History & BiographyCircle II Circle was formed by former Savatage singer Zak Stevens. Having left Savatage in 2000 ostensibly to rest after eight years of recording and touring, Stevens formed Circle II Circle soon thereafter and along with Savatage's Jon Oliva began writing songs for his new band. The duo soon entered Tampa's D.O.W. Studio to record a demo. The songs on this demo were Forgiven, Watching In Silence, Fields Of Sorrow, Lies and The Circle. The band was soon joined by guitarist Matt LaPorte who himself had auditioned for Savatage - a position that had ultimately gone to Al Pitrelli. LaPorte soon introduced Stevens to a number of fellow musicians who would become the core of Circle II Circle. Although guitarist David Rogers would join the group slightly later. With a demo in hand, the Floridians garnered interest from three labels and ultimately signed with AFM in May of 2002.
With the writing for the debut album in full force, Stevens and company are joined by Savatagians Jon Oliva and Chris Caffrey in order to write songs. The band entered Morrisound Studio in September of 2002 and recorded its debut with producer Jim Morris. During the sessions, Rogers left the fold only to eventually be replaced by ex-Teer man Shane French. He is soon replaced by former Andrew W.K. man John Werner.
AFM released the band's debut in May of 2003. The band played the Tampa Metal Fest and the Rock Hard Festival in 2003.
The band quickly imploded, however, when the members quit in protest to, what they said, was Zak Stevens' unfair treatment of the rest of them. Stevens promised to carry on with new members. In a surprise move, Matt Laporte, Kevin Rothney, Christopher Kinder and John Zahner were soon hired by Jon Oliva for his solo band.
The band began recording a new album in 2004 and also played at Rock The Nations festival. A new line-up issued an EP All That Remains called and an album called Middle Of Nowhere in 2005. The album was supported live when the band announced a tour with Masterplan. Not surprisingly, guitarist Shane French also joined Jon Oliva in 2006. Dan Campbell of Global Artists Management, the former manager for Zak Stevens and Circle II Circle, was suing the band for “breach of contract” following the termination of his services in 2007. Ostensibly due to the delay of the Delusions Of Grandeur album Circle II Circle cancelled its American tour with Circus Maximus and Manticora. The other two bands were due to continue before also cancelling. Jon Oliva’s Pain, Seven Witches, Evergrey, Circle II Circle and Eumeria took part in a metal cruise, Triton Power Cruise departing April 30th of 2010. The cruise was to depart at the Carnival Imagination in Miami, Florida. Circle II Circle had initially cancelled, but was now back on the ship. Circle II Circle, featuring ex-Savatage singer Zak Stevens, was to play at the Wacken Open Air Festival 2012. The band was to be joined by Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery for a performance of the 1997 Savatage album The Wake Of Magellan. The band booted guitarist Rollie Feldmann and drummer Johnny Osborn and replaced them respectively with the returning Andy Lee and new man Jayson Moore. A new album called Seasons Will Fall was due in the summer of 2012. Circle II Circle signed with Rage On Stage Management for management, promotions, and booking in the USA and Canadian territories. Circle II Circle, the band formed by ex-SAVATAGE front man Zak Stevens, recruited drummer Adam Sagan (Into Eternity, Final Darkness and Echoterra) to sit behind the kit for its European tour, which included a stop at that year’s edition of the Wacken Open Air Festival in Wacken, Germany. Circle II Circle was rejoined by guitarist Bill Hudson (ex-Cellador) for the shows.
Armoury Records, in cooperation with earMUSIC, announced the release of Live At Wacken (Official Bootleg), the first live album from Circle II Circle in the summer of 2014. The recording stemmed from 2012. Marc Pattison was the band’s latest guitarist. Zak Stevens and his band Circle II Circle would release a new album, Reign Of Darkness, on October 16th, 2015 through earMUSIC. Adam Sagan died due to T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma cancer in late 2016. He was 36 years old.
CIRCLE II CIRCLE - WATCHING IN SILENCE - AFM
Circle II Circle is the new band of former Savatage singer Zak Stevens. He obviously did not leave that Florida juggernaut due to any personality conflicts as former band-mates Chris Caffrey and Jon Oliva have participated in writing and recording this album. What does the participation of three Savatage men on one album mean? Watching In Silence has Savatage written all over it. As a matter of fact, Stevens could have easily stayed in the band and not missed the beat - especially if Circle II Circle is going to tour which it recently has begun doing. As far as specifics go, the CD offers the standard Savatage riff, the main melody from Gutter Ballet, and may softer moments on one album. As a matter of fact, the album is often too soft for the metal fan. All the tender parts, the symphonic passages and the keyboards consistently detract from the release. The album goes as far as emulating Queen on occasion. Fans of melodic and symphonic hard rock, as well as die-hard Savatage fans will want to join Circle II Circle. Others may simple watch in silence. - Ali "The Metallian"