Instrumental prog supergroup The Aristocrats have announced they will release a new live album, FREEZE! Live In Europe 2020, on May 7. You can view the new album artwork and tracklisting below.
Featuring performances from across Spain in February 2020, just weeks before live music went on extended hiatus, the album leans heavily on renditions of material from their most recent album, 2019's critically acclaimed You Know What…?.
“FREEZE! documents a particularly memorable period for the band so I think it’s really fortunate that we were able to capture this musical ‘snapshot’”, says guitarist Guthrie Govan. “After months of relentless gigging, the material from our latest studio recording had started to feel really natural for us and yet… somehow, there was still an unmistakable element of excitement and musical risk-taking on stage every night when we played those songs.”
“Growing together as a band also means knowing, focusing and perfecting the details of our musical presentations” explains drummer Marco Minnemann. “On tour, we sometimes become our worst critics and maybe one out of ten gigs fully pleases the band as a collective. But I believe that sort of ‘quality control’ is necessary and trying to give 110% every night is the least we can do for us and especially our fans.
"I have to admit that I at first was reluctant listening to the recordings, almost fearful about how many mistakes I would find. However, with a little bit of distance and fresh ears, I was actually more than pleased finding out that this ‘hand-picked’ selection of Aristocratic tunes I believe showcases the band as a very well-toured, oiled and locked machine, with not only love and attention to detail, but also playfulness and fun. Furthermore, Neil Peart sadly passed away during our European leg... I played my heart out for him every single night."
"Like Guthrie and Marco said, by February 2020 we were deep into the You Know What…? touring cycle, almost up to 100 shows,:" adds bassist Bryan Beller. "We were greased up and ready to go, every night. But we had no way of knowing as we plowed through Spain that these would be some of the last shows we’d play for a while. So it’s special on several levels for us to be able to share this frozen moment in time, which is what a live album truly is.
"It’s a statement of what we were bringing to stages every night in the heat of a world tour; it’s something for our fans who may not have caught this tour to experience and hopefully enjoy at home; and, ideally, it’s also something to keep the flame burning for when we can get back out there and let loose onstage once again. Because that’s what we do best.”
FREEZE! Live In Europe 2020 is available for pre-order now in all purchase formats and will be available starting May 7 on CD and digital download, with streaming services to follow in subsequent weeks. Hi-res digital downloads of FREEZE! are available exclusively at the band’s brand new Bandcamp store, along with CD-or-better quality digital downloads of the band’s entire back catalog for the very first time. Also, a limited-run double-vinyl version of FREEZE! will be available through Diggers Factory.
The Aristocrats: FREEZE! Live In Europe 2020
1. D Grade F*ck Movie Jam
2. Spanish Eddie
3. When We All Come Together
4. The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde
5. Get It Like That (Dedicated To Neil Peart)
6. Last Orders