Things were looking bright for Dolan Brotherhood in early 2015. Founded by surviving members of A New Day Mile, and named after that band’s late drummer Frank Dolan (who passed away in 2011 from esophageal cancer), they were doing pre-production work with Billy Sherwood of Yes before recording their Love and Hurricanes album with Rolling Stones producer Alan Sanderson at local Pacific Beat Recording. However, “Dolan Brotherhood went on indefinite hiatus in 2017, which leaves me focused on Aether X,” says singer-guitarist James Brady.
The new progressive hard rock band teams the New Jersey-bred Brady with Everybody Panic bassist-singer Michael Alarid (formerly of Aghori), but so far Aether X bears little semblance to the more classic rock-oriented Dolan Brotherhood or thrash metallers Aghori. “There are many things that have changed for Michael and myself since our residencies in those projects, in both our personal lives as well as our musical lives,” says Brady.
They made their live debut last summer on a shared bill with Adrenaline Mob at Brick By Brick, followed the next month with an opening slot for Steel Panther at House of Blues. After being joined by Jeff Smith (drummer for Led Zep tribute Dazed and Confused), they returned to Pacific Beat to record their Wyvern EP, with Alan Sanderson again producing. As when Dolan Brotherhood convened in that studio to pay tribute to a fallen comrade, Aether X found itself doing much the same, right down to the EP title and artwork.
“Jeff pretty much came in off the heels of his father’s funeral,” says Brady. “Wyvern Smith passed away the week prior. Alan Sanderson and I pondered about canceling the session, but Jeff wanted to carry on. He just powered through the session in spite of some pretty challenging circumstances. Clearly, this was a cathartic moment, and I think you can hear it in Jeff’s performance.” The EP cover sports a Wyvern dragon based on a tattoo that Smith got to honor his dad. “Jeff went to task on this, and even got permission to use the original Wyvern dragon art from the copyright owner. He did all the cover art layout, logos, everything. The imagery is in sync with the lyrics as well.”
- Saturday, September 1, 2018, 7 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
This past April, the band opened for one of their more notable influences, King's X, at Coach House. Brady, whose one-time guitar teacher Dave DiPietro also taught Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) and Dave "The Snake" Sabo (Skid Row), has also played with Juiced and Crown 10.
Wyvern debuts September 1 at House of Blues. “We’ll be playing the EP alongside some covers from our influences…we do a fun mashup of ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath with ‘Super Stupid’ by Parliament Funkadelic thrown in the middle, which is a blast live.”
“It’s pretty awesome to see all those people singing the lyrics. Which is good, because I forget them often.”