The only son of a motivational speaker, singer/songwriter David Rice was raised near Katy, Texas, in a household dominated by his three older sisters. Not surprisingly, it was their Stevie Wonder and Led Zeppelin albums that got him started in music. A good piano player by his early teens, Rice patiently went about learning guitar and other instruments, recording homemade demos in his bedroom. After high school graduation in 1988, he moved to nearby Houston, got a job at a music store and sampled college.
Rice got his first break at a downtown Houston techno club, performing cover tunes with just his guitar. Then came a regular gig at a gay bar. Steadily, Rice began to slip his own songs into his live sets, and by 1991 he was ready to find a studio. Soliciting funds from friends, the singer completed the full-length Orange Number Eight. It piqued the interest of nascent Houston indie Justice Records, which purchased the masters from Rice in 1992, overhauling and re-releasing the album.
An already tenuous relationship with Justice grew shakier still during the recording of Orange Number Eight's 1995 follow-up, Released. That year, Rice signed to Columbia and decided he would record his debut at home in Austin. But he soon aborted his DIY strategy, flying to England to work with producer David Bottrill (Tool, King Crimson) at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios. Only four songs from those sessions made it onto his 1998 Columbia debut, the rest recorded upon his return to Texas. Those four tracks -- scattered throughout the ultra-poetic, sonically complex Green Electric -- reflect Rice's feelings of detachment while in England. ~ Hobart Rowland