Watch: Progressive Metal Legends WATCHTOWER Play First Reunion Concert With Singer JASON MCMASTER
September 9, 2023
Progressive metal legends WATCHTOWER played their first reunion concert with singer Jason McMaster last night (Friday, September 8) at Fitzgerald's Bar & Live Music Venue in San Antonio, Texas. This marked WATCHTOWER's first appearance with McMaster since the band's performances at Germany's Bang Your Head!!! festival in 2000 and Holland's Headway Festival in 2004.
McMaster is joined in WATCHTOWER's current lineup by bassist Doug Keyser, guitarist Ron Jarzombek and drummer Ric Colaluca.
Jason confirmed his return to WATCHTOWER in May during an appearance on the "Decibel Geek" podcast. He said at the time: "I rehearsed with WATCHTOWER recently, and we're doing some festivals next year… So, you know, well, you know, maybe I let the cat out of the bag. But those are not confirmed. But we have been asked to play some festivals. It's possible that we are to do some shows soon. But we have rehearsed a couple of times.
"It's weird playing songs very sporadically," he continued. "Because I've done reunion things with WATCHTOWER before, but the last one was 20 years ago. The last sort of reunion thing we did, we went to Amsterdam, and played a festival over there. And we did a couple of warmup shows around Texas before we got on the plane, kind of thing. And that was in 2004. So, singing songs that you wrote 40 years ago? It's crazy to think about that… And have them be legit. Play them, like, 'Holy shit.' And have all of the guys look around each other in rehearsal as old men and go, 'This shit is fucking hard to play.' But that's why people like it."
McMaster co-founded WATCHTOWER in 1982 and appeared on the band's 1985 debut album "Energetic Disassembly" before leaving three years later to focus on sleaze rockers DANGEROUS TOYS. Jason was replaced in WATCHTOWER by Alan Tecchio (formerly of HADES),who sang on group's second and most recent studio album, 1989's "Control And Resistance". A reunion with McMaster followed in 1999 and lasted for several years, only for Jason to leave again. Tecchio returned for new material intended for WATCHTOWER's since-scrapped third album "Mathematics" that resulted in the 2016 EP "Concepts Of Math: Book One".
Jason previously stated about WATCHTOWER's early musical direction: "By the end of 1983, we had a set of unbelievable, technical, fast, crazy, time-changing, sophisticated sounds coming out of the mill we had created, making a planet that we didn't feel had been fully instigated. All of the lyrics were socially aware and some strange fascinations with nuclear power and some sort of holocaustic world (that had been dreamt up by guitarist Billy White and bassist Doug Keyser). They equally weirded each other out with their lyrics. I had no problem with the stuff they were pumping out. It was so tasteful, but yet had urgency and was frantic about the topics, mostly apocalyptic and socially chaotic on news issues. These were crazy words to sing over crazy changes."
He added: "I had no map. This wasn't rock and roll. I wrote all of the melodies (I use that word loosely) for the songs, and that was my contribution to the sound and timber, even though later on a few critics would learn to hate the style of 'pissed off Geddy Lee' vocals. It seemed to be most of the death metalhead mags would say that they 'love the band, hate the singer'."
In April 2010, WATCHTOWER played its first live show with Tecchio on vocals in some 20 years as co-headliners of Germany's Keep It True festival in Lauda-Königshofen.
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