Our Story

Abridged Version

Forward Shapes is far from a traditional band. All the musicians who played on the debut album "Legacy" have never been in the same room, and have never played a single song together. The band was founded in late 2005 by Brian Andrews (Keyboards) and Andrei Kryssov (Guitars), freshmen at Chapman University in Orange County California. Their vision was simple: write, record and release a full-length Progressive Rock album with female lead vocals. Brian and Andrei wrote all the music for Legacy during their first two years at Chapman.

Recording began in 2008 with Piano followed by Guitars. Mark Buchner (Bass), Alison Vance (Vocals), Ryan Hunter (Backing Vocals, Bass & Irish Whistle) and Marco Minnemann (Drums) were the studio musicians Andrei brought on board to record the remaining parts. They each learned all the songs and formulated their parts sometimes just hours before recording. This was a very unconventional way to record an album - especially with drums (typically recorded first) being the last instrument recorded. Each instrument was recorded in various home studios owned by the musicians on this album. The recorded tracks were submitted to Andrei who compiled and sent them to Ryan Hunter for mixing.

The album was mixed in Fall 2011 and mastered by Joachim 'Eroc' Ehrig in December 2011. Today Forward Shapes exists in their debut album. All musicians who played on Legacy live in different cities and are pursuing various musical and non-musical endeavors. There are no immediate plans to play live or go on tour. All efforts are currently focused on getting Legacy to as many listeners as possible.

Extended Version

Forward Shapes was formed by Guitarist Andrei Kryssov and Keyboardist Brian Andrews in 2005. Both had just started their first year of college at Chapman University in Orange County California. Introduced by a mutual friend they agreed to form the band with one driving goal: to write, record and release a professional full-length Progressive Rock album with female lead vocals.

Writing began in September 2005. All sessions took place in various dorm and practice rooms on campus. The majority of songs started with either a piano melody or guitar riff that developed into a section such as a Verse or Chorus. Additional sections came from improvisations and were connected until a song formed. It was agreed early on that music would be written before lyrics. Brian and Andrei dedicated several hours a week to composing during the school year despite the distractions and busy schedules from college life. Writing sessions wrapped in May 2007 with nine songs totaling an hour’s worth of music.

Recording kicked off in February 2008. Piano was the first instrument recorded. Brian recorded all Piano parts accompanied by only a computerized click-track with Andrei supporting as Producer and Recording Engineer. The recording environment was a practice room on campus reserved prior to each session. Piano recordings successfully wrapped during finals week of May 2008. This was a big milestone - Brian had delivered a passionate performance on every track and set the tone for the album. After summer break Rhythm Guitar was recorded in a similar fashion on campus from October 2008 to April 2009. With Piano and Rhythm Guitar tracks complete, it was time to search for session musicians to record the remaining parts (this was actually the second wave of searching - before Piano recordings three session musicians committed to joining only to depart soon after).

They did not have to look far to find Mark Buchner, a Bass performance major who graduated in 2009 from Chapman University. Mark spent about one month learning all the songs and writing his Bass parts. He recorded 6.5 songs in his home studio in October 2009, but had to abruptly cut off recording the remaining songs due to Graduate school. With Mark's abrupt departure and Brian living in New York, Andrei felt his motivation to see the project through disappearing. The challenge of finding committed musicians became overwhelming and he put the album on hold indefinitely.

In summer 2010 the creative spark reignited and Andrei began looking for a vocalist. After months of searching he received a demo from Alison Vance. Liking what he heard, he requested she submit an audition recording to the song Mirrors of You. Alison's submission blew Andrei away and after a Skype introduction the two agreed to work together. Vocal recordings commenced in August and wrapped in November 2010. Living in a different city from Andrei, Alison recorded at a home studio owned by Ryan Hunter. Ryan played an integral role by serving as Recording Engineer and Co-Producer. He coached Alison into delivering a tremendous vocal performance on the album. Along with Alison, Ryan wrote numerous vocal melodies and arranged the majority of harmonies and choir parts on the album. Alison and Ryan reinvigorated the project which reached a tremendous milestone with the Vocal parts recorded.

Production resumed in March 2011 with Andrei recording lead Guitar parts at his home studio. Wrapping in early April he then began to search for a drummer - the last major part to be recorded. After several failed auditions, Andrei sent an e-mail to Marco Minnemann after seeing him audition for the band Dream Theater. To his surprise Marco was interested and was immediately brought on board. Exceeding all of Andrei's expectations, Marco delivered an amazing performance by learning and recording all the songs in just four days in May 2011. Marco recorded all the songs at his home studio in San Diego. Another tremendous milestone had been reached, and with all the instruments finally recorded it was time to begin mixing.

Mixing began in August 2011. Impressed by Ryan Hunter's dedication and support of the project during vocal and drum recordings Andrei asked him to mix the album and join as Co-Producer. During this time Ryan also recorded the remaining 1.5 songs missing Bass and an Irish Whistle heard on the song Legacy. After countless number of iterations mixing wrapped in November 2011. The songs were then sent to Germany for mastering by Joachim 'Eroc' Ehrig - an engineer who worked with the band Everon (a big influence of Andrei's). Eroc submitted the final master on December 31st, 2011 - and so nearly six years after the first writing session in a University practice room, production of the album had finally come to a wrap.

Today Forward Shapes exists in the album Legacy. All musicians who played on the album live in different cities and are pursuing various musical and non-musical endeavors. There are no immediate plans to play live or go on tour. All efforts are currently focused on getting Legacy to as many listeners as possible.