Mark Zonder has been teasing something new for the last few years now. The renown Fates Warning and Warlord drummer was busy earlier this winter with Spirits of Fire—the group that also features members of Testament, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Savatage—and the release of their sophomore effort, Embrace The Unknown. But even before then, in 2020, Zonder began working on new material that became the genesis for the focused, hard rockin’ outfit, A-Z, who will release their self-titled, debit LP on August 12 via Metal Blade Records.
The band— Zonder, Fates Warning lead vocalist Ray Alder, bassist Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Warlord), guitarist Joop Wolters, and keyboardist Vivien Lalu (Lalu)—are hoping the no bullshit, straight up heavy rock vibe of their debut album will appeal with broader audiences worldwide. The album’s first single, "The Machine Gunner," is marked by high-energy guitars, big choruses, and laser-like precision beats from Zonder. Fans of Fates Warning, as well as Queensryche and Dream Theater, will instantly find much to love with this cut. You can check the video out below.
About A-Z, Zonder has said, "I wanted to have a very accessible band that would appeal to the masses and would lead to the ability to tour larger venues and build a second and third record off the success of the first…. I knew from myself and the others that I would recruit, it would have some sophisticated music parts, but the big hook was the main priority."
"It has been a long time coming, but we are all very excited to share A-Z with the world and get the show on the road… Let the games begin!"