For the uninitiated, Thank You Scientist was forged from the music program at Montclair State University in New Jersey when guitarist Tom Monda met saxophonist Ellis Jasenovic and trumpeter Andrew Digrius. The three bonded over their love for Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Beatles and Harry Nilsson. Those influences would become the seeds for what Thank You Scientist would evolve into today.
With the addition of vocalist Salvatore Marrano, bassist Greg Colacino, drummer Odin Alvarez and violinist Ben Karas, Thank You Scientist’s lineup of virtuoso musicians was complete. The band would go on to self-release an EP, The Perils of Time Travel, in 2011 followed by their debut full-length, Maps of Non-Existent Places, in 2012, which caught the ear of Sanchez, a fellow purveyor of progressive stylings, and led to his signing of the band.
To pinpoint Thank You Scientist’s sound would be inconceivable. On Maps of Non-Existent Places they hold a virtual master class on musicianship, fusing elements of progressive rock with jazz fusion, classical, metal, psychedelic and pop for a head spinning, mind-blowing listening experience. The seven-piece band, who collectively play some 20 instruments, boasts a hyper-composed sound which is indebted to their experience and formal training in both classical and jazz idioms.
A Frank Zappa for the indie generation? Incubus jamming with the Mahavishnu Orchestra? Mr. Bungle and Steely Dan joining forces to fight Godzilla? King Crimson and the Brecker Brothers serenading you at your bedside? It all seems so strange on paper, yet it’s sure to satisfy your ears in the best of ways.