Progressive Rock Pioneers Brand X Back On Tour, Set To Record New Material

SRO Interviews Brand X Percussionist, Scott Weinberger

ARLINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS – If you are not familiar with the music of Brand X, they are widely described as one of the truly innovative and influential rock-fusion bands. Formed in 1975 by guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Percy Jones, the two mainstays throughout the life of the band, the classic Brand X line up would release six critically acclaimed albums between 1976 and 1979. A second version of the band, (1992-1997) produced two more releases before finally dissolving in 1999.

Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Brand X

After Brand X parted ways in 1979, the duo would then go on to work their own projects and with other artists, leaving Brand X fans wondering if it was finally the end of this remarkable fusion band.

Fast-forward nearly 20 years and after several rumored reunions, the three core members of the band - Goodsall, Jones and drummer Kenwood Denard – had the chance in the spring of 2016, to meet in New York City and finally jam together once again... and the music fell right back into place.

“The opportunity to get together and play with John and Kenwood came up in New York City,” Percy Jones told this writer in an exclusive, 2016 Standing Room Only interview. “We loosened up with a fun jam or two and then we got down to work on specific songs. We worked up 'Nightmare Patrol,' (a Brand X staple) a great song with some nice dynamics and changes, then we worked up other songs from the early records and it all sounded really good.”

Not long after, the band brought in keyboard player Chris Clark, (John Entwistle Band) and percussionist Scott Weinberger, (Adrian Belew/Security Project) and a fall tour was booked, featuring shows in Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago (headlining “Progtoberfest”) and throughout the Northeast as well. This writer was lucky enough to attend the Boston show, and Brand X certainly did not disappoint, performing an incredible show and sounding like they had never spent anytime apart, never mind two decades!

When more shows were booked in January of this year, Brand X decided to record a live album to document the tour. “After our successful first tour in October of 2016, we knew he had to memorialize just how good the show was,” Brand X keyboard player, Scott Weinberger said in a recent SRO interview.

“So, when the January 2017 tour was firmed up, we chose the last night of the run to record, and (the live CD) But Wait... There’s More was born. “It’s the first album I’ve produced and was so fortunate that Stephen W. Tayler, an incredible engineer who mixed both Moroccan Roll and Masques, agreed to sign on. I flew to the UK in May, where we sat side-by-side at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, and I could not be more proud of the results.”

Carrying the momentum of the previous tour, along with the new live CD, Brand X is on the road once again, with shows that started in September on the East coast and runs through November on the West coast. “With the addition of Kenny Grohowski on drums, we’ve been able to take a deeper dive into the Brand X catalog,” Weinberger added. “This is a completely new show, and the band has never been tighter, or had as much fire as this line up is producing.”

By the end of the year, the band will have completed six different tour schedules over a 14-month stretch, certainly a grueling, time-consuming schedule. However, the band is preparing to record new material as well. “Right now, the plan is to set aside some time in the spring to get in the studio,” Weinberger concluded. “John, Percy, and Chris have already begun to formulate some song ideas, and Kenny and I will also bring some new material to the table as well.”

To learn more about Brand X, track their activities and to view the concert schedule, please visit the band’s official Facebook page. Also watch SRO for a concert review of an upcoming Brand X show at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts. Below is a link to last year's SRO cover story featuring Brand X.