The rock/fusion power trio The Aristocrats – featuring Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on drums – will release the live CD/DVD "Culture Clash Live". Captured in six different locations in five countries on three different continents during the band's 100+ show Culture Clash World Tour, it showcases The Aristocrats in full flight: Virtuosic, melodic, spontaneous, outrageous, and still having more fun than any group of world touring muzos has any right to have.
"Every time we play a song live, it seems to evolve slightly," says Govan. "However hard we might try to capture definitive versions in the studio, the true nature of any given composition inevitably reveals itself during the subsequent touring process, mutating incrementally from one night to the next as we do our best to maintain the element of spontaneity and encourage the occurrence of
little musical accidents."
While the music evolved and the audiences made each show unforgettable, the live recording process was anything but smooth. "The panoply of technical pitfalls that ensued reached a certain comic level of absurdity," Beller remembers. "The crowds were unremittingly awesome, only to be
rivaled in ferocity by the gremlins in each location." So the project became a Frank Zappa-style live compilation by necessity, which gave it a rollicking international flavor – a culture clash after all.
Drummer Marco Minnemann put it all in perspective. "I remembered sitting in a van on our ride to one of our shows, listening to one of the songs – which I usually avoid, because it’s sort of like looking in the mirror trying to fix your hair or something – saying out loud, 'Hey, we're actually not that bad!' You sometimes just gotta let go and enjoy the real-time moments without questioning them."