KKK of pop, Kool Kat MusiK really hits its stride with the 2010 CD
release of the latest Maple Mars album entitled Galaxyland.
Founded by singer-songwriter and electric guitar ace Rick Hromadka,
the four piece Maple Mars have recorded their definitive pop masterpiece
that spans generations while drawing from the world of pop gone by.
A triple threat musician, Rick Hromadka is a real hero among the pop
intelligencia and the IPO crowd and theres no escape from his
galaxy of pop sounds. One early comparison I thought about while spinning
Galaxyland was a cross between the classic 60s pop band
The Association as produced by Jimi Hendrix! Hromadka has a great
guitar sound that Hendrix would dig while his healthy respect for
pops past puts him on the right road. The sound of the Galaxyland
CD fully captures the vast Maple Mars pop composite. Backed by Ron
Pack (vocals, drums), Trevor Zimmerman (vocals, bass) and
Steve Berns (guitars), Rick serves the Maple Mars spirit well
and kicks it into overdrive on what will come to be viewed as the
groups best album to date. Also, dont just buy the download,
but check out the expertise put into the design and color schemes
of the CD cover art, booklet and packaging. Back in the 60s
a cover like that would stop you in your tracks and it would probably
be bought immediately, back when album jackets were considered art.
You can go follow Rick and Maple Mars on Facebook where you can often
find him postulating on the meaning of just what qualifies as a classic
album! Such devotion to the pop art form springs to life in Galaxyland.
As far as the definition of pop classic, may I be
so bold as to infer that Maple Mars comes pretty darn close on Galaxyland
I might add. www.MapleMars.com
WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents
RICK HROMADKA of the group Maple Mars
Guitars Center Stage
Guitarists making waves in the music world,
their new recordings and gear!
musical background began when I received John Lennon's Imagine
and Simon and Garfunkels's Bridge Over Troubled Water LPs for
Christmas one year. I quickly became a record and radio freak. I remember
spending lots of time after school bouncing on my parents bed listening
to Top 40 radio. In second grade I was selected to play the snare
drum in our production of The Little Drummer Boy, mainly
because I was the only kid in class who could keep a beat! I also
played drums in the school band in junior high.
We had an upright piano for a short while and I'd tinker, figuring
out songs from the radio. Ultimately, a friend who played guitar invited
me over to hear him play the end solo to Free Bird note
for note. I was hooked! Bought my first electric guitar at 15 for
5 bucks, and never looked back. That same friend turned me onto a
classical guitarist who was giving lessons in New Haven, CT. I became
a student, which is how I learned to read music. It really helped
my electric guitar playing as well! After high school I went to GIT
in Hollywood, CA with visions of becoming a session guitarist.
new CD is called Galaxyland. The concept came from looking
at amusement park maps online and "stealing/borrowing" rides
to make up my own space park! I did all the artwork for the disc,
building this amusement park using rides from all over the world.
The album was recorded and mixed at Maple Mars guitarist Steve Bern's
studio The Fitting Room, and at my own home studio. We used a variety
of friends on the record, including the great songwriter Mark Radice,
who's song "New Day" was recorded for this album. Mark also
co-produced the track and plays piano. We used Nelson Bragg from Brian
Wilson's band, Marty Ross from the New Monkees and The Wigs, Phil
Rosenthal from Twenty Cent Crush, and singer Kirsten Proffit. Session
orchestral players were hired for strings on "New Day",
"When Bridges Fall", and "Head Turner". Steve
Berns plays much of the lead of guitars and some rhythm, Ron Pak plays
drums and sings backgrounds. I played acoustic and electric guitar,
choral sitar, bass, piano and keys, chromo harp, pots and pans, and
some other weird noise makers that escape me right now.
The album was recorded using the DAW programs Logic and Sonar. Steve's
got a nice Soundcraft Ghost console, so everything recorded at his
place ran through that as well as some really good outboard gear.
Much of the material tracked and mixed at my place was all done "in
the box" using Logic. Steve Berns co-produced with me songs recorded
at his place.
I think the album reflects previous Maple Mars albums, but with a
bit more experimentation. Song's like Transcendental Guidance,
The Excursion, New Day, and When Bridges
Fall are a bit different then the usual Maple Mars fare.
my favorite guitars are pretty much all the classics - Strats, Les
Pauls, 12 string Ricks. I play a Fender Toronado, which looks a bit
like the old Mustangs or Jazzmasters. I'm kind of a creature of habit
and that been my main axe for years. I also used a Breedlove Atlas
Series acoustic and Fender Precision bass. I shared quite a number
of Steve's guitars and effects. These were:
Gibson Les Paul Special
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gretsch Nashville Jr.
G&L ASAT Semi-Hollow Body with Bigsby
Taylor 814CE Acoustic
All Steves guitars have Thomastik strings. He feels that while
they cost a bit more, they retain their resonance and brightness longer
and dont break as often.
Amp sounds were created using a Fender Special Edition Hot Rod Deluxe,
its the Jensen 1 12 that gives this amp its special
Also used were some POD XT sounds as well as effects boxes such as:
Line 6 Delay modeler
Line 6 Modulation modelers
Various distortion boxes
Dunlop Jimi Hendrix wah
Ernie Ball volume pedal
And a few others..
Various Universal Audio (UAD2) plug ins including the Vintage Roland
main musical influence has always been The Beatles. They were perfection!
I'm influenced by many genres: 60's garage/psychedelic/pop, 70's glam
rock/pop, 70's prog/pop, 80's pop/punk, the list goes on!
My favorite guitarist of all time is Jeff Beck! From his days in The
Yardbirds through his Blow By Blow days I was transfixed. I
also love Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Howe, and Duane Allman.
Here's a list of my favorite and influential albums:
The Beatles - White Album
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The Who - Sell Out
The Zombies - Odyssey & Oracle
Paul McCartney - Ram
Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Big Star - #1 Record
John Lennon - Imagine
Queen - A Night At the Opera
Pink Floyd - Animals
Replacements - Please To Meet Me
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Paul McCartney - Venus & Mars
Aerosmith - Get Your Wings, Toys In The Attic, Rocks - (3 in
1, I know, so sue me!)
Todd Rundgren - Todd
Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak
Kiss - Kiss Alive
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
Elton John - Captain Fantastic
Yes - Fragile
Yes - Close To The Edge
Crack The Sky - Safety In Numbers
XTC - Skylarking
U2 - War
Replacements - Tim
Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque
Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
releasing a new original Christmas Song called "Christmastime
In The City" on an upcoming compilation album called Kool Kat
Khristmas from Kool Kat Musik. The song will also be for sale as a
single on iTunes. I've always loved many of my song writing heroes
original Christmas songs, i.e. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Greg Lake.
Even Chrissy Hynde wrote a super catchy one! So, I finally got my
We're planning a tour of Europe in the late spring. We've only been
to the U.K. in the past, so it'll be nice to play in some new places.
Our website is in dire need of some love at the moment! It's not the
best place for current info on Maple Mars. People can go to our MySpace
page or sonicbids.com/maplemars
And for the most current news you can check my own Facebook page and
Twitter to keep up on what's happening with us. I can always be reached