Rocket Scientists is an astounding blend of past, present and future, drawing on influences both new and old. Led by producer / keyboardist Erik Norlander and vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite, the band paints broad sonic landscapes with their unique brand of progressive rock on their new Kinesis release Brutal Architecture.
Rocket Scientists' 1993 debut album Earthbound captured international acclaim from fans of both progressive and pop music. The follow up release, Brutal Architecture, takes the band into more experimental waters with long, instrumental pieces with stylized solos contrasted by Beatlesque vocals and sharp studio production.
Erik Norlander was born in Hollywood, California during the late 60s. Music was an essential part of his growing up, with bands like ELP, ELO and Yes instilling in him a fascination with synthesizers and electronic devices. Norlander's love of science fiction and literature blended well with his musical aspirations, defining very early on a vision for the fantastic and arcane. Favorite writers Heinlein, Moorcock and Asimov have affected his lyrical style and choice of subject matter from the beginning. Deeply moved by production, Norlander is quick to point to Alan Parsons and Jeff Lynne as major influences on his studio craft. In addition to previously mentioned artists, Norlander lists his favorite bands as Jethro Tull, Rush, UK, Supertramp, Procol Harum and King Crimson. Norlander has produced scores of tracks for film and television, and has worked with many recording artists on various labels including metal guitar icon Joshua and progressive keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson. He also directed sound development of several products for Alesis Studio Electronics, including the QuadraSynth Plus, QS8 series and Andromeda synthesizers.
Mark McCrite was raised in Atlanta, Georgia where he was heavily exposed to 70's Southern Rock during his formative years, which naturally caused him to gravitate toward the guitar. His passion for music led him to choose his instrument while still in grade school. The Allman Brothers solo ethic of "melodic yet extended and dynamic" has always been a goal of McCrite's, not only in his guitar playing, but in his songwriting as well. In addition to his Southern Rock roots, McCrite has always been a tremendous Beatles fan. The spirit that inspired Sgt. Pepper's is what turned him on to progressive rock. To quote McCrite: "It is my goal for Rocket Scientists to take well written, timeless, melodic songs and present them in an ambitious, challenging context. Sound familiar?" In the past year or so, McCrite has found inspiration in recent works by Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, Crowded House, Kevin Gilbert and Fish. Outside of Rocket Scientists, McCrite continues to produce a vast array of music scores and also acts as an independent music consultant for the video industry. McCrite is also in the midst of producing an album for the LA rock band River, for whom he writes and plays guitar.
Don Schiff grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and is the only member of the band that has played with Elvis. Three weeks after graduating high school, Don moved to Las Vegas where he soon became the house bass player at the Flamingo Hilton where he played with Ike and Tina Turner, Perry Como and many others. In the 70's, Schiff heard about the electric stick and drove his wife and dog to Los Angeles to meet Emmett Chapman. (See the Stick instruction book "Free Hands" to see Don and Pete the dog.) Schiff would like it known that he played the Stick for Raquel Welch, and would like to say hello if she's reading. Since his Vegas days, Schiff has written for many artists (including Pat Benatar, who got him his first gold record) and scored several films. His score for "Live from Death Row" featured liberal application of the Stick, which became the sound of that film. Schiff has recently played on albums by Eddie Money on Sony, Kerri Anderson on Impact/MCA, and Lance Matthew on Virgin/EMI.
In 1994, Rocket Scientists backed vocalist Lana Lane on her debut album, Love is an Illusion, which is now being widely distributed and gathering international acclaim.
released July 1, 1995
Mark McCrite - vocals, guitar
Erik Norlander - keyboards, vocals
Don Schiff - Chapman Stick, bass
Tommy Amato - drums
Formed in the late 1980s by keyboardist Erik Norlander and vocalist / guitarist Mark McCrite, the two released their first
CD in 1993 joined by bassist Don Schiff who soon became a part of the band. RS has played many festivals and concert dates across North America and Europe and continue to release new music. Memorable songwriting and innovative instrumentation are Rocket Scientists hallmarks...more