The Frequency Conspiracy may be another band with an unfamiliar name, but once again its membership will be more than familiar to regular ÜR readers, as it is one of those virtual supergroups which seem to have prospered during the Covidications of the past two years or so… In this instance, the project is the brainchild of 24-7 Spyz, Seventrain and Shockhead drummer Joel Maitoza, who called upon a host of friends and acquaintances from bands such as Last in Line, Lynch Mob, Raven, the Pat Travers Band, Tyketto and others to record a series of cover versions.
Among the tracks tackled by Maitoza and the likes of Andrew Freeman, John Gallagher, David Pastorius and Jason Richardson are hard rock classics such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and Montrose’s ‘Rock Candy’, metal anthems such as Priest’s ‘Hell Bent For Leather’ and even indie-punk gems such as ‘Turning Japanese’.
We recently caught up with Joel Maitoza to talk about the imaginatively titled ‘Quarantine Covers’ album and how it was brought to life. We started by asking about the project’s rather intriguing monicker:
A number of years ago, I read an article about the frequency conspiracy and, although I’m not really into conspiracy theories in general. it intrigued me.
In a nutshell, standard instrument tuning is 440, which was standardized in 1953. If you tune the A string to 432, it’s known to have more healing properties, easier to listen to and more in tune with nature. It was suggested that the monopolization of the music industry features this imposed frequency (440) that is ‘herding’ populations into greater aggression, psycho-social agitation and emotional distress, predisposing people to physical illnesses and financial impositions, profiting the agents, agencies, and companies engaged in the monopoly.
What inspired you to record an album of cover songs?
When the pandemic hit, bands stopped touring and the world basically shut down. I decided to contact some musicians I’ve always wanted to work with and record an album of cover tunes with a hard rock/metal vibe. The songs are some “hand-picked” favourites of mine that I thought everyone involved could have some fun with and the fans would enjoy hearing.
So, how did you set about pulling the project together?
It all started with releasing two videos in 2020 featuring Last in Line/Lynch Mob vocalist Andrew Freeman, and it just took off from there. I recorded the drum tracks in the studio by myself without any music. Just a click track, and the arrangement in my head. Then I sent the tracks out to the individual musicians I wanted to have perform on the songs. The artists recorded their parts in their own home studios and sent the files back to me. It was really cool to hear how each musician interpreted and performed their parts. The songs just evolved. The creative process was absolutely fascinating, and I think we captured some amazing performances.
Why did you want to work with a bunch of different musicians instead of just forming a new band?
I kind of took a chapter from the Steely Dan playbook and didn’t want the same musicians playing on every song. I could distinctly hear each chosen artist performing each song in my head prior to recording the track. It took some time to figure out who would play on what, but I think everyone did a great job working together and making their individual parts fit like a glove.
What was the biggest challenge in making this record?
Individual tracks (sound files) and mixing. It’s much more cohesive when the entire band is all working together in the studio and bouncing ideas off each other. This was a bit more difficult because the individual tracks were recorded in various studios all over the world, so the overall mix of each song sounds a little different, even though the engineer and I tried our best to keep everything consistent.
Are you planning on touring at all?
Not at this point. If the album starts to take off, a few of the musicians that played on the album have already agreed to do a short run of dates in the US. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I have been receiving some show offers scheduled for summer 2022. It also depends on the pandemic. We’ll see.
What’s the future of the new project?
I plan on releasing a couple of more videos to promote this album and have a few radio interviews scheduled. I’ve also been working on an album of original material which I hope to release in early 2023, but no release date is scheduled yet.
I’m not sure if I’ll record another “covers” album, but I really enjoyed recording this one and had a blast working with everyone involved.
- ‘Quarantine Covers’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.