Through a combination of passionate energy and modern electronica experimentalism, PHOENIX BLOCK is a band of four unique individuals who, together, create an undeniable power with a sound that touches every listener. The story of their rise began with the collaboration of lead vocalist Andrew Jaffe and guitarist and keyboardist Steve Schoeffler. Growing up in South Jersey, these longtime friends both began developing their songwriting skills at the young age of seven. Influenced early on by the music of the Beatles, they found melodic roots from pop icons of the 1970s-- Billy Joel, Elton John, The Eagles and Peter Frampton were inspirations.
In the 1980s, Jaffe and Schoeffler were captivated by the injection of the punk sound into popular music by greats such as The Cars, The Police and U2. By their teens, they had become proficient at guitar and piano and the craft of songwriting became their true passion. For years the two played in bands, notably Stretch Vinyl and Son of You, in the clubs of New York’s Greenwich Village, as well as in the northeast college circuit. Jaffe and Schoeffler learned to play live while honing their songwriting skills on these testing grounds.
Bassist Tony Catania was born in Sicily, Italy and studied classical guitar, flute and piano at the Music Conservatory Vincenzo Bellini. He performed in many bands as a young man in Italy, more often than not gravitating towards the bass. He enjoyed America’s punk influence in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the electronic sound in Europe. Catania’s interests quickly spread from performance to composition and production. He achieved great success as a writer and producer for Scatman John’s hit record and worked with many prominent music artists including Lenny Kravitz and Lionel Ritchie. Catania met Jaffe and Schoeffler through a common friend in Naples, FL. This very meeting rekindled Catania’s interest in writing and performing. The three began to collaborate and experiment with a style that blended a pop/punk influence with European techno. They felt they were on to something great-- but knew they were missing an important component in the rhythm section.
That’s when a chance meeting with drummer Darrell Nutt occurred in a local club in Fort Myers, FL. Jaffe and Catania were out to hear some of the local musicians and were floored by an electrifying performance by Nutt. They were immediately captivated by this high energy, tactition of the drums. Nutt, who began playing at the age of four, impressively had his first professional recording session at age 14. He has performed and recorded with many respected artists ranging from AC/DC to Steely Dan. From their first practice session, the members of Phoenix Block could tell that they had an undeniable chemistry. The sound combined the melodic influences of the 1960s and 1970s with the punk influenced, rhythm driven sound of the 1980s, over a canvas of modern electronica.
Through their gripping music and words, one can truly sense the desire and passion that drives this band and fuels the energy encompassed by their groundbreaking new debut full-length album, Chemtrails. Produced and mixed by Tony Catania and Mastered by George Marino of Sterling Sound, the album was recorded at Orange Glow Studios in South Florida. The debut album hits nationwide radio in June with an official album release date of August 1, 2008.