1) VAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theater, and is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and musician Jon Crosby.
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. In recent years, however, VAST's sound has been more identifiable with acoustic rock in releases such as April and Me and You.
The musical outfit began in rather minimalist fashion when Jon was only sixteen, with the other members of the outfit being a drum machine and a bass player.
Their real rise to fame began when a local radio station granted consistent air-time to their demo tape, after which Crosby sent demo tapes to New York City recording companies, eventually signing with Elektra Records. Thomas Froggatt, Steve Clark, and Rowan Robertson made up the hastily-assembled band along with Crosby. After touring America and releasing their first album named simply Visual Audio Sensory Theater (1998), they began work on a second album, entitled Music for People (2000). Before it was finished, Robertson left in pursuit of a solo career. After auditioning, Justin Cotta was chosen to replace him. The new quartet began another US tour. In 2001, Cotta and Clark decided to leave the band to form their own.
VAST's next album, Nude, was preceded by the online release of the unmastered demo tracks, which were grouped into separate downloads known as Turquoise and Crimson . Some of the feedback from the fans regarding the demo tracks was taken into account when choosing the tracks for Nude, which was released on February 24, 2004. Two months after the release, the band began the new tour with a new lineup. Towards the end of 2004 when it became clear working with other labels was a bad idea, Crosby started his own label, 2Blossoms Records & Media, and began selling a double CD of the Turquoise and Crimson download albums from the VAST website, mastered and with new artwork, simply entitled Turquoise & Crimson. Strong online sales indicated that a retail release would be well received, and Turquoise and Crimson was officially released May 30th, 2006.
Crosby's model of selling cheap downloads of demo tracks before the completion of the recording process was repeated with the next album, April, which was available in an 'online version' before the album was finished. The final version included five new tracks and alternate (finished) versions of the tracks carried over from the online version. The release version of April is now available as a download from the VAST site, and they plan to release a limited collectors edition CD over the summer of 2007 before the retail release date is scheduled.
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