It used to be, form a group, perfect the sound, then record. Like David Grohl with Foo Fighters, VAST's Jon Crosby took an alternative route. He perfected the sound, recorded it, and then put a group together.
Crosby was one of those guitar prodigies that rolled across the radar. Hailing from Humboldt County, CA, Crosby got himself written up in Guitar Player Magazine at the ripe old age of thirteen. A guitar oriented label tried to sign him but Crosby declined preferring to focus on his songwriting and form a group. Working under the name VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theater), the group's members came and went regularly. No matter, Crosby continued to record demos on his own. One song made it on a local radio station's playlist and set off a bidding war for Crosby's talents with Elektra coming up with the deal.
"Visual Audio Sensory Theater" was issued in '98 and created the need to form a group for touring. Guitarist Justin Cotta, bassist Thomas Froggatt and drummer Steve Clark joined for the '00 release "Music For People."
VAST's debut "Visual Audio Sensory Theater" has been referred to as a cross between Industrial and Art Rock with some religious influences (Gregorian chants) thrown in. "Pretty When You Cry" is the highlight. The more focused follow-up "Music For People" contains "The Last One Alive," the brooding "The Gates of Rock 'N' Roll" and "I Don't Have Anything."