Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of the brand new MASTEDON album “3” on November 6th 2009.
Mastedon is the Hard Rock band put together by ex KANSAS singer John Elefante, together with his brother Dino in the late 80’s. The band’s name was a pachyderm-inspired reference to the brothers’ last name. Although John was an accomplished vocalist and performer, the first two Mastedon albums featured multiple lead singers and performances by other artists, creating an eclectic sound anchored by John’s songwriting. His brother Dino played a prominent role, contributing songwriting and handling most of the guitar work. Some of the collaborators in the band’s first two albums were Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon), Stef Burns (Y&T), bassists John Pierce (Richard Marx) and John Patitucci plus guest vocalists David Pack (Ambrosia), David Robbins (X-Sinner), Tom Bowes (Tower of Power), James Dean Longacre (Life9) and Perry Lee (Tracer Fox).
In 1996 John Elefante started a solo career that brought him to release three successful albums more in the Adult Contemporary – Pop Rock vein. After a few years of hiatus, John decided to go back to his roots sound with a brand new Mastedon album that – contrary to the predecessors – would only feature his amazing lead vocals. Musically, the new album, simply entitled “3” harkens back to the best of Mastedon and to his work with Kansas. None other than main Kansas songwriter Kerry Livgren appears on lead guitar on this new release, collaborating on a 11 minute piece of music that any Kansas fan will surely love! More famed musicians and such as Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon), Anthony Sallee (Whiteheart), Dan Needham (Michael McDonald, Neville Brothers, Amy Grant, Garth Brooks etc) and of course John’s brother Dino Elefante contribute to the performance of this superb new release.
Rich melodic harmonies and melodies are the keys to a Mastedon record and “3” is clearly an instant winner in all its moments and will remain as an hallmark in John Elefante’s career for many years to come.
Final tracklisting of “3” includes: Revolution of Mind; Slay Your Demons; Nowhere Without Your Love; One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon); Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka), Questions (It’s About Time); You Can’t Take Anything; Lying; The Western World; That’s What You Do; Dust In the Wind (exclusive bonus track).
As a companion to this new release, Frontiers managed to acquire the rights for the re-release of Mastedon’s legendary debut album “It’s a Jungle Out There!”. Released originally in 1989, it charted at #25 in the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian chart. To this day, this album is still considered classics in the genre and has reached some amazing prices in the trades on E-bay. Frontiers new reissue includes full lyrics and three bonus tracks “Wasn’t It Love” (from the compilation “California Metal”) and live versions of “Islands In The Sky” and “Right Hand” recorded live at Cornerstone in 1991. Full tracklisting is below:
It’s A Jungle Out There; Glory Bound; This Is The Day; Love Inhalation; Islands In The Sky; Get Up; Love That Will Survive; Innocent Girl; Shine On; Right Hand; Wasn’t It Love *; Islands In The Sky (Live at Cornerstone ’91)*; Right Hand (Live at Cornerstone ’91)*
* Bonus tracks
Frontiers Records announces proudly the signing of MASTEDON featuring former KANSAS singer John Elefante for the release of the long awaited third studio album.
John Elefante’s name came to prominence in 1981 when he became the new lead singer and keyboardist for Kansas. John sang the lead vocals and performed keyboards on three multi – Platinum albums with band, giving also a major songwriting contribution. In 1984, together with his brother Dino, he started to become involved for the first time in producing the Christian act Sweet Comfort Band. Soon the couple became one of the most renowned producers in the genre, in particular their tenure with Petra brought multiple gold and platinum albums, 10 consecutive CCM Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Hard Rock Cafe, and the only artist to ever have 4 albums in the SoundScan top-100 Christian chart.
Elefante also felt the songwriting muse and formed a metal band with his brother, Mastedon. The band’s name was a pachyderm-inspired reference to the brothers’ last name. Although John was an accomplished vocalist and performer, the Mastedon albums featured multiple lead singers and performances by other artists, creating an eclectic sound anchored by John’s songwriting. His brother Dino played a prominent role, contributing songwriting and handling most of the guitar work. Mastedon’s first release was titled “It’s a Jungle Out There!” (1989). A year later, the band released “Lofcaudio“. This album continued the guest performance theme, though John sang more of the lead vocals. Unfortunately, John and Dino’s production schedule preempted any touring to commercially support the album. Even so, the albums charted at #25 and #10, respectively in the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian chart. To this day, they are still considered classics in the genre.
John and Dino then formed their own record label, Pakaderm. Given their intense recording schedules, John and Dino decided to build their own recording studio in Nashville, the Sound Kitchen which soon became one of the largest complex studios in the USA, with artists such as Elton John and Bruce Springsteen that used it for their recording. In 1996 John started a solo career that brought him to release three successful albums more in the Adult Contemporary – Pop Rock vein.
After a few years of hiatus, John is now working on a new Mastedon album that – contrary to the predecessors – will only feature his amazing lead vocals. Musically, the new album will hearken back to the best of Mastedon and to his work with Kansas.
“Mastedon has far surpassed my expectations as far as longevity and shelve life” says John. “I would say it has garnered somewhat of a cult following. I have people from 17 years old to 50 something that still ask me about Mastedon and will there ever be another one? My answer has always been “I don’t know” But the writing is on the wall that after all this time, it is time to deliver a new Mastedon record and mainly because people that loved the first 2 can’t be ignored any longer. This record will differ in some ways and others it won’t. Being the majority songwriter there will be obvious similarities in style. I will be singing everything so that will change a bit from prior Mastedon projects. Also the sonic quality will be very much up to date. Rich melodic harmonies and melodies are the keys to a Mastedon record. This record will most certainly be the beginning of a new chapter in my life both musically and lyrically. One day you turn around and it’s been 10 years since you’ve done a project, but when it really sinks in that you were put on this earth to something, YOU MUST DO IT !!!”
Some song titles in the works include This Revolution of Mine, The Western World, Slay your Demons, That’s What You Do When You Love Someone, Falling in to Place, You Can’t take Anything at All, I’m Lying Again, I’m Nothing Without Your Love.
Frontiers salutes the return of a legendary artist and looks set to release Mastedon “III” in the fall of 2009.