Head with Wings
Randy McStine, Toby Driver
Add to Calendar
General Admission Standing Room Only
HEAD WITH WINGS
Head with Wings are storytellers of sound. Textured, ethereal, and blissfully haunting, the U.S. - based quintet creates boundary-pushing rock songs that straddle the aesthetic line between art music and narrative drama. A Head with Wings song is a cinematically evocative listening experience, built on the pillars of alternative rock and forged in the depths of prog. It’s varied, emotionally potent and obsessive by nature. It’s a sound 14 years in the making – one that took its time to get here; to the point of Without Intervention. The new album is uncompromising in its vision and is acutely aware of the void that it fills in the modern rock landscape — an arena that is all too derivative.
Making noise since 2009, Head with Wings has spent years shaping its sound and sculpting its episodic narrative. After emerging from the New Haven, CT music scene in 2012, the band went on to release Living with the Loss (EP) in 2013, From Worry to Shame (LP) in 2018 and Comfort in Illusion (EP) in 2021. The current lineup consists of guitarists, Brandon Cousino and Sayre Whitford, vocalist, Joshua Corum, drummer, Mike Short and bassist, Joe Elliott.
After previously working with a trove of world class producers and engineers such as Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Skyharbor, Dead Letter Circus), David Castillo (Leprous, Opeth, Katatonia), Gregory Thomas (END, ex-Misery Signals), Kris Crummett (Dance Gavin Dance) and Frank Sacramone (Earthside), the band enlisted rising keyboard guru/producer Vikram Shankar (Silent Skies, Redemption) to perform on, co-produce, mix and master Without Intervention. The resulting concoction is harrowing and purely cathartic.
In recent years, Head with Wings has shared the stage with an array of bands across the progressive spectrum, such as: Between the Buried and Me, Vola, Sleep Token, Voyager, Earthside, Moon Tooth, Bent Knee, Thank You Scientist!, Mile Marker Zero, The Reign of Kindo, Emarosa, Jason Richardson, Smalltape, Soulsplitter, The Tea Club, Pattern-Seeking Animals, Dave Kerzner, Stick Men and many more. The band has also performed at notable festivals such as RoSFest and Euroblast with more tour dates to come in 2023 in support of the new album.
Randy McStine is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer. He is primarily known as a guitarist and vocalist, whose diverse career as a solo artist and side-man has led to tours and studio collaborations with Porcupine Tree, Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats), Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai), Tom Brislin (Kansas, Yes), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Nick D’Virgilio (Tears For Fears, Big Big Train), Adam Holzman (Miles Davis, Steven Wilson), Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Jane Getter Premonition and many more.
McStine showed an intense interest in music from an early age, receiving his first electric guitar on his fifth birthday. By the age of eleven, Randy was regularly playing gigs in Classic Rock and Blues cover bands across New York state. Releasing his first independent solo album at age twelve, McStine would spend his early teen years primarily writing instrumental music. Randy began to focus on singing while in high school, which broadened his horizons as a musician and songwriter. Entering his twenties, McStine took an interest in music production, and started down the path of putting together a proper home studio. Soon after, he started releasing music under the name Lo-Fi Resistance, which put him on the radar of musicians and fans within the Progressive Rock genre.
Since 2010, McStine has appeared on dozens of albums as a guitarist and vocalist. Randy’s solo work embraces genres such as Rock, Progressive, Blues, Singer-Songwriter, Folk, Pop, and Ambient music. In 2020, he formed McStine & Minnemann with acclaimed drummer and composer, Marco Minnemann. The duo has released two albums, and made their live debut in 2022 with Mohini Dey on bass. Randy is currently working on new solo music, while serving as a touring member of Porcupine Tree, who returned in 2022 with a new album and world tour after a 12-year hiatus.
TOBY DRIVER (AS ALORA CRUCIBLE)
Everything is fluid, the only constant is change, you can't step in the same river twice. Many people hold these truths to be self-evident, and as these ideas become even more more commonplace, it only makes sense that musicians should defy the demand to answer the question "Who are you?" The refusal to answer is, in a way, the best answer possible. Toby Driver's music is what that refusal sounds like.
Having grown up in the Northeast US, surrounded by a confusing combination of progressive social values and religious upbringing, haunted history's abandoned places and nowhere to stop the car even just to take a look, Driver developed an adventurous mind fascinated with exploration, rule breaking, and the unknown. Music was present since birth, through his parents' LP collection, and became a study at age eight following in his older brother's footsteps, their mere 11-month age difference leading to literally everything being shared. It was perhaps here that Driver's urge to discover his own self was stoked.
He studied composition at the experimental school, Hampshire College, with the jazz legend Yusef Lateef, whose unorthodox and innovative artistic practices encouraged Driver's search to become even more vigorous, and he developed a style characterized by imposing architecture and a distinct approach to time, focusing on ensemble performances of grand conducted phrases and impressionistic pulse, strongly influenced by Lateef's sense of harmony– ideas which he later compressed into virtuosic and complex rhythmic counterpoint. Whereas most musicians identify themselves by their chosen genre, Driver's rejection of idioms has resulted in a vast, unpredictable discography full of risks and liberties that invokes influences from every age and place, while never settling on one palette of colors, and a career that has brought his music to a considerable breadth of venues from thousands-capacity metal festivals to classical concert halls, and from basement concerts to the 57th Biennale di Venezia. It is in retrospect then, where the fullest picture of Driver's mission comes into focus: the navigation of his own identity and purpose, the discovery of which aspects are fluid and which are inescapable, and the sustained repetitive insistence of a person's voice and character passing through environments and time.
Toby Driver has most recently released a duo of opposing albums: the violent and pessimistic Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike by his long-running avant-garde goth ensemble, Kayo Dot, via the German dark music label, Prophecy Productions, and Thymiamatascension by his newer project, Alora Crucible, an exploration of healing, semi-ambient transcendent composition via the elite British label, House of Mythology, who also house Ulver and Current 93. Driver has also recently received classical commissions from Ludovico Ensemble (Boston, Massachusetts) and Sacrum Profanum Festival (Kraków).ALORA CRUCIBLE is the moniker Toby Driver uses for his excursions into composed, semi-ambient experimental New Age music. New works feature his hammered dulcimer as well as a few pieces from the debut album, "Thymiamatascension." The players are (pictured from L to R:) Ana Cristina Pérez, Timba Harris, and Toby Driver.
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden, CT, 06514