“Working on this album has consumed all of our lives to the point of complete obsession. I’m incredibly proud of everyone in the band for dedicating as much blood to this record as they did. You’ll hear it in the music. We put everything into it.” Those are the words of Five of the Eyes’ dynamic frontman Darrell Foster whose soaring vocals and poignant lyrics stand at the forefront of the band’s stunning debut album The Venus Transit which premiered via The Huffington Post earlier this week. Foster’s words most certainly ring true when listening to the groups latest offering. It is an ambitious record but Five of the Eyes are not afraid to traverse new territory, and The Venus Transit is a testament to the band’s trail-blazing musical instincts. At the core, Five of the Eyes are a rock and roll band with progressive leanings, but they also inhabit a much larger space than that stylistically, and with The Venus Transit they’ve proven that they are ready to make their mark on an industry that could use a breath of fresh air.
Stream The Venus Transit via Huff Post HERE
The album which was produced and engineered by Jonathan Wyman at The Halo in Portland, ME musically picks-up where the band left off with their self-produced sophomore EP Hierophantasm. However with Wyman acting as both producer and engineer, the songs off The Venus Transit soar to stunning new heights, previously unachievable in the confines of the band’s home studio. The flawless fidelity matched by equally impressive performances by all five members, makes for a listening experience unlike anything that the band has produced to date. Singer Darrell Foster’s jaw dropping voice seems bound by neither range, power, or tone and brings to mind the limitless pipes of singers like Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta. Brothers Tim and Thomas Meehan bring their biological synchronicity to the band and shred fearlessly (on guitar and bass respectively) on every track as if their lives depended on it; injecting the music with harmonious riffs, that are both as technical as they are tasteful. Drummer extraordinaire Peter Griffith holds down the backbeat with his impeccable timing, precision playing and a Tasmanian Devil level of energy that propels the songs forward at a breakneck pace. And last but certainly not least is guitarist Ned Rich whose laid-back demeanor may trick you at first, but don’t be fooled people. Put the man on stage with a guitar and he’s all business. Rich attacks the instrument with the tunnel-vision focus of a surgeon and the tentacle dexterity of an octopus. When asked to reflect on the album Rich offered up the following:
“I’m very proud of this record and everyone who worked on it. I hope everyone else loves it as much as we do, but at the end of the day we made it for ourselves because it’s what we love to do and that’s all that really matters. I feel very fortunate to be able to play in a band with a group of guys as passionate and hardworking as these. When everyone else is working hard and performing at a high level, it just motivates you that much more to do the same. That’s a rare thing and it’s something I don’t take for granted.”
When listening to The Venus Transit it is clear that an astonishing amount of time, passion, and creative energy went into the making of it. These guys put their hearts into the music and the effort has paid off. The result of their toils is a collection of brilliantly crafted songs that defy genre and that challenge listeners to think and to embrace the unfamiliar. ‘The Venus Transit’ traverses strange and beautiful new landscapes, and for guitarist Tim Meehan the result was equally as important as the process.
“This album is my greatest achievement as a musician thus far. Writing these songs was hard work at times (the process can be tedious when five creative people all have a sound in their head they want to get out). Nonetheless it was extremely rewarding to be a part of, and it all culminated in an unforgettable two weeks at The Halo studio. The beginning of our time there actually coincided with a rough patch for me, emotionally speaking. Being able to go in there every day and inject every thought and emotion into the process helped me in a way I still probably don’t fully appreciate.” – Tim Meehan
The Venus Transit was mastered by Grammy award winning engineer Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering Studio’s which is known around the world for pretty much mastering every great record that you’ve ever heard. Ok, well not every album but just about. In short, the record sounds incredible and will appeal to and or impress music lovers of all types. To try and pigeonhole the band into one genre would be to do them a massive disservice, because while they tend to toe the prog-rock line, Five of the Eyes have dedicated themselves to creating a sound and aesthetic that is uniquely their own. Now with a stellar new album under their belt, a fall tour on the books, and a hunger to be heard, these five small-town boys are ready to take on the world one face-melting show at a time.
The Venus Transit is now available in digital, CD, and vinyl format. Order your copy HERE, and be sure to catch the band live during their fall 2017 tour!
Five of the Eyes is a progressive rock band from Portland, Maine. The term “progressive rock” is used with reluctance in their case, though, as most of their music seems to defy genre. Imagine that the love child of Jeff Buckley, The Mars Volta and Incubus started making music. Then, somewhere along the way, it had an affair with Queens of the Stone Age. The offspring of that relationship then started making its own music, and it was under the name Five of the Eyes.
Five of the Eyes first formed in early 2013 when Tim Meehan (guitar) moved to Portland and was looking to start a project with his brother, Thomas Meehan (bass). Friends Peter Griffith (drums) and Ned Rich (guitar) were quickly brought into the fold as they had been playing with Thomas for many years in a group called Chaos Sauce. Sessions with the quartet began immediately and it was obvious to everyone that something unique and truly exciting was happening. After a few months, songs were beginning to take shape, but one piece seemed to be missing…a vocalist. Thomas had someone in mind who might be the perfect fit, and sent over an early instrumental demo of the song “Isabella” to local Portland musician Darrell Foster. Darrell had performed with John Popper and collaborated with Thomas Waterhouse (Last Chance to Reason) and Mike Lessard (The Contortionist). His previous bands, Nira May, Mother Leopard, Foster & Ulitz, and Paper Tails, had opened for renowned acts such as Lake Street Dive and London Souls. Within hours of receiving “Isabella”, Darrell responded with a single vocal take. Once the band heard it, it was obvious: Darrell was in. Rehearsals began immediately and creative output quickly blossomed.
In the next couple of years, the band wrote, recorded, performed continuously, and released two EPs, FOTE and Hierophantasm, both of which were completely self-recorded and produced. In the summer of 2015, they embarked on a tour of the Eastern US and had the pleasure of opening for such acts as Rival Sons, Chon, The Contortionist, Auras, Intronaut, Moon Tooth, Rustic Overtones, Paranoid Social Club, and Entheos.
In 2016, the group began writing songs for their first full-length album. They spent the winter of ’16 and ’17 rehearsing and refining the new material, which was the result of four years of a relentless pursuit of progression both as a songwriting and performing unit. Finally, in May of ’17, Five of the Eyes went to the best studio in Maine, The Halo. Together with producer Jonathon Wyman, they recorded and mixed The Venus Transit in twelve days. Wyman pushed the band to experiment sonically, to be decisive creatively, and to perform at a high level. The result exceeded the band’s expectations, and they were thrilled. The record was mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering Studios in Portland, Maine, and a release date was set for September 2017. The Venus Transit sees the band finding their sound and pulling no punches along the way. It definitively establishes Five of the Eyes as a force to be reckoned with; both live and in the studio.
Connect with Five of the Eyes!