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      The Aristocrats in Houston


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      August 21, 2019

      Wednesday   8:00 PM

      18307 Egret Bay Boulevard
      Houston, Texas 77058

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      The Aristocrats

      with Travis Larson Band
      BiographyThe Aristocrats:Instrumental Rock/Fusions Rowdy New DemocracyThe 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.Lets 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, Hans Zimmer) complements his busy schedule as one the most in-demand guitar clinician/educators in the world. Guthrie was featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine in July of 2011 and Guitar World Magazine in April 2015;* Bryan Bellers 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 CDs, two DVDs, 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. Hes 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, Steve Hackett). Perhaps less known: Hes a multi-instrumentalist and compulsively productive composer with over 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 Minnemanns song titles such as Boing!...Im 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 Bellers Sweaty Knockers, prompted Govan to wonder if the band shouldnt 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 years 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 Vais 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 bands live energy and otherwordly chemistry was captured on the DVD/2CD release BOING, Well 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 albums 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 bands preternatural ability to improvise both individually and as a group at the highest levels possible. But not to worry its 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.Weve 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 weve ever written for each other, so heres hoping our noble listeners will like the finished product as much as we do!The Tres Caballeros world tour began in summer 2015 with an 8-week stint across North America, followed by a winter European leg, a short landmark stint as the third G in a G3 tour with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani (the first time any band became a G on that bill), and tour dates in 2016 throughout Asia, Australia and South America. The Aristocrats will release their fourth studio album in the summer of 2019 and are looking forward to touring extensively upon its release.* * * * * * * *The key thing to remember is that The Aristocrats are a true band. Whether its 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.Its not just fusion. Its not just shredding. Its not even meant to be taken seriously at times. Its just the sound of three guys who did a single pickup gig and suddenly discovered they had something musically deep going on togetheralong with a propensity for employing R-rated song titles.So what do you call an act like that?The Aristocrats.

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