Formed in 2001, the Southern Vermont-based, rock trio Spectris combines progressive and classic rock, but also with elements of a more modern edge.
The band features Christopher Bergmann on guitar and vocals, Todd Westfall on drums and vocals and Josh Mosher on bass and vocals, with Bergmann and Westfall as founding members of trio, who had played in previous bands together such as Phoss and Invisible Spectrum, going back to their days at Bellows Falls Union High School.
Originally from Essex, MA, Bergmann migrated back to the Boston area after high school where he gained valuable experience playing in a handful of bands, while also rubbing elbows with the likes of David Robinson of The Cars and Sib Hashain of Boston.
"I played guitar, bass and keyboards for several bands such as Roxx, Dreamstreet and of course, Jazzin' Hell-With Jazzin Hell," Bergmann said in a recent interview.
"We opened for bands like The Lemonheads, The Straw Dogs, Rick Berlin, Neighborhoods... all at the tender age of 18. It was then that I knew this is what I wanted to do."
After high school, drummer Westfall started a family and began planning his own musical future while also assembling his gear, including a sweet Tama kit complete with auxiliary percussion, and a P.A. system.
In early 1997 Bergmann returned to the area, re-connecting with Westfall and the former duo started jamming.
"Todd and I hooked up and started writing some songs together, and around 1998 or 99' we started getting more serious.
"We went after better equipment and started writing and rehearsing more seriously."
After deciding to officially reform their band and transform the Invisible Spectrum moniker to Spectris, they released their self-titled debut in 2004, while the band continued to refine their unique blend of progressive influenced heavy rock with an edge reminiscent of Tool.
Then in 2007 Spectris recruited local singer/bassist/ guitarist Josh Mosher, another BFUHS graduate who had played in the local bands Kaos and Curst, was invited to sit in on a Spectris gig.
"I started out just rehearsing with Todd and Chris in May of that year as a fill-in so they could do Ludlow's 'Field of Rock' gig in August," Mosher said in a recent interview.
"We played the gig and then decided to book some cover shows to see how things would go."
Mosher has been with the band ever since.
Over the last two years, Spectris has worked hard playing gigs, writing songs and refining their sound, which recently resulted in the release of their second full-length CD titled Industry, which was recorded at Helmet Studios in Walpole, NH and features seven original tracks plus one re-make of a song from the debut release.
"The sound and mix quality is incredible and is way above anything on the first album," Westfall said. "The ability and willingness for band members to collaborate was a huge factor as well.
"We all sing lead vocals on the songs we wrote for this album which is something you don't get to hear everyday."
(Editor's note: watch for a review of Industry in next week's edition of The Messenger)
"I had suggested that we record with Rob Bridge at Helmet Studios because I had recorded with Rob in the past," Mosher added.
"The process went smooth and I thought the mixes were amazing. We did most of the tracks live and with very few overdubs... and it only got better with the CD mastering of Jeff Richards.
"I'm very proud of the sound and the look of the finished product."
"The new album is far superior musically," Bergmann stated. "The recording atmosphere was much more relaxed and subsequently, the songs are much better, the playing is much better and the mastering is amazing. It's just a huge improvement and I'm proud of the whole album, everyone did a great job and I hope it catches on. Oh, and the album art is also spectacular, which was created by Todd."
"The album cover itself began as a drawing in Windows Paint, then I put it in a photo editing program that allowed me to give the picture incredible details and effects," Westfall stated.
"The hand picture is simply my hand on the scanner, then I added the artwork and effects over a period of time. I really wanted to create new artwork that is original and gives you a lot of great eye candy too!"
To learn more about Spectris or to order the new CD Industry, visit www.spectrisband.com.