Category Archives: Questionnaire

Coshish

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Coshish

Coshish is the first modern progressive rock band from India that Progstravaganza encountered on its pilgrimage. With lyrics in their native language and an album that was released by the Indian subsidiary of Universal Music, the band could be described as the next big thing coming from the land of all seasons and people.

How did you come to do what you do?

We started out as nothing more than a college band! In India, the rock scene is very different from other parts of the world. Out here, a lot of bands spring up in college and once they graduate, day jobs take over and music is forgotten.

However, we managed to keep at it by working during the day and rehearsing and giggin at night! We started realizing that we were on the right track because of the response we were getting.

We’d never dreamed of being on a Major Label. We just wanted to release the best, most enticing album that would take India Rock overseas and put India on the prog rock map!

With some luck and amazing management… We bagged the deal :) To answer your question… Maybe we were destined for this!

What is your first musical memory?

Individually, all the members have varied memories but as a band with the current line-up, our firt gig was quite memorable. We were performing at this college festival, where they had these random fireworks going off while we were performing. It was distracting and funny at the same time. After we got off stage, the organizers dropped us back in a car that was protected by a Human Chain of college kids on the campus. We were more worried about them and they were treating us like rockstars! Haha it was quite absurd… Even for whacky Indian Standards.

What does progress in music represent to you?

To us, progress in music doesn’t mean an increase in the number of fans or the number of album sales. Progress to us is to write better and more mature music as we age. If we make fans in the process… Then it’s great! Even if we don’t make new fans but our music affects only a few in a positive way, then that’s progress as well! It’s very important for us to have our music stand for something… Preferably on an intellectual level!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Thematically, we draw inspiration from everything around us! Most of the songs on ‘Firdous’ have been weaved into a story inspired by unconnected real events. Musically speaking, even though individual members have varied influences, we think bands like Tool, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Katatonia, Pain of Salvation, Isis and the likes inspire us to push the boundaries of music!

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

‘Maya’ is the pen-ultimate track of the concept tracklist of ‘Firdous’. The album captures the essence of the protagonist’s journey towards attaining salvation. In ‘Maya’, he realizes that the world we live in is an illusion. We are stuck in rat race and everyone is fooled by this illusion, assuming it to be the only reality. He understands this fact and begins to see the world for what it really is and in the process gets a step closer to attaining ‘Nirvana’ or ‘Mukti’.

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

On ‘Firdous’, the way we wrote songs, changed from the initial singer/song-writer method of composing to a more jam based, natural approach. The earlier songs were pretty much composed and
structured by Mangesh (Guitarist/vocalist) but as we grew as a band, it changed to a more cohesive effort. Everyone began pitching in ideas and that made the quality control more stringent as well.

What is your method of songwriting?

We really haven’t matured enough to have a fixed method as of now. That said, the last 4-5 tracks on ‘Firdous’ had the following approach. One of us would come up with a riff or drum groove or  a bassline. We’d bring that to the jam room and just jam on it till we had a concrete part. Then we’d record that part and do a lot of homework as to where it could go from there. We would then  bring the idea and jam on it some more. That’s pretty much how the music was written. Then Mangesh would take his time with the lyrics, while weaving it in to the concept. We take a lot of time to write cause we want every single note of every song to have a reason for its existence!

How do you see your music evolving?

We’d started out almost as an alternative rock band. However, the progressive undercurrents that we had, could not be repressed. The better we became at our instruments, the music started to  take on a more progressive sound. We wanted to push the bar technically but yet maintain the soul and spirit of accessible music. We didn’t want to complicate our songs just because we could.

In fact we get excited when we write a technical part and the audience can clap along without thinking about it! So we’ll definitely be more progressive in the future but our fans might not even know that.

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

Our advice would be to never ever ever lose hope. When we started recording the album, we had no label and no financial support. We undertook a huge project by ourselves. All we ever wanted to do, was put out the best album that we possibly could. We pulled in favors from friends. Zorran Mendonsa produced, recorded and mixed the album. Bharat Chandrasekar and Imran Ladak helped us with the CD Artwork and Graphics. We came across an amazing sketch by Bernard Dumaine and Daeve Fellows on Facebook, which became our cover art!! We got additional samples help from Ninad Lad.

Basically,  if it wasn’t for our friends, this album wouldn’t have been possible! Universal Music just happened because of all the hardwork, some luck and a lot of hope.

What are you looking forward to?

We’ve got 3 more music videos lined up. A few award nominations to look forward to :) We’re still waiting for some of the international reviews to come in. We’re definitely looking forward to a  lot more gigs. And if we start writing for the next album now, we’ll take about 4 years to release it haha.

We’d also like to thank Nick, Prog Sphere and Progstravaganza for their untiring effort in keeping the prog spirit alive!!

https://www.facebook.com/Coshish

https://soundcloud.com/coshish

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Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Dimension Eleven

Polish progressive metal quartet have just put out a single “Point of No Return” which is featured on our recent Progstravaganza compilation. Naturally, the band answered our questionnaire.

Prog Sphere: How did you come to do what you do?

D11: Music is everything around. We do believe that it was always inside us, just now we found a good time, place and atmosphere to express it.. Most of us played in different bands before. This project has existed for some time, but in quite different form as it is now. Pawel and Darek joined the squad in 2013, so the band transformed to the present form.

Prog Sphere: What is your first musical memory?

D11: Hard to say. We all grown on metal music (on cassettes players…) in that time as we remember, the most important bands on a scene were Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc.. Good old times, haha.

Prog Sphere: What does progress in music represent to you?

D11: We wouldn’t say it is the ‘change’ because it is so obvious… to us it’s more about curiosity, incomprehensibility and so on… something which is unpredictable being interesting at the same time.

Prog Sphere: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

D11: From everything what surrounds us… from the simplest things. Highly inspiring for us is a matter of the universe creation (beginning of time and the end of all matter). For sure we would like to follow this trend in the future, reflecting the name of the band.

Prog Sphere: What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

D11: Basically was created to capture ‘event horizon’ phenomena with some parallels to real world. We were trying to comprehend the situation of someone which might be lost in real world, seeking to way out, but sometimes there is none.

Also, this song is for us purely symbolic meaning associated with the band’s name being dimension eleven – the point where everything starts and ends, the mysterious zero point.

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

D11: Not really. We are coming with our ideas on rehearsals and jamming basically or someone brings some finished phrases already. We try not to fall into any patterns, although the issue of inspiring the bands such as Dreamscape, Dream Theater seems to be inevitable ;)

Prog Sphere: What is your method of songwriting?

D11: Very different. Some songs from the very beginning were created only basing on guitar, some are result of jams. Basically Bartek (guitar) is main songwriter here and he drives this topic very well, but all have good ideas and it’s quite common that one phrase will change when second instrument will join and so on.

Prog Sphere: How do you see your music evolving?

D11: For now we are about to record second SP in the end of this winter. Hopefully good drummer will join the band and we will be able to start the record of long play next year.

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

D11: We would say: ‘never give up’. There is always someone in the end of the world who would like what you are doing. The key is to let them know about you.

Prog Sphere: What are you looking forward to?

D11: First of all, for publishing our SP haha… then next goal will be the second one. We are not looking too much ahead, because the life brings very surprising scenarios.

http://www.dimension-eleven.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DimensionEleven

https://soundcloud.com/dimension-eleven

http://www.youtube.com/dimensionelevenmedia

Matt Stevens

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: The Fierce and the Dead

In a review of The Fierce and the Dead’s sophomore album Spooky Action my friend Roger T wrote about guitarist Matt Stevens that he is a man who deserves some return for his ceaseless hard work battling against the never ending onrushing tsunami of bands in this age of instant communication. I’ve been following Matt’s both solo and TDATD work since the release of his solo album Ghost (2010).

Following The Fierce and the Dead’s recent inclusion on our Progstravaganza sampler, I’ve sent the questionnaire to Matt and here is what his answers look like.

How did you come to do what you do?

By listening to metal then meeting a Guitar Teacher who liked Holdsworth, Mahavishnu and King Crimson. That’s what really started it. Playing in 13/8 when you’re 15 really helps. I really wanted to be in Guns And Roses at the time but I’m grateful now. After that I liked The Smiths and Husker Du, Bad Brains and stuff like that. Carcass. Talking Heads. Charles Ives.

What is your first musical memory?

Listening to The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun and Free – Alright Now on the radio coming from my parents room when I was really little and there used to be a scary kids TV program that used to start with a run down the whole tone scale. I remember that. Kids TV was weird in the late 70’s early 80’s wasn’t it?

What does progress in music represent to you?

Doing new stuff. Rock music is an open goal in terms of the application of modern harmony. Most bands don’t even play inversions. They’re happy to use the vocabulary of others, whereas people like Voivod or Cardiacs had their own thing.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Celtic Frost and old documentaries on Youtube. Mirror writing in public urinals. Religious cults.

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Ark was actually written for my son and first played live when I supported Daevid Allen from Gong on acoustic guitar then was rearranged for the band. It’s very different now. That’s what happens, the stuff goes through the filter of the band, they change it and add their parts. I think they’re brilliant musicians, very intuitive, although we’re not virtuosos.

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

Someone normally comes in with a riff and it evolves into a song. it’s done as a collective. It’s pretty democratic.

What is your method of songwriting?

They evolve, quite often I’ll have a riff or some chords or a bass line and I’ll bring it in or increasingly one of the other guys will. It’s not set in stone. It depends if I’m writing for the band or solo or someone else.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think we’ll add and subtract more. I can’t see us making another Spooky Action. It’ll be all different again next time or we’re doing something wrong. I love Spooky Action thou and I don’t think we can make a better album in that stye so what would be the point of trying? I want to try vocals, guest vocals. Strings, no guitars and more guitars. I think possibly we need to stop being purely instrumental. Less insular. More messy, nastier and more poppy all at once. I don’t know.

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

Write a story where Doctor Who meets Del Boy, turn it into a musical and sell it to the internet. Don’t spend any money and play all the characters yourself. Except Space Rodney.

What are you looking forward to?

Teatime and playing live. Fierce And The Dead is all about the live. Celebr8 will be fun and we’re doing a full UK tour in the summer.

Live dates:

• 01/11 New Cross Inn, London (w/ Thumpermonkey)
• 01/31 J.T.Soars, Nottingham (w/ Waking Aida)
• 02/02 Stabbing A Dead Horse 2 @ The Barfly, London (w/ Knifeworld, Trojan Horse)
• 05/31 Celebr8.3 @ Islington Assembly Hall, London
• 06/01 Celebr8.3 @ Islington Assembly Hall, London
• 07/05 Eppyfest 3 @ Lansdown Hall, Stroud

The Fierce and the Dead on the web:

http://thefierceandthedead.bandcamp.com/

http://www.fierceandthedead.com/

http://music.badelephant.co.uk/album/spooky-action

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: The Mad Drummer

The Mad Drummer is coming from the Republic of South Africa, making it the first artist on our Progstravaganza compilation series coming from this country. It is an one-man project by Mandisi Nkomo, fusing different genres. Following his appearance on Progstravaganza XV: Ascension, Mandisi answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire. 

How did you come to do what you do?

I took up drums and guitar when I was in school and played on and off. I got more serious about drums in university, and started playing in a bunch of bands. After deciding I wanted to be able to write my own music, and not just rhythmically interpret other people’s pieces, I ended up doing some arranging and music theory courses through Berklee Online, and caught the writing bug.

At the time I was in 3 bands, and didn’t really have the time (or will) to start another band from scratch, so I started experimenting with other means of getting the music out, and stumbled onto all the insane software available. Sort of just ran with it after that. And I like writing (as in fiction), so I decided to make up ‘The Mad Drummer’ character too, for absolutely no good reason.

What is your first musical memory?

Getting stuck after school at one of my sister’s piano lessons.

What does progress in music represent to you?

Getting better on your instrument/s of choice. Getting a better understanding of the instruments around you. Writing epic 20 minute songs. If you’re talking about the actual progress of music, as its own entity, then I have no idea. Probably more drum solos…

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everywhere – literally everywhere.

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Well the actual music of the song means whatever you want it to mean. That’s the great thing about no lyrics. Semi-empty canvas, paint your image in the framework.

Regarding the song title, there’s an indie rap duo called Atmosphere from Minnesota in the US. They’re one of my favourite artists.

Anyway, the lyricist, Slug, had an ongoing character in their earlier albums called Lucy. However, she wasn’t really a character per se more a personification of personal vices and generally depressing stuff about the world. So the title ‘Please Don’t Haunt Me Lucy’ is basically a plead not to be haunted or stalked such things.

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

Not exactly. Just notate the little pieces that come to me, and shove the pieces together at some point. I tend to think in rhythm though, and figure out harmony afterwards. So a lot of the time I build a piece from some rhythm I notated as drums, and a harmonic drone with one note (usually middle C haha) then work from there.

What is your method of songwriting?

I think I basically answered that above with the rhythm thing. That’s the most consistent. Other than that, there really isn’t one. Just guitar and keyboard fiddling, or mucking about with notes and chords in a notation program. Notation software is a godsend!

How do you see your music evolving?

In terms of composition, I’m still having fun experimenting with what I can make up on my own. Evolution will probably come when I go through the long and arduous task of putting a band together for shows. That may affect the writing process, but more importantly it opens up whole crazy doors for solos and improvisation on stage.

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

None really. I don’t think there’s really any one way to do it, so I think instinct and context are what you should pay attention to. Just do what makes sense to you, given your situation. Unless it’s been verified that you have no sense, in which case, do what other people tell you to do.

What are you looking forward to?

Getting on stage at some point, definitely.

The Mad Drummer on the web:

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWWGSGBkLEOSivFi_EVoQ8g

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Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Seconds Before Landing

With the release of “The Great Deception” album in February 2013, the ambient rock collective Seconds Before Landing led by John Crispino has all the predispositions to be one of the best albums of the year. And the fact that it includes Trey Gunn’s guest appearance, with mastering done by 2-time Grammy nominee and Pink Floyd’s engineer Andy Jackson, is just underpinning the previous statement.

Following the project’s appearance on the Progstravaganza XV: Ascension, John answers the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

My musical background began in elementary school. My friends dad was a marching band drummer, and when I would go to their house, which was often. I would hear him in the basement playing what turned out to be “basic drum rudiments”, along with John Philip Sousa records. He gave me a pair of 1′s marching sticks one day, and asked me to join in. From that moment on, I was hooked. It truly was a life changing moment for me… From there, I began private lessons, and then, I was in all of the school bands possible. By the time I was 14, I was playing in the top R&B band in my area, with guys who were in their late 20′s.

After that, I began playing in various rock bands, up until my bass player of that time and I built our first recording studio. Thats when I really became determined to be more than “just a drummer”. I wanted to learn it all. Writing, recording, producing & engineering. We ran that little studio for a few years, and then he wanted to take a corporate job for more security, which I completely understood. It was time for me to step out on my own anyway, and thats when I started my own “No Shoes” studio close to where I live now.

What is your first musical memory?

My first true musical memory, was my mom singing in the kitchen late at night while my dad was at work. I didnt know it at the time, but she did it as a way of comforting my sisters and I when we were little and in bed. Many nights, I fell asleep listening her to singing old show tunes and standards of her day.

Later on though, I was introduced to all of the great R&B music of the time, through a man who owned a nearby record shop, called Turk Brothers Records. They would go into the city of Pittsburgh every Wednesday to pick up the new releases, and bring them back to their store. Like clockwork, I would be there right after school, and Turk would introduce me to all the guys who played on STAX, MOTOWN, and the like. He would even go as far as put on records of guys like Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and others. He was wonderful to me, and introduced me to so much music. He passed away a few years back, and I still miss him a lot.

What does progress in music represent to you?

For me personally, it means me being able to do something better than I did the day before. Learning how to use the equipment better. Writing a better melody, or singing a better vocal part. I love music so much, that I wish there were more hours in a day for me. I have often said, that putting the key in the lock to my studio, gets me excited like Christmas was when I was a kid. The excitement level is truly that high for me, and has remained so for years now.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

As a young drummer, without a doubt my guy was Carmine Appice. I have said this MANY times before, but Carmine along with Tim Bogert (especially in Cactus), inspired me more than any other rhythm section. I wore those records out as a kid. My favorite band of all time though is Pink Floyd. Its literally the first thing I turn on every morning as soon as I wake up. Their music moves me in a way that not much else does. Much more recently, I have become a huge fan of Steven Wilson, and also Porcupine Tree. Their music is simply amazing. Not one single person, band or thing inspires me exclusively though.

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

My entire first album “The Great Deception”, was written about one mans journey in a post apocalyptic world. “Instructions” is another step that this individual has to do in order to maintain his life. For this particular part of what he is living, he is responding to specific orders that he is being given… By “whom”, the listener can decide.

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

I really don’t. I suppose, me being first a drummer, I look for a beat that interests me. It can be something I sit at the kit and come up with, or it can be a certain loop I hear or create on the computer. I tend to write better when I have the intended groove in mind.

What is your method of songwriting?

Well, I will say that my method is all over the place. Like I said, I am big on beginning with rhythm, but thats not true 100% of the time. Sometimes I hear someone speaking, and something they say catches me in a different way, and I jot it down. I’ll take a line or 2 I have heard, and build an entire lyric around that, then the music. This may sound odd perhaps, but I have had dreams as well about music or lyrics. I wake up, grab the pen and pad I keep beside the bed, and write down whatever it was I was dreaming about. For me, there is not any one way. I am “always” listening to the things around me… People, sounds, whatever it may be. I never know where my next inspiration will come from.

How do you see your music evolving?

Working on this album was such a wonderful experience for me. Trey Gunn (from King Crimson), is from another planet. The work he did for me on Welcome, To The Future, exceeded anything I could have hoped for. I am sure that is one of the reasons that the track and its video have become so popular. Then to have a childhood hero like Tim Bogert play on a track was awesome as well. Surreal in a way. Plus, my core group of musicians, Steve Schuffert, Maurice Witkowski, J.D. Garrison and Jamie Peck are all so good in their own right, they helped bring out my best on this album. And last but certainly not least, the great Andy Jackson from Pink Floyd, mastered this for me. He was gracious enough with his knowledge and skills to teach me as well. Thanks to all of these amazing musicians, I have learned a great deal, and hope to take that knowledge into album 2.

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

I love this question, and I will explain why. When I decided to do a new album, I went into the studio and worked for a few months on several tracks. Some of them were killer rock tracks, but for some reason, each night when I went home, I would think…”hmmmm, this music is good, but I don’t think its me anymore”. I dont know if that makes sense or not, but it was if I was just going though the motions, writing the same type of tracks I had already written 10 times before. They weren’t moving me as much now. I suppose I could have continued to write, and produce a full album of stuff, but deep down, I wouldn’t have been proud of it. I mean “truly proud” of it.

After ruminating about it for a few days, I went into the studio, and just removed all of the files I had been working on. I made the decision to write music and lyrics that reflected what mattered to me in my life now. To get the message out as to where I stood, and what I believed personally, and if people liked it, fine. If not, I would have a body of work that I was proud of personally. Trust be told, it was a scary thing to do. I spent 2 years, pretty much alone writing and recording, and as the time to finish approached, I was nervous. My advice, if I am qualified to give any is this… Be true to yourself in whatever it is you do musically. Take the risks. Speak from your own heart. You will feel better about yourself once its all said and done.

What are you looking forward to?

From a musical standpoint, I look forward to working on album 2 which I am in the midst of now. Also, there is another video being made now for “I’m All Alone”, which should be out early next year. Music is my life of course, but its not who I am completely. I look forward to meeting more new people through this venture. The response has been overwhelming. I look forward to going out on a tour of some kind after album 2 is done and released. And I always look forward to being around those that I love. Thank you for your support, and taking the time to interview me.

http://www.secondsbeforelanding.com

http://secondsbeforelanding.bandcamp.com

Vermilion

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Vermilion

Vermilion was formed in 2009 when guitarist Timmy Segers and keyboardist MichaelPenson met and discovered they shared an interest in progressive music. With drummer Tom Vansteenkiste and Tom Everaert they play a unique brand of instrumental progressive metal that incorporates odd time signatures and a wide range of influences including jazz and fusion. Timmy answers the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

I myself (guitarist) started playing when I was 15. At first I was mainly influenced by Randy Rhoads, Criss Oliva and Alex Skolnick. I never had a formal music education but I was interested in music theory by default so I indulged a lot in that. I later became interested in progressive music through Dream Theater and heavier things such as Meshuggah; Animals As Leaders, Special Defects, Chimp Spanner, Amogh Symphony, Cloudkicker, Death, Opeth, Atheist and Exivious would follow. Along with that I got really interested in jazz fusion. Greats such as Allan Holdsworth, Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, Pat Metheny, Frank Gambale and John McLaughlin still inspire me a lot. I’m also a graphic designer and like works by arists such as Hugh Syme, Storm thorgerson and John Baizley. I’m responsible for most of Vermilion’s artwork.

As for the rest of the band, our keyboard player Michael comes from a musical family where both parents and now also his sister are professional musicians. Michael himself is actually a classicaly trained violin player and also plays in an orchestra. He also got interested in prog metal through Dream Theater and Opeth. Some of his other influences include Queen, Porcupine Tree and Pat Metheny. He’s also an educated music producer and is responsible for the bulk of our recordings.

Our drummer Tom hails from a more funky and hip hop/jazz oriented scene, but his heavier influences also include Faith No more (and associated Mike Patton projects such as Mr Bungle), Meshuggah, Death, Special Defects, Zu, Shining and Hella (Zach Hill). He plays drums in another proggy/groovy band called Carneia, composes some solo stuff and sings in a Faith No More tribute band.

Our bassist Tom was mainly into technical death metal and proggy power metal. Influences include Death, Opeth and Symphony X. He has his own technical death metal band and has done some work in gothic metal bands as well.

What is your first musical memory?

My first musical memories that I really liked were some heavier 90′s cartoon opening themes. Things such as Mighty Max, Swat Kats, Biker Mice From Mars and Spider-Man (1994). I also really liked the Jurassic Park soundtrack by John Williams and the Tim Burton Batman soundtrack by Danny Elfman.

What does progress in music represent to you?

To me progress in music simply means that we should always be open to different and ever changing influences. We should look beyond certain subcultures and see what new things we can create. This certainly applies to the metal scene, where there are a lot of people who would rather live in the past I think. Or at least that’s the case where I come from.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

See question 1.

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The song doesn’t really have a clear message since we’re an instrumental band. The titles mainly come from how the song is composed or what feeling it evokes. We usually tend to like “strange” and “uncanny” elements in music wether it be by unusual time signatures or weird tonalities so I guess that’s a feeling that we would like to carry over to others.

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

I usually come up with riffs and ideas since it’s still a metal band, which is guitar oriented music, and I’m the only guitarist. We work on everything together though which usually makes it more interesting. Also, everyone is still encouraged to contribute.

What is your method of songwriting?

See former question.

How do you see your music evolving?

There are new influences creeping into our music every day. Game soundtracks is something that I’m also really into. Some of my favorites include Metroid, Machinarium, the Final Fantasy series, Ecco The Dolphin, Chrono Trigger and many more. Drum n’ bass and breakcore is also something I can appreciate. I like artists such as Aphex Twin, Nerve, Drumcorps and The Algorithm. I even like some Enya or Brian Eno from time to time.

I would like to think that our music is maturing too. Lately we’re more inclined to leave the overly technical “cut and paste” approach behind and focus on the song itself (which will still be pretty technical of course).

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

-

What are you looking forward to?

We’re looking forward to playing as many shows as possible. We recently played some high profile clubs in Belgium such as the “Vooruit” in Ghent and would like to see where this is going. It would be cool to play some festivals in the future. Euroblast, Graspop, Progpower Europe and Dour Festival are some that come to mind.

Vermilion on the web:

https://www.facebook.com/vermilion.the.band

http://vermilion.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/vermilion_the_band

Shineback

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Shineback

Simon Godfrey is best known as one of the founding members of UK’s progressive rock band Tinyfish. Shineback is his new project where he, with the help of several guest musicians (Matt Stevens, Dec Burke, Henry Rogers, Andy Ditchfield, Hywel Benett, Paul Worwood, Danny Claire and Tamara Tanche), handles all the vocals and instrumental work. “Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed” is a concept centered “on an insomniac called Dora who takes a video camera into one of her very rare sleeping dreams and blogs about what she sees while in that dream-world in order to help understand and maybe cure her sleep disorder. What Dora finds however is much more than she expected.”

Giving up playing live (with Tinyfish) due to the hearing condition that would possibly led him to a hearing loss, Simon “wanted to write an album which came from the heart and chose to ignore the boundaries of genre and not give a damn if it was commercially or critically viable.

Following the Shineback’s appearance on Progstravaganza XV: Ascension, here is the questionnaire answered by Simon.

How did you come to do what you do?

I had no choice. All I possess is a huge ego, the attention span of a goldfish and a pair of 70s high heeled Bowie boots.

What is your first musical memory?

Listening to my mum’s copy of the album Up, Up And Away by the 5th Dimension as a 5 year old. It had a track called Pattern People on it which still gives me goose bumps to this day simply because of the way the vocals blend together.

What does progress in music represent to you?

Anything that ignores convention and boundaries. Tenure and tradition are the enemy of innovation. The one exception to this is chocolate ice cream; that can remain unchanged.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I have a glove puppet called Harriet. She tells me what to do and I follow her every command (except when she tells me to kill people with her magic axe).

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The message is in code and if I were to divulge the content to the world, I would have to use Harriet’s magic axe upon all of humanity. This would made me sad but it could improve my chances of finding a parking space where I live.

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

I am a detail junkie so I tend to spend a lot of time refining the structure and instrumentation of the piece as I go. As a result, the music I make is closer to Darwinian evolution than it is to momentary inspiration (although that does happen on occasion). You also have to know when not to fiddle with something when it’s already as good as it is ever going to sound.

What is your method of songwriting?

Usually I begin either with a chord sequence on an acoustic or an interesting sample or loop in my sound library. Both act as the foundation of almost all the music that I write.

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

If you love music, just do it and forget about fame and fortune. I guarantee that you will NEVER be happy if you crave global recognition. Those that make it are rarely the artists they were once they become famous.

What are you looking forward to?

Porn on the internet.

Buy Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed from Bad Elephant Music.

adam warne

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Synaesthesia

Taking the best of traditional prog and threading it through the 21st century’s schizoidness, Synaesthesia has quite a big challenge to do. These youngsters from London are set to release their debut self-titled record in January 2014 via GEP Records. Progstravaganza XV: Ascension brings a premiere of a song taken from the upcoming album. We had the band’s mainman, keyboardist and lead singer Adam Warne answering the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

That’s quite a big question. A lot of things have happened that have enabled me to get to where I am doing what I’m doing. I mainly started experimenting with writing Progressive Rock around the age of 16-17. In fact, it was around this age that a lot of the things I wrote ended up being on the debut album. Tracks such as ‘Epiphany’ have been around for years! I grew up with my father listening to bands such as Camel and Jadis, so a lot of that influence has been passed down.

What is your first musical memory?

Well, first thing that comes to mind when you ask that question is receiving my first hi-fi stereo for my 10th birthday. It was a simple hi-fi but I loved it to bits. I’m sure there are other memories, but definitely not at outstanding as this one. That thing meant a lot to me.

What does progress in music represent to you?

Experimenting. and trying out new things. Doesn’t need to be anything completely off the wall or entirely obvious. Could be very subtle. I used a lot of sounds from iOS applications on the album as well as recordings or samples of different places that I’ve gone to. Either that or plucking pre-existing ideas and reviewing them and mangling them into something new. Bottom line – think outside the box!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Within the Prog-spectrum, I love Spock’s Beard, Rush, and Porcupine Tree. But I also love Depeche Mode, Keane and Muse.

What message does the song on our latest Progstravaganza compilation carry?

I wrote this song for my girlfriend. Simple as – I wanted to take a cheesy love song, and mush it into a prog track. This was the result! A side theme of the lyrics revolve patience and ‘hanging in there’. Patience can bring amazing things to you. Just keep trying and wait and see.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece? What is your method of songwriting?

Sometimes I write at a piano, other times I pick up a bass and create a riff on there. Other times tracks start from a simple synth riff. I don’t think I stick to any personal template. I just go with whatever happens. For me, I find that tracks tend to snowball from the strangest, trivial of all ideas sometimes.

How do you see your music evolving?

Now that Synaesthesia is a band rather than just a solo project, I can’t wait to start experimenting with writing with the others and bouncing ideas off each other. I’m very much open to passing works in progress over to the rest of the band and hearing anything they’d like to add. And of course, if anyone else has ideas they’d like to pitch – I’d be more than open to trying them out!

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

Don’t forget that the internet is a valuable resource and social media is a valuable tool. Don’t give up. Keep trying. No matter what people say.

What are you looking forward to?

Doing more gigs with the band. I can’t wait!

See the Synaesthesia profile HERE.