Sasha Zand
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Sasha Zand

Band Alternative Rock


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The best kept secret in music


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Spoke To The Moment


Feeling a bit camera shy


New York singer/songwriter Sasha Zand has been making big waves in the metropolitan area recently with his music. He formed his band with Matt Johnson, the renown former drummer for Jeff Buckley while Matt had been doing recording sessions for Beth Orton, Suzanne Vega, and Rufus Wainwright (amongst others).

He had been listening for the first time to the Jeff Buckley album, Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, when in the midst of grief over this sensational and ultimately tragic record that he realizes Johnson might be in the city. They spoke two days later. Their first collaboration yielded four songs one of them being "Under the Skin" which was quickly featured on radio station, WLIR.FM 92.7. Remarkably while that was happening, Q104.3 featured another composition, the track "Easy" on their station. These being the biggest modern and classic rock stations anywhere, it becomes a sign of things to come.

Their bassist is jazz ace, Matt Pavolka, (Chris Cheek, Guillermo Klein) who rounds out the guitar combo as he takes care of the happening bottom end. It's said that Sasha was walking up 6th Avenue when he came across a man with a very large upright bass. He was so convinced of his abilities that he asked him to be on the session. "He had this look to him that he wasn't a regular musician with that upright bass. I knew right away he was better than good."

Produced by Bryce Goggin (Phish, Evan Dando, Pavement) the album, Spoke To The Moment, is a stellar debut CD that features the entire band at their best around Sasha Zand's alternative modern rock material. It comes handily across as an original style, as it easily shows its deep roots in jangle rock from the 1960's to the 80's. Kind of reminiscent of Elvis Costello, yet singing almost like Sting or Morrissey. (such nasty influences) It also rocks! This kind of songwriting with such masterful drumming really hasn't been heard for a long while. On the cut "Velvet Trace", you can hear Matt Pavolka's Jaco Pastorius influences. A walk in the park for this group.

Bryce Goggin had just finished handing in the heavily anticipated Phish reunion album, Round Room, a week before when Matt Johnson suggested that Sasha might record at his studio, Trout Recording in Brooklyn. Those sessions then wrapped up in a week and the final step came when Arnie Acosta, the little known (though legendary) mastering engineer was tapped to put the finishing touches to the release. [Arnie is behind countless hit albums notably U2's Achtung Baby.] The end result is another anticipated breakthrough recording: Spoke To The Moment.

Now besides these featured cuts on the record like "Riptide" and "Never Forget", there's R.E.M.'s early classic hit "So. Central Rain" redone and "Handshake", the commissioned theme song for the self-titled movie from Hollywood.

So what lies ahead? "I'm finishing up the new album, even as Spoke To The Moment is being released."

"You know, I keep around this quote from John Lennon when he was asked why does Rock & Roll mean so much to people. It's from that famous Rolling Stone interveiw he did where he spoke his mind. He said, "Rock and roll was real, everything else was unreal. And the thing about rock and roll, good rock and roll, whatever good means, is that it's real, and realism gets through to you despite yourself"." Sasha then finished, "I for one absolutely agree with that."