FRONTIERS MUSIC SRL Sets Record Straight On MR. BIG's 'Defying Gravity' Album
June 1, 2020
Frontiers Music Srl has released a statement denying that it was responsible for "ruining" MR. BIG's latest album, "Defying Gravity", which came out nearly three years ago and marked late drummer Pat Torpey's final recorded appearance with the group.
Late last month, MR. BIG bassist Billy Sheehan gave an interview to the "Music Mania" podcast in which he claimed that a "mastering problem" with "Defying Gravity" made the LP "unlistenable." He went on to say that "the label ruined the record" by insisting on having the album and "putting it out when it's not ready." He explained: "If we had another day to get it to proper mastering and get it done right, it would have been fine. 'Cause I was there for the final mixes — I went in there every day and listened to mixes. Pat was there with us too. We went through the mixes, and they were sounding great. And, unfortunately, we got screwed.
"I've seen it before in many other situations with many other bands," he added. "We've got the marketing department and they're ready to go and they've gotta have the record now. And then I've also seen other bands just say, 'No. The record is not done. You're out of luck.' And I wish we would have just said that, because I just don't think the record had the kind of life it had when I heard the final mixes."
Earlier today, Frontiers Music Srl released the following statement clarifying the label's involvement in the making of "Defying Gravity":
"Recently, there have been headlines circulating about an interview Billy Sheehan of MR. BIG did with the 'Music Mania' podcast and how Billy felt the record label 'ruined' their last release, 'Defying Gravity'.
"For those who took the time to listen to the actual interview, you'll have noticed that Billy never actually names Frontiers. He simply refers to 'the record label'. Blabbermouth, Ultimate Classic Rock, and other news outlets inserted Frontiers name into their stories about the interview. We can, of course, understand why they did this because Frontiers released the album in most, but not all, of the world. It was an understandable assumption that they made, but unfortunately, an incorrect one.
"The reality is that MR. BIG had signed a separate, unrelated recording agreement with a Japanese label for the release of 'Defying Gravity'. To reiterate, this had nothing to do with Frontiers. To the best of our knowledge, said label wished to release the album one month prior to the rest of the world. Based on this, we had planned to release the album on June 21, 2017 due to a proposed May release date from the Japanese label. Ultimately, we moved the album to July 7, 2017 and finally to July 21, 2017 due to delays in delivery of components of the album. June 21, 2017 was the Japanese release date, per Discogs database.
"We really don't know what happened between the Japanese label and MR. BIG. Frontiers can only say that we had nothing to do with the circumstances that led to a rushed delivery of the final album master.
"There is no ill will or hard feelings towards anyone on our end, we simply wanted to set the record straight that we are not the label that was rushing/pressuring the band here, nor were we the ones who made final decisions on what version of the album was turned in to be manufactured and released. We always have been and remain HUGE fans of MR. BIG and the musical talents of each individual member. It's been an honor to release the records we have for them."
"Defying Gravity" was released via Wowow Entertainment, Inc. in Japan and Frontiers Music Srl in most of the rest of the world.
After announcing his Parkinson's diagnosis in 2014, Torpey continued to write, record and perform with MR. BIG, who also recruited Matt Starr to share drum duties.
MR. BIG, formed in 1988, produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits include "Alive And Kicking", "Just Take My Heart" and the chart-topping ballad "To Be With You".
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