Music was no stranger to Daniel Ash, David J Haskins, or his brother, Kevin. All three had been in numerous bands well before the formation of Bauhaus. Of particular note was the project named The Craze, whose origins began in the early ‘70s as Jam (not to be confused with the fledgling Woking, Surrey, quartet led by future punk/mod pioneer Paul Weller), whose members included both Haskins brothers and school friends Roger Rideout and Chris Day (soon to be replaced by David Stretton). Jam was primarily a covers band, but did provide J with an early opportunity to write some original material, an important event that would later be key in Bauhaus. Direction differences amongst the members of Jam began to take hold and by late spring 1975, Jam was finished, but was soon reborn with J’s friend Dave “X” Exton replacing Rideout, giving rise to Grab A Shadow.
Grab A Shadow provided a newer platform for the Haskins brothers to work together and write new music, leading to a noticeable connection in style that would become vital moving into the future. As with Jam, Grab A Shadow would eventually fall apart from internal conflicts among its members. It wouldn’t be long before the Steely Dan influences characteristic of Grab A Shadow would be replaced by the staccato sound of Wilco Johnson and Dr. Feelgood in a new music venture, now sans David Stretton. David J, intrigued by a Xerox flyer for a band playing the 100 Club on London’s Oxford Street, traveled south to see the Sex Pistols with his brother Kevin. Almost overnight, the Haskins brothers and Exton reconvened and The Submerged Tenth (with Latvian/Scottish fusion Janis Zakis on vocals) was born.
As with Grab A Shadow, The Submerged Tenth (later shorted simply to The) played mainly original material, often written solely by J. By early 1977, The had garnered a decent enough following with several gigs under their belts and ventured to recruit a second guitarist, bringing J’s friend Daniel Ash into the fold. This event marked the first time three-fourths of the future Bauhaus had played together. While a momentous event in the Bauhaus timeline, Ash never actually had the opportunity to play a live show with The as once again the group disbanded before the year’s end.
The Craze, re-born from the fallout of The in early 1978 but without Zakis, featured again both Haskins brothers, Ash, and Exton. As with the prior versions of what evolved into The Craze, this group would be short lived. The key result, however, was Ash, J, and Haskins performing live together for the very first time under this banner. The group also began to leave behind the simplistic style punk rock was known for with its alternating aggressive three chord structure and began to experiment more with melodic, sparse constructions utilizing elements of power pop fused with minimalistic sounds, unafraid to draw influence from everything spanning from jazz to reggae dub and almost anything in-between. With The Craze now over, Ash quickly began to look for a new creative outlet. Enter Peter Murphy and the official start of Bauhaus, albeit sans the actual name.