SPOCK’S BEARD Keyboardist RYO OKUMOTO Reveals Video for Single “The Watchmaker,” Off Upcoming Solo Album “The Myth of the Mostrophus”

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Ryo Okumoto, long-time keyboardist for prog-rock group Spock’s Beard, recently announced his new solo album “The Myth of the Mostrophus”, due out on July 29th, 2022 on InsideOut Music. The six song prog extravaganza features Okumoto’s signature style accompanied by the talents of a who’s who of progressive rock. The album will be available in a CD Digipak, a 2 LP+CD package in black vinyl, a special limited edition 2 LP+CD with transparent red vinyl LPs (only 300 made!), plus the Japanese CD edition with 2 bonus tracks.

“The Myth of the Mostrophus” is now available for pre-order here

Today, Ryo is pleased to share the video for the single “The Watchmaker” which you can watch below.

“The Watchmaker” features the heavy rhythm and searing guitar leads of Lyle Workman, along with the thundering bass of Dave Meros, both in perfect sync with the propulsive drumming of Jonathan Mover, underneath the unmistakably classic sounds of Hammond B3, Jupiter 8 and Minimoog synths of keyboard wizard Ryo Okumoto, and christened by the soaring vocals of album co-writer Michael Whiteman; this track provides a tantalizing taste of what is to come on this star-studded progressive rock extravaganza!
 
Ryo had this to say about the single: Immerse yourself in the tale of “The Watchmaker”, wherein oureponymous character sets off on an odyssey through past, present and future. Time is literally on his side, as the watch on his workbench allows him the opportunity to try his hand at setting things right again.” 

Ryo reflects about the record: “This album was a labor of love, and was a collaboration stretching from coast to coast. It is an ambitious journey through my many influences, including prog, pop, rock and R&B, performed by musicians who are at the very top of their class and who gave each track their all.”

“It was November 28, 2020, and while participating in a live-stream event called The Fusion Christmas Cracker, I saw a band called I Am the Manic Whale and was especially impressed by their lead singer/bassist Michael Whiteman, so I contacted him to see if he’d be interested in being a “collabowriter” for my next solo album. He enthusiastically said, “Yes.” It has been 20 years since the recording and release of my fourth solo album, “Coming Through” [2002], but I never stopped composing. I sent 30 ideas to Michael; he got to work and began sending back demos, one by one, and as they say, the rest is history – I had the basis of my album! But wait…I had to wonder, “Who is going to play all the songs? They not only have to be the best players, but their personalities need to match each song.”

“I wanted to produce my own version of Spock’s Beard, so I called the members and they all agreed to participate. The first song on the record is called “Mirror, Mirror”, which happens to be the episode from “Star Trek” where Mr. Spock has a beard. A perfect match! Another song, “The Myth of the Mostrophus”, is a 22-minute epic and is also the title song on the album. Who doesn’t like epic songs?! “Myth” felt like it should be the last song on the album, which also led to my decision to go with Spock’s Beard members. I called Nick D’Virgilio, who recorded his drums at Sweetwater Studios, and the wheels were in motion. Dave Meros and Alan Morse then overdubbed their parts at their respective home studios, and lastly, Nick and Ted Leonard sang – “Ryo’s Beard” was complete.”

“The Myth of the Mostrophus” Album Artwork

“For the other four songs I needed to shift gears away from Spock’s Beard. At the time, I was rehearsing with Jonathan Mover in preparation for ProgJect’s debut tour in April 2022 (it’s from here, in my bunk on the tour bus, traveling from Cleveland to Buffalo with this all-star Ultimate Prog Rock Experience, that I’m writing this!). Jonathan agreed to play on the four remaining songs, so I sent him the demos and we got together to listen, talk, rehearse and [re]arrange, and he was ready to go. I then called Rich Mouser and we recorded Jonathan’s drums at Rich’s studio (Mouse House) in Pasadena.”

“Now that we had the rhythm tracks done, who was going to play everything else? I had used Steve Lukather on both “Makin’ Rock” and “Coming Through,” but he was busy working on his solo album and putting the new TOTO together so I asked Jonathan for any recommendations. He contacted Lyle Workman and Steve Hackett. Bingo! Soon after, Mike Keneally joined ProgJect, so I asked him to participate, and prior to Mike, we had also played with Marc Bonilla – both said, “Yes.”

“I still needed a great R&B bass player for a couple of unique, demanding songs, who could groove but also rock, and once again, Jonathan stepped up and contacted Doug Wimbish from Living Colour. I couldn’t believe it…like everyone else, Doug said, “Yes”! “Chrysalis” and “Turning Point” feature his amazing playing.”

“Last but not least was the extremely important choice of lead vocals. I’m very lucky to have my ProgJect bandmate Michael Sadler onboard, along with the multi-talented Randy McStine, and of course, my co-writer Michael Whiteman. Special thanks to Rich Mouser, the engineer who recorded and mixed all of Spock’s Beard’s records, who did the same for me. There’s nothing better than to have a song – your song, which is like your baby – taken in and adopted by a great family of musicians that help nurture it to adulthood. I’m very excited at how this album came together and I hope people will appreciate every note painstakingly written and expertly executed.”

“The Myth of the Mostrophus” features guest appearances by a number of incredible musicians:

  • Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train, Spock’s Beard) / Drums & Vocals
  • Al Morse (Spock’s Beard) / Guitar
  • Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard) / Bass
  • Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard. Transatlantic) / Vocals
  • Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard) / Vocals
  • Steve Hackett (Genesis) / Guitar
  • Michael Sadler (Saga, ProgJect) / Vocals
  • Mike Keneally (Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, ProgJect) / Guitar
  • Jonathan Mover (Joe Satriani, ProgJect) / Drums
  • Marc Bonila (Keith Emerson/Kevin Gilbert) / Guitar
  • Doug Wimbish (Living Colour) / Bass
  • Randy McStine (McStine & Minnemann, Porcupine Tree) / Guitars & Vocals
  • Lyle Workman (Todd Rundgren) / Guitar
  • Michael Whiteman (I Am the Manic Whale) / Guitars & Vocals

“The Myth of the Mostrophus”track-listing:

1.Mirror Mirror (9:27)
2.Turning Point (6:53)
3.The Watchmaker (Time On His Side) (6:25)
4.Maximum Velocity (8:11)
5.Chrysalis (7:35)
6.The Myth Of The Mostrophus (22:14)

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