a show in Seattle, while my band stayed there, to get home for the funeral. I wrote the song “Untitled” for my friend, and then we went out on the road.
“The first Canadian tour was hard for me. I was the only female with six guys, and so that can be a little lonely, as there are certain times when I really felt isolated. Of course, I have a different style of communicating, and that, coupled with the fact that I don’t indulge in the ‘party and drugs’ lifestyle, meant that I was left on my own for a good majority of that time. In regards to drugs, all I have to say is that I don’t think my personality can handle it. I have the gut instinct that tells me if I were to try a drug that gave me even 5 minutes of absolute peace, where I don’t contemplate my role in this world and I lose my compassion for others for even a moment, you may as well begin to make plans for my funeral. It may sound melodramatic, but I know what kind of person I am. I tend to be extreme with my emotions. At times, I am a contradiction, but I either love or hate. I’m working at becoming indifferent, but so far I haven’t succeeded.
“One major moment on that tour that I will never forget was when we were all sitting down for dinner after sound check, and Martin made some comment to me about how I should lighten up. It was all to do with my not participating in drug use and the like. I said something about my not wanting to be like him, and then he yelled at me that I had better watch my ego. I almost backed down from him, because I sensed that I was going to really get hurt on this one, but I said, ‘At least I don’t stumble around like an idiot, nod off, and then puke on myself.’ His response? ‘At least I don’t fucking cry like a little baby when I’m on stage…’
“The whole table was dead quiet, and I couldn’t even respond. I looked around at the rest of the guys, and none of them would return my gaze. They just stared at their food, and I have to admit that Martin himself looked as though he had realized he had hit a new low. I could be giving him too much credit again…
“In the summer, we recorded Desipramine , and I had a real mental breakthrough. First off, I wrote “Positive I.D.,” which is written directly to the person who killed my brother. That seemed to be the song that knocked down the wall, enabling me to start writing about other things that I felt strongly about. At that time, I was feeling pretty strong, and stopped beating myself up over things. I started having a lot more fun in my life, if not in WFG. I wrote the song “Inefficient Machine,” which is a brutally honest and accurate description of how I see myself. Who sets the standards of what is beautiful? Where do I fit in? It’s one of the few songs I have written where I am the only subject. I put all the focus into questioning and explaining myself. If you think you can understand that song, then you may at least have a chance of understanding me. I always got into a very strange mood when I would perform that song.
“To show you how little Martin cared about my lyrics (which is fine), I took shots at him in a few songs. One line, ‘I will take the credit, when you throw the blame,’ is written directly to him. ‘One day we will be exposed…’ Other people noticed, especially the way I delivered the lines live, but I don’t think he ever did.
“We went on our second (and final, as it turns out) Canadian tour in the fall of ’96. I had a lot more fun, because I allowed myself my freedom. My image changed a bit, as I decided to kind of make fun of my own image that I had created. I called it the bad T-shirt tour, because I would buy hideous shirts as long as they were under $4. Chris Peterson was our sound man for that tour, and I got along with him famously. I don’t think he will ever know how much I appreciated him being there, and in some ways, I think I will always feel like I owe him. I won’t get into all the details, but let’s just say he was the only person who ever really stood up to Martin, and in a roundabout way, he stood up for me. He also was the only one to acknowledge the fact that I wasn’t in a very good situation.
“On our way home, after countless dramas, I realized that Vancouver, the final stop on the tour, was probably going to be my last show with WFG. It was just a feeling I had, but I refused to think about it. I didn’t want to accept the fact that the hostility between Martin and I [was] irreparable. We played the show, and it went well. There was a really good crowd, and so I still look back on that night with fondness (at least in regards to the audience).
“There was a guy from a bigger record label at the show. Apparently, he had flown up from L.A. to see us, and I guess he didn’t like me, at least that’s what Martin said. Over the next few days, I was accused of ‘throwing the show’ and ruining our chances of getting the deal on purpose. To be honest, I didn’t want the deal, but I would never ‘throw’ a show. Martin told me that the guy (who shall remain nameless, because I don’t know for sure if he said all that Martin claims he did) said I didn’t have ‘star’ quality. That I wasn’t good looking enough and that I was very boring. Martin said he suggested that because I was a good singer (the record guy at least gave me that much) that maybe I could do the vocals in the studio, but have someone else perform live, in my place. At that point, I offered to quit the band so they could find someone else who would do a better job. Martin said we would talk about it later.
“Time passed, we agreed that the band would be on hiatus so we could figure out what we were going to do. When someone would approach me, I would say the band is taking a break. Then I started hearing rumours that I had quit the band. I would tell people that was untrue, and they looked confused. Whenever someone would say something about that, I would call up Martin and ask him what was going on. He always said he didn’t know why that was being said. Once again, I said to him that if he didn’t have any faith in me as the singer, then I would gladly walk away from everything now. He said, and this is a direct quote, ‘Please don’t do that, Daemon.’ We agreed to stay together.
“I knew I should have walked away from the situation years before all of this happened, but I was scared. I was scared that I didn’t have anything outside of the band. More importantly, I wasn’t able to give up my songs, my lyrics. I still can’t really describe how possessive I am about them. I felt like I would just be handing them over to someone else, and I couldn’t do it. Those songs are my babies, and so I stayed in a bad marriage for them.
“I heard more and more rumours surrounding myself, and I met with Martin around March ’97, over coffee. I questioned him about an ad for the MusicWest conference that I saw, that had WFG listed. He told me that he and Greg (our drummer and main songwriter on Desipramine ) were doing a techno/instrumental set under the name WFG. I told him that I thought it didn’t make much sense to do that with the album being released later on that year. Why don’t we just play as a band and promote the album. He said he wasn’t sure as to what he wanted to do. I asked him if there was something I should know? He responded, ‘No.’
“I went to the ‘instrumental’ show. Imagine my surprise when another woman walks out on-stage and starts singing my songs. I watched the entire thing, not knowing if I should have been crying, laughing, or extremely violent. I tried my very best to just observe, and I made damn sure that I didn’t move from my chair, because I knew if I did, I was going to snap, and that I was going to be escorted out of the club in handcuffs. I always refer to that night as viewing the body, referring to the idea that someone can tell you that something is dead but you don’t truly see it until you view the body.
“I haven’t seen or spoken to Martin Myers since.
“They played a total of two shows without me, after which everyone walked out on Martin. In 2 shows they went from 300+ people on a Tuesday night (the last show I played with them) to playing on a Friday night in a huge club…for 30 people. Do the math. We’ll see if he tries to stage another ‘comeback.’
“There are countless things to talk about that occurred after that point, like finding out about all the deception. Discovering the things that he had told people over the years about me. He stole money from a lot of people, including me. He took credit for a vast majority of work that wasn’t his own, and has consistently lied about his involvement in other people’s careers. There are a lot of people, who even though they can not back up my account about how I came to be out of the band, they can fully support my statement that Martin Myers is a con artist, a liar, a thief, a mean and malicious waste of valuable space on this planet. I wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep upon hearing of his demise. The only comfort I have is knowing that he is worse off than any of us in that he can’t escape from himself.
“I accept responsibility for allowing myself to be mistreated. I stayed around and put up with negativity not realizing the psychological toll it was taking on me. I accept the fact that I made mistakes and that I was a coward. I look back on everything and it makes sense. I got caught up in playing a role and not having to deal with him anymore is the best thing to have happened to me. I was not half the performer in WFG that I feel I could be now, because I was always being judged by someone on-stage who should have always been on my side to begin with. I have forgiven myself. As for Martin? He will say he hasn’t done anyone wrong, least of all me. He truly believes his own lies and will never admit to anything. Some things just can’t be forgiven.”