Departure started out as the brainchild of James “Shamus” Hammons who was interested in forming a band to explore various musical genres, have fun, and maybe be able to do it for a living.
Shamus’ start in music was in the 5th grade in El Centro Elementary School’s orchestra, where he learned to play trumpet. Not long after that, he joined the Pasadena Boys Choir under the direction of Mr. John R. Barron in the fall of 1979. During his time with the PBC Shamus learned how to play the recorder and started to dabble with the piano in addition to his vocal training. A year after Shamus joined the PBC his career with them was abruptly cut short—to this day he still doesn't know exactly why he was tossed out other than perhaps that he was “a royal pain in the ass to the guys who ran the thing,” according to him.It wasn't until eight years later that he started to learn how to play the piano, and a year later he picked up the guitar. Around this time Shamus discovered multitrack recording and MIDI and started to write music. In 1993, he studied songwriting with Jai Josefs, a successful songwriter and the author of How to Write Music for Hit Songs.
Gary’s first exposure to music was in his house where his mother would mercilessly torture an ugly, beat–up, old green spinet piano. In spite of this, Gary learned to play the piano as well. He took up bass guitar around the time that the Charter Oak Church of Abundant Life was looking for people to lead worship.Gary is married to Michelle Lusk and has two children. They live in a condo in lovely suburban Pomona.
Alan started playing drums in the Charter Oak Church of Abundant Life’s praise band, where it was often heard (and not just of the drums) “Can you play softer?” Around that time he tried playing the guitar for a few months but decided to stick with the drums. Alan has played with various heavy metal bands, the praise band for NewSong, and the odd classic rock band.Alan is married to Mary Lusk and has three children. They all live somewhere in the outskirts of Claremont on the edge of Los Angeles county.
Steve’s musical orgins are a complete mystery, even to him. It seems that Steve developed his talent for the guitar sometime in the mid 70s but by the time he joined Departure in the late eighties/early nineties, he had burned out most of his brain with drugs (let this be a lesson to you!).Currently, Steve is divorced, has a son, and is living in southern California.