Guthrie Govan-led instrumental power trio the Aristocrats unveil Freeze! Live in Europe 2020

Aristocrats new live album
(Image credit: Steve Thorne/Redferns via Getty Images)

Remember the days before live concerts were put on hold? For a trip back in time –all the way to early 2020 – check out the Aristocrats’ new live record, Freeze!, which captures the instrumental rock-fusion power trio of electric guitar whiz Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann onstage in Spain just before the world went into lockdown.

Freeze! documents a particularly memorable period for the band so I think it’s really fortunate that we were able to capture this musical ‘snapshot’,” Govan said.

“After months of relentless gigging, the material from our latest studio recording had started to feel really natural for us and yet… somehow, there was still an unmistakable element of excitement and musical risk-taking on stage every night when we played those songs.”

The new effort leans heavily on debut live-recorded renditions of material from the supergroup’s 2019 studio effort, You Know What…?, as well as features an epic version of Get It Like That, with a Minnemann drum solo dedicated to Rush’s Neil Peart, who passed away while the band was on tour.

Aristocrats new live album

(Image credit: The Aristocrats)

Said Minnemann about the record, “I have to admit that I at first was reluctant listening to the recordings, almost fearful about how many mistakes I would find.

“However, with a little bit of distance and fresh ears, I was actually more than pleased finding out that this ‘hand-picked’ selection of Aristocratic tunes I believe showcases the band as a very well-toured, oiled and locked machine, with not only love and attention to detail, but also playfulness and fun. Furthermore, Neil Peart sadly passed away during our European leg… I played my heart out for him every single night."

Added Beller, “We were greased up and ready to go, every night. But we had no way of knowing as we plowed through Spain that these would be some of the last shows we’d play for a while. So it’s special on several levels for us to be able to share this frozen moment in time, which is what a live album truly is.

“It’s a statement of what we were bringing to stages every night in the heat of a world tour; it’s something for our fans who may not have caught this tour to experience and hopefully enjoy at home; and, ideally, it’s also something to keep the flame burning for when we can get back out there and let loose onstage once again. Because that’s what we do best.”

Freeze! Live In Europe 2020 is out May 7 and is available for preorder now.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.