Vocalist Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE, SAVATAGE, MACHINES OF GRACE) was one of the featured guests on this weekend's (June 27) edition of "The Classic Metal Show". The interview is now available for streaming in three parts below.Audio samples of three songs from MACHINES OF GRACE — the new band featuring drummer Jeff Plate (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SAVATAGE, METAL CHURCH), Stevens, guitarist Matt Leff (guitar) and bassist Chris Rapoza (bass) — are available for streaming on the group's MySpace page. The tracks come off MACHINES OF GRACE's self-titled debut album, which is scheduled for release this summer.
"It's just a pure, solid melodic rock sound," Stevens says about the project. "It has infectious grooves and its own brand of outright power. To me, it's got great songwriting with a hard rock edge and strong commercial appeal."
Leff and Stevens have a lengthy history, spanning back to their days as protégés at GIT/VIT, respectively. Their first band, WICKEDWITCH, also introduced the talents of drummer Jeff Plate, who clinched the lineup and formed the backbone of today's brainchild: MACHINES OF GRACE.
During a considerable hiatus after the demise of the WICKEDWITCH project, Zak Stevens had gone on to front SAVATAGE (and more recently, CIRCLE II CIRCLE), and later recruited Jeff Plate, who performs regularly with the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and METAL CHURCH. Meanwhile, Matt Leff had formed TRIGGER EFFECT, and with bassist Chris Rapoza, had toured as an opening act for IRON MAIDEN, QUEENSRŸCHE and HALFORD.
Time had clearly hit the afterburners. Call it chemistry, fate or pure coincidence. A WICKEDWITCH fan suggested that the founding members revise, rethink, record and release the original material, and voila — MACHINES OF GRACE was conceived.
This band accords a shot of rock and roll that infuses several music genres with an innovative twist of smoldering vocals and bludgeoning guitar riffs. Blend that with an explosive rhythm section and you've got an exceptionally powerful elixir. "I'd say we're a mix of melodic metal, hard rock, modern rock and acoustic rock," explains guitarist Matt Leff. "The current rock climate is calling for modern production, strong vocal melodies and memorable songs from guys that can really play. I think we fit that description." Bassist Chris Rapoza agrees: "The CD has an amazing vibe that just flows really well and makes you want to listen to it all the way through. To me, songwriting and recording with that same quality always makes for the best type of album." Jeff Plate tops off the sentiment: "The music is metal, but not thrash. Rock, but not pop. We could be compared to a number of different bands, and each song will give you a different impression, but in the end the sound is distinctly MACHINES OF GRACE."
For more information, visit www.machinesofgrace.net. Part 1: