Legendary US progressive rockers Spock’s Beard have announced the release of their 13th studio album ‘Noise Floor’ for 25th May 2018. As announced previously, for this album Ted Leonard, Alan Morse, Dave Meros & Ryo Okumoto are joined in the studio once again by drummer & original member Nick D’Virgilio, who records his first album with the band since 2010’s ‘X’.
Spock’s Beard is a band who are in a continual state of evolution, as is always the case with genuinely creative musicians. And their new album, ‘Noise Floor’, fits perfectly into this process.
“We are always about evolution, not revolution. But what we have done this time is make the songs more melodic,” believes vocalist/guitarist Ted Leonard. “We still love our crazy prog, but now appreciate how important it is to grab people’s attention early on.”
As with all Spock’s Beard songs, most of the new album was written by the individual members, and then brought to the rest of the band as high-quality demos. “We all do this type of thing in our home studios,” adds Leonard. “So, by the time they reach the stage where the entire band gets to judge them, they are really developed, and therefore everyone can make a reasoned judgment.”
Much of what you will listen to here is very much the product of fresh inspiration from the Californian band.
One key change on this album sees the return of drummer Nick D’Virgilio, who originally left in 2011. There are also two violinists, a cello player, a viola player and an English horn featured on the album, thereby giving the sound a slightly more evocative and persuasive twist.
The album was once again engineered by long-time collaborator Rich Mouser and will be released as a 2CD digipak (featuring an EP of material from the same sessions), gatefold 2LP + 2CD & as a digital download.
The track-listing is as follows:
Disc 1 – Noise Floor
1. To Breathe Another Day
2. What’s Become of Me
3. Somebody’s Home
4. Have We All Gone Crazy
5. So This Is Life
6. One So Wise
7. Box of Spiders
Disc 2 – Cutting Room Floor
1. Days We’ll Remember
4. Armageddon Nervous
Look out for more information in the coming weeks!
Progressive rock band Mars Hollow has announced that they will be recording a new album after a nearly 5-year hiatus. The announcement was made during a semi-reunion show and subsequent radio interview in June, and came on the heels of a show billed as “John Baker and Steve Mauk Perform the Music of Mars Hollow” in Chicago. The show was the first time Mars Hollow has performed live since May, 2012. The most recent studio effort from the group was the track “So Far Away,” which also had a video release and was included on the Mars Hollow Live album. The album, also available on DVD, documented the band’s ‘Church of Prog’ spot at RosFest, 2011 and was released in Fall of 2012.
However, guitarist and lead vocalist John Baker says that the new band will update both its name and line-up to fit the spirit and music of the new incarnation, and will be called “Life After Mars.” The band’s debut album release is tentatively scheduled for Summer, 2018.
Says John, “As Life After Mars is the newly reformed incarnation of Mars Hollow, the best way to explain it is ‘Mars Hollow…the Next Generation.”
Mars Hollow landed on the progressive rock scene in 2010 with their self-titled debut album, produced by Ronan Chris Murphy, and followed up in 2011 with “World In Front of Me,” co-produced by Mars Hollow’s John Baker and Billy Sherwood, now of Yes. Playing festivals and numerous gigs in the USA, Mexico and Canada, the band also played and toured with Billy Sherwood’s Circa, and received accolades and positive reviews for several years. In the spirit of progressive rock, “Life After Mars” seems a natural progression.
Says John, “I think of this as good timing. A perfect time to rethink your mindset, and have a new jumping off point. At one time, walking on the moon, or landing on Mars was the future. Everyone wondered if there was life on mars, and now they are talking about colonization of Mars. Truly, the FUTURE is life AFTER mars.”
Life After Mars features:
John Baker – lead vocals and guitars
Don Schiff – NS stick, various basses and string instruments
Lisa LaRue – keyboards
Emily Dolan Davies – drums
Throughout the years, John Baker has held stints as guitarist and backing vocalist for various original bands and musicians, including Christian Love of “The Beach Boys” and bassist for The Little Girls. Since 1995, John has been operating a successful studio business, comprised of music projects, audio drama, and dialogue work. In the music field, John has worked with many musicians and producers, including Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) and Richie Zito (Elton John, Tina Turner, Heart). In the dialogue field, John has directed, engineered, and edited hundreds of audio books including works by authors such as Robert Ludlum, Danielle Steele and Deepak Chopra. John Baker, an original member of Mars Hollow, is also the lead vocalist for the LA-based progressive rock band, Forever Twelve, who has just completed their 4th studio album, Home, on Melodic Revolution Records.
Don Schiff has worked with some of the best – including Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Davis, Arjen Lucassen among many others. Don is also a member of Rocket Scientists. Having scored soundtracks as well as acted in TV shows and films such as “Live From Death Row” and “84 Charlie Mopic,” he has also received gold records for co-writing for Pat Benatar’s “Wide Awake in Dreamland” and Winfield/Schiff’s “Cerebral Man.” Don is internationally known for his expertise with the NS/Chapman stick. He was also a member of Lisa LaRue’s former band 2KX.
Keyboardist Lisa LaRue has worked with many musicians including: John Payne (Asia), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists, Tina Turner, Elvis, and more), Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard), Michael Sadler (Saga), Oliver Wakeman (Yes). Esquire (Nikki Squire) and others. Lisa has been awarded Oklahoma Native American Artist of the Year and nominated for other awards including the Hollywood Music Awards, Los Angeles Music Awards, and the Native American Music Awards. She collaborated with Gilli Smyth of Gong on a self-released album titled “Dreamscapes,” and has released 5 solo albums, 1 album with Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, 2 albums with Lisa LaRue 2KX, and 1 album with Federico Fantacone (Fantacone/LaRue – Sonic Landscapes).
EMILY DOLAN DAVIES
Emily Dolan Davies is a British drummer who has been playing since age 11, with full time gigging beginning at age 18. She has extensive experience in many genres as a session and live drummer, in addition to playing with artists such as Bryan Ferry, The Thompson Twins, The Darkness, and many more. She is currently touring with Howard Jones.
Here’s what the press have said about Mars Hollow:
“It’s quite clear that Mars Hollow is a band to be reckoned with. This is no garage band, but a very serious group of players with some serious chops.” – Rok Podgrajšek – The Rocktologist
“If you take a little bit of Yes – mostly in John Baker’s vocals – and a little bit of Rush (also there in the vocals), that’s a bit what Mars Hollow sound like.” – Stephanie Sollow – ProgressiveWorld.net
“Each member of the quartet is a star player in his own right. Their sound is a rocking and melodic mix of the best of Yes & Genesis with a bit of latter-day King Crimson.” – Mike Flavin – USA Prog Music
“I would consider Mars Hollow to be a band that will withstand the test of time for the advancement of the progressive genre.” – Grant Hill – Music Street Journal
For further details and to watch the project progress, please follow the Life After Mars Fan Page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lifeaftermarsmusic or https://www.lifeaftermarsmusic.com ;
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr @ gmail.com