|This dream began as a simple vision in early 2004. Two young metal fans who felt completely estranged by what had become of the "heavy metal" scene in the past decade, decided that, rather than complain about the trendy bands they didn't like, they would form an original band writing & performing with the soul of the early masters. Jason Myers, newly exiled from the trend setting mecca of Los Angeles, brought his experience as an A&R rep to his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with his bass and a name that had mystically come to him in California: Icarus Witch.
The types of bands Jason had been looking to sign seemed few & far between on these shores. It was a revelation when his friend (& original Witch drummer) Keith Hurka handed him a demo CD of a mind blowing, undiscovered vocal siren by the name of Matthew Bizilia. Myers & Bizilia quickly formed a powerful alliance and set about the task of building the ideal metal machine. Placing ads with headlines like "Dio & Bain seek Blackmore" wasn't ringing the phones off the hook but certainly stood out on guitar store bulletin boards littered with screamo & metal core want ads. The first incarnation of the band (including an imposing guitarist named George Sabol) nearly emerged as Funeral Wine, adopting a more gothic, Dark Shadows theme before growing into the classy, Icarus Witch structure that would debut with "Falling Off The Edge Of The World" on Evil Lives: A True Metal Tribute To Black Sabbath. And so it began.
After a brief spell of trial & error, a fiery young shredder from the Guitar 9 school, named Steve Pollick rose above the fray, bringing his uniquely melodic 6 string wizardry to the mix. Experimenting with a 2-guitar lineup for a bit, Greg Gruben joined the band, (along with session drummer, JC Dwyer) in the studio to record an Alice Cooper cover song for an otherwise all star tribute. While tracking with Eric Klinger (Pro-Pain) the new team decided to lay down a 4 song demo to help them look for a deal later on. Much like what had happened to their heroes Queensryche 20 years prior, this demo took on a life of its own and was released internationally through Magick Records. Soon press & fans alike were embracing the Witch and this Roses On White Lace EP sold thousands globally, aided by the haunting professional cover artwork of Mattias Noren (Evergrey, Jag Panzer). This momentum was bringing the crew invitations not only for European festivals & tours but several labels were now offering to release the next record. Gruben parted to pursue his own project, and the band played on. The song soon rerecorded with Symphony X guitar hero, Michael Romeo providing lead guitar and Klinger reworking the rhythms in conjunction with Steve's guitar parts. The 3 styles meshed into what became that tribute record's highlight song for many.
Icarus Witch had now been hired (along with members of Dio, Maiden, Twisted Sister, Megadeth, Def Leppard, The Who, Iced Earth, Children Of Bodom & more) to provide tracks for all star tributes to Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Lizzy Borden, & German true metallers, Running Wild. They were showcased on sampler CDs by magazines in Canada (BW&BK), Germany (Heavy Oder Was?!) and France. Things move quickly in this camp and the time had come to show they could follow up the hype with a full length album to justify the hype.
After holing up in icy rehearsals for the winter, the Witch returned in May of 2005 to Klinger's studio with 8 new original songs and a blood quickening version of "S.A.T.O.", which they dedicate to the memory of Randy Rhoads & the inspiration of the Blizzard Of Ozz band as much as to Ozzy himself. In order to pay homage to both the living & the dead, Myers called upon his friend & label mate, George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) whom he had worked with on several projects in recent years. Lynch brings his world renowned fretboard mastery into the Witch's realm with pride and conviction. While Mr. Scary has given the band years of inspiration and represents their love of Hollywood hard rock, a second guest was brought in to ice the cake and fulfill their metal fantasies. Jason called his friend, Frank Aresti who had just returned from touring Europe with Fates Warning, & asked if he would contribute his one of a kind flare to their original song, "The Ghost Of Xavior Holmes." When Frank got a hold of the track and delved into its murky themes of a haunted New England ship wreck, he was hooked & went above & beyond playing a solo to actually contribute several ideas to what has become one of the album's highlights.
Once the album was final, (including old school cover painting by Rock Detector's Garry Sharpe-Young who also designed for Queensryche & Grim Reaper) intense auditions took place to find the perfect, full time drummer to join the mission. With applicants from around the planet vying for the throne, the boys were seeking someone who stood apart in both excellence & attitude. They temporarily enlisted the services of veteran skinsman, John Passarelli who filled the vacancy admirably for a run of east coast concerts and the promo onslaught immediately following the release including the video shoot for the song "Capture The Magic" which features adult superstar, Jasmin St. Claire & was filmed by Swedish prodigy Mats Lundberg of Children Of Bodom & Paul Dianno repute. However, the role of permanent drummer was soon to go to a long time friend of Myers. Jere Jameson was the first drummer Jason jammed with when the 2 of them were both learning their craft as eager kids. That evolution has now come full circle with Jere adding his unique, heavy hitting acumen to the band's critically acclaimed rhythm section, fleet fingered guitar shop & vocal showcases.
The newest album is called Capture The Magic, a title which works on so many levels and has become a creed of this hungry new band. Wether you're an old school head longing to relive that rush you got hearing your favorite '80s metal band's best album on your hi fi for the first time or you are a free thinking teen raiding your dad's Rainbow vinyl & buying Yngwie shirts on ebay...we salute you and welcome you to this shadowy club. Our numbers are greater than you might think and we have the power of freedom from industry trends on our side. Welcome to the circle!
Official biography: http://www.icaruswitch.com