Nashville Bound

Appeared in "The Reporter", written by Scott Kraus
February 1994

On March 6, local progressive rockers Echolyn will leave their little blue recording studio they've called home for four years and head to Nashville, Tenn., to record their first major-label album.

It's quite a leap from the occasional appearance at the Sumney West Tavern and local cabaret scene where they started plying their trade several years ago.

"We're going to reach people we never had dreamed of reaching before," said keybordist Chris Buzby, as band members lounged Tuesday evening at their West Point Pike studio in Upper Gwynedd after a long day of musical tinkering.

Band members will work hard all month in their cramped, cluttered, but familiar home studio to fine-tune their music with new producer Glenn Rosenstein, before heading to Nashville's Woodland Digital Recording and Sixteeth Avenue Sound.

Rosenstein's long list of credits include producing Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and co-producing Michelle Shocked and the Oscar-winning soundtrack to The Last Emperor with David Bryne of the Talking Heads.

"There's a lot of room for this kind of music," said Rosenstein. "I look at these guys as a bunch of innovators."

The studio also has quite a history, having been used by the likes of Bob Dylan, The Indigo Girls and Bob Seeger.

The band members are optimistic about their chances, and want other local musicians to look at their success and draw some inspiration.

"It can be accomplished," Buzby said. "It's a goal and challenge we all realized years ago we wanted to do."

Echolyn, which plays an eclectic mix of heady jazzy rock, plans to release its new album, tentatively titled As The World..., on Sony Music's Epic Records sometime this summer.

Then there will be a tour and some merchandising, said Greg Kull, who manages the band and will continue to handle the album cover art.

Rosenstein says he sees a wide open market for a band of dedicated, talented musicians with a brand of music like Echolyn.

The grunge scnene, which has turned Nirvana and Pearl Jam into icons, is growing old, Rosenstein said, and many in the music industry think the time is ripte for a resurgence of the progressive rock so popular in the 70's played with a more 90's flavor.

"These guys are some of the most talented musicans I've worked with," Rosenstein said. "Anybody with an ear for music would appciate their sound.

The band members are enthusiastic about the Epic label, which has a reputation for sticking with bands like the mega-popular Spin Doctors until the music public takes notice.

The jump to major-label commodity has been an eye-opening one for band members. They've learned about the business side of music, after being signed in August by Epic Records A&R Vice President Michael Caplan, and set up with a producer and studio time.

"The first day, we just all just sat here and all of us just had our mouths open," Buzby said.

They were a little worried at first about hiring an ouside producer.

Brett Kull, lead vocalist and guitarist, said the band is extremely pleased with Rosenstein, whose expertise and willingness to let Echolyn be Echolyn has made the two a perfect fit.

"All this stuff is a new experience for us," Kull said.

Even though this could be their do-or-die chance at stardom, Echolyn band members aren't really too nervous. Buzby said they're just happy to have the chance to make money doing what they love to do - make music.

"How many people can really say they are getting paid to do what they want to be doing full time?" says Rosenstein.

"That's it," says Buzby.

"That's the thing," chimes in Kull.

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