Jason Newsteds EchoBrain Unleashed

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Friday, January 18, 2002 @ 8:57 AM

Former Metallica Bassist's Set

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EchoBrain, the Bay Area musical trio made up of Dylan Donkin, Brian Sagrafena, and Jason Newsted, will release their self-titled, independent debut March 5, 2002 on Chophouse/Surfdog Records.

EchoBrain is an intense combination of rock dynamics and pop sensibility, tied together by the group’s diverse collective influences and playing styles.

The colorful album was created in the summer of 2000 in Northern California with an array of talented friends from different musical worlds. Included were members of the San Francisco and National Symphony Orchestras, Jim Martin, Kirk Hammett, Sophia Ramos, and James Brett.

"The challenge for me was the musicality,” Newsted admits. “When Dylan and Brian came around, I had to start learning different modes and keys. It’s a new challenge for my fingers and my brain, and I really dig it! It's very easy to be excited about playing music with these guys, they're very hungry, they're also very true and honest. They play music everyday!”

The origins of EchoBrain stem back to 1995 when Metallica bassist Newsted heard 16-year-old Brain Sagrafena’s jazz/funk drumming prowess for the first time. Newsted invited the young player into his home studio, the Chophouse.

Then, in 1996 Sagrafena introduced Dylan Donkin, an exceptional young vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and friend with whom he had honed his overall musical skills. The three players hit it off and started an ongoing sonic exploration.

As sessions increased, demo material improved and the events of an inspirational road trip to Baja, Mexico, breathed new life into the creative elements of the young musicians. This shone brightly on the 1999 tapes that Newsted embraced. “I was so impressed by the quality of the songs and the development of Dylan’s vocals, I was floored!”

He approached Donkin and Sagrafena with interest of taking it to the next step, and the inspiring result is the self-titled CD.

The music was recorded at The Site Studios in Nicasio, Calif., and mixed by Brian Joseph Dobbs at The Plant in Sausalito, CA.

EchoBrain has played only one live show to date on August 19, 2001.

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