Born in Winnipeg in 1968, Talmage Bachman learned to play the guitar, piano, and drums at an early age, but lost interest in music all together as a teen, instead studying political philosophy in Utah once he’d graduated from high school in Vancouver.
He did Mission work in Argentina for a few years before returning home and concentrated on a musical career. He stepped out of his father Randy’s footsteps when he inked a recording deal with Columbia Records in 1999 after shopping some demos around. Bob Rock (ex-Payolas and producer of Aerosmith, Metallica, Motley Crue) signed on to co-produce the sessions with him. The result was one of Canadian music’s most anticipated debut albums of the decade.
Released in April of ’99, the lead single “She’s So High” was an instant monster smash, topping both the Canadian pop and AOR charts, as well as scoring in the top 10 in the US, England, and Australia. It helped earn him two Junos – for Best New Solo Artist and Best Producer, as well as another pair of nominations for Best Songwriter and Best Pop/Adult Album. The song was also named BMI’s Song of The Year, and got him spots on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” as well as features on MuchMusic, MTV, E Network, and CBC, and profiles in just about every music, entertainment, and pop culture magazine on the continent, including Rolling Stone, USA Today, and Q Magazine.
In the summer of 2000, his second single, “Strong Enough,” also made the top 30 on the Canadian chart and the top 40 in several other markets, as did his third single, “If You Sleep,” helping certify his first record double platinum. To help overseas promotions, “If You Sleep” was released as an Australia-only EP under the same name, which also featured acoustic versions of it and “She’s So High,” as well as a cover of Milli Vanilli’s “Blame It On The Rain.”
He toured across Canada and into the US, opening for Bryan Adams and Barenaked Ladies, and headlined his own shows in more intimate venues. By this point his songs were also finding their way to movie soundtracks, including “Loser” and “Here on Earth” (and in 2010 on “She’s Out Of My League), as well as such TV shows as “Charmed,” “Cold Case,” and “Dawson’s Creek.” He also made a cameo appearance playing himself on “Melrose Place.”
But troubles with management and Columbia left him switching to Sextant Records for his sophomore album. Released in the summer of 2004 (and in ’06 in the US through Artemis Records), STARING DOWN THE SUN picked up where he’d left off, when the lead single “Aeroplane” cracked the top 20 at home. The song was used for the movie “American Pie Presents: Band Camp” while he again hit the road in support, although tour legs were shorter. Critics ate the album up, dispelling the ‘one hit wonder’ label others had automatically pegged him under, with a diverse collection that included the upbeat pop of “Tomorrow” and title track, to the country-tinged “What You Won’t Reval” and harder edged “Danger By Design.”
A devout Mormon, Bachman was also the subject of a pair of documentaries on Bill Maher’s program called “Religulous” and “The American Experience,” and served the Church in many capacities until leaving in the late ’00s due to philosophical differences with its doctrines and history. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Poli Sci, he’s also put that to good use, moonlighting as an analyst on both TV and in print during several Canadian and American events, including George W Bush’s second victory and the 2006 federal election at home.
Bachman still performs occasionally when he’s not playing rugby, including making an appearnace at Taylor Swift’s show in 2011 in Vancouver when they did a duet of “She’s So High.”