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moonkings-meeting1Mascot Label Group’s Mascot Records and Vandenberg MoonKings have announced a August 5 release date for the band’s eponymous debut in North America.  The album marks the return of Adrian Vandenberg to the world of music, and his first collection of new repertoire in sixteen years.  Joining the former Vandenberg and Whitesnake guitarist are Jan Hoving (vocals), Sem Christoffel (bass) and Mart Nijen Es (drums).  The album was issued overseas prior on February 24.

Adrian Vandenberg rose to worldwide prominence with Vandenberg, the melodic rock band that hit internationally with the powerful ballad ‘Burning Heart’. His status as one of the most talented rock guitarists of the period was cemented when he joined David Coverdale in the hard rock super group Whitesnake, co-writing many of the band’s Billboard Hot 100 hits.  Tracks that include “The Deeper The Love” and “Now You’re Gone” were co-penned by Vandenberg, who’s guitar work was immortalized via his legendary guitar solo on “Here I Go Again.”  After leaving Whitesnake, the musician concentrated on a successful career as an artist, exhibiting his paintings in prestigious galleries across Europe. When he stepped away, he had been a member of Whitesnake for 13 years, topped the American charts twice, and sold in excess of fourteen million albums.

The thirteen tracks on the eponymous debut are: “Lust And Lies,” “Close To You.” “Good Thing,” “Breathing,” “Steal Away,” “Line Of Fire,” “Out Of Reach,” “Feel It,” “Leave This Town,” “One Step Behind,” “Leeches,” “Nothing Touches,” and “Sailing Ships.”  Whitesnake singer David Coverdale makes a special guest appearance on the closer “Sailing Ships.”  The album was recorded at the world renowned Wisseloord Studios outside of Amsterdam.  The band and MLG have released multiple videos overseas which can be screened here:

Official Video “Close to You”-

Official Video “Feel It” –

Official Video “Good Thing” –

Official Video “Breathing”: –

Official Video “Lust & Lies”: –

On the signing, Mascot Label Group CEO Ed Van Zijl offered, “Adrian is one of the most outstanding rock guitarists in the world. I have always followed his career and needless to say we are thrilled to finally be working with him. Vandenberg’s MoonKings are a fresh and hard rocking new band that will surely make an impact in the scene.”  Adrian Vandenberg shares, “The last record I made was with Whitesnake in 1998. Now that I’ve announced my return, I am really overwhelmed by the thousands of enthusiastic reactions that I’ve gotten from all over the world. It amazes me how faithful the fans have remained. It’s just bizarre.  And it just so happens that the MoonKings album is the best record I’ve ever made. Well, in my modest opinion, anyway. People probably expected the obvious classic rock, but I didn’t want to go that route semi-automatically. I wanted to build a bridge between the greatest rock of the seventies and that of today, and I have the feeling that worked out very well.”

The birth of Vandenberg’s MoonKings came in 2011.  The guitarist was asked to write a song for FC Twente, the football club from his hometown of Enschede that had become the champions of the Dutch premier league the year before. He wrote the stadium rock song “A Number One,” and looked for someone who would be able to sing it. He remembered a vocalist whose band had supported Whitesnake at a concert in Holland several years before. Adrian tracked him down and picked up the phone. Singer Jan Hoving remembers, “When I got a call from someone who said he was Adrian Vandenberg, I thought they were playing a joke on me.  When we met, we hit it off immediately, both musically and on a personal level.”  Hoving sang the track effortlessly, and per it being performed in front of a crowd of 60,000 at FC Twente’s victory celebrations they assembled a rhythm section.  It turned out that Adrian had seen drummer  Mart Nijen Es ten years earlier when he judged a talent contest, making the then 13 year-old the winner, while he met his future bass player the same way sharing, “Mart had a buddy he’d been playing with for many years, bass player Sem ‘the Sham’ Christoffel, and believe it or not, I judged him in a different talent contest around the same time I first saw Mart.  He impressed me enormously by casually playing a Jaco Pastorius-like piece. And I let him win as well!”

The album was tracked in September, 2013 on vintage gear.  Vandenberg shares, “We worked with tubes compressors, we used a Neumann microphone from the sixties, and we recorded everything with a Neve desk from the seventies. Consequently the result sounds really rock & roll: exciting and loud and completely analogue. But just as fresh, dynamic and explosive as the tightest rock bands of today.  I’ve let my intuition guide me.  You have to ignore what others think will sell or whatever. You have to make music from the heart, rock & roll that you yourself think is absolutely great. Then and only then there’ll always be other people who might love it as well”.

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