With musical influences centered around such bands as Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue, Guardian has become a powerful force in the gospel music industry. The Christian rockers, best known for such hits as "Power of Love" and "Shoeshine Johnny," have forged their way into the '90s with modern gospel metal.
Guardian was originally known as "Fusion" by its founders, bassist David Bach and vocalist Paul Cawley. Along with drummer Rikk Hart and guitarist David Caro, the band played at local gigs throughout the early '80s before finally obtaining a record deal from the Enigma label in 1985. When they found that there was already a band of the same name, they changed to Guardian and added guitarist Tony Palacios to replace Caro. Their album First Watch was released in 1989 and was followed by extensive touring.
When the band finished their tour in Japan, both Cawley and Hart left in 1990 after being unable to handle the stresses of touring. Bach and Palacios asked to be freed of their Enigma contract, requesting a more Christian label. They would be released later that year, and vocalist Jamie Rowe and drummer Karl Ney would be added around that same time. The new lineup began to record, finally releasing their first album on their new Pakaderm label, Fire and Love, in 1991. The response to the album was overwhelming, and the video filmed for their hit "Power of Love" was added to MTV's Headbangers Ball. After a more successful tour, Miracle Mile was released in early 1993, and the album reached the CCM Top Five. Miracle Mile was quickly followed by Swing Swang Swung in 1994, the band's experiment with acoustic music. By 1995, they had finally accepted the modern '90s mainstream rock that had become such a strong fad, and in a new agreement with Myrrh Records, they released Buzz that fall. After another tour and a Spanish disc recording, Guardian released Bottlerocket, their fifth studio album, in the spring of 1997. ~ Barry Weber