Magnatar: Thorny process

Magnatar – Parallel Worlds

This is the «dramatic» story of how extensive, long and thorny process it`s to make some albums!

The City DeLand is nicknamed The Athens of Florida, the city of DeLand was founded in 1876. Around 100 years later the first roots of the band Magnatar appear. Magnatars’ debut album, Parallel Worlds, can be traced back in part to certain events and relationships of over 40 years ago. Bassist Joey Costa and keyboardist Dave Norton were classmates in high school together when their individual musical interests were first beginning to develop. Their individual paths eventually merged in 1971, when they helped to co-found the group Hot City.

Meanwhile in this same period of 1971, Dave Norton’s cousin, Glenn Smith, had his life forever changed after a chilly winter night in our hometown of Deland, FL, when he saw Yes in concert perform Fragile, just two weeks after the album had been released. The impact of that night still provides the inspiration for Glenn Smiths’ songwriting. By the mid to late 70’s everyone had gone their own way. The years then went by.

And then there were many years where the musicians participated in many different music projects and other non-music activity. The next step that laid the groundwork for the Magnatar of today, was when through a chance encounter about 6 years ago at a local music festival, Glenn Smith met Reed Hayes, a well-known and respected drummer. Hayes was intrigued by the very unusual and unique sound of the band. The seed had been planted and it was not long before the opportunity for Reed to join the band arose. Reeds’ presence and approach to the music immediately elevated the band to a level it had not yet achieved.

The next event that served to elevate the band to yet another level occurred when Joey Costa introduced the band to a very young guitarist. Costa had taken under his wings since he was a teenager, and exposed him to progressive rock when he was still learning to play. Ryan Rivas enter the band. Rivas came in and from day 1, picked up the music so fast he spun everyone’s head around. Magnatar was now officially underway and the band was at a place it truly had never been before.

Finally Magnatars’ debut album, Parallel Worlds was ready to record! The new album is about half older compositions from some of the earlier days of the band, and the other half are new songs written with the current lineup in place.Many of the songs blend a big full sound with touches of a quieter, even delicate feel. Always present are soaring guitar leads at times powerful and heavy, and other times more spacey and melodic. Driving drums and biting bass lay the rhythmic foundation, while the keys fill the gaps and add many different textured sound layers. The mandolin serves as the thread that sews it all together from beginning to end and everything in the middle.


About Ulf Backstrøm (7129 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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