Frontiers Music Srl has announced the signing of Memphis's TORA TORA. The band will commence recording a new studio album in 2018 for a tentative release in early 2019.
TORA TORA's mixture of hard rock with its hometown's legendary blues style put the group in a class of its own and the label was thrilled to find the band was open to creating new music.
Says vocalist Anthony Corder: "TORA TORA is proud to announce we have signed with Frontiers! With a rich musical heritage and focus on quality content, we feel their company culture is the perfect fit for our project. We are excited to join some of our favorite artists and friends on their international roster. Thank you to Serafino Perugino, Mario De Riso and Nick Tieder and our entire Frontiers family for this opportunity. We are looking forward to creating some great music and many good memories with all of you!"
Comments guitarist Keith Douglas: "When we first started talking about a new TORA TORAproject, the biggest question for us was what it would sound like after so much time had passed since we'd written together. After just one day of collaborating, it was clear we were going to pick up right where we left off so many years ago. We have some really good songs already written as well as a ton of other cool ideas to get sorted out. Having creative freedom is a huge bonus for us. As far as the direction, it's just going to be whatever comes out. But I can tell you what has come out so far rocks as hard as anything we've ever done and lets our Memphis roots shine through. We are very excited to be working on what we feel like is going to be a very special record and just as excited to be working with Frontiers Records. Stay tuned!"
TORA TORA started in 1985 in the garage of then high school students Anthony Corder, Keith Douglas, John Patterson and Patrick Francis. They beat out sixty other groups in a local Battle Of The Bands contest and received some free studio time at Ardent Studios. They cut one track before using the prize money they had won to record an entire independent EP called "To Rock To Roll". Ardent was so impressed with the recordings that they offered to help shop the demo and gave them even more free recording time. TORA TORA eventually singed with A&M. That debut album made the Billboard Top 100 and hovered on the brink of breaking wide open as songs such as "Walking Shoes", "Riverside Drive" and "Phantom Rider"became local anthems. They followed up with "Wild America", which produced two more singles. A third album, "Revolution Day", was recorded but never released due to label restructuring. Due to the onset of the grunge era, TORA TORA, much like many other bands of their genre, called it quits in 1994.
TORA TORA reunited in August 2016 for a benefit concert in Memphis to help bassist Patrick Francis, who was diagnosed with cancer. Footage of the show has since been released on Blu-ray.
An American hard rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. The actual origin of the band name was a reference to the song of the same name recorded by Van Halen on their 1980 release Women and Children First.
TORA TORA started out as a local garage band then eventually got studio time when they won a local Battle of the Bands contest. Following this, the band recorded To Rock To Roll as an independent EP. After its release the songs "Phantom Rider" and "Love's A Bitch" received extensive airplay on local radio station Rock 98. After signing with A&M Records, they recorded their debut album Surprise! Attack in 1989. This album charted on Billboard's Top 200 at No. 47 and featured the singles "Walkin' Shoes" and "Guilty." The single "Dancing With a Gypsy" was on the soundtrack for the film Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure later that year.
In 1992, their second album, Wild America, featured singles "Amnesia" and "Faith Healer", A third album, Revolution Day, was recorded in 1994, but it was never released due to label restructuring. The band went on hiatus.
In 2008, all four original band members reunited to do several performances. One was a sold-out performance at Newby's, a local club in Memphis, to celebrate their 20th anniversary of receiving their recording contract. After the show, a record was sold to fans which included songs from their first two albums and material slated for their unreleased Revolution Day album. The album was titled The Warehouse... 20 Years Later. The second occurred during Rocklahoma 2008. The band played another reunion show at The New Daisy Theatre on March 7, 2009, in Memphis.
At the end of 2009, TORA signed with the Nashville, Tennessee based FNA Records and released three albums. Before & After, Bombs Away: The Unreleased Surprise Attack Recordings, and Miss B. Haven': The Unreleased Wild America Recordings.
On February 28, 2011, FNA Records in conjunction with the band decided after 17 years since the completion of their third album, which was shelved indefinitely at the time due to label complications, to release their "lost album" of demo tracks for the Revolution Day project. Anthony Corder stated about the Revolution Day sessions:
“The Revolution Day project was an interesting time for TORA TORA. It was the '93-'94 era, we were overlapping the last embers of our Wild America dates, rehearsing ideas for the new project, growing from our touring experiences, and experimenting with recording techniques. We relocated our rehearsal space to a warehouse over by the Memphis airport, and tried to stay focused on pre-production. We were pulling together ideas from handheld cassette recorders, scribbled napkins, & 8 track recordings we made on the bus or hotel rooms. I think we were more comfortable with our creative spirits, more confident in our ideas and our approach to songwriting. All of us contributed on the former projects, but everyone was struggling for the third project to keep the TORA identity, and go somewhere new at the same time. We definitely [sic] had moments of anxiety and frustration but it was all well worth it once we locked down the tunes. We were joined by The Memphis Horns as well as Susan Marshall and Stacy Plunk adding back-up vocals on two tracks. The Revolution sessions were some of our most memorable escapades, and had us back at home in Ardent, hanging with Molly's LaCasita crew, and me personally closing down most Midtown establishments”.
In April 2015, the guys participated in a tribute to their mentors, John Fry and John Hampton from Ardent Studios. In August 2016, the band and the Memphis community came together for a benefit for bass player Patrick Francis who was diagnosed with cancer. The show was taped and DVD released to raise funds for medical bills #ROCKOUTCANCER. With literally a new perspective on life and bassist Francis given an all clear in recovery, TORA headed out to the waves in February 2017 for Monsters of Rock Cruise. Back to the road 2018 and beyond. Ready to ROCK!
...working-class, southern every rocker...metal-meets-mojo...
-- John Beifuss Commercial Appeal