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John Nashinal (aka John Nash) has been an integral part of Detroit's music scene since the mid-'90s. He's been a member of several bands, including a heavy psych-garage band, the Witches; an electro-psych group, Medusa Cyclone; and an alt-country band, the Volebeats (he replaced rhythm guitarist Bob McReedy in 2001). As a behind-the-scenes player, however, he has contributed to various one-off musical projects by some of Detroit's leading figures, including various projects with friends like musician/producer Matthew Smith (Outrageous Cherry) and Troy Gregory (his band backed up Gregory on Sybil).
One of Nashinal's first groups was an Iron Maiden tribute band, Seventh Sun; thereafter, he's been a member, at one time or another, of Topsoil, Mice Termite, Gravitar/Gravitarkestra, Monster Island, Blaze Sherman Fury, and DJ Booth (featuring Gravitar's Geoff Walker). Nashinal contributed guitar on Kim Fowley and Matthew Smith's Michigan Babylon, which was released in 1996 on Smith's Detroit Electric label, and he also engineered and co-produced Fowley's Culture of Despair album.
Nashinal eventually formed his own band with guitarist Eugene Strobe (his bandmate in the Witches, ex-the Sights), keyboardist Amanda Porter, drummer Korky Winters, and bassist Noelle Christine (ex-Outrageous Cherry). After the release of a 2001 motion picture entitled Ghost World (based on the comic of the same name), Nashinal changed the group's moniker from Ghost World to the Alphabet. Their full-length debut, 2002's When the Sun Calls Your Name...or, Ghost World, was originally recorded as a Nashinal solo project during 2000-2001, with Nashinal playing most of the instruments himself, aided by Gregory, Smith, and Aliccia Berg from Slumber Party. It was expected to be released by Poptones, but the U.K.-based label underwent reorganization in 2001 and the Alphabet's debut was shelved indefinitely. Ultimately, Nashinal formed his own label, Nashinal Sound, and released the album himself in 2002 via the band's website (www.alphabetband.com) and made it available from local Detroit music retailers. The Alphabet worked on a second album, Open Letter to the Universe, in late 2001 and 2002. Work on a Nashinal Sound compilation — Nashinal Skyline — was also underway, highlighting the "darker, more introspective side of Detroit rock."