The 16 Deadly Improvs

The 16 Deadly Improvs were originally conceived in 1995 as a studio project involving musicians from the New Brunswick, New Jersey alternative rock scene of the early 90’s: Nick Bohensky, Jeff Bridi, Mark Nowak, Dave Wilson, Gene Bohensky, and and Vin Villanueva.

Their aim was to experiment as an improvisational unit using the well-honed skills of each band member, while allowing for randomness in execution by encouraging members to play out of their comfort zone. This meant, at times, for certain members of the band to play completely different instruments other than their specialty. Musically, John Wetton era King Crimson was a major influence and starting point for the improvisational approach. Other notable artists that influenced their sound include Brian Eno, Rain Tree Crow, Yes, Gong, The Legendary Pink Dots, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Rush and Pink Floyd.

After recording in July 1995, the resulting session became The 16 Deadly Improvs, so named because of the editing of the sessions into what turned out to be 16 distinct tracks. While deemed a success by the unit, it was believed at the time that the project had run its course as Villanueva relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan and began concentrating more on jazz music and Nowak settled in Brooklyn, New York.

Nearly a decade had passed, with each of its members involved in other musical projects. The relocation of Villanueva back to the east coast of the US in 2005 prompted the group to rejoin forces and adopt the moniker The 16 Deadly Improvs, recording 2005’s The Return of The 16 Deadly Improvs.

In January 2006, the band recorded what was to becomes The Challenge of The 16 Deadly Improvs. While largely instrumental, it was the first album to feature the addition of overdub vocals; a trend that has continued through each subsequent album. The Challenge would also become the first release to be made available to the public.

2007 brought another unexpected relocation, with the departure of Nowak to Australia. However, the band found ways to continue to work. Setting up one day sessions when all six members were available. During this time, the focus began to shift towards more overdubs of the raw tracks and additional production, all along retaining the original concept of improvisational music to the core.

In 2008, the band released The Revenge of The 16 Deadly Improvs. The Revenge was almost instantly well-received in prog-circles. The same year, the band recorded another session, which after being shelved for over a year, was edited and produced during 2009 for the 2010 release, The Triumph of The 16 Deadly Improvs.

In the words of the band the new album “reveals a more accessible side of The 16 Deadly Improvs that continues to explore our signature experimental, progressive rock edge, while venturing into darker and tension-filled territories.”