John Elefante’s name came to prominence in 1981 when he became the new lead singer and keyboardist for Kansas. John sang the lead vocals and performed keyboards on three multi - Platinum albums with band, giving also a major songwriting contribution.
In 1984, together with his brother Dino, he started to become involved for the first time in producing the Christian act Sweet Comfort Band. Soon the couple became one of the most renowned producers in the genre, in particular their tenure with Petra brought multiple gold and platinum albums, 10 consecutive CCM Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Hard Rock Cafe, and the only artist to ever have 4 albums in the SoundScan top-100 Christian chart.
Elefante also felt the songwriting muse and formed a metal band with his brother, Mastedon. The band's name was a pachyderm-inspired reference to the brothers' last name. Although John was an accomplished vocalist and performer, the Mastedon albums featured multiple lead singers and performances by other artists, creating an eclectic sound anchored by John’s songwriting. His brother Dino played a prominent role, contributing songwriting and handling most of the guitar work.
Mastedon's first release was titled "It’s a Jungle Out There!" (1989). A year later, the band released "Lofcaudio". The albums charted at #25 and #10, respectively in the Billboard Top Contemporary Christian chart. To this day, they are still considered classics in the genre.
In 1996 John started a solo career that brought him to release three successful albums more in the Adult Contemporary - Pop Rock vein. After a few years of hiatus, John is now working on a new Mastedon album that - contrary to the predecessors - will only feature his amazing lead vocals. Musically, the new album will hearken back to the best of Mastedon and to his work with Kansas. "Mastedon has far surpassed my expectations as far as longevity and shelve life" says John.
"I would say it has garnered somewhat of a cult following. I have people from 17 years old to 50 something that still ask me about Mastedon and will there ever be another one? My answer has always been "I don't know" But the writing is on the wall that after all this time, it is time to deliver a new Mastedon record and mainly because people that loved the first 2 can't be ignored any longer. This record will differ in some ways and others it won't. Being the majority songwriter there will be obvious similarities in style. I will be singing everything so that will change a bit from prior Mastedon projects. Also the sonic quality will be very much up to date. Rich melodic harmonies and melodies are the keys to a Mastedon record. This record will most certainly be the beginning of a new chapter in my life both musically and lyrically. One day you turn around and it's been 10 years since you've done a project, but when it really sinks in that you were put on this earth to something, YOU MUST DO IT !!!"
Frontiers salutes the return of a legendary artist and looks set to release Mastedon “III” in the fall of 2009.