KXM’s Sophomore Album Is A Focused New Effort

Courtesy: Rat Pak Records

This past March, rock outfit KXM released its sophomore album Scatterbrain to the masses.  The album is a solid new effort from the “super group,” which is composed of Ray Luzier (Korn) on drums, George Lynch (Lynch Mob) on guitar and dUg Pinnick (King’s X) on bass and vocals. That is evident early on in the album’s prog-metal infused title track and opener.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Calypso,’ which comes just a little ways into the record’s sequence, is another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid new effort from KXM.  It will be discussed later.  ‘It’s Never Enough’ is yet another example of what makes this record so enjoyable and is hardly the last of the songs that could be cited in a discussion of what makes this record so impressive.  The ten songs not noted here could each be cited in their own right to support the aforementioned statement.  That applies both to the songs’ musical and lyrical content.  Keeping that in mind, the musical and lyrical content exhibited in Scatterbrain makes this record from start to finish a work that shows clear focus.  That focus, in turn, makes this record yet another record deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

KXM’s sophomore LP Scatterbrain is a record that displays great focus both musically and lyrically from start to finish.  The result of that focus is a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  Those statements are supported right off the top in the album’s title track and opener in part through the song’s musical arrangement.   The arrangement easily lends itself to comparisons to songs from Pinnick’s main band, King’s X as well as to Platypus and Liquid Tension Experiment.  That is not a bad thing, either.  That is because such comparisons form a solid foundation for the song; a foundation on which the song’s lyrical content rests just as solidly.

The lyrical content presented in Scatterbrain’s lead/title track is its own important part to this song because of its seeming commentary contained therein.  There is a mention of “people trying to kill you…when they don’t have the right” in the song’s lead verse and an added mention of time and life fleeting in the second.  Meanwhile Pinnick reminds listeners in the song’s final minutes “don’t be afraid, don’t cry, don’t let them scare you.”  One has to assume here that he is referencing the people noted in the song’s lead verse; those who would otherwise do others harm in whatever form.  It plays into the song’s second verse, too with Pinnick perhaps making note of how short life is.  If that is indeed the case, then Pinnick singing about not letting people scare them, that second verse would seem to be Pinnick telling listeners to not let life pass them by worrying about those people in question.  This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and certainly not the only interpretation.  Regardless of the song’s true meaning, the manner in which Pinnick delivers the song’s lyrical content–and the content itself—makes for plenty of interest and discussion.  When it is joined with the frantic energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song makes the song an impressive first impression for KXM in its second outing.  It also collectively makes ‘Scatterbrain’ just one clear example of what makes its namesake so impressive overall.  It is just one of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Noises in the Sky’ is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain so impressive.

‘Noises in The Sky’ is another clear example of what makes KXM’s new album so impressive first and foremost because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement presented here is the polar opposite of that presented in the album’s title track.  It is more of a blues-based rock arrangement that regardless, still boasts its own heaviness.  In the same breath, that comparison to King’s X is just as undeniable as in the case of ‘Scatterbrain.’  The song’s lyrical content is just as heavy in its own right with even more seeming commentary.  The commentary is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “Have you heard the noises in the night/Is this a warning/Sounds like a trumpet blowing high/Is this a warning/Whatever it is, is far and near/Is this a warning.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The sun is bright/The flares are high/Is this a warning/Only for those whose ears can hear/Is this a warning/Something is happening/It just ain’t clear/Is this a warning.”  The instant thought that comes to mind in considering all of this is that the song is making a religious statement.  On another level though, maybe it could be a response to all of the doomsayers out there who like to preach so much about the end times.  No matter the meaning, it is certain to lead to some heavy discussion.  When that heavy discussion is joined with the heaviness in the song’s musical arrangement, the end result is a song that is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain such a solid, focused record.  It still is not the last song that can be cited in exhibiting what makes the album so impressive. ‘Angel,’ the album’s closer is one more prime example of what makes this record stand out.

‘Angel’ serves to make Scatterbrain stand out just as much as ‘Noises in the Sky’ and ‘Scatterbrain’ because it stands out both musically and lyrically from those songs just as much as they stand apart from one another and the rest of the album’s offerings.  Musically speaking, this song is not necessarily a ballad per se.  But in comparison to the record’s other arrangements it is comparably softer and gentler.  That softer, gentler approach works well with the song’s softer lyrical content, too, which seems to be a bit of a bittersweet message, making the song in whole a truly touching work. The seemingly bittersweet message is inferred as Pinnick sings in the song’s lead verse, “You’re not like the others/Who left me alone/You said the right things and I couldn’t breathe/I don’t want to give in/But the truth always wins.”  He goes on to sing in the second verse, “I don’t want to do this/But it’s all I can feel/In my heart as it heals/I’ve heard it’s been said/That three times is a charm/But four times/You’re just a fool/I asked an angel to watch over you/But it came back and asked me/Why/Because angels don’t watch over angels/I’m waiting on my angel.”  The juxtaposition of those verses comes across almost as a story of love lost.  Yet even in that seeming story of lost love, there is still some happiness, again making that bittersweet feeling.  Again, the combination of that deeply emotional story and the song’s equally touching musical arrangement makes this song its own outstanding work.  In the bigger picture, it is yet another example of what makes Scatterbrain a solid, focused new effort from KXM.  When it is joined with the previously discussed songs and those not noted here, the end result is an album whose focus makes it enjoyable from start to finish and one more clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

KXM’s sophomore album Scatterbrain is a record that is anything but scattered.  From beginning to end, this album shows great focus both musically and lyrically.  From seeming commentaries to more personal works, the album offers plenty for everyone to appreciate.  That being the case, it proves itself to be an easy candidate to be one of this year’s top new rock records.  More information on Scatterbrain is available online now along with all of KXM’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ratpakrecords.com/kxm

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KXMofficial

 

 

 

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Nova Collective Unveils ‘Dancing Machines’ Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The Nova Collective unveiled this week, the video for the lead single from its upcoming debut album The Further Side, which will be released March 10 via Metal Blade Records.

The band—comprised of members of Between The Buried and Me, Haken, Trioscapes and Cynic—unveiled an in-studio video featuring a performance of the album’s lead single ‘Dancing Machines.’ The video can be viewed online now here.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The song’s arrangement is a composition that will appeal to fans of Scale The Summit, Liquid Tension Experiment, Trioscapes and others of that ilk.

The Further Side will be available on CD, black 180-gram vinyl, and limited edition clear-red marble LP as well as via digital outlets.  The record’s clear-red marble pressing is being limited to only 200 copies, so supplies of that pressing are very limited.  Audiences can pre-order The Further Side online now here.

Nova Collective was born in 2014 when bassist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me, Trioscapes) and guitarist Richard Henshall (Haken) starting discussing music via e-mail.  The pair fleshed out some demos not long after discussions started. Drummer Matt Lynch (Trioscapes, Cynic) and keyboardist Pete Jones (ex-Haken) came on board not too much later, helping to finish the album.

The band was written and composed on both sides of the Atlantic.  Session files were shared between the band’s members until it was possible for them to rehearse and record the music together.

Those joint sessions began in early 2015 with engineer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist) at the helm.  Rich Mouser (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard, Neal Morse Band) mixed the record.

More information on The Nova Collective’s new video is available online along with all of the latest updates on its upcoming album and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metalblade.com/novacollective

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/novacollectivefusion

 

 

 

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Bigelf Releases Cover Art, Track Listing For InsideOut Debut

Courtesy:  InsideOut Music

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Veteran L.A. based stoner rock band Bigelf will release its latest release this Spring.  Into The Maelstrom will be available in stores and online Tuesday, April 1st via InsideOut Music.  The band’s new album will be the first for Bigelf on InsideOut.  It will also be the first record for drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater) with the band.

Into The Maelstrom will be available in a double-disc digipak and on a double-disc gatefold vinyl release.  The double-disc digipak will feature both the album and a handful of re-mixes and demos from the band.  The gatefold vinyl will feature the entire album as presented on CD.  The album’s track listing is as follows:

  1. Incredible Time Machine
  2. Hypersleep
  3. Already Gone
  4. Alien Frequency
  5. The Professor & The Madman
  6. Mr. Harry McQuhae
  7. Vertigod
  8. Control Freak
  9. High
  10. Edge of Oblivion
  11. Theater of Dreams
  12. ITM: I. Destination Unknown / II. Harbinger Of Death / III. Memories

Founding member Damon Fox explained in an interview what audiences can expect from the bands upcoming InsideOut debut.  “I think ITM is the best Bigelf record yet,” he said. “And I believe it is a real game changer for the band. It’s gonna put us over the top! Psychedelic cinematic landscapes and melodic prog-doom set the stage for the new album, I cannot wait for fans (old and new) to experience all of its apocalyptic color.”

Bigelf will be part of this year’s Progressive Nation At Sea cruise.  The cruise sets sail February 18th and returns to port February 22nd.  It will also feature performances by Transatlantic–another band with whom Portnoy plays—Devin Townsend Project, Riverside & Adrian Belew Power Trio.  Tickets for the Progressive Nation At Sea Cruise are available on the cruise’s official website, http://www.progressivenationatsea.com.  Audiences can also go to the cruise’s website to get a complete list of performers and all of the latest information on the cruise.

More information on Bigelf, its upcoming new release, tour dates and more is available online at http://www.bigelf.com, http://www.facebook.com/bigelfmusic and http://twitter.com/bigelf.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Concert For Ronnie Montrose Is As Good As Any Major Label’s Live Recordings

Courtesy:  RoMoCo

Courtesy: RoMoCo

2013 has seen quite the surplus of live concert recordings.  Bands the likes of Jane’s Addiction, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and so many others have been released to the masses.  Each of those live recordings has proven to be exceptional in its own way.  These recordings will be seen by countless audiences thanks to being released via some of the music industry’s biggest labels. It doesn’t mean that they’re the only live recordings to hit the market this year.  One independently recorded and released live concert event that deserves just as much coverage as those aforementioned recordings is the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  Recorded April 27th, 2012 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California, this live concert event will impress anyone that is a fan of true, pure, guitar-driven rock and roll.  This applies to even those that might not be so familiar with the work of Ronnie Montrose.  There is much to like about this new live recording.  The most obvious of factors is the concert’s audio and video mix.  For a show that was independently recorded and released, it looks and sounds surprisingly good.  The show’s set list and guest lineup collectively make up another of the reasons to check out this concert.  And while it is something relatively subtle, those charged with finalizing the concert included names and titles for each artist on each song.  For those that might be unfamiliar with the artists, this inclusion will help to introduce the artists to said new audiences when they look up each name.  In turn, it could open audiences’ eyes and ears to a whole new world of music.  Together with the aforementioned factors, the Concert For Ronnie Montrose proves to be just as enjoyable as any live recording released by the industry’s major labels.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose is an independently recorded and released live concert event.  The automatic thought that might be raised in some audiences’ minds upon reading this is that it probably doesn’t match up with the live recordings released by the record industry’s major labels.  That belief could not be any more wrong.  The reality of this concert recording is that it looks and sounds just as good as any of the countless other live recordings released on said labels already in 2013. The camera crews charged with capturing the concert expertly carried out their duties.  Home viewers get the best seat in the house.  They are taken right on stage with the musicians and even above the crowd to see the full extent of the audience in attendance.  Seeing how packed the house was on the night of April 27th, 2012 just goes to show that while Ronnie Montrose might never have been one of the biggest names in the industry, he was and still is one of the most respected individuals to pick up a guitar. It is truly a telling statement, and one that any Ronnie Montrose fan will appreciate when they watch this concert for themselves.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose was captured just as expertly on video as any live recording released via the industry’s major labels.  It is crystal clear.  And the camera work itself is just as impressive.  Having examined the recording’s high-quality video, the next logical step is to examine its audio mix.  Having been recorded in the semi-intimate setting of San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, it goes without saying that it was extremely important that the audio be perfect.  Those that are more familiar with the science of acoustics will appreciate the painstaking efforts taken to ensure that the concert’s sound was on par with any major live recording.     Not one of the guitarists overpowered the other at any point throughout the evening.  And none of the musicians overpowered their fellow guest vocalists, either.  That set alongside the equally top notch camera work and video editing serve as the foundation for a concert recording that proves in the long run to be just as good as any of the year’s major concert recordings.

The audio and video mixes in the Concert for Ronnie Montrose collectively make for a solid foundation for this recording.  Having examined both, the next logical step in examining the presentation is to look at the collective set list and the guest lineup.  The set list that comprises this tribute concert spans the late guitarist’s rich career before his passing.  From his days with the Edgar Winter Group to his work with the band that bore his name to his solo career, this concert is front loaded with more than its share of great music.  Even audiences that might perhaps be less familiar with Montrose’s work will likely recognize the Edgar Winter Group’s hit songs ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Free Ride’ and the cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Connection.’  What’s more, those that might be fans of Dream Theater will hear quite the similarity between the concert’s opener, ‘Overture’ and certain work by Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci on the first of Liquid Tension Experiment’s two records.  Petrucci wasn’t one of the artists on hand at the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  However, some equally big names were in attendance. And their presence is sure to impress audiences just as much as the show’s set list.

The lineup of artists on hand to pay tribute to Ronnie Montrose is just as eye-opening as the show’s set list.  Classic rock fans will recognize former Journey band mates Steve Smith and Neal Schon and Tesla front man Jeff Keith.  Also on hand were two equally big names in the form of Montrose’s former band mate and friend Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot) and world renowned guitarist Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot).  Hagar and Montrose’s fellow former band mates were on hand for the concert, too.  Anyone that was a fan of the band in its heyday will appreciate seeing its members back together if only for a one off show.  If the set list that makes up the show isn’t enough for audiences, then this megastar lineup of artists is certain to convince audiences to check out this recording.

So much has already been noted as to what makes the Concert for Ronnie Montrose such a joy of a live recording, even having been recorded and released independently.  There is still one factor in the recording to examine.  It is a subtle, yet important factor to examine.  It is the inclusion of what is called “supers” (or superimposed images) highlighting the names and titles of each musician to take the stage throughout the concert.  Their inclusion is important for those that might happen to be new to each musician.  The names and titles are placed right in front of each musician.  This allows audiences to directly link a name with a face.  Audiences that are less familiar with said artists can in turn link the names and faces when looking up information on each one online or otherwise.  The latent effect of all of this is the potential introduction of a whole new world of music to new audiences.  For that alone, those charged with making sure the supers matched with each artist deserve their own round of applause.  And together with the camera crews, sound editors, and performers themselves, it all comes together to make the Concert for Ronnie Montrose a concert that any purist rock and roll fan will appreciate no less with each watch.  It is available now and can be ordered online at http://www.ronniemontrose.com/merchandise/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=238.  More information on this and all things Ronnie Montrose is available via the official Ronnie Montrose website, http://www.ronniemontrose.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Keeps Raising The Bar With Prog Rock Supergroup’s New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has done something to which few if any other record labels can do.  Somehow, some way, Eagle Rock Entertainment has managed to raise the bar over and over with each one of its new live releases.  It seemed like after 2012, there was no way that it could top itself.  Then 2013 came along and it inexplicably topped itself over and over again.  And now, it has done just that once more with the brand new release of Live in Tokyo from virtuosos Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic), Billy Sheehan (Talas, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), Tony McAlpine, and Derek Sherinian (Planet X, Ex-Dream Theater, Platypus).  This new live release is one more incredible release from Eagle Rock that continues to prove why this company is at the front of the pack when it comes to live recordings.  And it’s now available on double-disc CD, DVD, and Blu-ray as well as digitally.

Whether one is a fan of Dream Theater, Planet X, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, or even every one of the projects in which these top talents has ever taken part, this live recording is an absolute must for audiences on either side of the fence.  The ninety-minute plus performance covers material from each of the artists’ body of work.  It opens with a bang with the first movement of Dream Theater’s famed A Change of Seasons EP before seguing into the hit ‘Acid Rain’ from Portnoy’s Liquid Tension Experiment side project.  Both songs were the perfect choice to open the performance as they waste no time setting the tone for the rest of the night.  Regardless of which side one takes on the split between Portnoy and his now former brothers in Dream Theater, there is no denying that he hasn’t lost a single step since his decision to step out on his own. And if one were listening to these two songs without seeing that it wasn’t Liquid Tension Experiment or Dream Theater, they would instantly think it was both.  That’s the level of talent displayed not just by Portnoy, but by his band mates in this performance.

The opening pair of performances from this recording’s set list are incredible to say the least.  They’re just the tip of the iceberg as audiences will note.  Whether in the slower, more groove oriented ‘Stratus’, the manic energy of Sherinian’s own composition, ‘Apocalypse 1470 B.C.’ or another of Dream Theater’s hits, ‘Lines in the Sand’all four musicians on stage proved what makes them such highly respected individuals.  McAlpine and Sheehan may have never been members of Dream Theater, but they showed that they know Dream Theater’s catalogue.  Had John Petrucci and John Myung been in attendance, they would have been smiling.  The same can be said of Sherinian’s band mates from Planet X of Portnoy and company in ‘Apocalypse 1470 B.C.’  And the band’s take on composer Georges Bizet’s ‘Farandole’ is truly something to behold.  Collectively, these four men have crafted a show that is anything but a tribute band or cover band.  Rather, what they have done is crafted a show celebrating the other and their work.

The songs chosen for this performance present four musicians that are at the top of their game.  And the quality of the recording both on its visual and audio side is top notch, too.  The audio and video mix on the DVD and Blu-ray is perfectly balanced.  This is especially noteworthy being that this performance was recorded at an indoor venue.  Indoor venues present their own problems for recording even at a professional level because the sound is contained in such a finite space.  It could so easily cause the mix to become “muddy.”  But Simon Phillips and company overcame that boundary with ease both on the visual and audio side of the recording.  Those behind the cameras deserve just as much credit as anyone for capturing the concert.  The angles of the shots put home viewers right up in the drum throne with Mike Portnoy and alongside his band mates.  At other times, the wide angle crowd shots are just right in capturing the enjoyment of the audience.  Viewers can see the genuine appreciation of the audience in attendance for what each musician presented.  It serves to heighten the overall viewing experience even more.  And together with that expertly mixed video and audio, it all comes together to make Portnoy Sheehan McAlpine Sherinian Live in Tokyo one more bar higher set by Eagle Rock Entertainment, and a definite must for any fan of each member’s bands past and present.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

One on One with Trioscapes’ bassist Dan Briggs

1)  Trioscapes and Between The Buried and Me are as opposite as two bands
can be. So as metal as BTBAM is, you must have been a fan of other forms
of music for a long time.  Have you always been a fan of the Mahavishnu
Orchestra, or was that one song just something that’s always caught your
attention?

-I got into John Mclaughlin and Mahavishnu when I was in high school
browsing through my dad’s cd collection. “The Inner Mounting Flame” and
“Bird of Fire” albums were so appealing to me because of the sheer force
of the playing and how raw the unison lines between the guitar and violin
were.  MClaughlin’s playing with Mahavishnu has been an inspiration for
years, and more recently his playing in Shakti is proving to be a whole
new level of inspiration and motivation to constantly pursue new way of
reinventing my playing.

2)  This one’s for all three of you.  The band’s bio states that Dan
actually contacted Walter and and Matt.  When Dan told you two his plans,
what was your first reaction to his proposal?

-Only Dan on this interview, but I had talked to both separately at
different times about playing together, so I dont think it was much of a
shock. The main shock was probably when we were all in the same room
together playing for the first time and realizing how tough some of the
material was.

3)  Trioscapes is being marketed as a jazz fusion band.  But I personally
get a prog rock feel, too.  So how would you guys classify yourselves?

-Yeah I’m not big on thowing a lable on everything under the sun, and with
this group in particular I feel like every song is kind of its own
different thing. I dont think you can really lump the song “Separate
Realities”, which is 11 minutes of mayhem and high energy in the same
category as “Gemini’s Descent” which is kind of “Discipline” era King
Crimson like with a bass drone and a miriad of lush textures thrown over
top. But then I can see how  a song like “Blast Off” lends itself to being
considered more of a fusion song. I dont know, the jazz thing is funny to
us, fusion seems to obvious, progressive rock is a huge part of our make
up…it’s just burst of creative explorations.

4)  The album’s opener, ‘Blast Off’ is a perfect way to open the album.
It really mixes prog rock and jazz fusion seamlessly.  Can you guys expand
on how that song came to life?  Which one of you came up with the original
skeleton of that song? Did it just grow naturally?

-“Blast Off” and “Curse of the Ninth” were two songs I brought in early on
that were pretty much finished compositions. When I went to Georgia to
play with Matt for the very first time, he played me this crazy beat that
he had written, I jotted down the time signatures and wrote a line to go
along with it and it became the post-solo section outro for the tune.

5)  Speaking of a prog vibe, I noted in my review that I felt a kind of
Liquid Tension Experiment/Attention Deficit feel.  Are the three of you
fans of progressive rock?  If so, do you have any favorite prog bands?

-All of us have connections to different progressive rock bands. Alot of
my favorite music falls into that category, so there’s quite a few…to
name just a couple though, obviously King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant,
Yes, Dream Theater. More recently, Astra, Unexpect, Sleepytime Gorilla
Museum, Field Music, Pain of Salvation, etc…Matt’s a huge King Crimson
fan, Bill Bruford is one of his main drum inspirations. We all obviously
love forward thinking, interesting music.

6)  Getting back to Dan for a moment.  You’re also a member of Between The
Buried  Me.  they’re going to be out on tour this Summer.  Has it been
difficult trying to balance that tour with potential new dates with
Trioscapes?

-Nope, it’s very easy. BTBAM’s year gets laid out way in advance so I’m
able to fill in the gaps whne I can.
7)  Staying on the subject of BTBAM, it’s an N.C. based band.  Did that
play a role in Trioscapes recording “Separate Realities” in Winston Salem?
What led you to record it at The Basement Studios?  How did you come to
your choice of producers?

-Jamie King has had a hand in every record that I’ve done since 2005. All
the BTBAM stuff, my other band ORBS, and now Trioscapes. It’s a comfort
thing recording with Jamie, and I was curious to see what he could do with
Trioscapes. We wanted to keep it simple and present like how you would
hear the band live. The only real overdubs we did were a few layered bass
distortion lines and doubling a few sax parts with flute. Aside from that
though, it’s just the songs the way we’d play them live and Jamie captured
it really well.

8)  “Separate Realities” has been received to pretty positive feedback
from every direction.  Considering that, do the three of you see the band
working on another record any time in the near future, or do you see this
simply as a one-off record?

-In the near future, no because we will be touring on this record for a
while. We all have a few little things written though. I’m sure we’ll
start throwing around ideas before too long. And no, this is not a one-off
record.

9)  What would you say is your favorite song off of this album?  Songs
aside, do any of you have any favorite moments from the recording process
for this record?

-Walter and I tracked “Gemini’s Descent” together and that was really fun.
We turned the lights down and did about 5 or 6 different takes and then
that was it. We wanted to capture the vibe we had while jamming it at the
rehearsal space. I’m really excited to finally play the song live, we’ll
be playing our full album at our CD release shows coming up next week. I
can tell you that “Separate Realities” is maybe the most stressful song
I’ve ever played live haha, but it’s also one of my favorites. Super high
energy and just non stop. I’ve never had to be so locked in to every
single second of music like I am when playing that.

10)  The video for ‘Blast Off’ was so simple.  But it shows you guys
really getting into the groove of the song.  It’s proof that the K.I.S.S.
formula works.  So came up with the idea for the video?  How did you
decide on using Symmetry Studio for the video?

-Our friend Johnny Davis runs Symmetry Studios, he tracked Matt’s drums
there for the record and they sounded awesome. He’s a super talented
engineer and being that he’s a friend we knew it’d be easy to set up. We
actually went down and played the whole album, not just “Blast Off”. Those
videos will be available before too long. There were just no live videos
that had popped up that were a good quality, so we thought this would be a
good representation for people that haven’t been able to see us live.
Although, there’s much more energy live.

11)  I’ve got one last question before I have to go.  As well received as
Trioscapes is already what do you see the future of this band being?

-We’re going to go hard and do as much as we can when I’m free and not
busy with BTBAM. We have a tour confirmed for September that we’ll
announce soon, some stuff in June/July that’s being worked out, and
hopefully a full US in November/December. If we all exist past doomsday,
then I’m sure we’ll have alot more in our future.

Trioscapes’ debut another hit for Metal Blade Records in 2012

Lightning, it’s said, never strikes the same place twice.  But for Metal Blade Records, that old adage couldn’t be more wrong.  Metal Blade–pure metal’s flagship label–has already released one of the year’s best records with OSI’s fourth full length release, “Fire Make Thunder.”  Now, on May 8th, the label is set to release another of the year’s finest albums in the debut album from a band called Trioscapes.

Trioscapes was founded by bassist Dan Briggs (Between The Buried and Me).  He joined up with saxphonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch last year to work up a rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters.”  The trio came up with some other original songs along with the way, intending to use the material for a one time only show.  Now those ideas have led to what is one of the best records of 2012 in its debut record, ‘”Separate Realities.”  The album is an amazing mix of progressive rock and jazz/fusion.  It mixes the experimental sounds of Liquid Tension Experiment and Attention Deficit with that of the legendary jazz/fusion group, Yellowjackets to make for an opus that defies all classification.  North Carolina fans will appreciate that “Separate Realities” was recorded and produced at the Basement Recording Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

“Separate Realities” opens fittingly with the up-tempo, ‘Blast Off.’  The song’s title is perfectly fitting in that the music invokes images of an explosion of musical energy.  It “blasts” listeners with its seemingly improv style.  Drummer Matt Lynch shows his skill with ease playing constant polyrythmic patterns that would make even Mike Potnoy and Terry Bozzio proud.  Walter Fancourt’s sax playing is simply amazing.  His musicianship conjures up thoughts of the late E. Street Band saxophonist, Clarence Clemons. The dynamic control of all three musicians makes listeners feel as if they’ve been taken up with rapid fire energy and allowed to float in some ethereal musical stratosphere before being shot straight back to earth with just as much energy.  It’s the perfect opener for this release.

The band gives listeners just enough time to catch their breath after ‘Blast Off’ with the equally impressive title track to the album.  ‘Separate Realities’ has something of a Middle Eastern feel.  As with the album’s opener the band showcases its musicianship yet again with this piece.  As disjointed as it begins to feel at one point, that disjointedness is really controlled chaos.  The band eases its way through the whole thing without missing a beat.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this trio’s originality and ability is a song that’s equally bizarre both in its sound and its title, ‘Wazzlejazzleboff.’  That’s really the song’s title.  And as bizarre as this song is, it’s one of those pieces that demands the listener’s full attention.  Every note and every rhythm in this piece has its own life.  It all comes together for what is easily one of the album’s best songs.  Of course, it isn’t the only great song on the album.  Every one of the songs on “Separate Realities” collectively make a debut release that’s as solid as any of the metal that has made Metal Blade famous. 

The band already has a pair of live shows set to celebrate the album’s release.  North Carolina fans will be happy to know they’ll be among the first to see the band live as it will perform May 4th at The Broach Theater in Greensboro.  The band will share the stage with the Bronzed Chorus and Drag Sounds.  Fans can get an idea of what to expect from Trioscapes thanks to absolutepunk.net.  ‘Wazzlejazzlebof’ can be streamed there now.  For more information on Trioscapes, check out the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes.