Many music biz folk in the know have been quietly predicting the resurgence of guitar music in 2014, including BBC Radio 1 head George Ergatoudis, who confidently stated that guitar music is definitely on the way back.
At the forefront of the movement is the Los Angeles-?based duo of Chris Ayden and Chad Shlosser, who together form Illumination Road, a thoroughly 21st Century rock band that nevertheless recalls the passion and intensity of such illustrious forebears as Queen, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin.
Chris, who numbers Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Ray Davies amongst his songwriting inspirations, hails from the Bay Area of California while Chad, a multi-?instrumentalist and self-?described studio junkie, once called Seattle home but now lives in the eclectic, electric seaside community of Venice, California, where he has his own production studio.
The pair met in Los Angeles a couple years back and immediately clicked musically, as evidenced by a torrent of songwriting output that will witness the group release not just one, but a pair of debut albums this spring: A Fool for the Dream is a 12-?track full band album prominently featuring the aforementioned guitars, while Life on the Western Shore is a full-length 10-track acoustic effort composed of entirely different songs.
The drum tracks for A Fool for the Dream were played by Gil Sharone (Marilyn Manson, Dillinger Escape Plan, Stolen Babies) and recorded at Tranzformer Studios, where they were amongst the last sessions engineered by the late, great Bryan Carlstrom (Alice In Chains, The Offspring). All other production, engineering and mixing for both albums was done at Chads own Area7 Studios in Venice.
Chris and Chad have recruited a top notch band of international artists to help bring Illumination Roads sonic visions to the live stage and what a stage it was, as Illumination Road jet-?setted to Sydney, Australia, to make their live debut at the inaugural Stone Music Festival on April 20-?21, 2013, where they shared the main-?stage with Aerosmith, Van Halen and Billy Joel a big debut for a bold new band that boasts a big sound and has bigger ambitions.
BY TOM MAGUIRE
In our own words
BY CHRIS AYDEN
I’ve always wanted to write and play music with big ideas. I was always attracted to music with mass appeal and epic scope.
First came The Beatles, who changed pop culture and music forever. Then there was Led Zeppelin whose music attacked the listener with relentless power and brute force. Then Pink Floyd came with funky, ethereal, cynical, hopeful, intimate and epic albums. When I discovered Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Ray Davies from The Kinks and Joe Strummer from The Clash, I knew that they felt the way I felt. They were able to say the things that I didn’t know how to say. It was as if I was listening to truth amongst all the static and noise from the chaotic world around me.
The only thing I want to do is to write music like that. I want to play music with a raw and savage spirit that can’t be ignored. I want to write about big ideas and I want to talk about things that matter. Sometimes those things make us sad and melancholy and sometimes angry. Sometimes they make us feel isolated, and many times they make us feel connected to one another. Like we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves and what we see.
That’s what I want to achieve with Illumination Road. We take from the roots of rock music, and we build upon what the greats have done. We want to keep the tradition of gigantic and epic rock music that has mass appeal alive. All too often nowadays bands are comfortable exploiting a niche market, rock music in general has fractured and divided so much over the course of the past twenty years. Rock music for many has become sort of an obscure, elitist form of music, where the next hot and buzz worthy indie band is called up to play their brand ironic and quirky music, only to be forgotten by the next season.
We don’t want that. We want to make music that lasts. I want to write lyrics that can still touch someone long after I’m gone, as Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon touched me when I was a young kid. Great rock music can still be made, and we are making it. There can still be a great rock band, and that band is Illumination Road.
Theres a sound here with this band that can really fill a current void in the rock-and–roll marketplace, and its a sound that is uniquely their own.
Director of Business Affairs at Doggystyle Records
~ Im really, really enjoying the album on Soundcloud. This will work perfect for the Aussie market
Seriously STRONG stuff.
CEO of The Noise Network Party and Noise11.com
~ Holy mother of ROCK!! You guys are one of my new favorite bands!!
Producer/Engineer Extraordinaire (System of a Down, Tool, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty)
~ The Modern World is a total smash-?hit… Love your songs!
Producer/Engineer for Nickelback, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sum 41
Co-?Production on The Modern World and What We Say
~ This is my second favorite album Ive ever drummed on, the first being my own.
Marilyn Manson, Stolen Babies, Dillinger Escape Plan
Drummer on Illumination Roads A Fool For The Dream.
~ Blue Rose is one of those timeless tracks. Really well orchestrated and totally emotional
I fu#king love that song.
Producer/Engineer for Alice in Chains, The Offspring, Social Distortion
Engineered drums for Illumination Roads A Fool For The Dream