duminică, 6 iulie 2008

Erik Norlander

Erik Norlander has created some of the most enchanting rock music in recent years appearing on over 25 albums since 1993 with his diva spouse Lana Lane, his band Rocket Scientists, his own solo albums and guest appearances on CDs by many artists. Erik's evocative synthesizer technique is reminiscent of the legendary Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord while still very unique and forward-moving in its own right. Erik takes many of the classic riffs and phrases from his various influences and reinvents them with highly emotional pitch bending, vibrato and authoritative phrasing. This technique combines brilliantly with Erik's mastery of sound and production. Erik has personally led sound design efforts on several major brand synthesizers, and his knowledge of synthesis and audio engineering are second to none. Erik's perpetual live use of vintage instruments such as Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer give his concerts a depth and authenticity of sound seldom seen in modern stage productions.

Erik Norlander was born in 1967 in Hollywood, California. He grew up in Los Angeles studying both jazz and classical music on several instruments from a young age through his years at the university where he also graduated with a degree in English Literature. Erik lists his keyboard influences as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Mike Pinder, Geoff Downes, and even Geddy Lee! Erik lists his production influences as Alan Parsons, Jeff Lynne and Bob Ezrin, among others. His favorite bands are Yes, ELP, ELO, King Crimson, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Blue Öyster Cult. While clearly a prog rocker, Erik is surprisingly quite adamant that he prefers melody over flashy playing and strong songwriting over artsy meandering.

Erik Norlander Promo Photo 2006

photo by Raj Naik

Erik Norlander's releases span several music genres. In 2004 he released an electronic album, Seas of Orion, commissioned by and debuted at the Dutch Alfa Centauri Electronic Music Festival. Also in 2004 Norlander released Stars Rain Down, a live album from his tours in Europe recorded between 2001 and 2003 with a full rock band featuring vocalists Kelly Keeling and Lana Lane. In 2003 Norlander recorded a grandiose 2CD rock opera concept album called Music Machine about the dramatic rise and fall of a genetically engineered rock star. Previous solo albums are Threshold (1997, re-released as the 2CD Threshold Special Edition in 2004), an instrumental progressive effort with a decidedly electronically bent, and Intro the Sunset (2000), a prog metal vocal album with a more traditional rock band sound. Erik's first solo DVD release, Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg, featurres his stunning concert from Russia along with a lengthy documentary program. In the fall of 2006 Erik also released a double studio CD called Revolution Road recorded with his band, Rocket Scientists.

Erik Norlander is also the producer, keyboardist and leading songwriter for his wife, Lana Lane. Norlander's keyboard and production work can be heard on every Lana Lane album and seen on both of Lana's DVDs including her 10th Anniversary Concert from 2005. Erik recently produced Lana's newest CD release, Red Planet Boulevard. Erik's own latest solo release is Hommage Symphonique, a covers album of famous progressive rock songs recorded with the Rocket Scientists musicians along with a small orchestral ensemble. In November of 2007, Erik joined Asia featuring John Payne as the band's new keyboardist. He will be recording and touring with the group in 2008.