Author Topic: Ad Infinitum - Biography  (Read 767 times)

ObiwanKenomi

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Ad Infinitum - Biography
« on: July 17, 2016, 07:57:10 AM »
A short Bio on Ad Infinitum by Melo the Prog Goddess, taken from the old forum:

Ad Infinitum means "to infinity" in Latin, but in the four years it took to write, arrange, record, re-record, mix and master this debut album, there were times when it appeared it was going to take that long before it was finished!

Around 1993, Todd Braverman was getting restless, having just ended his relationship with Cathedral. Kinesis had just released the second Cathedral disc, There In The Shadows, and he felt it was time to move on to his own creative outlet. Then Ad Infinitum was conceived.

The underlying premise for Ad Infinitum was to recreate an early 70"s progressive rock album. As guitarist Craig Wall puts it: "We found that many neo-prog bands write great music, but don"t have that sound, talented vocalists, or write memorable songs. In other words, we wanted to write extended songs with memorable melodies and interesting arrangements, but use traditional prog sounds. In our opinion, what separates the classic prog groups from the others is that they wrote songs, not virtuosic displays merely to impress other musicians. Being aficionados of the old school ways, we wanted to hear more traditional prog sounds like Mellotrons, Hammond organs, Moogs, beautifully structured 12-string acoustic guitar duets and, most of all, songs again. Hey, just because it clocks in at 8:29, doesn"t mean it can"t have a logical song structure to hang all that musical virtuosity on.?

Craig made a call to Todd sometime back in 1994 to answer an ad Todd had posted in the Village Voice for a co-writer and guitarist. Before Craig had the chance to meet him, Todd drilled him on his knowledge of prog rock by bringing up obscure references to bands Craig had been listening to since he was 12 years old, always trying to sneak one in to stump him. But after a month of their prog banter and what seemed like a fairly elongated screening period, Todd mentioned something about a flower and Craig just said casually, "A flower?? Todd immediately picked up the Genesis Supper"s Ready reference and the next words out of his mouth were, "When can you come over?"


« Last Edit: July 17, 2016, 07:58:42 AM by ObiwanKenomi »
Music was my first love and still an important part of my life.

ObiwanKenomi

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Re: Ad Infinitum - Biography
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2016, 07:57:20 AM »
Their first composition written together was Immortality, which came from an initial idea that Craig brought to the table. To Craig, the idea sounded like something the Allman Brothers would"ve written, but Todd had other ideas for it, being the mad scientist he is.

Early on in the project, a talented singer named Joe Alessi provided all the vocals. Joe was the original singer on Immortality, Physician Heal Thyself, and Rain Down. While all agreed that he had a true talent for crafting melodies and lyrics, Joe"s other commitments prevented him from spending time on the project.

Enter Ilan Goldman from Montreal. Ilan answered a similar ad and it took no time to hear that he had an intense fetish for Wakeman-style keyboard flair and a tenor that could cut through the murkiest Hammond or match up to John Wetton"s huskiest whisky-soaked wails. Ilan"s contributions to this album are undeniably positive, especially on songs like Neither Here Nor There and Waterline.

For the next year, the three of them worked away on the album as often as they could. Todd was working as an attorney, Ilan was studying to become one, and Craig was either looking for employment or working his own office job in public relations. Time was passing them by the years.

The last and final soul who entered the songwriting circle was "Goose" (Mike Seguso). Todd answered an ad that Goose had placed for musicians to form a Genesis tribute band. Goose immediately took more of an interest in what Ad Infinitum was doing instead. Craig says: "One thing I can say about him, beside the fact that he"s one of the most committed prog singers I"ve ever heard (his Gabriel is flawless), is that when all seemed dark on this project, Goose had the ability to keep us all in hysterics with jokes and impersonations of everyone from Jim Morrison to Homer Simpson. But it"s his singing, lyricism, and arrangement gifts, not so much his humor, for which we thank him on this album.? Goose shines on All Hallows Eve, A Winter"s Tale, and Immortality.
Music was my first love and still an important part of my life.

ObiwanKenomi

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Re: Ad Infinitum - Biography
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2016, 07:57:47 AM »
Because this started and has ended as a pure recording project and not a touring band (although they could be persuaded!), certain kind-souled musicians came and went as was needed. One of the most valuable was the drummer, Don DiPaolo. Don accepted the almost insurmountable task of taking all the drum parts Todd and Craig had written, learned them as they had programmed them originally through a sequencer, and played them over music that had already been recorded! It"s just how it had to be done at the time. The actual studio recording - the only parts that weren"t recorded in Todd"s own studio - took this man just three full days. It was a long, nerve wracking weekend for everyone. Don currently plays with American pop/rock band Mach 5. Listen to how he makes it sound so easy on tracks like Overland, Physician Heal Thyself, and Ad Infinitum.

Another good friend who came in to help in their time of need was John Sullivan. John was kind enough to spend that weekend to keep the drums in tune. Between takes, he would come through as drum tech and, as needed, therapist. John currently leads his own band, Flay of Soul, in New York City.

Dave Beers gets the "Mr. Patience Award". As the bass lines were already written and pretty much set in stone, Dave simply gave us some very tasteful performances and a killer groove. Listen for Dave on tracks like Waterline, Neither Here Nor There, and Overland.

Roger Dean. Yes, well, how did Roger come to be involved in the project? As Craig says: "I"ve been a fan of Roger"s work since I was about 5 years old, around the first time I"d ever laid eyes on the Yes logo. In 1990, I was working as the copy editor of a small daily newspaper in New Mexico, when I noticed a small blurb on the wire about Roger"s work being exhibited at the San Francisco Art Exchange. In the same breath that I booked a ticket to San Francisco, I also called the Art Exchange and was able to set up an interview with Roger. I published my article soon after and didn"t speak to him until five years later when Todd suggested I approach him with the request to do our album cover and logo (farfetched, if you"d asked me). After two years of working with him, we couldn"t be any more satisfied. The members of Ad Infinitum find it very difficult to express how much it means to us that Roger is a part of our entire creative process. In addition to beautiful artwork, he has given us validation, a sense of belonging to the worldwide neo-progressive rock community, our own "Deanesque" identity, and a package design that evokes the spirit of the old-school prog ways that we wanted to capture so badly on this album. We owe you Roger. Thank you.?

There will be more. This is just the first album. We hope you enjoy it... Ad Infinitum.
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Music was my first love and still an important part of my life.