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“More fun than fusion has any right to be.” – Rhythm Magazine (UK)

Official Tres Caballeros Tour Bio
(shorter current version – for complete longer bio, scroll down)

Fresh off their wildly successful 2013-2014 Culture Clash world tour, The Aristocrats – by any measure the hottest new band in instrumental rock/fusion today – rewrote their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros, which is slated for release in late June.

After two fairly raw trio albums, guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) set up camp at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums.

The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band’s preternatural ability to improvise both individually and as a group at the highest levels possible. But not to worry – it’s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have.

“We’ve learned a lot since we started this band – four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! – and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways,” says guitarist Guthrie Govan. “The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock’n’roll “mojo”; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict “trio” format… all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we’ve ever written for each other, so… here’s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!”

The Tres Caballeros tour will bring the band’s new musical vision in trio form to stages across North America in their most ambitious jaunt yet. The Aristocrats will be supported by fellow rock/fusion power trio The Travis Larson Band.

* * * * * * * *

FULL BIO (longer version)
The Aristocrats:
Instrumental Rock/Fusion’s “Rowdy New Democracy”

The word “supergroup” is tossed around a lot in instrumental music circles, the result of a seemingly endless supply of efforts to package together individual virtuoso players and make a band out of them. But every once in a while, the group part of that shopworn term becomes authentic and real. Such is the case with The Aristocrats – guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller, and drummer Marco Minnemann – who defiantly and joyously blow the supergroup stereotype to bits, thrilling audiences and fans around the world in the process with a preternatural band chemistry that equals exponentially more than the sum of its parts.

Let’s get the requisite individual credentials out of the way:

* Guthrie Govan is arguably the hottest guitarist on the international music scene today, and his 2006 solo album Erotic Cakes was widely recognized as an instant classic. His top-level touring experience (Asia/GPS, Steven Wilson) complements his busy schedule as one the most in-demand guitar clinician/educators in the world, and he was featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine in July of 2011;

* Bryan Beller’s numerous credits include guitarists Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), and the hugely popular metal “band” Dethklok, borne of the Adult Swim (U.S.) animated TV show Metalocalypse. His solo artist catalog includes three CD’s, two DVD’s, and an instructional DVD for Alfred Publishing, and he was featured on the cover of Bass Player Magazine in October of 2012;

* Marco Minnemann is widely seen by fans and peers as one of the most gifted, innovative, cutting-edge drummers in the world. He’s graced the covers of several drum magazines (including Modern Drummer) and enjoys an ultra-versatile sideman career (Adrian Belew, UKZ, Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani, Necrophagist). Perhaps less known: He’s a multi-instrumentalist and compulsively productive composer with nearly twenty CD & DVD solo releases to date.

Despite their individual followings, The Aristocrats’ formation was a matter of happenstance on a barely-paying gig. Beller and Minnemann had a trio slot scheduled at the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA in January of 2011, and their guitarist was a late dropout. Govan was a last-minute replacement who they met for the first time in rehearsal, the night before the show. The electricity was immediately obvious, with their unbeknownst-to-them shared influences infusing a high-energy instrumental fusion with an aggressive, playful, even cheeky edge. The audience response was overwhelming, and the band formed practically by demand on the spot. “The chemistry was so great,” recalls Govan, “that when we came offstage we all said to each other, ‘This is working. We should record this.’”

Three months later, the band convened in person – eschewing the usual remote file sharing method in favor of actual live band chemistry – to track the album. Consisting of nine tracks (three contributions from each member), the material was a melting pot of their respective influences, ranging from the seminal ’70s jazz-rock fusion of Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, to the progressive rock of King Crimson and UK, to guitar heroes like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, to the absurdly complex and satirical music of Frank Zappa and Mike Keneally, and even to ’90s groove metal like Rage Against The Machine.

The ever-mischievous Minnemann’s song titles – such as “Boing!…I’m In The Back” (borne from a publicly indescribable incident in Russia) and “Blues Fuckers” (in which a typical blues form is violated in every way imaginable) – along with Beller’s “Sweaty Knockers,” prompted Govan to wonder if the band shouldn’t be named The Aristocrats, after the infamous dirty joke and movie of the same name. It stuck, and The Aristocrats were born.

Tracked in just eight days, The Aristocrats [BOING, 2011] was hailed as an instant classic in leading music publications worldwide, appearing on many of that year’s top ten lists. Guthrie Govan suddenly found himself on guitar magazine covers across the globe. Music schools in particular felt the impact, as a wave of students took to covering Aristocrats tunes much in the same way Steve Vai’s Passion And Warfare inspired players a generation ago. In less than a year, The Aristocrats went from doing a single pickup gig to becoming one of the most sought-after live instrumental rock/fusion acts in the world.

The next 18 months saw the band successfully tour both coasts and the Midwest/mid-south of America, eastern Canada, the U.K., Benelux, France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Poland, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Korea, and Japan. The band’s live energy and otherwordly chemistry was captured on the DVD/2CD release BOING, We’ll Do It Live! The Aristocrats At Alvas Showroom [BOING, 2012].

In 2013, the band released their long-awaited sophomore album, Culture Clash, whose title is an allusion to the multi-national makeup of the band (Govan is British; Beller is American; Minnemann is German), as well as a sly reference to a scene from the Coen-brothers film A Serious Man. They used the same formula – three songs from each band member – but weaponized it with the collective experience of eighteen months of touring as a unit. The resulting material became more aggressive, adventurous, and intense, embodying a refusal to rest on the laurels of the debut album’s surprise success. Culture Clash debuted on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart at #8 …though no one would immediately classify the band as jazz. (They’re having way too much fun for that!)

Another more ambitious 109-date world tour followed, bringing the band across the entire U.S., to Europe, and this time to all of Asia. Some of the more exotic tour stops included Vietnam, Thailand, and Iceland. The around-the-world madness was documented on the live CD/DVD Culture Clash Live, which was released in early 2015. The universally positive reviews reflected the accurate capturing of the band’s madcap live show, with equal parts virtuosity and absurdity. One particularly perceptive UK reviewer (Echoes And Dust) noted it as follows: “There is so much good humour infused in every bar that every track is a delight, a charging rhino in a pink tutu.”

* * * * * * * *

Fresh off the wildly successful Culture Clash world tour, The Aristocrats proceeded to rewrite their own rules for their third studio album, Tres Caballeros, which is slated for release in late June of 2015.

After two fairly raw trio albums, the band set up camp in February of 2015 at legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, CA, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen all recorded landmark albums. The result: Nine new compositions of greater sonic depth and breadth than ever before, with unique textures and lush layering augmenting the band’s preternatural ability to improvise both individually and as a group at the highest levels possible. But not to worry – it’s all still tempered with a steadfast refusal to take themselves too seriously, and The Aristocrats are still having more fun than a fusion band has any right to have.

“We’ve learned a lot since we started this band – four years, three studio albums, two live DVDs and about a billion notes ago! – and I think our latest offering reflects this in all kinds of ways,” says guitarist Guthrie Govan. “The decision to road-test our new material in front of a live audience before commencing the recording process; the choice to record in a studio which had some thoroughly inspiring rock’n’roll “mojo”; our sudden urge to become more bold and experimental with overdubs rather than feeling any pressure to record exclusively in a strict “trio” format… all of this has had some kind of positive effect on the way the new record came out. Plus, I think the material on this album is some of the most interesting stuff we’ve ever written for each other, so… here’s hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!”

The Tres Caballeros tour will bring the band’s new musical vision in trio form to stages across North America (summer 2015) in their most ambitious jaunt yet, and the rest of the world can expect the return of the live Aristocrats in late 2015 and throughout 2016.

* * * * * * * *

The key thing to remember is that The Aristocrats are a true band. Whether it’s about the music, the touring plans, the record artwork and sequence, the business decisions, or what have you, everyone has an equal say. Perhaps Guthrie said it best when he used the phrase “a rowdy democracy of musicianship.”

It’s not just fusion. It’s not just shredding. It’s not even meant to be taken seriously at times. It’s just the sound of three guys who did a single pickup gig and suddenly discovered they had something musically deep going on together…along with a propensity for employing R-rated song titles.

So what do you call an act like that?

The Aristocrats.


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Additional Aristocrats Publicity Materials

* Click here for a one-sheet on The Aristocrats’ third studio album Tres Caballeros (coming soon)

* Click here for hi-res cover art of The Aristocrats third studio album Tres Caballeros (coming soon)

* Click here for The Aristocrats Bio in PDF format

* Click here for a one-sheet on The Aristocrats’ second live album Culture Clash Live

* Click here for hi-res cover art of The Aristocrats’ second live album Culture Clash Live

* Click here for a one-sheet on The Aristocrats’ live “official bootleg” album Secret Show: Live In Osaka

* Click here for hi-res cover art of The Aristocrats’ live “official bootleg” album Secret Show: Live In Osaka

* Click here for a one-sheet on The Aristocrats second studio album Culture Clash

Click here for hi-res cover art of The Aristocrats second studio album Culture Clash

* Click here for a one-sheet on The Aristocrats live CD/DVD release BOING, We’ll Do It Live! The Aristocrats At Alvas Showroom

* Click here for hi-res cover art of the BOING, We’ll Do It Live Deluxe Edition DVD+2CD

* Click here for hi-res cover art of the BOING, We’ll Do It Live Regular Edition 2CD

* Click here for hi-res cover art of their debut CD The Aristocrats 

* Click here for a one-sheet on their debut CD The Aristocrats

* Click here for live shots of The Aristocrats

* Click here for The Aristocrats gig poster, with blank space at bottom for fill-in details (JPG download – PDF available upon request)


The Aristocrats Publicity Photos

Click on any shot for page with hi-res version

The Aristocrats "Tres Caballeros" official publicity photo - by Mike Mesker

The Aristocrats “Tres Caballeros” official publicity photo – by Mike Mesker – 50MB TIF file available upon request

 

The Aristocrats: Culture Clash Live official promo shot - photo by Tore Kersten

The Aristocrats: Culture Clash Live official promo shot – photo by Tore Kersten

Aristocrats Official Culture Clash Promo Shot - by Jennifer Young

The Aristocrats (L to R: Marco Minnemann [drums], Bryan Beller [bass],
Guthrie Govan [guitar]
Official Culture Clash Promo Shot (pic by Jennifer Young)

The Aristocrats Backstage In Sacramento CA - by Jennifer Young

The Aristocrats backstage in Sacramento, CA (pic by Jennifer Young)

Live album cover shot, November 2012 (pics by Jessi Ramone, collage by Mike Mesker)

Group shot – November 2012, Legnano, Italy (pic by Paola Curatolo)


Group shot – debut album era, 2011 (pic by Alex Solca)


Alt Group shot – debut album era, 2011 (pic by Alex Solca)


Bryan Beller


Marco Minnemann


Guthrie Govan