VAST is an American alternative rock band based in Austin, Texas. The acronym VAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theater and is the main creation of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jon Crosby. The band is signed to 2blossoms, an independent record company created by Crosby himself.
VAST's sound is identifiable as ambient electro-rock with considerable industrial and acoustic influences, usually made with Crosby's traditional acoustic guitar, electronic instruments and processing, drum-driven tracks, and heavy bass. On stage, VAST uses elaborate stage monitors and visual effects to complement the live performances of the tracks.
After Elektra Records terminated VAST's contract due to poor sales of their second album, Crosby signed his band to his own 2blossoms. Due to VAST being on a small independent label, the band has been known to play in smaller venues as of late, catering to smaller audiences and lower budgets.
After sending multiple demo tapes to nearby radio stations in his home state of Texas, the band began to receive considerable attention; especially after Crosby sent a demo to Elektra Records, who eventually signed a contract with the budding musician. In a matter of no time, VAST released a teaser of their upcoming debut album Visual Audio Sensory Theater titled VAST Is..., which featured the first four tracks of the album. The track Touched received considerable amounts of airplay on local radio stations before capturing the attention of a mainstream audience, being featured on the soundtrack to the movie The Beach, and being featured as a promo song during TV show advertisements on NBC.
After the promising tracks of Visual Audio Sensory Theater, Elektra pressured Crosby to go back to the drawing board and craft an album that was accessible to more listeners, but still retaining the distinct sound VAST had conjured for the last album. After two years of recording, VAST returned with 2000's Music for People. Turmoil was abundant during the album's recording process as Crosby constantly fought with record executives over the music's direction and former backup guitarist Rowan Robertson wishing to leave VAST and begin his own solo career. By the end of the album's recording process, Robertson had left VAST, and Crosby reluctantly moved forward with the band and released the most emotional songs Crosby had released to this point. As expected by the label, Music for People created a bit of a buzz in the musical world as the band received MTV airplay with their lead single "Free"'s music video, with the single charting on the Billboard's Hot 100, and hitting #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks. The band became a relative success after Music for People, but the album's poor sales and lack of a second charting single led to tension between Elektra and Crosby. In late 2002, Elektra Records terminated VAST from their contract.
The release method for April was, once again, unorthodox. In 2006, Crosby released an online version of the acoustic album online with ten tracks. April was mostly recorded only by Jon Crosby and an acoustic guitar, but in other occasions, the bass and drums were used. Originally intended to be the finished version, Crosby was "unhappy with the finished version", so went back to the studio and finished the album with four new tracks and a whole new track listing. Fan-made artwork graced the cover, and the album received a traditional release in stores. The album was not as well received by critics and fans, but was modestly embraced. It didn't do as well as past albums, but features a few fan favorites and Crosby says it's one of his favorite VAST CDs.
Expected in 2008 is an album/documentary titled Closed Romantic Realism. The album is expected in early 2008, and is a 'return to the electro-rock' of past records. It is also expected to be a movie documentary of sorts, but not much else has been elaborated on. They have also recently released a new live album titled Seattle 2007, which features more April songs played live than their previous live album, Live at CBGB's. VAST is also currently on tour, supporting April on a US and UK tour. The band released Bang Band Sixxx in 2008, which was a return to the band's sound after April.
Jon Crosby and the Resonator Band:
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