Jupiter Falls
(One Step)

That a couple of these songs wouldn’t sound out of place on a mid ‘60s or early ‘70s album from The Moody Blues should be reason enough for rejoicing. The fact that all the music was written and performed by two offspring of Moody Blues founder Mike Pinder makes the whole thing a lot more clear. Apparently, Mike’s penchant for writing orchestral pop masterworks isn’t lost on his sons, Matt Pinder and Mike Lee Pinder, who are out to make their own name as The Pinder Brothers. The title track of their 2006 CD, Jupiter Falls is a future pop classic by any standard. Commenting on the cryptically titled title song, Mike Lee adds, “I have various possibilities of what Jupiter Falls could be about. I remember Paul said that John would always tell him to keep the one line that made no sense.. and that it always turned out to be the best line. Jupiter Falls might best be described as having some of the themes that appear in other songs on the album. To me it is describing an undercurrent of what the album is about; a special friendship, a connection in time and space with a girl, a feeling of newness, and in the case of the lyrics of the song Jupiter Falls: a description of the changing of the seasons and the idea of first connection being a reconnection. The beauty of the moment I think, if that makes any sense in these few lines of prose... the seasons have changed many times before but in our current existence it feels like the first time. And as is the way with our relationships. I may be expanding a bit on the idea behind the song or maybe not... songs I sometimes notice, can be inclusive of many ideas. I hope this helps. Thou shalt not commit poetry!" And helping the sons carry the torch forward, Mike Pinder mixes in some of his patented swirling mellotrons on the track. The Pinder Brothers are among the first great new musical stories of the millennium.


{The following interview first appeared in the July 2006 issue of 20th Century Guitar magazine}

Musical Background

Matt Pinder - Well, my musical background really involves my family as my first teacher. In my preteens I was exposed to songs from James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Michael Franks. I first played piano at age 8, then guitar, and settled on bass for the past 14 years. My dad was the first person to show me blues/rock n' roll lines on bass.

Mike Lee Pinder - I began playing the guitar at the same time my brother started playing bass. My brother and I grew up jamming together. I had some very inspiring music teachers in college who helped me stimulate an interest in everything from Gregorian Chant to Henry Mancini. One of the earliest influences on my guitar playing and song writing style was James Taylor.

New CD

Matt - Jupiter Falls was recorded over the last 10 months in three home ProToolsLE studios using great DI's, pre amps and microphones. Then we did some editing and mixing with Tom Size. He then passed the music on to Ken Lee for mastering. As for my bass playing, I usually play with a less is more approach. But for this CD I wanted to play a more stylistic and flamboyant bass part that reflects my natural style and influences. Almost like Jack Bruce did with Cream.

Mike Lee - Most of the songs for Jupiter Falls were written on the acoustic guitar, but with an electric sound in mind. I wrote the song “Hang On Tight” on acoustic guitar and tuned the high E string down to D, but played it on my '91 Stat and used Native Instruments Guitar Rig to simulate the amp sound.

Favorite Guitars

Matt - My favorite amp, a 1966 G-12-R Ampeg Reverborocket with a replacement Tone Tubby Alnico 12" was used with it's lush unmistakable reverb and tremolo during a few bridges in the songs. We also borrowed Jackie Greene's limited edition hand wired Vox AC30 for a session. We mostly used Strats for rhythm. My favorite Strat is a '56 custom shop with a Michael DeTemple shielded pick guard assembly and custom sweet spot pickups. He also installed a push-push pot on the tone knob which engages the neck pickup for a total of 7 variations from a 5 way switch. His titanium saddles and trem block gives the Strat note clarity sustain and chordal definition like a grand piano while removing the harsh 1.5Khz commonly found in most Strats. Also, I installed an Alembic Strat-o-blaster. In boost mode (3-14db) you can roll off the volume without affecting tone. The album also featured guitarist Joe Bithorn from Rain and his collection of Harrison guitars. Our fave, the vintage Rickenbacker 12-string. For bass, I used a '65 Hofner Beatle Bass, '73 P-Bass and my favorite, an Alembic 5-string. We re-amped dry guitar tracks through different pedals and amps to get the sound we wanted. My favorite pedal is a 1970s Electro Harmonix Deluxe Big Muff distortion pedal rewired for true bypass.

Musical Influences

Matt - Other than the obvious classic rock groups, Kevin Russell of the Russell Brothers is a living guitar legend in the realm of rock and blues. For jazz I enjoy Wayne Krantz, Kurt Rosenwinkle and Michael Landau's work with Sting. Danny Gatton is my favorite Tele player and my brother Dan gave me 88 Elmira St. when I was 10. In more recent years George Harrison awed me with his insight and guitar playing on his last release, Brainwashed.

Mike Lee - We were lucky to be exposed to the powerful harmonies of so many 60's bands, along with hearing great music coming out of our home studio when we were young. There was always a new CD playing in our house. I just got out one of my favorite albums, The Royal Scam and listened to some of Larry Carlton's brilliant guitar work. I also think Walter Becker's guitar playing is really creative on Steely Dan's recent releases. His guitar tone sounds just as great live as on the record!

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Syndestructible Tour 2006

Having recorded one of the best prog rock albums of 2005, The Syn return with a live testament to their legacy. Caught live in Boston in January 2006, their 2 hour DVD catches the band in rare form performing tracks from the Syndestructible album, new material, as well as reviving ‘60s Syn classics. A breath of fresh air for progressive rock fans seeking out a roll right stone from rock’s heritage, songs such as “City Of Dreams”, “The Promise” and “Golden Age” were first meticulously recorded in the studio and group founders Steve Nardelli and Chris Squire and company bring it all back home on their first Umbrello DVD. Amazingly, while Syn members Paul and Jeremy Stacy were so great on Syndestructible, they are replaced on the tour and DVD by Yes drummer Alan White and up and coming guitar rocker Shane Theriot. Despite being recruited with just a few days for practice time, Shane and Alan White sound in top form. Together with prog keyboards of Gerard Johnson, The Syn are once again a major power on the progressive rock front. Whether or not Squire returns to make another Yes album might not be pressing right now. Perhaps another pair of studio albums with Syn would be the right thing to seal their legacy.

The Folk Den Project 1995-2005

Roger McGuinn’s fascination with classic American artists like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan dates all the way back to the first Byrds Lp in 1965. Although the jingle-jangle pop sound of the early Byrds is toned down a bit by Roger’s wayfaring’ solo folk purest approach, his latest four CD retrospective is a real hoot. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of his Folk Den project in 2006, Roger released The Folk Den Project 1995-2005. With 100 songs, the four CD set features a cross-section of the best folk ballads Roger recorded over the past decade with some great stuff recorded this past year. Many of these timeless folk favorites have been featured on McGuinn’s web site over the past ten years and his four CD Folk Den anthology includes a number of new recordings topped off by a detailed 40 page booklet. Featuring McGuinn’s patented 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitar sound, each and every song on The Folk Den Project 1995-2005 is given a fresh airing by one of the key players of the ‘60s.



Adventurous pop fans looking for an overseas import treat should check out the 2005 album from New Zealand singer-songwriter Bic Runga. Her latest on Columbia Records from downunder, Birds works on a number of intriguing levels. First, as a gifted singer songwriter, she has few peers. Second, it’s clear that her label, Columbia went the extra distance in designing an excellent looking CD booklet with artwork that really suits the music. Third and most important, Bic has chosen a great bunch of players here including Split Enz guitarist Neil Finn. Finn’s great pop sensibility, backing vocals and expert musicianship is the perfect match for Bic Runga’s haunting and quite varied pop palette, making Birds one of the coolest pop imports of the year.


Other People's Lives

Despite his recent comment, “Sometimes when I am trying to introduce new material, I feel like a stand-up comedian in a room full of lager louts, this demon will not go away,” Ray Davies has nothing to feel sheepish about. His finest studio effort since the 1991 Kinks Do Ya ep, Other Peoples Lives has more than a tad to do with Ray getting shot in New Orleans coupled with the recent illness of his brother Dave. Compared to his Storyteller CD, just rereleased on Koch, his 2005 studio CD is a pretty heavyweight affair complete with the powerhouse Dave Davies-inspired Kinks guitar sounds of Mark Johns. The sonic properties of the best Kinks material, such as Village Green, Soap Opera and Think Visual bears fresh fruit on Other Peoples Lives. Reflecting back on amazing how Ray always came up with those U.K. flavored Kinks albums, combined with his new millennium approach, there’s something kwite deja vu on just about every song here. Kinks fans have something else great to smile about.

until we felt red...

Although she started out inspired by acoustic players like Hedges and DeGrassi, on her 2006 CD …Until We Felt Red, guitarist Kaki King introduces her vocals on several tracks and the effect matches her ethereal touch on the acoustic. Having developed her aggressive instrumental guitar approach busking in the NYC subway system, King’s music is reactionary yet captivating. Looking to stretch a bit on her 2006 Velour Recordings CD, King augments her acoustic guitar with sonic vocal textures and the added flavors of flugelhorn, harp, lap steel, pedal steel and various other weird guitar hybrids. Until We Felt Red is a major follow-up to her earlier Velour and 2004 Epic Records CD Legs To Make Us Longer (produced by David Torn).

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