Frontiers Music Srl is thrilled to announce the return of Lana Lane, who has signed to the label for a new multi-album deal.
Lana Lane is an accomplished rock vocalist with a long history of recording and touring. Born in Concord, California to a musical family, Lana grew up on a balanced diet of both rock music and big band swing music. Since music was always in the house, singing came very naturally to Lana, and she started fronting bands straight out of high school. To forward her career, Lana moved to Los Angeles in the late ’80s where she met her husband/producer Erik Norlander (Dukes Of The Orient, ASIA featuring John Payne).
Lana’s debut album, “Love is an Illusion”, was released in 1995 to critical acclaim. It soon caught the ear of a Japanese record company, Marquee Belle Antique, who saw great potential in the music, and of course in Lana’s voice. The company released Lana’s second album, “Curious Goods”, in 1996, and then in 1998, Marquee launched a new high-profile label called Avalon with Lana Lane as their flagship artist. Avalon released Lana’s “Garden of the Moon” album which skyrocketed her career on the international stage, ultimately resulting in her first European release.
Lana began touring in Japan in 1998 to support “Garden of the Moon” and the subsequent “Ballad Collection” and “Queen of the Ocean” releases. She then expanded her touring efforts to Europe in 2001 to support “Secrets of Astrology”, with additional tours in 2003 and 2004. In 2004, Lana released her first DVD, “Storybook: Tales from Europe and Japan”, which documented her first years of touring on two continents. Then in 2005, Lana embarked on her 10th Anniversary Tour which culminated in her appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival at the end of the European leg and then the filming her 10th Anniversary Concert DVD in Tokyo after the final show in Japan at the tour’s conclusion. These years also marked the beginning of Lana’s relationship with Frontiers Music Srl.
Lana has been dubbed “The Queen of Symphonic Rock” by fans and media, yet she remains a very versatile artist, able to move from intimate jazz pieces (“Ballad Collections”, “Winter Sessions”) to bone-crushing progressive metal (“Secrets of Astrology”, “Lady Macbeth”, etc.). But, in the end, it is Lana’s love of melody and artistry that reigns overall. She is a dedicated artist who approaches her craft with grace and integrity. Lana Lane released her last album, “El Dorado Hotel” in 2012, so it has been a long time coming for her next release! The new album will again be produced by Lana’s husband, Erik Norlander. The release is anticipated for release in late 2021 and will be Lana’s 11th full-length studio album.
What do you get when you match a Brit from London who loves American AOR with an American from California who grew up on British Prog? Dukes of the Orientis the masterful pairing of vocalist John Payne (ex-ASIA, GPS) with keyboardist Erik Norlander (Last in Line, Lana Lane, Rocket Scientists) who now present their eponymous debut album, ten years in the making. Payne’s powerful arena-seasoned vocals carry soaring melodies and lush harmonies over the sea of classic synthesizers and keyboards artfully painted with Norlander’s signature sonic palette.
Payne says of the album, “With Dukes of the Orient we have dug deep with analog soundscapes, superlative musicians, and song-driven epics. Add to this the masterful artwork of Rodney Matthews and a journey that started with the supergroup ASIA, we give you the next chapter, one we are extremely proud of.”
The two are backed by a world-renown ensemble of top musicians including Jeff Kollman, Guthrie Govan, Moni Scaria and Bruce Bouillet on guitar, Molly Rogers on strings and Jay Schellen on drums. Payne provides bass guitar and additional lead and rhythm guitar parts to complete the audiophile production. The album was mixed on a traditional analog console to preserve and enhance the natural depth, clarity, and soul of the tracks with great care taken to avoid over-compression, extreme equalization, and distortion.
Dukes of the Orienthas its origins in 2007 as “ASIA Featuring John Payne,” a band that continued on after ASIA keyboardist, Geoff Downes, left the band to re-form the original 1982 lineup. Payne recruited Norlander to join Guthrie Govan and Jay Schellen for tour dates in the US and initial recordings, some of which endured to appear on the Dukes of the Orient album here. Govan left the band to form The Aristocrats and was replaced by guitarist Bruce Bouillet followed by Jeff Kollman and Moni Scaria. The final lineup resulted in the track, “Seasons Will Change,” released as a video in 2013 and also now appears on the Dukes of the Orientalbum. Following the death of original ASIA vocalist, John Wetton, in early 2017, Payne and Norlander decided that these recordings should give birth to a new band, both out of respect for Wetton and for clarity with the Downes-led ASIA.
John Payne grew up in Luton, England. Upon moving to Harpenden, England in his teen years, he started his first band. His love of music started long before, though. As a young teenager, he taught guitar at school and also played into the early hours of the morning at clubs in a local cover band. Tired of playing other people’s songs, he formed a three-piece called Moonstone. With influences such as Santana, Hendrix, Trower and Deep Purple, Moonstone toured both locally and around the UK rock circuit. With encouragement from Jim Rodford of The Kinks and Rod Argent, the music bug would not let go. John went on write, tour, session (both as a vocalist and guitarist), record and produce. Moving to London gave him his first break singing backing vocals for Roger Daltry of The Who on the album Under a Raging Moon. This started much session work leading to purchasing The Wall, his first recording studio, which would be one of many. Between session work, Payne was invited to Power Station recording studio to record vocals for the group ELO at the invitation of drummer Bev Bevan and producer Jim Steinman. When legal complications regarding the name arose, Payne made the decision to return to London, where he was invited to join Asia in 1992.
Payne has since toured as “The Parson” in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, toured and recorded with GPS, co-created and co-wrote the Las Vegas musical Raiding The Rock Vault, and formed The Rock Pack, hosting a plethora of iconic classic rock vocalists. His love of music and analog recording has taken him on a journey as multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, scriptwriter, studio engineer, and producer.
Erik Norlander was born in Hollywood, California and went against the tide of 80s Sunset Strip pop metal, instead learning the craft of progressive rock keyboards inspired by the founding fathers of the movement, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Eddie Jobson, Patrick Moraz and others, many of whom became friends as Norlander’s career developed. Both Emerson and Wakeman even wrote liner notes for Norlander’s early solo albums. As part of his indoctrination into the genre, he became obsessed with synthesizers and classic keyboards of all kinds, learning the subtleties of sound design and the inner workings of these arcane instruments including his own 1967 modular Moog synthesizer famously dubbed the “Wall of Doom.” This led Norlander to actually work on the design of synthesizers including the legendary Alesis Andromeda analog hardware synthesizer and IK Multimedia Syntronik virtual instrument among many others. Norlander has released 10 solo albums, 7 with his prog-rock band, Rocket Scientists, and 10 albums with his vocalist wife, Lana Lane. He also works with the Bob Moog Foundation to forward the legacy of the maverick inventor.
Dukes of the Orient to release their eponymous debut album with stunning cover art by Rodney Matthews on February 23, 2018, with select tour dates to follow.
ERIK NORLANDER GETS SURREAL
Veteran California artist announces new solo album of keyboard-heavy prog rockSurreal is the new full-length visionary album from California keyboardist, Erik Norlander. After two recent highly-acclaimed releases with his Rocket Scientists project,
Norlander now presents the follow-up to his 2009 solo epic, The Galactic Collective, released in several forms including a live DVD/CD set. Surreal continues in that spirit with traditional rock band instrumentation fronted by Norlander’s own timeless, signature keyboards.
Surreal gives both a nod to the past and puts an eye on the future with lush analog soundscapes, real living human grooves and unforgettable melodic lead work that will keep the songs playing in the listener’s head long after the music stops.
Like The Galactic Collective, Surreal is mostly an instrumental affair with 5 tracks driven by keyboard and guitar melodies. But there is a sixth song, the title track, that features vocals by Norlander’s chanteuse spouse, Lana Lane. Norlander writes in the album liner notes, “If there is only going to be one vocal track on an album, it had better be great, right? The vocal range of ‘Surreal’ is rather wide, going from ballad-like warm lows to stadium-inspired powerful highs. And I think as Lana performs these vocal acrobatics in such an honest and skillful storyteller’s style, you don’t even realize the register shifts as they are happening.
”Surreal employs the same rhythm section of The Galactic Collective with Mark Matthews on bass and Nick LePar on drums. The two have toured with Norlander extensively in the 7 years since The Galactic Collective was released and have become an essential element of Norlander’s signature style. Another familiar face is percussionist, Greg Ellis, who played on 3 other Norlander solo albums including his 1997 debut, Threshold. “There’s actually a real thread of continuity with Greg,” says Norlander. “Since The Galactic Collective re-recorded existing compositions, Greg is really the percussionist on the last album of ‘new’ music released under my own name, Seas of Orion, 12 years ago back in 2004!” Ellis also played on the epic 2014 Rocket Scientists instrumental track, “Traveler on the Supernatural Highways.” And to make the Rocket Scientists connection complete, Surreal also features Don Schiff on cello and NS/Stick and Mark McCrite on acoustic guitar.
Surreal also highlights the guitar work of the always-in-demand Alastair Greene and Jeff Kollman, two of Los Angeles’ finest axemen and stellar musicians that Norlander has worked with on other projects. All three guitarists, Greene, Kollman and McCrite toured with Norlander’s band in recent years ahead of this album’s recording, and the well-defined interplay between guitar and keyboards is evidence of that finely built foundation
1. The Party’s Overture 07:52
2. The Galaxy Collectors (Album Mix) 10:34
3. Suitcase and Umbrella 07:08
4. Unearthly 08:48
5. Surreal (feat. Lana Lane) 10:46
6. El Gran Final 11:08
Released June 21, 2016
Erik Norlander – keyboards
Mark Matthews – bass
Nick LePar – drums
Greg Ellis – percussion
Alastair Greene – guitars on 1,2,3,4,6
Lana Lane – vocals on 5
Jeff Kollman – guitars on 5
Mark McCrite – acoustic guitar on 3
Don Schiff – cello, contrabass and
All songs written by Erik Norlander (c) 2016 Waking Dream Music, BMI.
This album was recorded between August and December 2015.
Nick LePar’s drums and Mark Matthews’ bass guitars were recorded by
Dylan Roth at Mad Rabbit Media, Uniontown, Ohio, with special
thanks to Greg and Angie Wilkinson.
Keyboards, vocals and Alastair Greene guitars were recorded by Erik
at Think Tank Media, Placerville, California.
Greg Ellis, Jeff Kollman, Mark McCrite and Don Schiff tracks were
recorded at their home studios.
Mixed by Erik Norlander at Think Tank Media.
Mastered by Maor Appelbaum at Maor Appelbaum Mastering in Los Angeles.
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