The Aristocrats

The three members of the band all had their individual reputations and followings. Guthrie was an underground internet guitar hero (those YouTube clips convinced lots of folks), with a highly acclaimed solo instrumental album under his belt, 2006′s Erotic Cakes. Bryan was a respected touring vet with Steve Vai, Dethklok, and Mike Keneally, and also had three solo albums out. And Marco was a veritable superstar drummer/clinician, having played with artists ranging from Adrian Belew, to Eddie Jobson’s UKZ, to death metal outfit Necrophagist…and had over ten solo albums out.

The music turned out to be 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. But this strange brew is peppered with memorable melodies, myriad shifts in dynamics, and sensitive treatment of musical timbres that explore the limits of what the electric guitar, electric bass and drums in a power trio can achieve.

The worldwide release of the eponymous debut CD The Aristocrats occurs on September 13, 2011. To support the album, the band is touring the eastern U.S., Canada and Chicago in late-September/early October, and a full schedule of international dates is already in the works for 2012. Interest has been intense. Guthrie Govan appeared on the cover of Guitar Player‘s July 2011 issue, other international cover and feature stories followed, and both Beller and Minnemann have fielded repeated inquires about the record: What does it sound like? What happens when you play live?

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 a new band, consisting of three guys who did a NAMM show gig and discovered they had something musically deep going on together…and also had a propensity for employing R-rated song titles.

So what do you call an act like that?

The Aristocrats - New Album Preview: