New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Saul Zonana official website)
A Guitar Wizard's Tour De Force, As Saul Zonana's 'Fix The Broken' Is A 'Gear Head's Dream' -- An Unexpected Mash-up Of Progressive Pop Sounds
And Old-Fashioned Rock
A Guitar Wizard's Tour de Force, as Zonana's 10th CD is a 'Gear Head's Dream'
Songwriter/Producer/Guitarist Preps Most Accomplished Album to Date: 'Fix The Broken' is a Confident, Unexpected Mash-up of Progressive Pop Sounds
and Old-Fashioned Rock
Songwriter/guitarist/producer Saul Zonana delivers a tour de force on the dramatic 'Fix the Broken,' his tenth studio album. The confident, unexpected mash-up of progressive pop sounds and old-fashioned rock manages to be both a throwback and thoroughly modern, as Zonana's vocals evoke Lenny Kravitz
or Elvis Costello
in some spots and Queen
in others. Throughout it all, Zonana's extraordinary guitar work and inventive instrumentation propel the ten-song collection forward, sideways and backways.
The album will be released digitally on July 31st, with brick and mortar distribution set for October 2nd.
Zonana, a guitarist and bassist from New York who is now based in Nashville, plays 95% of the sounds on the new album, and even uses his guitar to create most of the keyboard and synth sections heard on 'Fix The Broken'. He has been described as a guitar 'wizard', and the round-up below provides an instrument-by-instrument breakdown of the nine+ guitars Zonana plays on the upcoming release, from a Jerry Jones Electric sitar to a Moog to a Taylor 8 string baritone acoustic and many more…
Zonana is a respected musician with a decades-long career - past collaborations include No Heroes and Luv Junkies, a stint in KISS guitarist Ace Frehley's touring band, guitar work with Adrian Belew, Crash
Test Dummies and much more. But now the spotlight's firmly on Zonana with 'Fix the Broken,' and highlights abound - from the memorable opening track 'Notice,' to the scorching 'The Music,' to the stunning 'A Kiss When I'm Gone,' to the cinematic 'Fly,' Zonana is full of surprises and sees the album as a defining moment in his storied career. He comments:
"Fix The Broken" is my tenth release as a solo artist since 1999, and it is without a doubt the culmination of all my experience as a writer, as a guitar player, and as a producer/engineer. For me personally, it's the most meaningful collection of songs that I've ever compiled. I wrote and recorded about twenty songs during the making of "Fix The Broken". The ten songs on the album were the ones that came together the most naturally and I thought had a unique quality of some sort. "Fix The Broken" is also the first of my albums that I'm playing 95% of the sounds that you hear. I played drums on one song but left the real drumming to Wes Little
(Nashville), Rich Mercurio (NY), and Charlie Morgan
(Nashville) on the other nine songs. At one point, I had recorded and played all of the instruments on so many songs, that I started to get lost in it all. So I put the album aside for a few months before eventually starting to finish each song one by one. As I finished each song, I would mix it over the course of a few days, then move on to the next one. There was great fun in being the player, singer, and producer for every single part on the twenty recordings, but boy, it was tedious. However, it was extremely rewarding. Regardless of all this, what's most important to me are people's reactions to the songs. One thing I've learned over the years is that you never can tell which songs will be the ones that people are drawn to. But I can say that on "Fix The Broken" every single song that ended up on the album are ones that I poured my heart into musically and lyrically. They're the ones that I feel extremely attached to. I can only hope that as this reaches people, they'll feel the same way.
Saul Zonana Describes the Nine+ Guitars Played on his New CD, 'Fix The Broken'
"The three main guitars I use are two Parker Midi Fly guitars, And one Mario
midi T master guitar. These are unique in that they not only sound and play great through an amp but they are equipped with 13pin Midi connections allowing me to trigger synthesizers when I'm playing. Most of the keyboard and synth sounds heard on Fix The Broken are actually guitars. They also have piezo pickups turning them into acoustic guitars which I turn on and off during the course of the record and live as well.
I also played a Taylor 8 string baritone acoustic guitar. Very big deep sounding acoustic instrument which almost has an acoustic bass quality at times but is thick and rich when you strum it.
Also pictured in my Jerry Jones Electric sitar, and my 12 string mando guitar appropriately named "shorty". Both can be heard throughout the recording and have very distinct tones.
The basses shown are a custom made 3 pickup German Hofner club bass (Gold) made for Tom Peterson of Cheap Trick. (Only 3 made... Tom has the other two) and a Custom
shop Fender Bass VI (Red) which is really a fender 6 string electric guitar but the strings are all 1 octave lower. This is the bass that George
or John would play when Paul would play Piano. Made famous in the Hey Jude video. Yep I'm talkin' bout the Beatles
Perhaps the most unique guitar used on this recording is the Moog guitar. This guitar has a voicing that is very difficult to explain but it's based on infinite sustain, harmonics and magnetic energy. It's all analog and creates tones that almost sound backwards at times. There's really so much to it it's hard to put into words but lets just say that during any moment you would ask "What is that"?? on the new album, It's the Moog guitar."
An expansive cover story in Zonana's hometown Alt weekly PULSE TN provides an in-depth visit with the artist: https://boropulse.com/2012/05/murfreesboros-own-saul-zonana-is-still-rocking-after-all-these-years/
BASS PLAYER MAGAZINE had this to say about Zonana's last CD release: Who is Saul Zonana? There's no short answer. A longtime New Yorker now based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; a former sideman bassist for Ace Frehley
of Kiss; a mix engineer on Adrian Belew's most recent live album; a big-time-session quality lead singer and guitarist; and a songwriter who's been independently releasing solo material for ten years. But before all that he was just a bassist who really dug Paul McCartney—and it shows up in the best possible way on his latest self-produced album, Phatso. Zonana's slightly progressive, psychedelic power pop songs are absolutely infectious, serving as perfect vehicles for bass lines like "Mr. Pulsfuss" and "Direction" that conjure up melody and drive eighth-notes as skillfully as Sir Paul ever did. (Yes, really.) And the mix is delicious, a huge collective landscape with plenty of sweetness on top and enough clarity down low for Zonana's expert melodic sensibility on the bass to shoot right through. So who is Saul Zonana really? How about a brilliant songwriter/producer/engineer who happens to be a great bassist, guitarist, and lead singer? Accurate or not, we should all have such problems defining ourselves.
The Saul Zonana Trio will tour this Summer and Fall in support of 'Fix The Broken' - cities will be announced soon.
Recorded at AI Nashville and Studio Z in Murfreesboro TN
Assistant Engineers: Rob Polivka, Miguel
Lara Jr, and Jeremy Nolan
Mixed by Saul Zonana at Studio Z
Mastered by Daniel
All instruments, vocals and sounds played by Saul Zonana
Drums- Tracks 1,2,3,7,9,10 -Wes Little,
Drums- Tracks 5,6 and 8 -Rich Mercurio
Percussion drum kit- Track 10 -Charlie Morgan
Slide guitar-Track 6 - Pat Buchanan, Piano -B3-Track 10- Rob Arthur
Artwork -Jeff Norberg
Photography -Thomas Christy
Dear fellow gear nerds…
I record my bass tracks using Hofner basses, and Lakeland basses.
I play, and sometimes fall asleep with Parker midi Fly electric guitars
I like totally geek out over pedals by Pigtronix, Moog and Creation Audio Labs.
These guitars and basses get plugged into Ampeg amps and get turned up pretty dang loud.
I also like to plug into Line 6 modeling devices, which makes me a super model er.
I strum a variety of Taylor and Walden acoustic guitars and they sound so nice
that I sometimes start to cry.
When I play drums it's on a MAYPEX kit and the neighbors love it.
Every string instrument that I own gets strung up with D'Addario strings. Better than
being strung out right?
My straps, cables, tuners etc… are all from Planet Waves. I'm from Earth myself.
I continue to enjoy playing Moog synthesizers and the Moog guitar and always will.
My studio control room sounds so accurate thanks to Auralex acoustics and
good speakers. I really truly love the relationships that I have with these creative innovators and manufacturers of this musical gear and I feel privileged to work with them.
Pro Sound Web recently covered Zonana's growing relationship with Aurelex equipment:
More about Saul Zonana, from his website:
When I was 3 years old, before I could actually complete sentences (still can't), I was writing songs. And here I am today, still with the mental capacity of a 3 year old but STILL writing songs and releasing albums. Who woulda thunk it. I started playing keyboards first, soon picked up the bass guitar, then 6 string, then anything that makes a sound. While the other kids were into video games, beer, and even drugs, I wrote songs and recorded them. That's about all I cared about. Keep in mind, this was BEFORE $99 bought you a guitar and an amp and everyone thought they were an artist. This was BEFORE we celebrated mediocrity and watched shows like American idol. This was when you wrote and performed music because it was in your blood. These days, besides my family, it's still my main focus. It was during those early years that my older brother turned me on to REAL bands like The Who, Yes, Black
Sabbath, Rush, The Cars, The Police
and um... THE BEATLES!! This fueled my creativity in a big way. I got my hands on a basic four track tape machine, (which remember were much harder to come by in those days) and began a journey to continue making music. I released my first solo album when I was 13 years old. That's when it REALLY started. There was no turning back. I became addicted to writing and recording music. We fast forward... -
Now with every recording, I try to improve the songwriting, the performances and the recordings themselves. I'm passionate about tones, sounds and what can be accomplished sonically. I've released TEN of my own albums, one live album, produced and worked with SO many other major and independent acts, secured two major recording contracts, two major publishing deals, and have been around the world several times playing my music and music by artists that I respect. I've recorded and toured with Ace Frehley, Adrian Belew, Crash
Test Dummies to name a few... FUN!! I'm extremely grateful for what I've done. BUT REALLY I HAVENT EVEN STARTED YET. If my songs sound familiar, it's likely because they are played in a bunch of films and television shows. Or maybe you've heard me on radio stations in the past and said "boy he's got a great face for radio"! Or just maybe you actually put facebook aside for one evening and came out to see me live and in person! How nuts would that be!! Regardless, this is what I do and always will. Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed my music over the years. I appreciate you more than you know. Keep coming out to the shows. Keep tuning in… More music coming!!