The new album from 4FRONT! Progressive melodic rock at its finest. The first six tracks tell the tale of Major Tom, weaving in and out of metal, country, orchestral, and blues. The album also contains a cover of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity" - but with major new twists! Features twelve tracks, with the same core band of Zak, Joe, and Frank. Also appearing on this release are Jimmy Wilgus on keyboards, Tom Mulvaney on percussion, and Bob Magnuson (Zappa's Universe) on sax.
Joe Bergamini: Drums
Frank LaPlaca: Bass
Zak Rizvi: Guitars & Keyboards
Produced by 4Front
Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered By Zak Rizvi
August 2000 - December 2001 @ The Den, Whippany, NJ
Except * by Frank LaPlaca and ** by 4Front - Administered by Third Reel Music.
FROM ZAK RIZVI:
About the process: About a year after the release of our last record "Gravity", I had a conversation one day with Joe Bergamini who told me that he had a potential title for our next album. I had been working on some new material at the time as well as reworking some older ideas, and Joe's title, "Radio Waves Goodbye", seemed to perfectly fit the mood of these new songs. I immediately became excited about this direction for the record; suddenly my creative juices were flowing, and a few months later the album's first six tracks, as well as the last two, were complete.
At this point Joe and I began a series of informal jam sessions with bassist Frank LaPlaca, which to our delight, yielded three new songs: "Fuse", "Learning to Crawl", and "747". A twelfth song, "Sonata Café", an homage to director Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut", was dropped at the last minute (look for it on a future album), only to be replaced with another affectionate homage: "Memories of Kansas". The album was recorded over the course of about a year at my own New Jersey recording studio, The Den, and features guest performances by many terrific musicians (and good friends), including keyboardist Jimmy Wilgus, saxophonist Bob Magnuson, violinist Karl Kessler, and percussionists Tom Mulvaney and Steve Kelly. Once mixing was completed in late December 2001, we entered the post production phase; Joe began finishing up the album artwork while I worked on the CD mastering, the two of us frequently consulting with one another. The album was officially released on February 1st 2002 amidst many sighs of relief, and the rest is, well, not quite history.
About the songs: I'm a fanatical film lover and was determined to express that obsession more clearly on this record than on the past two. The album's first six tracks were conceived and arranged as a side long piece, a "little movie" if you will, and are intended to be listened through in a single sitting. For years I'd wanted to remake David Bowie classic "Space Oddity" in a distinctly cinematic style, the idea being to create an immersive sonic experience for the listener that directly reflects the lyric, both musically and atmospherically. A fictional backstory for the Major Tom character then served as the framework and impetus for the album's first four songs, and "Burial at Sea" became the epilogue, or unhappy ending (as I like to think of it). The big riffs of the next three tracks were contributed by bassist Frank LaPlaca, and (with some solid input from the rest of us and lots of coffee) helped steer the album in some unexpected directions, touching on swing, ska, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and the blues! "Memories of Kansas", the last song to be written, is my personal homage to the music of Kansas and to the eye-opening experience of being exposed to their influences as a teenager.
Both "Descent" and "Radio Waves Goodbye" are drastic rewrites of older songs, and hopefully bring the album to a logical and somewhat sentimental conclusion. I certainly hope our listeners enjoy the material as much we enjoyed creating it, and remember: when in doubt, forget all the talk and just listen. After all, the best and most liberating thing about instrumental music is being able to draw one's own conclusions about what it all might mean.