When two of rock’s busiest working musicians are forced into a lockdown, the results can be an explosive collaboration. Such is the case with multi-instrumentalists Randy McStine and Marco Minnemann and their second release in just under a year, McStine & Minnemann II. The pair spent much of 2020 writing, arranging, and producing this incredible 16-track collection of songs featuring an expansive landscape of rock, jazz, metal, and progressive structures, while infusing infectious pop melodies with dizzying twists that defy you not to smile. For more information, please visit McStine & Minnemann.
The duo joined forces in late 2019 with a common love of various rock, pop, and punk artists, crafting their unique blend of shared influences into a tuneful and engaging debut. Channeling elements of Frank Zappa, Queen, Public Image Ltd, XTC, and The Police, the eponymously titled McStine & Minnemann, was released in July 2020. On their immediate follow-up, McStine & Minnemann II, Randy and Marco continue taking on all instrumental and vocal duties, as their rock-prog-pop hybrid sparkles with high-energy melodies, dexterous musicianship, and fearless treks into something completely different…
“I met Randy for the first time at ProgStock 2018. Not only did I instantly notice his great guitar tones, playing, and singing, but also his love of detail and precision about any kind of arrangement and odd meter playing. We locked right away and a lot of similarities in musical taste were discovered upon a few drinks at our after-show hangs,” says Minnemann. “We soon decided to take this connection further, inviting each other to guest on our individual solo albums. These collaborative efforts then resulted into the idea of forming a duo. Well, meanwhile two successful McStine & Minnemann albums in, I cannot stress enough how much I value our musical partner- and friendship. Randy’s an amazing instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. He makes everything sound amazing.”
“The formation of McStine & Minnemann has brought a profound joy and energy to my life. There is a mutual respect and admiration for one another that runs deep in the soil of our music, and the development of our friendship continues to nurture it. With a great mix of precision, humor, and vulnerability, we find ourselves constantly pushing each other to take bolder musical steps in the most supportive ways possible,” McStine says. “Marco’s singular talent is endlessly inspiring to me, and in my experience, finding this sort of collaborative magic is incredibly rare. It’s also been gratifying to watch people discover us, then quickly become passionate fans of our duo at this early point in our journey.”
Randy McStine (Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, FX) has a rich history of musical collaborations, including the rock power trio, The Fringe, with Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings) and Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train), along with several solo albums under the name Lo-Fi Resistance, featuring members of Porcupine Tree, King’s X, Spock’s Beard, and others.
Marco Minnemann (Drums, Percussion, Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals, Bass, FX) maintains a high-profile status with an extensive discography and touring resume which includes his instrumental trio, The Aristocrats, along with artists such as Joe Satriani, Steven Wilson, Adrian Belew, The Buddy Rich Big Band, and many others. Celebrated for his unique playing style, Marco has been instrumental in developing the advanced concept of complex interdependence, a drum technique allowing him to play varying patterns with each of his feet and hands.
McStine & Minnemann II tracklist:
“Love Before Algorithms”
“I Don't Need It”
“I Don't Feel”
“Girls At The Gig”
“Big Wave” *
“Love After Algorithms”
“Quarantine Sex Slave”
“Hello Dear Miss Swan Song”
“Running In Place”
“The Horse Is Dead” (featuring Alex Lifeson)
Mixed and Mastered by Forrester Savell
Mixed and Co-Produced by Tim Palmer