Renowned American guitarist/songwriter Jeff Kollman (Cosmosquad, Alan Parsons Live Project, Asia FJP, Glenn Hughes) has announced a May 21 release date for his forthcoming solo album, East of Heaven. EoH is Kollman’s sixth instrumental studio album as a solo artist and his twenty first overall on the Marmaduke record label. The album’s advance single, Superstring Theory, is available as a digital exclusive on Kollman’s Bandcamp site – hear it below!
Borne out of the COVID-19 induced lockdown that hit the music industry and touring musicians especially hard, Kollman began to collect and shape musical ideas for an unplanned solo venture last March. “2020 was gonna be a busy year on the road for me. I was scheduled to go on a world tour with Alan Parsons as well as go out with Asia FJP, Lou Gramm, and the ‘Rock Pack’ all-star thing. Of course, all that went out the window once the pandemic hit. So all of a sudden I had a lot more down time than anticipated. Luckily, I’ve always been able to make records without having to rely on outside engineers and studios so I hunkered down and got a few of my closest friends involved to play on various tracks.”
One of the the album’s highlights and designated first single is the hard driving Superstring Theory which sees Kollman get back to basics. “With Superstring Theory, I released the power of simplicity in the track. There’s certainly an underlying early AC/DC influence in there. Between my solo work and Cosmosquad, it’s easy to get complex and self-indulgent. This one is straight to the point embracing the 4/4 rock!”
Elsewhere the album turns more sombre and introspective reflecting the stark reality of the past year. Much of East of Heaven is a musical diary of Kollman’s personal 2020 depicting isolation and loss (including Homage To King Edward, an improvised hat tip to one of Kollman’s biggest guitar idols, Eddie Van Halen) and the psychological challenges people face with being locked down (Isolation 2020) while the stirring The Mass Exodus was written with California in mind as Kollman moved his own family out of the not-so Golden State like so many thousands of others. “I still have a home there” as the guitarist points out. “Ya gotta keep a foot in the game so to speak but I didn’t feel it to be a safe place for my family anymore.” The album’s intimate epilogue, See You On The Other Side, is a follow up of sorts to 2013’s Brother To Brother, a tribute to Kollman’s only sibling and former Edwin Dare band mate, the late Tommy Kollman. “It’s a solo acoustic piece until the electric solo kicks near the end of the song. I thought it would make for a great bookend to this record.”
East of Heaven track listing:
The Mass Exodus
Homage To King Edward
East of Heaven
So Long Ago
The Darkness Resides
See You On The Other Side
East of Heaven features Jeff Kollman on guitars and bass, aided by a small circle of highest calibre musical friends, long-time collaborators Shane Gaalaas (Cosmosquad, MSG, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jono Brown on drums, Cirque du Soleil musical director, Paul Shihadeh, on bass, and Guy Allison (Doobie Brothers, Unruly Child, World Trade) on keyboards.