Last year, I stood in the parking lot of a local concert venue discussing the untimely passing of legendary producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Cinderella) with drummer Fred Fischer of Midline and Cure for the Fall. Fredrock, as he is affectionately known in the Boise music community, told me he had the honor of working with Johns shortly before the producer’s death. As part of this project, Fredrock also worked with bassist James Lomenzo who gained notoriety in the 80s with White Lion and later with Megadeth.
A few months ago a friend handed me a CD of a band called X-Drive and told me I should check them out. While I thought I was humoring my friend, the music on the disc was damn impressive. As fate would have it, X-Drive is the music project Fred Fischer had been talking about last spring.
X-Drive is the brainchild of Baker, Oregon guitarist/songwriter Jeremy Brunner, who tapped Keith St. John to handle vocal duties. St. John fronts Burning Rain with former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, and was a longtime vocalist for Montrose. St. John brought in LoMenzo and Brunner tapped Fischer. Fischer is a fantastically entertaining drummer to watch, and his performances are hard-hitting and tight.
This summer, X-Drive will finally come to fruition as its debut album, "Get Your Rock On" will be released by Frontiers Records on August 22nd in Europe and August 26th in North America. Andy Johns finished the album's tracks shortly before his passing. "Get Your Rock On" was then mixed by Wyn Davis (Black Sabbath, Dio, Whitesnake, Dokken), and it took more than a year in the studio to make things just the way Brunner wanted, as the guitarist is a bit of a mastermind perfectionist.
"A true artist is never satisfied, but there comes a time when you have to stop at one point and just call it done" Brunner remarked. "I'm just glad with the way the whole thing turned out, and am really looking forward to it's release so people can hear it."
"It was such a pleasure to contribute to Jeremy's effort! He has written and crafted an incredible homage to the style of 80's rock, a style that I cut my teeth on back in the day," Lomenzo said. "His love for the era and style really comes through in a surprisingly satisfying way."
"Writing with Brunner was an absolute pleasure," St. John said. "On the whole, the vehicle for his musical canvasses has been a breath of fresh air in directness and simplicity. I found myself patently inspired to fashion my parts for this collection of songs that was Jeremy's own refreshing take on the '80s."
“This project was very fun to be a part of,” offered Fischer. “It's a reflection of the 80's era of music, a very good reflection! Thank you to Jeremy Brunner for getting me involved and keeping that fire burning. Thank you to Keith St. John and James LoMenzo for being so great to work with, I hope we get to do it again. And thank you to Frontiers Records for believing in this work and putting it out there.”
Learn more about the project and listen to some of the music in the video above.