Category Archives: Interviews

Welcome Inside the Brain

Interview: WELCOME INSIDE THE BRAIN

I have to admit it: I have a thing for vintage psychedelic / progressive type of rock, and that’s why I found a debut album from German rockers Welcome Inside the Brain quite an enjoyable experience (read my review here).

Singer Frank Mühlenberg was very kind to answer questions about his musical upbringing, forming the band, influences, the album, and more.

Let’s start from your early music beginnings. How did your musical career begin? When did you start playing? Which groups have been your favorites as a young man? Please tell us something more about your early life.

I started my first band in the age of 16. I listened to really noisy kind of music in this time and so I started with an extreme sound: not as a singer, but as a shouter. With 18 I became open minded for new music and started a cool Polka-Ska-Punk project called „Gegen Windmühlen kämpfen“ („Fighting against windmills“) with some friends. At this time I discovered older bands like The Doors, King Crimson and so on and felt in love with the sound of hammond organs.

How did you go about forming Welcome Inside the Brain? Who was the most influential when the band started its musical journey?

Our Ska-Punk band split up after some cool years, because we lived in different towns after finishing school. But our guitar player Georg, who was also a member of this older band, and me founded a group to celebrate the sound of J. Hendrix, J. Cocker and other hippy stuff. Here you can find the roots of our current band.

The members changed over the years and we started to create our own sound with own songs and three years ago we changed the name of the band to „Welcome Inside The Brain.“ I think the most important thing in this band is the very diffrent background of the members. Everybody listens to a very wide range of different music. We don’t think in genres. Sun Ra, John Coltrane, 70s African music, Led Zepplin, Zappa, Anna von Hausswolff… There is an endless list of stuff we listen to…

In the beginning, did you have some “fixed” tempo in composing songs or everything was a product of jamming, improvising?

We work a lot with improvisations, but this can just be a springboard for a song. When we got an idea, we fix it and work it out in detail. But there are also songs with open parts, nobody knows what will happen.

How would you describe Welcome Inside the Brain’s music on your own?

I think it’s really important for us that no song sounds like an other. Every song can be seen as a journey to discover new possibilities. But you can say that this band works a lot with dynamics to create an exploding point.  Structures become more and more intensive
and you’ll find suprisingly twists and turns. The band is looking for a maximum of energy, but I think you need an interesting way to reach the climax.

Celebrate the Depression

Your debut album, Celebrate the Depression, is a follow-up to the 2015 self-titled EP release. Have you felt any pressure while working on Celebrate the Depression because of that?

The EP was like a demo to find a label. We felt never pressure in any way. We always take the time we need to create something. The EP was an important step to the album and two of the three songs of the EP are also a part of the record.

How important the “progressive rock” tag is for the structure of your songs?

We don’t think in stereotypes like progressive or jazz or pop. The energy of a song is important for us. In retrospective you can say, „Celebrate The Depression“ is a Psychedelic-Prog album, but there is no category working as a stencil. To make music means to leave all boundaries behind you…

How do you see the German progressive rock scene today?

Mhm, I have to say, I don’t really know. I know a small scene of real fanatics. Cool guys, organizing really strange concerts, but mostly with French bands. I know a lot of bands, that work with elements you can find in classical progressive rock, but I think Germany is a
rough place for doing this kind of music.

Do you guys consider yourselves a part of any specific cultural movement, however peripheral?

I would say no. We are not part of scene like Gothics, Rockabillies or Metal guys. But I think we see a big worldwide clash of two different cultural movements. Everybody sees all the endless global problems we have. And I think there is a specific movement that locates the reason of this problems in people and tries to segregate them. They got a lot of power they use against other people or groups. On the other hand there’s a movement that locats problems in specific structures of organizing society. Of course we are a part of the second movement and the album „Celebrate The Depression“ refers to contradictions in human being permanently.

Are you also involved in any other projects or bands beside Welcome Inside the Brain?

I’m the only one of the band, who has no other band projects. But I organize a lot of concerts in the town I live. Here it’s also a wide range of concerts. Bands of Jazz, Soul, Afrobeat or Psychedelic music play at my events.

The other guys of Welcome Inside The Brain also have Jazz-, Reggae-, Soul- and Fusion- projects. So there’s a lot of different input…

So, what comes next for Welcome Inside the Brain?

We spend the last week in a lonely cabin full of equipment and wrote songs for the next album. It will sound very different from the first one. And we will play as much concerts as possible in the next months…

Ring of Gyges

Interview with RING OF GYGES

I have already written about the Icelandic proggers Ring of Gyges and their debut album “Beyond the Night Sky” (review here), but singer and guitarist Helgi Jonsson has answered my questions about the record and let us know what it was like working on this material.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

It’s pretty good, thanks for asking. I’m currently living in Sweden and it’s cold and dark here but I’m from Iceland so I’m used to it. I’m hanging in there. Writing lots of new music these days.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Beyond the Night Sky”?

Imagine, if you will, a lasagna where the beef is our foundation of 70′s progressive rock. We also have some weird and exotic meats sneaking in there, like snake and kangaroo meat, symbolizing the stranger and more creative parts of the album. The pasta? That’s the metal influence. And the cheese sprinkled on top symbolizes… well, cheese. I’m pretty bad at analogies and this sounds like a terrible lasagna, but our album is, like a lasagna, layered with a lot of good bits, it’s difficult to make and consuming it is a pleasant experience.

Beyond the Night Sky

What was it like working on the album?

It was amazing to be honest. Sure there were moments where you wanted to claw your eyes out because you just couldn’t get that one part right, but more often than not I felt creative and energetic and excited. We got some great guest players in the studio and working with them was an absolute pleasure, when we got the string players to the studio it really felt like some songs came to life and it was magical. I truly appreciate the effort that everyone voluntarily went through to help us with the album and I feel truly privileged to have such friends.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Beyond the Night Sky”?

Not yet, unfortunately. We want to, oh man we want to, but it’s logistically problematic right now. We still don’t have management and planning a tour on your own is damn difficult. If any manager or agent is reading this, don’t hesitate to send us a message!

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

A European tour would ideal for our budget, and we’d love to play around Europe (for example in Germany, UK and Poland), but we also have some good friends in the US that we’d love to play a show for! Getting a work visa in the US is getting more and more difficult though, we’ve heard of bands getting sent straight back to Europe even though they had all their paperwork completed. But hypothetically, we’d like to play around the world!

Who and what inspires you the most?

I guess I’d have to say Steven Wilson, he’s a musical mastermind and he doesn’t seem to be affected by anything anyone says and he’s always true to making the music that he wants to do. He doesn’t settle for anything less than great and why should I?

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to everything from classical music to death metal. I’m really into jazz fusion as well, but most music I listen to seems to defy classifications. If it sounds interesting to me, I’ll listen to it. I love film music, John Williams is a god to me, and obviously his predecessors (Holst, Stravinsky, Resphigi). I guess most of the time when I play solos I’m hugely inspired by jazz players, whose melodies seem to be carefully walking the line between sounding right on the mark and completely off. Just the right amount of wrong. That’s what I find musically interesting.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

No problem, it was fun. I guess I’d encourage them to broaden their musical horizons, but seeing as this is a prog magazine, I guess they already have. 

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Distant Horizon

Interview with DISTANT HORIZON

Distant Horizon from Finland debuted last June with an EP release titled “Laniakea,” and just when you think “here is another progressive metalcore/djent type of band,” these guys drop such a fantastic mixture of jazz fusion and progressive metal, ultimately putting themselves under my (and hopefully everyone else’s) radar.

Check out the interview below with the band.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Hi, we’re doing great, thanks for asking. Studies and work keep us busy and we’re also working on some new material for the band.

Distant Horizon - Laniakea

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Laniakea”?

We think ”Laniakea” offers new and original sounding music which is close to progressive metal but with more fusion and jazz elements in it. It’s a mix of both old and new styles making it quite diverse. The EP has a nice balance between heavier and jazzier sound.

What was it like working on the EP?

Joona composed all the songs on the EP. Each of us learned the pieces individually after which we rehearsed the songs together. The recording sessions themselves went smoothly. Jesse recorded the drums first followed by Jere’s bass. Then Matias played the keyboard parts and lastly Joona recorded the guitars.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Laniakea”?

We did some touring after the release. We do have plans on doing some more gigs in the summer of 2018.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

We love touring here in Finland, obviously, but we’re currently trying to get our music to international stages as well. In that regard, we’d love to tour Europe and the United States.

Who and what inspires you the most?

We are inspired by many artists and musicians. The biggest influences have probably been Pekka Pohjola, Dream Theater, Frank Zappa and Nobuo Uematsu. Of course, there are also numerous others. Our music has a lot of themes inspired by nature and space. We also try to inspire each other as musicians.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

We do listen to many different genres in addition to prog. For example, rap, funk, jazz, pop, and electronic music. We think each genre has something to offer that’ll improve one’s playing.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thank you for having us. We want to thank everyone who has listened to our music and if you like what we do, we would greatly appreciate any support through social media or by other channels.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

YouTube

PuzzleWood

Interview with PUZZLEWOOD

PuzzleWood from Moscow are a three-piece who back in November released their full-length debut “Gates of Loki.” The band classifies their work as “post-prog,” and I believe that it really is a fitting genre tag for what you can find on the album.

Guitarist and singer Anton Legatov spoke for Progstravaganza about the album.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Could be better, could be worse, much worse actually. So I’m fine.

What can people expect from “Gates of Loki”?

They can expect something unusual. Something they are unaccostomed to. I perfectly understand, that every musician says things like that about his project, but in this case it is the objective truth…At least I think so. Gates of Loki is not the album, that is easy to understand. It is necessary to dive into it, spend your time and pay some attention. But I’m sure, that the result will be satisfying for an attentive listener.

Gates of Loki
What was it like working on the album?

As usual – local branch of Hell of Earth. Writing an album is hard, recording it — much harder. Especially considering the conditions we had during our work. Though, it is pleasant, that from such a disorganised and greviously senseless chaos, something interesting was born.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Gates of Loki”?

Presently there are no such plans, because we don’t have people ready to organise such tour. If someone appears, we’ll gladly go on tour even to the Antarctic. We like giving live shows very much.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

All of them. I sincerely believe, that the musician’s core is to be a traveller, a bard. To wander around the world and play his music and sing his songs. This is what I consider the destiny of those, who chooses the Music to be his craft. Whether we are invited to Europe, USA, Canada or Japan – it doesn’t really matter. We’ll gladly perform anywhere and it’ll be a great honor for us.

Who and what inspires you the most?

Everything. I always say, that we don’t write the music. The Music writes itself and we are doing our best to deliver it the way we percieve its desire to exist. That is why it’s not for us to decide when it comes to us willing to be written.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

It may seem surprising, but I almost don’t listen Prog or Post-Prog. And in general I don’t listen to Rock music much. Often people compare us with Purcupine Tree or TOOL, but I must confess, I haven’t listened to any track of those two bands. Even now. I was on the concert of Steven Wilson once, but he was playing the material from his new album at that time, not the Purcupine’s. I have a lot of different music in my playlist, but mostly I’m old-fashioned. Very rarely I listen to music, written after the 1995. I listen to a lot of ethnic music, lots of jazz, blues of late 70s and middle of 80s. And, of course, the academic music. It is a must.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thanks for your interest and attention to what we do. It is very good to know that politics and international issues don’t create prejudice and barriers for the art and love to music.

“Gates of Loki” is out now; order it from Bandcamp. Follow PuzzleWood on Facebook.

The Seathmaw Project

Interview with THE SEATHMAW PROJECT

The Seathmaw Project is Geovanni Munoz, an one-man melodic death metal band from Dallas. In December, he released his third studio album “Inexistence,” and he spoke for Progstravaganza about it, his influences, and other genres.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life is good, it can always be better but it’s good.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Inexistence”?

For the longtime listeners it’s more of the same just more refined, balanced, and sharp.  For the new listeners they can expect a bit of an unorthodox approach to metal.  Typically you get a band that gives you one genre or sub-genre and that’s it, there’s a handful of bands that blend a couple of styles every now and then. Then there’s The Seathmaw Project,  you get a lot of different sub-genres thrown at you and there’s no telling what’s coming next.  The song can start like a thrash metal song and you think it’s going to remain that way but it can merge into a break-beat style, then slap you in the face with some black metal and before you know it you’re leaving the song with a stoner rock style.  It’s bananas!

The Seathmaw Project - Inexistence

What was it like working on the album?

It’s pretty chill, this album kinda just wrote itself.  Since I have full control of everything the only person I have to argue with is myself,  and that leads nowhere so its a simple process.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Inexistence”?

That’s the dream, unfortunately not the reality at the moment, the drawback to being the sole creator of the music is there’s no one around to take the music from the studio to the stage.  The live band would ideally be a five piece, maybe one day.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

With my previous band Inbryo we toured across the US, and that was fun but that was our backyard. I would love to tour Norway just cause of the amazing metal that has come from there.  Italy would be cool too, and a lot of the sales from my albums seem to come from France, so I’m thinking that be a cool experience to play to my fans in France.

Who and what inspires you the most?

James Hetfield inspires me and lets me know that metal never dies, dude is still cranking out the riffs like a mofo, that’s the coolest most inspiring person in metal today in my opinion.  What keeps me going is the future, what songs I will create, will I learn to sing? the unknown is a great inspiration.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Oh man, great question.  I listen to a wide range of music: Indie Rock, Pop, Pop Rock, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Death metal, Black Metal, Symphonic Metal, Goth Metal, Industrial, NuMetal, Melodic Death Metal, Hardcore, Hip-Hop, Traditional Mexican… I could go on for days, I think it’s important to listen to as many genres as you can handle, I’m a music head, I love music.  I think I draw from all of them for sure, a little bit of everything in the stew. My starting band was Metallica so Thrash Metal runs through my veins, I love speed more than anything in all of music, a good fast song regardless of style of music just gets me going.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thank you guys for giving me a platform to speak on. To all new and old school fans that have been there from the beginning, thank you, good things are coming, these 3 albums are just the beginning.

“Inexistence” is available from Bandcamp.

Keigo Yoshida - The Blue Prison

Interview with THE BLUE PRISON

Keigo Yoshida, guitarist and composer, is a man behind the instrumental prog metal project The Blue Prison, who has his new EP “Alchemist” coming out on January 18th. In an interview for Progstravaganza, Yoshida tells us about his work.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Thank you for asking. Life is okay, working busy but still playing music. And all my family is good so I can’t complain.

Speaking of new music, you have an EP coming on January 18. What can people expect from “Alchemist”?

It is very aggressive EP but also melodious at same time. At least you won’t get bored for sure.

The Blue Prison - Alchemist

What was it like working on the album?

Not only this time but everytime I work on The Blue Prison’s records, it’s very challenging for me to searching for the sounds new and cool. It was very hectic this time as well but also it’s fun to create my own music always.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Alchemist”?

Unfortunately no, I need to have a band first. Hopefully I’ll find some people in the near future.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

If I could go on the tour, I’d love to visit Russia and Ukraine. And of course US. Those are the three counties actually many people supporting me since the begging. And I do really appreciate it.

Who and what inspires you the most?

That could be video games. Especially “Final Fantasy” and “Resident Evil” series.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to Jazz, Fusion, and Blues often. Especially Fusion is affecting to my play a lot I think. And I’m hoping to have more Blues taste mix to it in the future. Also I like EDM as well. It has so many things I can learn for my electronica side approach.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

This EP is might not be typical instrumental metal music for many people and has a lot of interesting approach I believe. I really hope everyone would enjoy listening “Alchemist”. And thank you for reading my interview.

For more about The Blue Prison follow the project on Facebook.

The Image You Claim

Interview with THE IMAGE YOU CLAIM

The Image You Claim is a newcoming progressive metalcore six-piece from California, and “Painted Visions” is their debut album released back in October last year.

Singer Justin Olsen looks back at the songwriting process of the album, touring, inspiration. Read the interview after the break.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life has been pretty alright, we have just been taking a well deserved hiatus for the holidays after our first batch of shows. We are back to the grindstone now, planning some new content as well as writing some new tracks.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Painted Visions”?

Painted Visions is a really unique and emotional record. I feel like it really encapsulates our style but also gives us room for evolution.

What was it like working on the album?

It was quite an experience. It was my first time in the studio recording. It improved my vocals and warm up routines as well as giving me important insight on the whole process. Chris handled a lot of the mixing and mastering, but Julian and I played a part in revision and nitpicked the hell out of it until it was ready to ship. It was really fun writing, composing and recording and i look forward to doing it again soon.

The Image You Claim - Painted Visions

Are there any touring plans in support to “Painted Visions”?

You know, the band has been throwing around the idea of like, a west coast tour since the album released, but we have had a tough time finding prog bands in our area to tour with. Not only that, we have just been dialing in tone, getting things right, and making sure things are reliable as possible equipment wise. We have had some adventures with FOH sound, and we want to make sure everything is as straightforward and professional as possible, but if there are any progressive metal or djent bands in the SoCal area, hit us up!

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

It would be awesome to tour the US, the UK, and Australia in the future. The metal scene is growing day by day and i would love to have the opportunity to travel around and broaden our fanbase.

Who and what inspires you the most?

My biggest inspiration personally is Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and Sianvar. both he and Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute inform a lot of my writing. It helps me think of alternate ways to structure, metaphorize, and use a unique syntax to write songs, It really helps in progressive metal with all the crazy riffs and time signature changes. Donovan’s performance really made me reevaluate how i was using my voice, so tonally it could be  cleaner and less forced without losing that sort of emotion. I’m still working on all that though, and i have a lot of room for improvement haha.

Chris, our guitarist and writer of the instrumentals for Painted Visions, is inspired by bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and suchlike, but i feel like he has a “voice” of his own. His style is super distinct.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to almost anything and everything (with the exception of country). I have to say it really does. Chris and I are studio-centric (I guess that’s what you would call it) and it helps inform sound design, technique and composition. You can hear in my writing that I listen to a lot of post-hardcore stuff, as well as math rock. I also listen to a lot of Jazz, Rap, Indie, Electronic, ect. All of our horizons are broad, and our minds open, so that helps immensely, both in terms of sound and knowledge.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

I would like to say that we really appreciate every single person that supports us. Listen and enjoy but also don’t be afraid to talk to us. Hit us up on social media, give us some input on our videos on how we could improve, or even just to tell us you enjoyed it. Thank you guys for giving us this opportunity.

Links:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

Heyoka's Mirror

Interview: HEYOKA’s MIRROR

Heyoka’s Mirror is a progressive metal trio from Canada who has just released its debut EP “Loss of Contact with Reality.” Over the course of my time writing for this and other websites, I’ve come into many interesting and unique acts. I can certainly say that Heyoka’s Mirror are creating a very interesting progressive metal, which is often mixed with other different styles such as classic Power / Heavy Metal, Modern Metal and Opera.

The three dudes in Heyoka’s Mirror — Andrew Balboa, Omar Sultan and Bayan Sharafi — answered my questionnaire about the EP, touring, and more.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

HM: Life is good and life is cold right now. Today (Dec. 30th) is -27C but it feels -40C with the wind chill. So yeah… But life is great right now!

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Bayan: People can expect a musical adventure.

Andrew: We’ve had a few reviews from other magazines and everyone is getting pretty confused hahaha. People love it but they say they have never heard anything like this before. So….. expect something new.

Omar: Even if you don’t like heavy music or prog music.. try it! This will be a great introduction for you.

Heyoka's Mirror - Loss of Contact with Reality

What was it like working on the EP?

Andrew: It was fun! It took nine months to write the three songs, and recording took ten months. We all have full time jobs so, finding the time to write and record was a bit challenging. But the overall process was really fun!

Are there any touring plans in support to “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Omar: We would like something short to start… Three or five cities, nothing big because our main focus right now is to record the full album.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

HM: Japan, Germany, Brazil, Russia and the States of course!

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Omar: Hard rock! I grew up listening to hard rock and that’s the reason why I started playing when I was 16. It made my playing very musical.

Bayan: Funk! A lot of 80’s and 90’s music like Tom Jones and The Bee Gees. And it has changed the way I feel groove.

Andrew: I listen to a lot of jazz, classical… everything! Even J-Pop! … Japanese pop is beautifully composed.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Omar: Get the EP, listen to it with headphones. find the time to really pay attention to it, give it a chance and you’ll love it!

Andrew: I think that you have to listen to it a few times, you can’t just listen to it once; if you do, you’ll think it’s just another “wanna be prog album”. Listen to it a few times and you’ll discover really interesting things.

Bayan: Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for cool and fun updates every Saturday!

HM: Thank you very much for interviewing us!

“Loss of Contact with Reality” is available as digital download and CD directly from the band, here.

Zombie Strippers from Hell

Interview with ZOMBIE STRIPPERS FROM HELL

Zombie Strippers From Hell is Dr. Satan and Mark Twain, and they are my new favorite band. You will probably think “how come that someone with such band name and pseudonyms can even be real or serious about music,” but the fact is that the duo makes some pretty dope music. Hear it yourself.

So, Dr. Satan and Mark Twain completed work on their debut album entitled “Tales From the OtherSide,” with drums recorded by Decapitated’s Michal Lysejko, and it was released on December 1st.

Doctor and Twain talked with me about the album, and more.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Everything is great, we have some holidays now so everyone have some time to spend with family, friends etc etc. nowadays lack of time can hurt our relationships so every free time we like to spend with our beloved.

Tales from the Other Side

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Tales from the Other Side”?

It’s our full-length debiut and it shows our musical diversity – we like mixing up some tunes and for us its really important to put every tune we like in our music with freedom of creation. So if You like all kinds of heavy music you will enjoy it.

What was it like working on the album?

It was great but very stressful time. We did all the preproduction stuff at our home DeepOne Studio in Pszczyna – so at the “real” studio (HugeStudio) we was prepared enough to make things nice and smoothly. Bartosz Góra (our engineer & producer & friend) knows us very well so we put all tracks very fast. Michal Lysejko is so talented and skillful drummer so working with Him was a pleasure and joy. The hardest way for us because we did everything by ourselves, was to create our sound – but we were challenging ourselves very hard so the mixing was the longest part and the most nervous. From one side we were like schoolboys in the new school with our music and our knowledge about whole process but from the other side we had strong consciousness about who we are and where we want to be. And Michal pushed us really hard but now You can hear the results – we are very happy with them.

Zombie Strippers From Hell

Are there any touring plans in support to “Tales from the Other Side”?

Now we’re in the middle of preparing new lineup cause we had some troubles in the past. We’re looking for talented guys to play with us and maybe in the near future You’ll see the Zombie Strippers from Hell live with new material.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

First of all, because we don’t have any contract and other commitments when the time will come we want to do some concerts in Poland. We have some good friends waiting for us, to see us live on the  stage. Then, who knows what will happen?

Who and what inspires you the most?

Lyrically Howard Philip Lovecraft and his work; horror b-movies and cult classic like Friday the 13th; Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween… Musically everything from classic punk like Misfits; old school heavy metal (Iron Maiden, Helloween) to new modern classic like Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Machine Head… We listen to very different music – both of us have some very opposite beloved bands but we’re open minded and that’s most important for us when we create our own music.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Yeah, Mark Twain listen a lot of Dream Theater and Mr. Petrucci has a real impact on him. And Disco from ’90s is a perfect fit for us when we’re dancing :)

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Yeah – read the Lovecraft, listen to Zombie Strippers from Hell and enjoy Your life!

Links:

Bandcamp

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Anubis

Interview with Robert James Moulding of ANUBIS

Sydney’s Anubis released their fourth studio album The Second Hand earlier this year. Lead vocalist Robert James Moulding speaks for Progstravaganza about his musical beginnings, working on the new album, Prog in Australia, and more.

Let’s start from your early music beginnings. How did your musical career begin? When did you start playing? Which groups have been your favorites as a young man? Please tell us something more about your early life.

I started playing music during the early years of high school – in friend’s garages! It was one of the only things that kept me interested during that period. My friends and I would skip the last class of the day so we could get in an extra hour of playing together. It was during that time I only ever listened to Punk music. NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise anything from the States I’d just eat up. I never really fitted in, I’d emigrated from the UK to Australia at a young age and whilst culturally it’s similar there was still a slight disconnect I felt, socially.

How did you go about forming Anubis? Who was the most influential when the band started its musical journey?

Dave who plays keys and I started the band whilst we worked at a pizza place together. A mutual friend of ours had passed away whilst holidaying in Canada and as a way of dealing with the grieving process we decided to write some songs and create a concept record. Dave was schooled in music all the way to a university level, I simply had my garage background but we managed to find a middle ground. By this time I had switch to the dark side and was heavily into prog but we had different approaches to creating music. I’d say Dave was the main driving musical force on the first record, he had far superior writing skills and theory knowledge.

Robert James Moulding

Robert James Moulding

In the beginning, did you have some “fixed” tempo in composing songs or everything was a product of jamming, improvising?

Dave, his brother Steve and I were the initial three members of the band. We decided to bring all of what we had written separately together in the room and play out what we had. During that time we would jam and improvise new bits and pieces. We were writing to a strict story and concept so it was like putting the right songs together with the right chapter of the story. It sounds harder then it is, in fact it can make it far easier.

How would you describe Anubis’ music on your own?

I would say it’s a conscious effort to create ‘progressive rock’ but with a slightly modern edge. We all love a lot of modern artists as well as the classics from the 70s and 80s. It makes it more interesting that way. There are a few acts today that attempt to write exclusively in the style of the classic prog bands, and emulate the whole sound, visuals, face makeup, but that’s not our thing at all.

Anubis - The Second Hand

Your new album, The Second Hand, is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2014 release Hitchhiking to Byzantium. Have you felt any pressure while working on The Second Hand because of that?

No, not at all. If there is pressure we like to use it in a positive manner. It can create a lot of fuel for your fire if you feel that your back is against the wall. If HTB was acclaimed by the critics it only encouraged to try harder.

What has changed for Anubis when it comes to writing new music — The Second Hand in particular?

The major difference with this record compared to the last is when we got back together to start none of us brought anything to the table. All we had was our instruments in front of us and a large blank canvas. The concept and story had come before the songs. did, it seems to be the way we write concept albums. Maybe one day we will reverse the process, who knows?

You label your music as cinematic progressive rock. What makes it “cinematic”? You pay attention to atmospheric and ambient elements. How important it is for the structure of your songs?

The ‘cinematic’ description came from the early days when we were showing people the material. It was the main thing that kept coming back to us. A lot of what we do benefits from a story and structure and we like to add cinematic-sounding elements – sound effects, atmospheres. It helps push the narrative along and create an atmosphere connected to the story. People have been doing it for years, it’s nothing that new.

How do you see the Australian progressive rock scene. There has been many, many great bands coming from Australia in the recent years. It seems that you guys love prog over there.

Well actually, it’s kind of the opposite. Prog is very much niche and underground over here in Australia. There isn’t a large audience for it and doesn’t get played by large radio stations. Even the indie stations find it a little embarrassing. The reason there maybe be an influx of artists coming over to Europe and America is that’s where most of our audiences live. It’s quite rich in talent and is growing but we find ourselves trying to find ways to grab the attention of people on the other side of the globe.

Do you guys consider yourselves a part of any specific cultural movement, however peripheral?

I don’t see the culture of music in Australia changing anytime soon. So probably not. I do feel the music industry does a lot to get involved in social and political matters. These are certainly things we feel quite strongly about and have no issue using our music to promote something positive socially or culturally. Like we did on The Second Hand.

Anubis

Are you also involved in any other projects or bands beside Anubis? I know that Douglas Skene is also in Hemina, another cool prog band.

Not at the moment. All my energy finds its way into Anubis in one way or another. It’s were I find I’m most driven towards artistically. I know for Doug Hemina was something different he felt he needed to express, it has the added advantage of including his wife Jess on bass too.

So, what comes next for Anubis?

2018 will see us return to Europe playing Night of the Prog festival in Loreley. We will be playing other shows dotted around the continent once it’s all finalised. Hopefully we have a surprise up our sleeve for our fans as well.

Order The Second Hand from Bandcamp. Keep in touch with Anubis via Facebook or Twitter.