What to do when there’s so much creative energy that you’re almost bursting with it? In the case of former ANNIHILATOR and current TOUCH THE SUN bassist RUSS BERGQUIST, the remedy consists of calling some friends to invite them over, crack a few cold ones together, and record some music that’s been manifesting in the back of your head over the years.
The illustrious cast supporting Russ Bergquist, who is taking over all bass and rhythm guitar duties, contains musicians from the US, Canada, France and even The Netherlands, namely well-known instrumental hallmarks from all styles of music, such as Ray Hartmann (ex-ANNIHILATOR, ASSAULT) and Ryan Van Poederooyen (DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND/PROJECT, TEN WAYS FROM SUNDAY) on drums, Vivien Lalu (LALU, HUBI MEISEL, SHADOW GALLERY) and Dave Young (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, TERROR SYNDROME) on keyboard duties, Brian Poulsen, Scott Webb (WHITE WOLF), Joop Wolters and Alex Roque (TOUCH THE SUN) on lead guitars, all topped off by Mark Petri’s incredibly versatile vocal performance, certifiably built up over the course of more than 8000 hours of stage time as a performer.
And if all that wasn’t enough, somewhere along the way even ARCH ENEMY’s Jeff Loomis dropped by to contribute to the aptly named track “Shreddies”! With the music rooted in upbeat metal, doing the occasional breakout into prog and even college rock, The Russ Bergquist Project provides everything a great night out with friends should: Energy, melodies, the occasional weird but somehow genius idea and even that silent, inspirational moment near morning where you and the boys sit on a hill watching the sunrise, thinking: “This is just as good as it can get!”.
And that moment and its inherent mindset is what Russ wants to convey in Cassini. It’s best put in his own words:
”Cassini was one of those ideas that came up after a soundcheck in Italy many years ago. When everyone was gone, I would sit on the drum riser and noodle around on the bass. Being on the road, sometimes it’s nice to find a little space of your own to relax. That’s how this song came about… Being on the road is a journey, and the song is a one as well, it takes you to places. I named it Cassini because at that time NASA had sent a spacecraft to study Saturn, fly through its rings, etc, and I was fascinated with it and the imagery that came from it. I thought it would be a perfect title for the song. So… take a ride!”