Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence

Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence Out Now

The nineteenth edition of Prog Sphere‘s Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation series brings 39 bands. 38 bands are for the first time on the Progstravaganza compilation, as Eyot previously took part on Progstravaganza VI. Having said that, there are 430 bands in total that paraded through the Progstravaganza compilation series.

Progstravaganza XIX is titled Convergence, and the album art was once again done by amazing artist Chris van der Linden from LindenArtwork. Speaking about the sampler’s name and design, Chris said:

With the successful Progstravaganza sampler series nearing its 20th edition milestone, we thought it would be nice to call this edition Convergence. Things have been gradually come into form, getting better with each release. Prog Sphere and all the bands have continued to work hard to deliver something stellar with each new compilation, and I wanted to reflect that journey and grand feeling into the artwork. Something mysterious is going on, something big, pulling strong, drawing ever closer…”

As you noticed, we are nearing the 20th edition in the series, and we are thinking of doing something special for that occasion. The bands interested in taking part on Progstravaganza XX (to be titled later) can contact us at info@prog-sphere.com

But for now, let’s focus on Progstravaganza XIX and great 39 tunes it brings. Check them below and head over to our Bandcamp to grab this sampler.

Montage on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Montage

 Montage are a relatively new progressive hard rock group that hails from Finland’s capital city, Helsinki. Their music is a mixture of traditional hard rock and the hazy sounds of folk, early prog rock and psychedelia. Montage will release their debut album via Secret Entertainment on May 16th, 2014.

Montage’s music could be described as traditional hard rock with a prog twist, but one can also find jazzy and folkish elements in their songs. The band’s main influences are The Doors, Rush, Caravan, Marillion and Black Mountain. Almost all of the instrumental parts are written by guitarist Roni Seppänen and then arranged by the whole group. The lyrics, written by the whole band, mostly deal with hippie-like themes with a hint of dark humor.

The band started working on their debut album with producer Matias Melleri in 2012. The album consists of eight eclectic hard rock songs, featuring such titles as “Misty High”, “Strawberry Skies” and “Devil’s Whip”. The southern rock inspired feel good anthem “Misty High” was released as the first single from the album in late 2013.

Guitarist Roni Seppanen answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire, after the band’s appearance on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence.

How did you come to do what you do?

Roni: Most of us have known each other since high school, so we’ve played together in various bands in the past. A few years ago we started to come up with songs like ”Strawberry Skies”, which is featured in this Progstravaganza compilation, and we noticed that we’d like to start making music with more room for fantasy. That’s pretty much when Montage came into picture.

What is your first musical memory?

Roni: I don’t really remember my first musical memory but I do remember checking out some of my father’s records as a little kid. I was a big fan of old rock ’n’ roll and I thought guys like Eddie Cochran and Elvis were really badass. A few years later I found out about all these early heavy metal groups and got more deeply into music.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Roni: The inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere. I think for me it almost always has something to do with the music I’ve been involved with lately. Finding a cool new sound on guitar or hearing a few interesting chord changes on the radio might easily evolve into something much bigger.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Roni: I was listening to some old Caravan and Frank Zappa stuff when I was working on this particular song, so it felt natural to keep a 1960’s feel in the lyrics as well. So the lyrics are basically about the many shades of the 1960’s hippie movement.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Roni: Not really. If I have a good idea for a riff or a catchy melody for the chorus it’s pretty easy to come up with the rest of the song. I try not to overanalyze and just let the imagination flow.

What is your method of songwriting?

Roni: I try to document pretty much all the ideas I have, so I always have these slips of paper lying around the house. Whenever I have free time I like to go through these ideas and see if I can come up with something that makes sense.

How do you see your music evolving?

Roni: We’ve already written a quite a lot of stuff for our second record. Everything seems to be more melodic and maybe also a little less guitar-driven. It’s not a preplanned move, but that just seems to be the direction we are heading with Montage right now.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Roni: I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself and try to get to know other like-minded and hard-working people. I don’t believe in luck, but I think if you put a lot of effort into something good things will happen eventually.

What are you looking forward to?

Roni: We hope to reach a lot of new listeners and evolve as a band at the same time. It would be great if we could catch the attention of both rockers and prog music fans worldwide.

Links:

http://www.montage.fi/

https://www.facebook.com/Montagefinland

Prog Sphere is currently compiling first ever Progstravaganza CD compilation. For more info visit: 

http://www.prog-sphere.com/progressive-rock-compilation/

Proud Peasant on Prog Sphere progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Proud Peasant

Check out the Progstravaganza Questionnaire with Proud Peasant‘s Xander Rapstine below.

How did you come to do what you do?

I’ve been a fan of progressive rock since my early days in college.  As progressive music had yet to make a comeback in those days, I was always trying to incorporate prog into other styles of music in my previous bands.  As the possibility of finding an audience for progressive music became a reality, I felt that it was time to move from doing progressive-tinged music to actually playing progressive music.

What is your first musical memory?

My first vivid musical memory is from when I was about 4 years old.  A friend of my parents (who was a music teacher) was over for dinner, and she had brought her violin with her.  I remember being completely captivated by the fact that someone could take this small piece of wood and create these beautiful, otherworldly sounds.  It made a strong impression on me, and I knew on some level that I always wanted to do the same.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from distinct instances of pain and joy.  Life can be uneventful much of the time — fairly dull and routine.  This is why moments of loss or happiness tend to stand out in stark relief.  I try to incorporate the memories of these instances, as well as the hope and disappointment that may come along with them, into the music’s themes and emotions.

 

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

 

The Precipice is about taking risks.  Much of our identity in childhood is built around the people who surround us — parents and family members, teachers, authority figures, etc.  At some point, we start to establish our own sense of identity and try to get out of the shadow of those around us.  Once we’ve established this identity, we hopefully feel a sense of comfort in who we are as people.  The Precipice is about challenging your identity and comfort zone by taking risks that are filled with uncertainty and the possibility of failure, but potentially rewarding as well.

 

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

 

Every piece of music is a little different.  There are times when I want a song (or a section of a song — this is prog, after all) to be in the traditional mold of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus.  With much of Proud Peasant’s music, though, we’re trying to establish a specific mood or emotion.  This often takes the music on a path that’s anything but conventional and we certainly don’t shy away from breaking from standard song patterns.

 

What is your method of songwriting?

 

Most of the music comes to me in short bursts, a sort of musical download of an idea.  I try to jot it down (or plot it out on the computer) as quickly as possible.  I then go back to it a few days later and see what works.  I’ll try to establish connections with other sections I’ve written and incorporate (or discover) thematic elements.  I also work on the arrangement of the music in a very limited fashion, which I hope provides some guidelines for when the band records.  This gives the music a direction that keeps it firmly within my original concept, but also allows the band to put their mark on it.

 

How do you see your music evolving?

 

As of now, we’ve planned out 3 albums in a trilogy entitled It Does Not Cease.  Our debut album, Flight, is very pastoral and cinematic — instrumental music with non-lyrical vocals (choral and solo).  The next album, Communion, will be a much heavier work, while still retaining the cinematic elements of the first.  We’ll also be adding lyrical vocals, with layered 3- and 4-part harmonies.  The final album will be called Dreeing the Weird, and it will be the most epic thing we’ve attempted.  Hopefully, it will be pretty different from anything out there.  Over the course of the 3 albums, we’re hoping to move from a style that takes its cues from the past to something that establishes its own way.  Time will tell how successful this will be . . .

 

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

 

Put your music out there, even if it’s only a rough demo while you work on the real thing. Sites like SoundCloud afford musicians opportunities that we’ve never had before.  You now have access to so many music lovers in the world — you’re bound to find someone who loves what you do.  Concentrate on finding this audience instead of just trying to find fame or money.  Those things are great (and necessary, to a certain extent!), but finding people who passionately care about your music is the most rewarding thing you can do and will make you want to play and record even more.

 

What are you looking forward to?

 

Playing shows, recording the next album, and meeting more music lovers across the world.

Links:

http://www.proudpeasant.com
https://www.facebook.com/proudpeasant
https://twitter.com/Proud_Peasant
https://soundcloud.com/proudpeasant
http://proudpeasant.bandcamp.com

Photos by: Courtney Chavanell Photography

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

The Madeleine Haze

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: The Madeleine Haze

Progressive Hard Rock trio The Madeleine Haze began as an acoustic solo project for vocalist/guitarist Zack Goebbel. Inspired by French novelist Marcel Proust’s “episode of the madeleine” and the connection between music and involuntary memory, he released “In Search of Lost Time,” an intensely personal EP that became an unexpected regional success.

Zack assembled a band and the sound quickly evolved into a mix of classic Hard Rock and modern Post-Grunge. The resulting politically-charged EP, A More Perfect Union, was a clear sign that this was not a band who was afraid to challenge the listener both musically and lyrically. During this time they also contributed a cover of the anti-war anthem “Killer of Giants” to the “No More Tears: A Millennium Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne- 1971 – 2012” compilation. The band supported these releases with headlining tours across the US, and provided support for acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Vicious Rumors, Seven Witches, Super Bob, Bulletboys and Broken Teeth.

With growing national success came pressure from the industry to conform to a narrow view of what a mainstream Hard Rock band should be. Rather than limit themselves to those stifling constraints, however, the band became more creatively ambitious than ever. The result is Noble Lies & Pious Frauds, a ground-breaking full-length album set for release in the Fall of 2014. Thematically, the album serves as commentary on how corporations, religious and political institutions and even the people we love can manipulate how we think and act. Musically, the band incorporates everything from thrashing Prog-Metal to radio-friendly power ballads, bringing disparate genres together to create a cohesive whole. With crowd-pleasing hooks and virtuosic musicianship, The Madeleine Haze proudly walks the line between the Mainstream and the Progressive fringe, and trusts their fans to take that journey with them.

Zack Goebbel answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire following the band’s appearance on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence.

How did you come to do what you do?

My father was a musician dating back long before I was born, so I guess I was destined to play music in some capacity. Music was just always around. People were always playing guitar together, going to band rehearsals, etc…It was just part of the lifestyle I grew up in. And I started on drums, but quickly ended up a guitarist/vocalist just like my old man.

What is your first musical memory?

Well, there’s a photograph of me when I was 5 years old playing drums and jamming with my dad, but my first memory on guitar was sitting on my couch at 9-10 years old, conquering 12 bar blues. That was the moment I fell in love with guitar.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

PAIN! I hold the opinion that truly good music that has the ability to move you, mostly comes from a place of pain, hurt or anger. I had a tumultuous childhood, which lacked stability, and let’s just say, I’ve had some pretty crazy stuff happen to be able to write songs about.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The Turning Away deals with someone who’s been entrenched in the christian religion for their entire life, and they slowly start to lose their faith. That’s pretty much where the song begins, and it has some parts where the character is looking back on the decisions they’ve made because of their religious belief and affiliation.

I guess the ultimate message it would wish to convey would be, to trust in yourself. Everything you need, you already have, and what you don’t have, will come to you when you’re ready to receive it.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

I try not to. I like to mix it up. Start writing lyrics to existing music and vice versa, I always try to keep the topics I write about somewhat personal, at least in strength of opinion, and try to vary them to keep it interesting. I like all kinds of music, so what I write might start out an acoustic soft number, and end up a thrashy rocker by the end of it, or the other way around. Sitting down with an outline of how you want a song to go before you’ve written the first note, doesn’t allow the entity to identify itself. The song has to have a soul of sorts, and if you think you already know what it’s going to look like before it comes out, you’re going to alter it with those notions, and not just let it be what it wants to be. People ask me sometimes why I write longer songs, and my response is always that I let the song say what it needs to say. However long that takes is how long it takes. 3 minutes, 8 minutes, 21 minutes, I don’t care. As long as what needs to be said is said.

What is your method of songwriting?

I covered that a bit in the last question, but as a band things are changing in exciting ways. The Madeleine Haze started as a solo project for me, and due to instability in the bass position, the songwriting process has remained mostly on my shoulders. However, with the recent addition of bassist Richard Wilson, we’ve become a songwriting team, with each member contributing ideas to the overall structure. This process is resulting in the most dynamic material in the band’s history, which is remarkable since we are still in the early stages of discovering what this line-up can do together.

How do you see your music evolving?

“Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does” – Epictetus

I think this quote says it all. Now that we’re able to write as a complete unit, the music is naturally taking on more progressive elements, simply because it’s not one progressive minded musician, and not two, but three. So, the music is taking on new shapes that, as the quote suggests, we’ve been wishing for all along. I’m just happy to be able to share in writing with such talented players, and watch music form in front of me. It’s like watching a child grow. It’s an amazing feeling.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Be proud of what you create. If you’re proud of your product, other people will be drawn to that. We’ve experienced so many hurdles throughout the years, but people have always been there for us, willing to help us, because when you hear our music, you know it’s real, and you know it’s from the heart. Be true, and you’ll have their respect. And without the exchange of respect, you won’t last a minute.

The Madeleine Haze's Noble Lies & Pious Frauds  artwork by LindenArtwork

The Madeleine Haze’s Noble Lies & Pious Frauds artwork by LindenArtwork

What are you looking forward to?

We are currently working hard to finish up our new album, entitled Noble Lies & Pious Frauds, and expect to have that out by the end of the year. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it! We have Prog Sphere to thank for helping us find our cover artist, Chris van der Linden, who did an absolutely fantastic job. We’re also thrilled to be able to include an advance single release of The Turning Away on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence!! As soon as our album is finished, we plan to get back out on tour in the US, and look forward to meeting some new friends out there on the road!

Links:

http://www.facebook.com/themadhaze
http://www.youtube.com/themadhaze
http://www.myspace.com/themadhaze

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Aequilibrium

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Aequilibrium

Giuseppe Rotunno started playing piano at school at the age of six. His music teacher (and pianist)  realized he had talent, and gave him private lessons of classical piano for eight years. Although he was achieving good results, Giuseppe felt (erroneously) classical music was not his musical genre, so he stopped playing piano and started learning how to play guitar as an autodidact. In this period he got close to rock, but his “classical vein” kept reemerging until he listened to “Firth of Fifth” by Genesis, and fell in love with progressive rock. Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, Rush, Dream Theatre, Elton John, Gentle Giant, Kansas became his preferred bands, and gave him a lot of inspiration. In May he released his debut single, Aequilibrium, but his mind is full of creative progressive ideas waiting to be transformed in shining and intense instrumental prog tracks.

How did you come to do what you do? 

Well, I would say a mix of things. After studying classical piano, I’ve decided to start playing covers and this helped me building up my musical skills, and tastes too. I initially believed classical music wasn’t my deal, and I got charmed by the energy and power of rock (who didn’t?). Nevertheless I felt something was missing when I was playing rock tracks. It was a sunny day, and I was in my father’s car when I listened on the radio for the first time “Firth of fifth” by Genesis. It was shocking awesome, very catchy, powerful and still harmonically perfect, an incredible mix between rock and classical music, and I fell in love with progressive music.

What is your first musical memory?
I was born in the name of music, my father played guitar close to my mother’s pregnant belly! He loves classic rock bands such as Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, Lucio Battisti and others, so I grew up listening to those band while playing Bach, Mozart, Chopin. One of the first (and funny) moments I had in my musical career which I’m pleased to remember was at a classical music competition: I was terrified, my hands were sweaty, and I felt I was going to blow up everything. I actually did it, because when I made a mistake, I whispered something like “Damn…”, but my voice was apparently too loud, all the audience heard it, and started to laugh. It was such an embarrassing moment!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I must admit, I don’t know where my inspiration comes from. I just start playing piano or guitar, do some chords, and if they sound good, it becomes a project. I like to think it is a sort of natural process, a “musical flow” coming directly from my subconscious. Although I know my musical background has a big role in this process, I think this “musical flow” is pure emotion. It’s metaphysical, not rational.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“Aequilibrium” has a meaning, tries to tell a story without lyrics, just music. I believe every moment in our lives, and maybe life itself, follow a pattern: we have good times, unforgettable moments full of happiness and serenity, but then something wrong or bad happens, and we must be strong in order to overtake it and finally achieve the renaissance. That’s what my songs tries to explain, it’s a song about renewal.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

After I get inspiration, and the melody or the basic chords are set up I tend to give the songs a structure in relation to the story I want to tell through it. It’s not a restriction to the inspiration flow, but an important process. Maybe this is the most difficult (but satisfying) part about composing instrumental tracks, as they don’t have lyrics, because you have to make the song ready to tell the story to anyone listens to it. Anyway this doesn’t mean all the songs follow pre-defined patterns, as each song is completely unique.
What is your method of songwriting?
I generally start with good sounding chords, melody, sounds, arpeggios all come later. Although the melody is one of the most important part of a song, as it has to be catchy and easy to remember, I prefer having a chord structure to work on before.

How do you see your music evolving?

Well, I’m very open to all musical genres, I don’t discard anything and although progressive rock remains my preferred one, I think my works will be influenced by other genres, like jazz, blues, pop. I love to discover and listen to ethnic music too (african, persian, chinese music for example), so maybe some of my future songs will include some ethnic sounds!

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Never give up. It’s hard to get heard and build a real fan base, but keep it going. If you’re talented, if you think your music is good and comes directly from your heart and your soul, you have all that is needed. Music is just a different language, capable of get right to your soul.
What are you looking forward to?
I’m currently working on a lot of projects, and have a bunch of other ideas waiting to be transformed in progressive songs. I would like to build a solid fan base, get in touch with other artist for collaborations and expand my musical capabilities and tastes!
2KX on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: 2KX

2KX is the permanent band formed from the 2009 international prog endeavor, “Lisa LaRue Project 2K9.” The band is headed by keyboardist Lisa LaRue, who has released four solo albums previous to the LLP2K9 “World Class,” and is twice Oklahoma Music Awards’ “Native American Artist of the Year.” She has also been nominated for several Native American Music Awards in addition to a Hollywood Music Award.  2KX was nominated as “Best Instrumental Band” in the 2011 Los Angeles Music Awards.
The band took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence and Lisa answered our standard Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Check it below.
How did you come to do what you do? 
2KX formed as a project band called Lisa LaRue Project 2K9 in 2009.  A core group of participants, and some new members, formed a permanent band in 2010 called “2KX.”  We still have special guests, but there is a core band.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
We draw our inspiration from everything!  It can be a book, a movie, a dream, or a conversation.  Then we all build upon it with each members’ interpretation.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
Art, mystery, excitement.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
No, one of us will start a piece, and then we each add our own parts to that.

What is your method of songwriting?
Late at night :-)

How do you see your music evolving?
We are growing as an integral unit, not focusing so much on the special guests anymore, but becoming a stronger songwriting team.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Don’t expect to make money, just do it because it is a gift given to you by the Universe, and share it with the world  Be passionate!!

What are you looking forward to?
Hearing what we are all writing and playing 10 years from now :-)
Links:

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

The Parallax on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: The Parallax

The Parallax is a four piece progressive melodic death metal band from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. They released their debut full length album, Obliquity of the Ecliptic, worldwide physically and digitally on October 23, 2013. It includes their 23-minute epic track The Reformatting. The album has been received well, and has taken notice in Canada, Russia, Japan, the USA, and many countries in Europe. It can be downloaded for free on their Bandcamp. They released their music video for ‘Seventeen’ on January 9th, 2014.

Guitarist and vocalist Antonio Moreira answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Check it below.

How did you come to do what you do?

Well it all began when Sean and I (Antonio) were in high school together. We both took an interest to music and the concept of coordinating a band. Of course not nearly as much thought was put into it in the beginning because we were both relatively new to our instruments. But after years of trial and error with other musicians we found Derek and Sorin. Both are very solid musicians. Meanwhile I worked on writing ‘The Obliquity of the Ecliptic’ and here we are ready to start a new record.

What is your first musical memory?

My first real memory was from when I was about 2 or 3 years old. We had an old electric organ at the old home and my mother taught me a melody and it stuck with me and I would play it for relatives when they would come over. A few years back my family came across some footage of me playing it which kind of interesting given my current interest in music.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The instrumental component is definitely inspired by some of my favourite musicians and I find my interests evolving as I am exposed to different types of music. The other huge portion of my inspiration for a significant portion of the instrumental parts is drawn from orchestrations. Some of my favourite music is from film and video games which is usually the place I go to for inspiration when it comes to writing lyrics. I admire complex film scripts that involve a lot of emotions and that can build off simple concepts which is why ‘The Obliquity of the Ecliptic’ is more then just a journey its also the growth of a character, her struggles and her attempt to be triumphant.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The album it comes from is a concept album, it is actually the title track, and it is the mid point in the album where the main character finds the man who killed her father. She is introduced to the lynx and lion whom in her dreams are depicted as her saviour, however the exact opposite seems to be true. The story takes a dark turn and becomes very lyrically heavy, describing her downfall into Schizophrenia. The song leads right up to the point where she is captured by the man who killed her father.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Absolutely, I draw out full layouts before starting pieces. I know roughly at which points I want the track to be slower and more emotional and which parts are to be instrumentally and technically heavy. I then go on to write one or two riffs to pick which two tempos I want to work at. Often times the center of the songs come first and I work my way backwards to the beginning to write the intro. Then I finish off the end of the song. And finally I pick which spots I want to splice in intense progressions and keyboard/guitar solos.

What is your method of songwriting?

Typically I write large portions of the song on my own time with the lights dark, a good film on or a great film score. Once I get a few riffs then I focus with nothing else going on. We also have been writing a couple pieces together as a group but we do not sit down and try to write together. It is just not our preferred method. So I make a few layouts, write in a couple parts and then everyone else digs into the layout and picks sections and transitional points to write in. As of right now we have a great track almost complete without lyrics that we all collaborated on using this method.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think our next album is going to have a few shorter tracks and a little more rhythmic activity. I love complex leads but I also adore really tight riffs that let lyrics sit perfectly over top. I think it’ll be a little faster and a bit heavier, without taking away our love for very thick leads and vocal melodies.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Work your ass off and don’t give up. Make sure you keep those who care about you close to you, people whom are very supportive and enjoy watching you evolve as a musician. Also don’t settle for musicians to play with just because you are good friends because that may also prove to be a weakness. I got lucky with Sean, being best friends yet thriving towards the same goals through thick and thin. We went through 17 people to arrive at Derek and Sorin and I don’t regret one single decision. The 4 of us make writing easy and playing in the pocket easy for one another. I’d also suggest that you lock yourself in your room everyday and play, play, play.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to a second album and some good shows that we have coming up. We may be writing a track to release with a music video. I don’t have much information on that yet, but time will tell.

Links:

www.theparallax.net
www.facebook.com/theparallaxband
http://theparallaxband.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/theparallaxband
www.instagram.com/theparallax

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Eternal Journey

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Eternal Journey

The “ETERNAL JOURNEY” is a Progressive Space Metal Project from german guitarist and songwriter Alex Papatheodorou. Influenced by music from artists like Pink Floyd, Dol Ammad, Ayreon or Opeth, a new musical journey will begin!

How did you come to do what you do?

First of all, it started with the early contact to reaggae and greek folk music :-) Yes, that’s right :-)

At some point, i had the inner wish to play the electric guitar. After watching AC/DC in 2001, it became definitely!

What is your first musical memory?

Greek singers like Mikis Theodorakis and Georgios Dallaras. Soon, there was Jethro Tull and Supertramp. Awesome musical taste, mother! Thanks :-)

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from sounds. Let’s say “sound” like guitars or drums sounds, especially Synthesizer sounds give me chills. I just love “hearing”. When my guitars are setted up well, just the sound of the instrument gives me ideas and fresh musicality.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

It means this to one person and that to another … be your own judge. Maybe the song has a great message, maybe none…. you decide :-)

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Of course not. When i have to describe my music to strangers, one of the first things to mention, is, that there is no classic song structure or anything like this (no chorus, no verse etc). And btw, these thing on the record are not songs to me, they’re pieces of a cake. Songs are on the radio!

What is your method of songwriting?

Get a great tone (guitar or synthesizer) – write riffs – fill it up with FX and Synth Pads – bring it into structure – write lyrics – let all the guest musicians play theire stuff – done! :-)

How do you see your music evolving?

First of all is see a steady increase of professionalism in my recording and mixing technique (yes, i do it all by myself). On the musical side, i see more open mind to unconventionall ideas, It used to be metal, now it is more like Music … haha :-) metal guys, don’t hate me :-) everything is possible, everything is allowed and everything should be given a try.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Forget about cliché, use cliché, abuse cliché. Play what feels naturally to you.

What are you looking forward to?

I want people to like my music. I want them to take their time an listen to the music. This is no background stuff. Take some headphones, drink yourself a scotch (or whatever you prefer :-) Listen to whole goddamn thing from the beginning to the very ending.

In the end, i am trying to get a fine record label which believes in the music i do, and maybe make a few releases possible. I am full of ideas :-)

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Mile Marker Zero on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questinnaire: Mile Marker Zero

For the five members of the Connecticut-based progressive rock group Mile Marker Zero, gaining individual satisfaction through a collaborative, team-driven effort is the essence of true art celebrated through self-expression and sonic chemistry.

From the moment they formed nearly a decade ago while attending Western Connecticut University school of music, the group, led by vocalist Dave Alley, John Tuohy (guitars), Mark Focarile (piano/keyboards), Tim Rykoski (bass) and Doug Alley (drums), has taken a slightly off-kilter, multi-tiered approach towards modern rock music spending the past decade honing their skill set both as musicians and songwriters.

Check the Progstravaganza Questionnaire with Mark Focarile belowç

How did you come to do what you do?

I began playing piano when I was 8 years old. My mom played piano, and my dad played drums, so music was very important in our house.

What is your first musical memory?

When I was really young, I used to play 45”s on my PlaySkool record player and pretend to sing into a microphone or reach my hands up on the piano in the family room.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I try to draw on inspiration from all kinds of music because as a keyboardist, I’m able to take the song in so many different sonic directions depending on what I’m feeling. Certain sounds will also inspire me to play a certain way.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“A Trick of the Tongue” is about being consistently lied to by the Government, and how easily people fall into the trap of believing whatever is told to them.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

We don’t have any pre-definied patterns, but it’s easy for us to get obsessive over one particular part or detail, so we record as much of our ideas and jams as possible, so we can come back to it the next day with a fresh prospective.

What is your method of songwriting?

Most of the time, we’ll start with a riff or chord progression and begin jamming on it to see where it might lead us. We’ll play around with different textures and arrangements, and one idea will spark another one. Lately, we’ve been trying to get the main structure of the song down first, and then going back and working out some of the intricacies so we can keep a good overall perception of the song without getting too bogged down with one part.

How do you see your music evolving?

The writing sessions for “Young Rust” were long, and really made us examine ourselves to find out who we really wanted to be as a band. We’ve been inspired by bands who evolve and take chances, and we feel now like we can do the same while still connecting to what our personality is.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Learn as many skills in the music industry as you can. From recording to booking, to marketing, you have to do as much as possible on your own. If you want your band to make headway, you have to get it out there yourself.

What are you looking forward to?

Now that the EP is out, I’m looking forward to playing as much as possible and seeing us play in as many new places as possible.

Links:

www.milemarkerzero.com
facebook.com/milemarkerzero
youtube.com/mmzofficial

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Fuseboxx on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Fuseboxx

Formed in 2001, Fuseboxx‘ existence can very well be said to be the catalyst and inspiration which opened the doors to progressive music in the Philippines. They received widespread acclaim for their musical-precision and technical proficiency. This, especially so for their ability to meld and incorporate Filipino sentimentality with the different musical elements from a vast array of genres (rock, fusion, pop, classical, new age, metal, alternative, etc.) in order to create cohesive and thematic materials—indeed, arranging their music into movements that convey a compelling musical message.

The band took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence and here is what they said for the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

Fuseboxx has come a long way from when they started more than a decade ago. Formed in 2001, Eric Tubon wanted to have an experimental trio composed of a guitarist, male vocalist and bass synth. After a few months, a bass player was added, then he continued on as a synth player and keyboardist. Abby came on board first as a female vocalist, then also a keyboardist. After covering songs and bar hopping, they started doing original material, wherein a niche of followers regarded their music as prog. On its 3rd generation, Eric remains on the synth, while Abby handles the same task, with the addition of the Chapman Stick, which she introduced to the band in 2009, taking away the need for a bass player. Mico Ong has been the guitarist since 2007, while Anthony Dio is the drummer and the newest member of the band. Together, after 2 independently-released and all-original Filipino music albums, they remain to have a common goal: to spread and introduce prog music in the Philippines, and to share their knowledge as mentors and teachers to the younger generation of musicians.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From our day to day lives, since almost everyone has a day job apart from being a musician. From the current music scene and the struggle of so many talented musicians that would always strive for a place in the scene.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“Animated”, which has the same title of the album, is an instrumental song, that conveys an ever-moving journey to life. Always progressing, always moving. The song depicts the ups and downs of one’s life which is actually part of the whole.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Not always. As prog music is, we can develop a certain idea in a number of ways, in different forms, in different time signatures. But, pre-defined patterns of certain genres inspire us to think out of the box and make music without the need of copying these patterns.

What is your method of songwriting?

Sometimes, one draws an idea from a theme, which may be a piece of poetry, a title, or a riff. Other times, it could be more free-flowing, allowing each member to draw out inspiration to the others’ response of their action while playing the instrument.

How do you see your music evolving?

Our music as a band has always been evolving. In 10 years, after a lot of line-up changes, we can safely say that our music greatly depends on whoever is in the band. Our individual influences make-up the totality of fuseboxx music in general. Our songs are never played the same way as it was recorded, because a new guitarist, bassist, etc. is present. With Anthony Dio on board as our drummer, we expect to have more groovy chops, more loose fusion lines, and more interaction with the music.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Music is not a choice, it’s a chance. Just keep on creating and playing music. Take advantage of the social media to spread your music.

What are you looking forward to?

To find a proper recording label to support our music, since our last 2 albums have been independently released; and find a promoter for a possible tour in Asia, US or Europe.

Links:

www.fuseboxx.ph

https://www.facebook.com/fuseboxx/

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Aisles on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Aisles

Aisles are a progressive rock band from Santiago, Chile. They have been considered one of the most interesting acts of recent years. So far they have released three albums, the widely acclaimed “The Yearning” (2005) and “In Sudden Walks” (2009), and “4:45AM”, which has been warmly received by the most prestigious publications of progressive rock.

Guitarist German Vergara answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire after Aisles took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence as a part of Prog Sphere Showcase feature.

How did you come to do what you do?

I remember as a kid seriously deciding I wanted to be a guitar player when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody’s guitar solo. I think that was the beginning of everything for me.

What is your first musical memory?

Probably my older brother playing the piano at our parents’ house, or even myself trying to get some sounds at the piano as a kid.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I owe a lot to Jazz, Fusion, Prog Rock, World Music, New Age and Classical Music. There’s a Latin seal too in our music that we probably owe to South American music.

Some of my influences are: Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis, Pat Metheny Group, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jean Luc Ponty, Allan Holdsworth, Jean Michel Jarre, Pedro Aznar, Queen, Journey, Ryuichi Sakamoto, King Crimson, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Melancholia is perhaps the saddest song on the album. It talks about a child’s sickness and his mother’s suffering while she thinks about his destiny: Is he going to be happy or live a life in pain? That feeling of uncertainty is Melancholia, which can be a mortal illness. The whole song is sung from the son’s perspective as he sees his mother suffering. Can ‘Melancholia’ itself be the child’s sickness? We don’t know how sick this child is, but somehow his dreams have kept him alive so there’s hope for him in the future. It was a very emotive song to write and record. I remember being at the edge of tears at the studio while we were recording vocals.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Not at all. Whatever flows, the method changes every time you want to write something.

What is your method of songwriting?

Most of the times an idea comes from improvisation on your instrument, in my case the guitar or sometimes the piano. Other times you have a pre-conceived idea of what you want and try consciously to get it on your instrument. That’s only the starting point, after that, the methods are countless. You can develop an idea as a band, as a small group of two or three, or by yourself and then arrange the composition as a band. We work in many ways. It would be unwise to have only one method.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think the band has reached a certain degree of maturity now, but that also means that you can never get stuck, you have to evolve. We always try our music to have a meaning and a reason, and with 4:45 AM we have succeeded at writing very emotive songs, which is our intention. I think our sound and music have become more authentic as the years have passed and we’ve developed a very original, theatrical and eclectic type of music.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

First of all, be brave about doing whatever you love in your life. You have the responsibility of following your dreams. Try to be authentic and spend many hours with you instrument. Don’t hear anybody when they say that you won’t be able to make a living as a musician, only you will put the limits to your dream.

Don’t think of fame and money, just do it for the sake of music, and success will come eventually.

What are you looking forward to?

We look forward to broadening our audience, reaching more people with our music and message. Also to be regarded as a truly original band with a unique sound. We intend to keep developing and evolving with this vehicle of artistic expression called Aisles.

Links:

Official website: http://www.aislesproject.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aislesproject
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aislesproject/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/aislesproject
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/aislesproject

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

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