Closure in Moscow is an Australian progressive rock band that formed in Melbourne, Victoria in 2006. The group is composed of guitarist-singer Mansur Zennelli, guitarist Michael Barrett, drummer Salvatore Aidone, bassist Duncan Millar and lead singer Christopher de Cinque. To date they have released one extended-play and two full-length studio albums: The Penance and the Patience (2008), First Temple (2009) and Pink Lemonande (2014) respectively. The band has reached notable success throughout the international rock circuit for their stellar live performances and avant garde sound.
Only 18 months after forming, they released their debut EP (self-proclaimed "albumette") in 2008, titled The Penance and the Patience. Upon the release of the EP, the band members were an average age of 21, and the complete lineup had only been together a few months. They went to extreme lengths to record The Penance and the Patience: the band spent three to four months straight writing or doing preproduction, as well as quitting jobs to go on tour. It was eventually recorded at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, with each of the band members selling his car to get American music producer and engineer Kris Crummett out to do the album. Crummett had previously worked on albums with Drop Dead Gorgeous, Fear Before the March of Flames, Kaddisfly and Dance Gavin Dance. The albumette was completed in July 2007, nine months before its release.
The Penance and the Patience was originally only released in Australia and New Zealand, through Taperjean Records and Shock Records respectively. It was also available for import to overseas countries through Fist2Face, and through the iTunes Store as a worldwide digital download. The albumette debuted at number 13 on the Australian Independent Record (AIR) album charts.
In November 2008, following the original announcement months prior, the band was confirmed to be permanently relocating to the United States. Closure in Moscow discontinued their contract with Science Records, upon which the group said, "after much deliberation, we mutually felt it would be best not to move forward with our relationship." They then signed with Equal Vision Records. The move took place in early 2009, with the members heading straight into the studio to record their debut studio album. The producer of The Penance and the Patience, Kris Crummett, returned to produce the album, First Temple, which was released on 5 May 2009. The band used a wide array of instruments to achieve a fuller sound, including double bass, trumpet, trombone and a dobro guitar with strings that were 20 years old. They moved to the US in late 2008 and toured in February 2009, following the completion of recording the album. The band filmed the move to the US and the production of the album, with it to be released on the web and in a full-length documentary. The album peaked at number five on the AIR Album 100% Indie Chart and was mentioned in Alternative Press's list of "100 Bands You Need to Know in 2009".
In January 2009, it was announced that Closure in Moscow would be one of 1100+ bands showcasing at the annual South by Southwest music festival in the US. The band joined Emery on the select dates in the Zumiez Couch Tour 2009, then went on the Thee Summer Bailout Tour with Kiros, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Ivoryline and Secret & Whisper. On select dates during the tour, they joined The Audition and The Higher on The Audition for the Higher Tour, which also includes Runner Runner, In:Aviate and The Hoodies. The band planned to return to Australia in the start of December to play shows possibly through to January and February 2010, eventually signing on for Homebake festival and Bird's Robe Collective's end-of-year showcase at the Annandale Hotel in December; and significantly as the only Australian band to undertake the full Soundwave festival through February and March.
At the fourth annual AIR Awards held on 22 November 2009 Closure in Moscow's First Temple was nominated for Best Independent Hard Rock/Punk Album. In May and June 2010 the band completed a headlining tour of Australia, with support from Adelaide's Secrets in Scale and For This Cause in Brisbane. Following this, Closure in Moscow returned to the US to play the entire 2010 Van's Warped Tour.
In early 2011 the band's website confirmed that drummer Beau McKee and bassist Brad Kimber were no longer members of the band. New drummer Salvatore Aidone toured with the band in Japan (with FACT) during 2011. In May the band announced via its Twitter and Facebook pages that Duncan Millar, a member of the funk band Saskwatch, also with Aidone, would be playing bass permanently for Closure In Moscow.
Band members Michael Barrett, Mansur Zennelli, and Christopher de Cinque worked as session musicians on the album A Dream Is a Question You Don't Know How to Answer by Jonny Craig.
They announced in an interview with Hear This! Promotions on March 2012 that they've started working on a new album due for release May 9 2014.
Musical style and influences:
The band's debut release, The Penance and the Patience, has been touted reminiscent of Saosin's debut EP, Translating the Name. Similarities with Saosin have also been noted in a live review in Sydney street press Drum Media of a show with label mates Fifty Sixx. The review says the band is "...combining the melodies that make bands like Saosin so popular with some off-time breakdowns and samples, taking little time to win over the crowd." The band has also been compared to other experimental and progressive rock acts The Mars Volta and Circa Survive by music website Absolute Punk. Additionally, they have been likened to post-hardcore band Chiodos, and defined as having "more in common with complex, seasoned bands like Rush and Tool than they do with fellow Aussie rockers AC/DC". Other bands that Closure in Moscow could stylistically be compared to might be The Dear Hunter and At The Drive In, an early project featuring The Mars Volta's leading men, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala.
Their style has been described as a "catchy, yet melodic, brand of progressive, avant-garde rock" by Kill Your Stereo. However, the rise of previous bands with similar styles, such as Coheed and Cambria, has altered the meaning of avant-garde, which describes "those artists, writers, or musicians, whose techniques and ideas are in advance of those generally accepted." When asked by Australian radio presenter Zan Rowe about their comparison with bands such as Saosin and The Mars Volta, guitarist Michael Barrett alluded to the influence of 1970s bands like King Crimson and Yes, mentioning that "they're not that different from The Mars Volta" and it was a "natural progression".
Christopher de Cinque - lead vocals (2006-present),
Mansur Zennelli - guitar, vocals (2006-present),
Michael Barrett - guitar (2006-present),
Salvatore Aidone - drums (2010-present),
Duncan Millar - bass guitar (2010-present),
Beau Mckee - drums (2006-2010),
Brad Kimber - bass guitar (2006-2010)