De wortels van Autograph gaan terug naar het begin van de eighties. Deze Amerikaanse glam metal band werd destijds opgericht door een kwintet muzikanten, die in de loop er jaren één na één de band verlieten. Toen in april vorig jaar bassist Randy Rand, enig overgebleven stichtend lid, nog volop bezig was met de productie van deze nieuwe schijf, kreeg hij een medische diagnose, waardoor hij slechts enkele dagen later stierf. Hij had de band echter gevraagd om alles af te ronden en de plaat alsnog uit te brengen. Als we wikipedia mogen geloven, zou Steve Unger het snarenwerk van Randy in juni dit jaar overgenomen hebben.
Met Beyond zorgen ze voor een sonische bevestiging van hun klassieke geluid. De afwezigheid van keyboard en de vaak aanwezige gitaarsolo’s benadrukken het rockgevoel, al zit de melodieuze AOR-tint nooit ver weg. Twaalf nummers zorgen voor een samenhangende solide brok dynamiek, dat met het aanstekelijke oorwormpje This Ain't The Place I Wanna Be in gang gezet wordt. Het valt op dat het album bolt als een trein. Een knappe harmonie van muzikaal vakmanschap, dat telkens die swingende groove en melodie met pittig fretwerk weten te combineren.
Waar de intensiteit soms wat mildert, wordt de schoonheid in de nummers gestimuleerd. Daar zorgt die zachtere AOR-kant meer voor, zoals in Flying High en Take Me Higher. Her en der vinden we wel enkele pittige karaktertrekken (denk aan Heart Of Stone), maar het gezelschap zorgt dat alles netjes in balans blijft. Alhoewel er nu geen enkel origineel lid nog in de band speelt, kijkt de huidige bezetting vooruit en proberen de originele geest te behouden. Tribute band of niet, dankzij de getalenteerde muzikale gedrevenheid blijft de geest van deze legendarische band behouden.
Releasedatum: 18 november 2022
On January 31, 2022, Frontiers Music Srl made an announcement welcoming the legendary '80s hard rockers Autograph to the label's roster. The band, at the time, featuring vocalist Simon Daniels, guitarist Jimi Bell, bassist Randy Rand, and drummer Marc Wieland, were close to wrapping up work on their brand new studio album "Beyond," which the label had slated for release later in the year. Just past mid-April 2022, Randy delivered the final masters and artwork for "Beyond" and was sorting out plans for the release with the label when he received some news about his health. And then, shockingly, just a few days later, on April 26, 2022, Randy Rand, a founding member of the band, passed away. Before his untimely passing, he shared with his bandmates that if something was to happen to him before the release plans were finalized, he wanted them to release "Beyond", his last recorded work.
And so, with bittersweet emotions, Frontiers Music Srl announces the forthcoming release of Autograph's new studio album, "Beyond", the last album to feature founding member and bassist Randy Rand.
Autograph, whose hit 'Turn Up The Radio' was a staple of the hard rock soundtrack of the '80s, disbanded in 1989, but in 2011, founding members bassist Randy Rand and guitarist Steve Lynch decided to meet up at the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. They rekindled their friendship first before even thinking about a musical reunion. With their personal relationship rebuilt, they made a collective decision to play again. “We approached our original singer Steve Plunkett about a reunion,” recalled Rand. “He didn’t have the time to join the band again due to his busy schedule. He did give us his blessing to move forward though, and that was important. We missed our fans. This is for them.”
Fully embracing the future, the remaining members begin a search for a new singer. They discovered some videos of singer/guitarist/songwriter Simon Daniels (of Jailhouse, Flood, 1RKO) on YouTube and instantly, they sensed a connection and knew that he was the right fit for the band. “He was perfect to front Autograph," smiled Rand. "His hard-edged, bluesy voice and massive riffing sharpen our edge. He’s given us a new energy, and he impressed us immediately. We all had a euphoric feeling after the first rehearsal,” Rand added.
Rand says that during his long-lived career, he has only loved playing with two drummers; one is the great late Randy Castillo, and then there is Autograph's new drummer Marc Wieland. As Rand put it, “We’re heavier than before. At the same time, the melodic vocals and catchy hooks are still an integral part of our sound.”
In 2019, Lynch decided to leave the group to pursue different musical styles and was replaced by international monster shredder guitarist Jimi Bell (House of Lords). The band didn't skip a beat and went on to record a new album, "Beyond", with this line-up before Rand's untimely passing on April 26, 2022.
Autograph, the platinum-selling Southern California hard rock band who gave the world the ubiquitous hit 'Turn Up The Radio', has released seminal albums such as "Sign In Please" , "That’s The Stuff" , and "Loud and Clear" . Over the course of their career, they have played shows with everybody from Mötley Crüe and Ronnie James Dio to Van Halen and Aerosmith. Successfully touring again since the beginning of 2014, Autograph has strived and shined at arenas, casinos, major music festivals such as M3, Monsters of Rock Cruise, The Moondance Jam, 80’s in the Park, Grand Rock Tember, Cat Club Festival at Irvine Meadows, and Firefest UK, among others. In 2017, Autograph released a new album on ex-Megadeth member David Ellefson's EMP Label Group, hitting # 21 on the Billboard Classic Rock Sales Chart, as well as placing two new singles on the top 10 Hard Rock Mediabase Radio Chart. The band will release their new studio album, "Beyond" via Frontiers Music Srl in 2022. It is the last album to feature founding member and bassist Randy Rand.