who: IZZ | Lo-Fi Resistance
http://izznet.com | http://www.lofiresistance.com
when: Sunday, April 19th 2015 | 5:00PM Show | 4:00PM Doors
where: Roxy & Dukes | 745 Bound Brook Rd, Dunellen, NJ (map)
Cost: Online Presale $27 (includes $2 processing fee)
Walk-ups Day of Show $35 (Cash Only) Beginning at 4PM
“Without question, one of the brightest lights on the American progressive/art rock scene, IZZ melds classic and modern prog influences, strong melodies, and stirring guitar and synthesizer solos into a familiar yet refreshing musical stew” – NEARfest website (www.nearfest.com).
IZZ was formed under the musical vision of brothers Tom and John Galgano. In 1996, Tom brought together fellow Manhattanville College classmates, all musically trained, to write, arrange and perform original, adventurous music.
The first IZZ lineup consisted of Manhattanville classmates Tom Galgano (keys and vocals), Greg DiMiceli (drums), Danielle Altieri (vocals), Michele Salustri (vocals) and Brian Coralian (drums), John Galgano (guitar/bass) and Phil Gaita (bass/guitar). This first iteration of IZZ came together to release the band’s debut album, Sliver of a Sun in 1999. Sliver of a Sun is an eclectic collection of songs that served the band well as their introduction to the progressive/art rock community. Consisting of complex and musically intricate pieces such as “Endless Calling” and “Assurance,” whimsical songs such as “Lornadoone” and “Meteor” as well as more Beatle-esque songs like “Take it Higher” and “She Walked Out the Door,” Sliver of a Sun set the stage for what IZZ would become in the decade to follow. The band still often refers to Sliver of a Sun for its live show as Assurance, Where I Belong, Razor and Endless Calling often find their way onto the IZZ setlist.
Between 1999 – 2002, the IZZ lineup saw some significant changes as vocalists Danielle Alteri and Michele Salustri left the band to pursue outside ventures. Phil Gaita, who shared bass and guitar duties with John Galgano on Sliver of a Sun, departed during this time to explore his own musical passions.
IZZ continued to compose original music and play live shows in and around New York City, performing often at classic NYC venues. It was during this time of intense live performing and writing new material that Paul Bremner joined the band. A virtuoso guitarist with his own unique, melodic style, Paul brought an important element to IZZ that would help fully define the band’s sound and enable them to stand out in the proverbial crowd. His inspired guitar playing, his flair for fiery and emotional solos and his engaging song-writing brought IZZ to a new level both on the stage and in the studio.
With the addition of Paul Bremner to the fold, the Galgano brothers, along with DiMiceli and Coralian entered the studio with an abundance of new material. In 2002, IZZ released I Move, their 2nd studio album, to rave reviews. A 74-minute concept album revolving around a character who loses his musical soul and journeys to rediscover it, the I Move album solidified IZZ’s place in the progressive/art rock music scene and has remained one of the band’s most beloved albums. Blending the sounds of modern fusion, jazz, pop and prog, I Move catapulted IZZ into the consciousness of the progressive rock community. The album produced classic IZZ pieces such as “Coming Like Light,” “Star Evil Gnoma Su,” “Believe,” and “Light from Your Eyes.” I Move also saw the first appearances of vocalists Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade, who each sang on one song on the album (“Something True” and “Believe,” respectively) – a foreshadowing of a new IZZ lineup soon to emerge.
On the strength of I Move, IZZ was invited to play at an increasing number of music festivals around the US , including Progday 2002 in North Carolina and Progwest in Southern California. Their shows wowed fans and critics alike and introduced a loyal and broader audience to their exciting and memorable live performances.
As the band continued to write new music and as vocalists Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade became more involved with IZZ’s live performances and studio work, IZZ headed back into the studio to finish an album of songs that had remained incomplete after the I Move sessions. Ampersand, Volume 1, an album of 7 new, original studio tracks and 4 live tracks, was released in 2004. Although not a full-length studio album, Ampersand contained several pieces that are regarded as staples of the IZZ catalog and are often performed live, including “The Wait of It All,” “Ancient Memory,” and “Afraid To Be Different.” The album also includes the first IZZ live tracks to be officially released with live versions of “Star Evil Gnoma Su,” “Razor,” “Another Door,” and “Molly’s Jig,” a Paul Bremner solo piece, included on the album.
Shortly after the release of Ampersand, Volume 1, and an impressive live performance at Rosfest 2004, IZZ returned to the studio to finish their next full length studio album, My River Flows. Released in 2005, My River Flows reflected a culmination of what IZZ had been developing during their live performances for the preceding 3 years. Pieces such as “My River Flows” and “Late Night Salvation” are songs that the band had perfected in a live setting prior to recording. The addition of the beautiful and stunning voices of Anmarie Byrnes and Laura Meade are felt throughout the album, but most especially on the dramatic last track: the 20+ minute Deafening Silence. Written almost entirely by Tom Galgano, many IZZ fans consider Deafening Silence to be a defining moment for IZZ during their first decade of studio recordings.
After the release of My River Flows in 2005, IZZ was invited to perform at numerous festivals in the American progressive/art rock circuit including festival stalwarts Calprog 2005, 2006 and 2008 and the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest 2007). After their electrifying NEARFest performance, IZZ released their first full-length live album “IZZ Live at NEARFest” in late 2007.
In 2008, IZZ was welcomed back to Southern California to play at yet another CalProg Music Festival. The band also performed that August at the 3RP Festival in Pittsburg, PA along with The Flower Kings, Neal Morse, California Guitar Trio, Spocks Beard and others. In between their live U.S. shows, the band continued to write and record new material for what was to become the band’s next studio album. “The Darkened Room,” the first in a series of 3 related, conceptual albums. Prior to the recording of The Darkened Room, IZZ’s lineup experienced a change as Laura Meade departed from the group to explore her musical theater passion as well as various other professional opportunities. For the next two albums, Anmarie Byrnes would continue to solidify the role of the female voice in IZZ with aplomb.
Released in 2009, The Darkened Room quickly became a favorite among IZZ fans for the intensity and uniqueness of the compositions and performances. The tracks “Can’t Feel the Earth, Part I” and “Can’t Feel the Earth, Part II” in particular display the band’s prowess for melding intricate playing and memorable melodies. In true innovative form IZZ also produced several shorter, concise songs such as “Ticking Away,” “Regret,” and “The Message.” The penultimate piece on the album, “23 Minutes of Tragedy” has become one of IZZ’s most requested live songs as its compelling emotional and dramatic style captures the audience from the first acoustic guitar notes. The Darkened Room album, has become an important part of the material that makes up IZZ’s live shows.
Between 2010-2014, IZZ took the stage in Quebec City, Canada, performing three times at the Terra Incognita Festival to rave reviews. In 2011, IZZ released their first live DVD, “IZZ Live” which included their entire 2007 NEARFest performance as well as clips from other live shows including ProgWest (2002) and an in-studio performance for The Dividing Line Broadcast Network (2003).
In 2012, work was completed on Part 2 of the trilogy, Crush of Night. For the Crush of Night album, IZZ had the distinct pleasure of recruiting former Gentle Giant and current 3 Friends guitarist, Gary Green. Gary added his unique playing on two songs. The track “Words and Miracles” includes classic Gary Green guitar playing as well as some backing vocals by Green. The merging of the IZZ sound with this progressive rock guitar idol provided a unique listening experience for IZZ and Gentle Giant fans alike. Tracks such as “Solid Ground” and “You’ve Got a Time” instantly became a mainstay of the IZZ live catalog while the epic Crush of Night suite which spans over 20 minutes of the album, adds to the IZZ canon of adventurous and melodic music.
In 2015, IZZ will release its 6th full length studio album, Everlasting Instant, which also serves as the final album of the trilogy.
As a result of some difficult time and scheduling factors, Lo-Fi Resistance will take on yet a different shape and form at our NJProghouse Progressive Music Series show with IZZ. While it might not be what was expected or desired, I’m always looking for new ways to present the material. I think it will essentially be an electric guitar/vocal solo performance, aided by my good friend Ronen Gordon on percussive objects. Other guests are likely to contribute somewhere in the set as well. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Founded in 2009, Lo-Fi Resistance is the creation of 26 year-old guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Randy McStine. Once dubbed as a “guitar prodigy,” McStine began playing guitar at the age of five and performing publicly at the age of ten. His formative years were spent playing in classic rock cover bands, while also pursuing original music. Randy’s early work was focused on guitar-driven, instrumental rock until he began to sing at the age of fifteen. McStine would spend the remainder of his teens crafting his voice and songwriting, while continuing to expand his diverse musical tastes.
Setting up a small studio in his Upstate New York apartment, McStine started writing and recording new material in 2009 with no clear agenda. As he pooled together funding from solo performances, guitar lessons, and landscaping work, a new passion and focus was evident as the unnamed project continued. Completing a new, full-length album was now McStine’s goal.
Initially performing all of the album’s instrumentation himself, Randy eventually decided to bring in outside support for the drum tracks. McStine blindly reached out to ex-Spock’s Beard drummer Nick D’Virgilio to fill the seat. D’Virgilio would not only perform on most of the songs, but also offer and accept the role of mixing the entire album. Amongst other additional musicians, McStine enlisted longtime vocal favorite and personal friend Dug Pinnick (King’s X), for the end of a song entitled “Moral Disgrace.”
As recording sessions for the new album wrapped up in late 2009, McStine named the project Lo-Fi Resistance. The debut album, A Deep Breath, was released independently on April 6th, 2010. Praised for its unique blending of Progressive Rock, Power Pop, and Singer-Songwriter influences, the album has drawn comparisons to diverse artists such as Todd Rundgren, Roger Waters, Yes, Crowded House, and The Police.
Randy began writing for a second Lo-Fi Resistance album, Chalk Lines, in April of 2011. Undoubtedly the most ambitious project of McStine’s career to date, Chalk Lines both expands on and abandons the foundations of the first album. Drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) is featured throughout the entire album, along with bassists Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), John Giblin (Kate Bush), and Dug Pinnick (King’s X) among its roster. Dave Kerzner (Sound Of Contact, Kevin Gilbert) splits keyboard duties with McStine, along with co-writing three songs and co-producing the album.
Since the release of Chalk Lines, McStine has toured internationally as lead vocalist/co-guitarist of The Pink Floyd Experience, along with filling the live guitar role for Sound Of Contact. Lo-Fi Resistance released a new record, The Age Of Entitlement, in September 2014. This collection sees McStine reaching into different musical territory once again, pulling influence from ’70s electronic music, art-pop, and more. Described as a “mini-album”, The Age Of Entitlement is a digital-only release.