Fold Zandura evolved from Mortal, an early '90s Christian industrial band led by multi-instrumentalists Jyro Xhan (the principal writer) and Jerome Fontamillas. As Mortal they defied the oxymoronic label and cranked out ominous widgets rivaling those of Trent Reznor's doom factory. But embedded in the assembly line were components of the future Fold Zandura sound. Lavish pop via "Rainlight" and "Jill Sent Me" flickered through the shadows. Despite Mortal's huge impact on the Christian industrial market, however, its masterminds soon felt they had stretched the band's sound to its limits. So by 1995 Xhan and Fontamillas had slain the aptly-titled Mortal, added wild-man drummer Frank Lenz to their lineup, and re-emerged as Fold Zandura.
The new band's first outing was spacey guitar rock overlaid with playful electronic doodling. Whereas Mortal's message consisted of railyard scream-preaching, the songs on Fold Zandura's self-titled debut deliberately mingled spiritual intimations with themes of boy-girl romance. Musically, while distorted guitars still dominated the sound, Fold Zandura was decidedly more pop-oriented than its predecessor.
In November of 1997, after one independent demo and one slightly less independent re-release of that demo on Sublime Records, Fold Zandura released their first all-out album, Ultraforever, with giddy self-confidence and national distribution through BEC Records. Within this genre-defying album is a space where the irresistible pop hooks of the '60s British invasion and the techno sensibilities of 21st century J-pop coalesce. It is with Ultraforever that Fold Zandura left its mark on the scene and amassed a fervent legion of fans.
Buried in the liner notes was this declaration:
"...and to everyone who thinks they've got Fold-Zan figured out: think again, because believe me brother, we have just begun."
Now, almost a decade has passed, and not much has come of this cryptic prophecy. The band released the King Planet EP in 1999, which, though dense and conceptual, was short enough to only whet fan appetites for more. Yet even though the band gained new members Joey Macentyre and Joey Marchiano after the departure of Frank Lenz, hardly a peep has been heard from foldspace in years. Its members have long been dispersed throughout the industry, having joined other bands such as Switchfoot, Radium, and PAX217, and doing various production, programming, and other behind-the-scenes work here and there and all over. But will they ever come together again to crank out more of that infamously wonderful sci-fi pop for us to feast our ears upon? This is the official site, and even here there is no clear answer to that question at this time. But the band's not officially dead, so watch the sky and keep your fingers crossed (and keep showing your support!), because some day FoldZan might fall from orbit again...
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