The new label Progrock Records is releasing a special album by FRAMESHIFT on November 25, 2003, titled "Unweaving the Rainbow", based on evolution-themed books by Richard Dawkins. The album was written and produced by Henning Pauly of CHAIN as a vehicle for vocalist James LaBrie of the highly revered progressive metal band DREAM THEATER.
FRAMESHIFT, as a musical entity, is primarily Pauly and LaBrie. Pauly plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, piano, synthesizer, organ, banjo and percussion and was also responsible for programming, orchestration, and engineering and mixing. Other featured musicians include drummer Eddie Marvin, guitarist/bass guitarist Nik Guadagnoli and saxophonist Steve Katsikas.
The idea for FRAMESHIFT's "Unweaving the Rainbow" was broad in scope from the very beginning. One goal was to take full advantage of LaBrie's voice and utilize it in a way that had never been heard before. That was accomplished largely through countless vocal overdubs, making it sound like hundreds of LaBries were singing together. (LaBrie is a big fan of QUEEN, a band that enjoyed overdubbing and multi-tracking endless vocal harmonies in the studio.) Musically speaking, progressive rock elements and film scoring techniques merged with modern production practices to create a perfect marriage with LaBrie's voice.
Dawkins' books and ideas expand on the views of Charles Darwin, the developer of the theory of evolution. For more general information about Dawkins' philosophy and how it inspired the lyrics on "Unweaving the Rainbow" visit the FRAMESHIFT web site. Pauly co-wrote the provocative lyrics primarily in combination with Matt Cash but Chris Donlon and Guadagnoli also contributed. The lyrics address Dawkins' thoughts on evolution and how they relate to genetics and biology.
Progrock Records president Shawn Gordon, who plays a keyboard solo on "Nice Guys Finish First", said the recording of the vocals for "Unweaving the Rainbow" occurred during an inspirational two-week period. "The music took about six months to record. For the vocals, they recorded for two weeks straight — 18 songs in 13 days with one day off. James was singing eight to 10 hours a day. He was amazing," Gordon says. "Three of the songs were for a double album rock opera called 'BabySteps' set for release in March 2004. It has a number of other high-profile vocalists on it in addition to James."
The origin of FRAMESHIFT goes back to spring 2002 when Pauly found old rehearsal tapes made with his group CHAIN, which had disbanded eight years before. He thought the music was worth tackling again. Originally CHAIN had given up on it because they couldn't find a vocalist and they split up. Pauly finished recording the music and brought in Cash to contribute the vocals — they'd already been working together and Pauly thought Cash's voice would be a proper fit for the material. Pauly presented "Reconstruct" to his former bandmates as a private gift. A copy was sent to an Internet radio station which had a label and suddenly CHAIN was signed and added to the roster. The people behind the label knew LaBrie well and suggested he hook up with Pauly. At first, Pauly wanted to resurrect a musical he'd been working on but ultimately FRAMESHIFT and "Unweaving the Rainbow" became the focus of the collaboration with LaBrie.
FRAMESHIFT's "Unweaving the Rainbow" takes all the thematic depth and musical complexity of the finest progressive rock and gives it a fresh approach thanks to the skills of Pauly and LaBrie.