Bang Tower is a progressive musical alliance featuring legendary bassist Percy Jones, who is best known for his work with Brand X, a band that also featured Genesis legend Phil Collins. Along with Jones, the power-prog trio also includes Grammy winning guitarist/engineer/producer Neil Citron. Walter Garces, who also performs with '60s psychedelic marvels "The Electric Prunes", rounds off the trio with his skillful drumming. Work on their maiden voyage 'Casting Shadows,' produced by Neil Citron (who also engineered, mixed and mastered) and Jon Pomplin (Declassified Records), was recently completed and the album was released by Declassified Records on September 28, 2010. With Percy's unmistakable fretless bass sound percolating next to Walter's harmonic cannons and implements of percussive wonder, an edgy yet incredibly dreamy, otherworldly texture becomes prominent throughout the mix. Neil's unique guitar work takes full advantage of this partnership by blending gorgeous chordal interludes, amazing melodic passages interlaced with scathingly insane soloing. The key element in this “trio of masters" music can be best described with one word; rapport. Though Jones, Garces and Citron are all virtuosos in their own right, it's quite evident that these players are enthusiastically enjoying the crafting of this music whether together in a top studio like Entourage in LA, or remotely via their own studios, Casting Shadows promises to be a most auspicious first-outing for a band simply known as... “Bang Tower." “The basic idea was to play music we wanted to play, and have a good time doing it," says Walter Garces. “It's a group effort musically," adds Percy Jones. “I probably had a bit more input on the initial tracks and Neil had a bit more on the real time recordings, but it averages out to be about the same really. Walter was involved since the beginning."
Bang Tower is:
PERCY JONES—FRETLESS BASS
Fretless electric bassist Percy Jones has carved out his place in progressive rock and jazz fusion during his longstanding affiliation with the bands Brand X and Tunnels and is considered to be one of the greatest bass players in the world by Bass Player magazine. A native of Wales, Mr. Jones began his career as a notable bassist with the Liverpool Scene, and the Scaffold in the U.K. He is also a founding member of BRAND X, a pioneer jazz-rock fusion outfit, working alongside John Goodsall, Robin Lumley and Phil Collins of Genesis. He has several compact discs out of his own projects, including the band Tunnels, and 2 solo releases. Percy has also collaborated with numerous other musicians in performances and sessions; Brian Eno, Suzanne Vega, Bill Frisell, Roy Harper, Richard Barbieri, Nova, Project Lo, Sarah Pillow and Bobby Previte, just to name a few. He has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan as a solo artist as well as a bassist in various bands. Percy proudly endorses Ibanez Bass Guitars, Euphonic Audio Amplifiers, Eventide Effects and DR Strings.
If you've seen the films “That Thing You Do" or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding," listened to rock-guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, heard recent recordings by the legendary Yardbirds, or appreciated the talents of internationally renowned drummers Greg Bissonette, Virgil Donati or Mike Mangini, then you may already be familiar with the wealth of musical projects Neil Citron has worked on. In 2002, he received a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for engineering “No Substitutions: Live in Osaka" by Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather. Also in 2002, Citron released a solo album of guitar instrumentals, “Absolute," (Favored Nations) and is currently finishing a second album for the label. Citron has written more than 50 songs for Chrysalis publishing, and Citron continues his prolific composing career. As a guitarist, Citron has worked on many recordings of artists from all over the world. On these projects, Citron performed on acoustic and electric guitars, as well as providing background vocals when needed. Dedicated to anything he pursues, Citron holds a sixth-degree black belt in several Korean martial arts—tae kwon-do, hapkido and sib pal gi (Korean kung fu)—as well as a third-degree black belt in tang soo do, in which he trained with actor Chuck Norris.
Native New York Drummer, Walter moved to Los Angeles in the mid 80's, where after only a few months he met guitarist Neil Citron. This meeting would lead to a friendship of many years but also a bonding through music, and Martial arts. They would collaborate on many projects over the years including 2 of Neil's solo records, film projects “That Thing You Do" with Tom Hanks, and also many bands, and sessions for other artists. Walter also appeared as drummer and percussionist on the recent Electric Prunes release “Feedback. Walter continues to perform live and tour with the Prunes. .He has also worked with many other great bands and artists, The Blues Image, Pete Taylor (Quatermass/The Pirates), Ronnie Drayton (Patti Labelle) Neil Turbin (Anthrax) Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot), John Goodsall (Brand X), and Tony Franklin (The Firm/Blue Murder) among others. Walter also maintains a full schedule of drum students. His own comprehensive course of study includes Latin, jazz, rock, 4-way coordination, left-hand development exercises and rigorous hand development, as well as independence on the drum set, mechanics, computers and electronics. In addition to his accomplishments as a musician, Walter has honed his discipline and control by obtaining a black belt in Go-Ju-Ryu and running marathons. Walter proudly endorses Premier Drums, Regal-Tip Drumsticks and Paiste cymbals.
“I'm pleased with it," Percy Jones reflects on the new CD. “It wasn't an easy record to get finished, but listening to it now that it's in the can I think it's an interesting mix of styles, it covers a lot of ground musically." And how does Bang Tower differ from other groups he has worked with? “It's really hard to say how it differs from other prog/fusion records. To me projects have a mind of their own to some degree and I just go with the flow and sort of let it naturally follow its own course. I think it's a distinctive sound, but ultimately it's up to the Punters to decide. I'm still too close to it." Walter Garces is also very enthusiastic about the outcome of Bang Tower's debut CD. Along with plans to support 'Casting Shadows' with live performances, Garces is also busy recording with the Electric Prunes. “I joined with the Prunes after I was contacted by their guitarist Jay Dean (an old friend) in 2006 to do some sessions for their record 'Feedback,'" Walter recalls. “I liked the music and the people, I also respected their history. They asked me afterwards to perform live, and have continued working with them. We have recently recorded some tracks for a new album, featuring Billy Corgan on one song." Neil Citron is also very pleased and excited about this CD. “It's instrumental, but not all rock like my solo CDs and not fusion like you'd expect with Percy playing in the band. I've never been in a fusion band, but I have played with Lana Lane a Prog act. I've done 14 CDs with her and that was really a great experience." Neil is currently endorsed by a number of high profile music companies. This past June, WAVES, one of the best known and widely accepted professional DAW plug-in manufacturer, hosted a new “Webinar" featuring Neil. The Grammy winning guitarist and engineer covered the WAVES GTR3 product, which he extensively consulted on. GTR3 was used by Neil and Jon in various phases of the upcoming Bang Tower release from pre-production onward. “The latest endorsement I'm involved with is SLS Speaker Company. They make (in my opinion) the best monitor I've ever used. I've also just been to Montana to help Larry DiMarzio with his new Acoustic guitar Pickup System. Both these products are excellent and I believe in the things I use. I would use them with or without the companies' help." An enthusiastic Jon Pomplin, President of Declassified Records, had this to say about Bang Tower: “It's been a true honor to produce this record with Percy, Neil and Walter. Their work is so dynamic and unique it defies description. Crafting such an album with these outstanding musicians is really a blessing and honestly is the most fun I've ever had in music. Casting Shadows is the kind of instrumental music that is unique, yet timeless, with such depth and subtlety the experience evolves and grows with each successive listening. There were a number of obstacles we had to overcome during the course of this project, and it wasn't always easy. But, nothing truly worth while and lasting ever is."