In early 2020, famed former drummer for FATES WARNING and WARLORD, Mark Zonder, started engaged on new materials with the imaginative and prescient of starting a brand new, full-time band that might provide one thing completely different from his present catalog. The mission was to ship easy, no-frills arduous rock that speaks to a broader viewers. The tip consequence, which sees Zonder reunite with FATES WARNING lead vocalist Ray Alder, together with bassist Philip Bynoe (STEVE VAI, WARLORD),guitarist Joop Wolters and keyboardist Vivien Lalu, is A-Z. At this time, the band has introduced its self-titled debut album will see an August 12, 2022 launch by way of Metallic Blade Data.
The music video for the LP’s first single, titled “The Machine Gunner”, may be seen under.
Zonder feedback: “It has been a very long time coming, however we’re all very excited to share A-Z with the world and get the present on the street!! With an exceptional-sounding album and sensible art work from Hugh Syme, let the video games start!”
“A-Z” observe itemizing:
01. Trial By Hearth
02. The Far Facet Of The Horizon
03. The Machine Gunner
04. Rise Once more
05. Window Panes
06. Run Away
08. At The Waters Edge
09. Borrowed Time
11. The Silence Damaged (Bonus Observe)
When Zonder began engaged on materials in early 2020, he had a really clear imaginative and prescient for the band he needed to place collectively. “I used to be considering beer commercials, automotive commercials and ‘Cobra Kai’,” he mentioned. “I needed to have a really accessible band that might attraction to the plenty and would result in the power to tour bigger venues and construct a second and third report off the success of the primary. I didn’t wish to hear issues like, ‘I do not hear a single. It’s too proggy. I simply do not get it. Let me hearken to it a couple of extra instances.’ I knew from myself and the others that I’d recruit, it could have some subtle music components however the massive hook was the principle precedence.” The consequence was A-Z, and whereas Zonder is adamant it isn’t a supergroup that’s doing a “one and carried out” report, it has a stellar lineup, reuniting him with Alder, Bynoe, Wolters and Lalu, the mix of those gamers stirring up a really particular sort of magic that might not be replicated.
Issues got here collectively easily from the beginning, Zonder sending drum patterns and grooves to first recruit Lalu, and he would write songs utilizing guitar sounds so between the 2 of them that they had primary track buildings fairly rapidly. Zonder knew Bynoe would bounce on board as they’ve a protracted historical past and mutual respect and Lalu had labored with Wolters for years, recruiting him for the band. Each Wolters and Lalu introduced in nice musical concepts that had been was songs. The purpose was at all times the identical: shorter songs and getting proper to the refrain, no twelve-minute songs, and everybody discovered it simple working to this remit. With every thing else coming collectively properly, discovering the suitable singer was the toughest facet of the entire course of.
“I had despatched out a primary track to over 20 completely different singers, some common named singers and a few unknown, however fully struck out,” says Zonder. “Then I simply determined to name Ray as I used to be unsure what he was as much as. I figured it couldn’t damage to get in contact. I do keep in mind talking with him again within the day and him speaking about how he cherished this sort of music. I despatched him a observe or two and he simply killed it.” Provides Alder, “I discovered this an opportunity to do one thing fully completely different than what I’m used to, being in a prog steel band for 30 years. I discover the mix of the ’80s, ’90s and a contact of ’70s model of music very cool, and it’s nice to work with Mark in spite of everything of those years.” Thrilled to have him on board, Zonder didn’t have a listing of calls for. “My solely phrases to him had been ‘do no matter you need.’ I used to be not going to inform him what to do. Identical for all the others guys. Sure, there needs to be some enhancing and making choices, however when it got here to the music I simply needed everybody to do what they do finest.” The outcomes are simple, from the high-octane stomper “The Machine Gunner” to the attractive sway of “Rise Once more” or the towering “Stranded”, each observe an anthem that feels like solely the largest venues may comprise them.
The band’s identify got here courtesy of Alder — A-Z = Alder by means of Zonder — and it match immediately.
“What I favored is that it didn’t restrict what somebody would consider the band. If we named the band SCARY SERPENT it could give a sure path and I didn’t need folks to prejudge the band and report,” Zonder says. Likewise, self-titling the report made sense. “I didn’t wish to give a path concept to the viewers. If we named the album ‘Far Facet Of The Horizon’, folks would in all probability assume ‘prog band’. However in the event you named it ‘The Machine Gunner’, it could give a completely completely different path for thought.” For art work, eager to once more get the absolute best contributor, they turned to the famed Hugh Syme (RUSH, FATES WARNING),who delivered the vivid picture of a zebra consuming an apple, encompassing the band identify in a sly approach. “Once more, rent one of the best folks yow will discover and simply allow them to do what they do. The art work is completely unbelievable and actually matches the entire idea. He’s actually one of the best. Only a nice man to work with.”