The first singer/keyboardist to replace Steve Walsh in Kansas, John Elefante, has just issued a new album from his solo band (credited to John Elefante and Mastedon), titled 'Revolution of Mind.' And fans of Elefante's former band are sure to find plenty of satisfaction within the album's grooves.
"I think there are shades of Kansas in just about everything I write," explains Elefante, who was a member of Kansas from 1981 through 1985. "I'm a tenor singer like Steve Walsh, I like a lot of mood changes in songs, although sometimes I get in the mood to just write a straight pop song from head to toe. Like in all great Kansas records, there are a lot of twists and turns and things you don't expect musically, that keeps the listener surprised. And at the same time, excited."
The album also features guitar work from none other than Elefante's former band mate in Kansas, Kerry Livgren.
"These days, another thing that makes it easier for people to work together is you don't have to be in the same studio and in the same room anymore. I can literally send files to Kerry and hear what he's doing in real time. The song 'One Day Down By the Lake,' I was going to take it off the record, because I thought it was a little too 'Kansas-y,' if you will. So I kind of put the song on hold for a while, and when Kerry agreed to play on it and when I heard what he did on it, I went, 'Wait a minute, now it makes sense.' So I decided to put it on the record. I probably get more email about that song then any other song on the record."
As evidenced by such standout tracks as "Questions (It's About Time)," "The Western World," and the aforementioned "One Day Down By the Lake (See You Real Soon)," fans of finely crafted melodic rock are surely in for a treat. And Elefante is quick to point out that 'Revolution of Mind' is a different kind of record than previous Mastedon efforts.
"Sonically, it's different. It's definitely a different record. Sonically I think it's more modern. We were quite limited in the old days, we didn't quite have the technology we have now. We had more capability to do more things. And the one thing that makes it different is the past Mastedon records were a little more like an Alan Parsons Project, where it was a studio thing and we'd have guest singers and guest musicians all over the place. This time, I sang everything - I wanted to sing everything. So that inherently makes it way, way different."
Elefante also sees a difference between his work with Mastedon compared to his earlier work with Kansas.
"Mastedon is my show, so the sky's the limit - I can do whatever I want. I'm not confined to a brand that's already in place. Nowadays, things have definitely changed. Instead of going into a big-time Record Plant type studio, which we used to own, I'll go to a friend's house who is a killer drummer, and in his basement, he's got his drums mic'd up to the max, with a ProTools rig. It's so easy and fun - there isn't any down time in setting up mics to get drum sounds."
Elefante plans to support 'Revolution of Mind' with a set of live dates.
"The touring plans are in the works. We're going to take it as it comes. We're working on getting some opening dates. I would like to secure an opening slot for a multi-band tour. I think that would be right up my alley. Even though I don't have the mega hits that Styx had, without tooting my horn, I think the people will be pleasantly surprised when they hear what I have to offer."
"I'm very proud to have John join our label, Big3," says the label's chairman, Bill Edwards. "John and I go way back, and I've been a huge fan of his for years. I strongly feel that 'Revolution of Mind' is a great showcase for his talents, and we're honored at Big3 to be working with John."
'Revolution of Mind' Track Listing:
1. Revolution Of Mind
2. Slay Your Demons
3. Nowhere Without Your Love
4. One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon)
5. Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka)
6. Questions (It’s About Time)
7. You Can’t Take Anything
9. The Western World
10. That’s What You Do
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