Track By Track: BangTower - Casting Shadows

By John A. Wilcox

Bassist Percy Jones, drummer Walter Garces, and guitarist Neil Citron are BangTower. Their debut effort, Casting Shadows, is radioactive power jazz rock fusion sure to make your eardrums grow calluses. Progsheet wanted the inside dope on the album, so we spirited away Garces and Citron to reveal all track by track...

Track 1: BBA
WG: This is the final recorded all together; it was us getting a sense of playing together. After trying several ideas and experimenting with different rhythmic combinations, we decided to just jam and see where it went. It came across with a sense lot of power, but the changes and moments all happened very naturally.

Track 2: Sex Me Up
WG: Neil wrote the original lick for the track and showed it to the two of us. We decided we needed a track that would be good to have sex to, or at least a pole dance. A raw, gritty, heavy track that just happened very naturally. Percy's solo at the end of the song moves so well with the drums.

Track 3: Hair Of The Dog
NC: We were in the studio for the first time together at Entourage studios in North Hollywood. I asked Percy Jones if he had a revolving lick, because I had an idea for some chords to move over a bass lick. Percy started playing the beginning lick and I got Walter to jump in with his groove and I started playing these wah wah chords over it all.
After a few minutes of settling in, we stopped to figure out what would be next. Percy came up with this half step piece, and so we played the two parts back to back. "So far so good" I thought. I came up with the next part and Walter began a samba drumbeat, which sounded great and different from the other parts. We started recording the parts with the full intension of hoping for the best. We jammed the 3 parts we had and the rest just happened. So we're finally listening back to what felt great and Percy says " My bass is distorted". I look at all the meters, and no red! We decided to have Percy replay the bass in the control room. We got his sound up again and we started recording again and again we stopped only to hear Percy's bass sound distorting. We tried new batteries in his bass (active pick ups) with the same results. At a loss, I set up an appointment for Percy to go to the custom shop at Ibanez to get it looked at. Early the next morning, off went Walter and Percy to Ibanez to sort it all out, while I went into the studio to get some editing done.
What they found wrong with the bass was dog hair. Percy has a dog that sheds and some hair got under his bridge and was causing distortion. After we all laughed about it for some time, I said, we have to call the song Hair Of The Dog!

Track 4: Let Em Drown
WG: This is the first drastic musical left turn of these sessions, This one was originally about the Songo (a Cuban rhythm) that went awry, not quite sure what happened. The Songo seems to have gone on a Magical Mystery Tour.

Track 5: Ballad Of Wealth
WG: It was time to slow down and take down the tempo. The sax track was performed with a Roland guitar synth. The name came as a tribute to all the rock bands that have made so much $$$$$$$$$ from their ballads.

Track 6: Man In The Middle
WG: Percy's version of being the middle of the road of everything he's played on. James Brown meets Allan Holdsworth, and neither one wins.

Track 7: Groove Snake
WG: Imagine a snake dancing without legs. A good solid hard pounder. Lots of fun to play.

Track 8: The One Percenters
WG: 1st track that was completed remotely, purely experimental. Just felt our way through this one. It is the most progressive/fusion track on the record. (Neil says this our attempt at serious surf music)


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