SLAM: 21st Century

TIMO: "I figured it was time to get back in the swing of things, music wise. So after listening to players like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson, I figured I can pull that off. So I started to record instrumentals featuring the guitar, but with a good dose of synth.”

“Bernard Gueffier the President of French label, Musea Records, contacted me and asked if he could re-issue the first album. So I contacted Universal Music (who bought up A&M Records) and negotiated a mechanical license for Musea Records”.

The re-issue came out in 2001 on CD. It has been re-released multiple times resulting in it's distribution in 51 nations worldwide. No releases contained extra bonus tracks.The front cover continued using the artwork by Mati Klarwein, but the back cover was updated...

SS1CD Cover

Front and back covers of Slam debut album released on CD in 2001

SS1 CD Back Cover

TIMO:“I was pleased to see the press was starting to put things back on the map. I figured since Musea is going to put the stuff out again I better write a follow up CD. I wrote and recorded 'Her Fire'. The album was originally going to be called 'Cave Canem', which means 'Beware of Dog' (click to see proposed album cover) in Latin. But my wife said "Why are you calling an album full of love songs Beware of Dog?" Duh!! So I named it 'Her Fire' and painted the cover with a two faced woman. Original bassist Noe Cruz returned and I asked Les Carlsen (lead vocalist of 'Bloodgood' and lead in the musical 'HAIR') to help with the vocals, since my voice was still out of shape. And I added Bob Winn on drums. That was released on CD in 2005. Guest artists include: Mike Meucci on vocals, Mark Vaughn on drums, Dennis Brown on drums, and Larry Class on keyboards”.

'Her Fire' CD Cover

Her Fire CD Cover

'Her Fire' was praised by critics, but it was limited in release. It was released on CD on Timo's label Monotrim Music, but the album had no promotional budget. This is considered to be the third album by Symphonic Slam.

2005 version of Symphonic Slam

2005 SSlam

From L - R: Bob Winn-Drums; Les Carlsen-Vocals; Timo Laine; Noe Cruz-Bass

Also in 2005, Timo released his first solo album called 'The Monotrim Project'. It was an all instrumental album, Timo's '360 Systems' guitar synth, which would've been almost 30 years old by now, would've been a dinosaur. It had been replaced by Roland guitar synthesizers. Monotrim Project and Her Fire were recorded using two Roland GR-33's (hooked in tandem), two BOSS FS-5U's, one Roland GFC-50 and a BOSS FV-500L volume pedal. He was now being sponsored by Godin Guitars Canada and plays a Godin LGX-SA. Monotrim Project was recorded by Timo playing his Roland guitar synths, straight lead guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass. He was backed up by long time Slam musicians Noe Cruz on bass and Bob Winn on drums.

'Monotrim Project' CD Cover 2005

Monotrim Project CD Cover

In 2008 Timo recorded and released another solo instrumental album: Guitar Works Special Edition.
'Guitar Works Special Edition' CD Cover 2008

Guitar Works Special Edition CD Cover

2008's instrumental solo album Guitar Works Special Edition featured Timo playing almost everything, except for Jeff Hull on bass guitar and Bob Cacciatore playing keyboards on one of the ten tracks. This is Timo in all his glory. I remember him telling me back in 1975-76 that he wished there was a way he could perform everything himself, especially live. He had been a veteran musician for over a decade and a half and played with dozens of musicians. His experience had taught him there was only one musician that he could always count on – himself. Eliminating other musicians eliminated all bullshit, egos, and trouble with musicians coming and going. This album is as close to that ideal as possible. Guitar Works Special Edition was again heralded by the critics for Timo's mastery of the guitar and guitar synthesizer. It truly shows why he is 'The Father of the Guitar Synthesizer'. No one has amassed the amount of music playing a guitar synth, the quality of his playing is unsurpassed. If Timo had never played a Guitorgan or a guitar synthesizer, he would still be known as a masterful guitar player.

TIMO: “In 2011 Musea Records was contacted by Denis Meyer, the author of the book 'Hard Rock Anthology' (click title to read excerpt from his book) Denis had suggested to Bernard at Musea Records, that it might be a good idea to re-issue the SSII album, since Denis had proclaimed Symphonic Slam as one of the top Progressive rock bands in the world. So they contacted me, and Denis Meyer became the executive producer on the re-master and it was re-issued March 2011”.

In the Spring of 2011 Musea Records re-issued 'Timo SSII' world wide on CD. It contained 4 bonus tracks.

'Timo SSll' new CD Cover

Timo SSll CD Cover

SSII members were: Linda Nardini-Keyboards; Jimmy Haslip-Bass; Noe Cruz-Bass; Jan Uvena-Drums; and John Lowery-Drums.

In 2012 Timo released a 15 song “Best of Symphonic Slam” album with songs from the three Slam albums and Timo's two instrumental solo albums.

'Best of Symphonic Slam' CD Cover

Best of Symphonic Slam CD Cover

Timo released two more singles:

In 2013 “Paul and John” featured Timo along with Steve Eddy on keyboards, and Mark Stevens on drums.

In 2014 he released “Save Your Soul” from the “Her Fire” album.

Timo semi-retired again to spend more time creating art work and traveling the world collecting insects and building a museum class collection.

Some of Timo's artwork and displays of his bug collection are featured elsewhere on this website.

Timo Laine is and will always be the Master of the Guitar Synthesizer!