Mixing musical improvisation and jam band tendencies with traces of psychedelic hard rock, Major Stars were formed in the late '90s by several veterans of the Boston scene. Singer/guitarist Wayne Rogers, guitarist Kate Biggar (also known as Kate Village), bassist Tom Leonard, and drummer Dave Lynch comprised the initial lineup, which released its debut album, Rock Revival, on the Twisted Village label in 1998. Space/Time followed in 1999, and the bandmates spent the following two years recording their third effort, Distant Effects. The record was released in 2002 on the Virginia-based Squealer Music label; that same year, Major Stars toured alongside Japan's Acid Mothers Temple as an opening act and performed at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. The touring wrapped up in May 2003, and the band subsequently decamped to New York to start work on their fourth album, the aptly titled 4. Lineup changes soon plagued the group, however. By the time 4 was released in spring 2005, Major Stars had lost one member (Lynch) and picked up three more (drummer Casey Keenan, bassist Dave Dougan, and vocalist Sandra Barrett), with previous bassist Tom Leonard opting to play guitar instead. The group soldiered on as a sextet, releasing Syntoptikon in 2006 and Mirror/Messenger in 2007. In 2010, Major Stars released their seventh album, Return to Form, on Drag City, followed by Decibels of Gratitude in 2012. Though the band toured consistently, they didn't issue another recording for four years. With Motion Set, issued in late 2016, they enlisted several singers to deliver Rogers' lyrics in the studio, including Hayley Thompson-King, who fronted the group for the album's first single "For Today."
~ Alex Henderson & Andrew Leahey