CRAIG COCKRUM - KEYBOARDS (AKA NICK RHODES)
From a young age Craig has been drawn to melodic melodies of synthesized music. He received his first synthesizer at 14 and taught himself how to play by recreating some of his favorite songs by Depeche Mode, Erasure, and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. It wasn’t long after Craig started remixing his favorite artists and writing original music. In high school Craig paired up with vocalist and fellow synth lover Ryan Hess and formed the electronic Duo Release. The duo spent the next year writing and recording original music and in 1995 released their first Self titled LP. Release’s music, known for its use of heavy sampled beats on top of melodic intertwining melodies, soon got noticed by 94.5 KDGE’s radio DJ Jeff K who began playing their music on his show Edge Club. Their music became a staple on KDGE’s edge club and Adventure Club as well as the Dallas club scene and soon spread to radio stations throughout Texas. Release spent the next few years reveling in the Texas club circuit sharing the stage with acts like Channel 69, Anything Box, Information Society, and Dee Lite. Like all things in life, however, good times must come to an end and Release eventually disbanded and Craig went back to creating the music he was inspired to make often emulating his idols Alan Wilder, Vince Clarke, and of course Nick Rhodes.
The happy ending to the story happened when our own JJ Simon Le Juan happened to be at Lee Harvey’s for KDGE’s 30th annual birthday celebration and spotted Craig playing synths for another Tribute band, So In Love – The Dallas OMD tribute. JJ new right away Wild Boys had found their Nick Rhodes and quickly arranged to meet the rest of the band. The rest, as they say, is history.