The Swiss Progressive Rock band The Crazy Juggler’s Prog Orchestra, founded in August 2006, presents their masterpiece Utopia, that describes an utopian fantasy story about the search for the paradise anywhere in universe.
If this description doesn’t wake up your inner Indiana Jones, make sure to check out the music of this interesting Swiss band. Other than that, check out the interview with guitarist, singer and keyboardist Neo Smith below, in which he reveals more about this adventurous project.
What made you guys come together in this project? Tell me about the band’s beginnings.
It was Joe, the Dancer and me founded the group in 2006 with the intention to unite all the different rock genres in an experimental way and to research the limits of progressive rock music.
So we searched for other musicians marveling the prog music and we finally found Tony, Daniel and Martin. All of us love prog music, especially the 70’s prog played by giants like Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc., but also the modern prog, for example The Flower Kings. And some day it was clear for us to find a way to unite the old with the modern prog. And that’s what finally defined our sound and makes it special.
Tell me about the story of “Utopia”.
It’s a huge fantasy story with continued chapters from album to album. Now, we are just at the beginning of the story that describes different characters on the search of paradise in endless universe. Until now, every album narrates the characters’ adventures on different planets. How the title says, it’s the story about the world’s utopia, that will finally arise… Maybe…
What are themes that you explore in your lyrics?
Because of the conceptional story, the lyrics basically continue the fantasy tale; and its fantasy is limitless just like the music. We always try to reflect some parts of the fantasy story with the problems of the real world to spread utopian messages to the audience. To bring a contrast to the utopian dreamworlds, we also wrote an album about the history of the Second World War.
What made you to base your sound on progressive rock? Is it just your love for this style of music, or are there any technical sides that drove you to it?
In our opinion, progressive music is the genre of the future. Everything is possible in this kind of music, you never know what to expect in listening and composing too. It’s just about the music and the musicians, who all playing music by heart, because they’re all not influenced by commercial thoughts.
How do you see today’s prog scene? Where do you see progressive rock in the future?
The prog scene is erupting again, I think. It’s the music of the future. There’s something within for everyone concerning the endless possibilities in this genre. With the prospects of the social medias today and platforms like YouTube for example, we have the chance to present our music worldwide.
Which bands influence your sound?
We grew up with the sound of the 70’s prog bands like Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, but also rock giants like Queen, Led Zeppelin, etc. And there’s great modern prog music playing by bands like The Flower Kings, Dream Theater, The Tangent, Ayreon and many more.
Your music is accompanied with the story. Do you believe that your sound serves some other purpose beyond music?
Like the word “Utopia” says, we want to spread the words of freedom and peace of course, in purpose to maybe reach our own utopia in this world of war and hate someday. But these messages behind the story are unconscious; the music will always be the most important thing for us and the central reason for working on.
Are you satisfied with the current status and position of The Crazy Juggler’s Prog Orchestra?
Of course, we are. We are in the beginning of a very long project we’re all living for. It’s very exciting and there are so many ideas we have to evolve in the future. It would be nice to reach people worldwide with our sound and we are a little part of the mission to spread the progressive rock in the future.
How does a live performance of TCJPO look like?
We play our concerts including little video shows. It’s important for us to bring the story behind the music to the listener and to illustrate that it’s one continuing story we’re singing about. We also introduce a lot of guest musicians who round our live sound on stage.
Is there anything you want to add to this interview?
Yes, if anyone wants to know anything more about our project, please visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/utopiaprog