Tag Archives: progressive rock

elarcos

Interview with ELARCOS

Elarcos is an Uruguayan progressive / fusion rock band who in October this year released their debut album “Tecnocracia.” I was very impressed with the musicianship showcased on the release; these guys are really talented. The band’s drummer, Diego Caetano, was very kind to answer my questions about the band’s work.

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

Hello!!! Thanks for asking! Well, personally I’m very focused in our next live show, trying to get every song played perfectly, given that it’s the official live presentation of the album. This will be the second time we play the songs, but now the people has the album, so there is an expectation to be fulfilled.

Also I’m very happy with the awesome comments we are having from a lot of places, feedback is the most satisfactory part of making art for me, it is what keeps me going and it helps me project new stuff. It also helps taking the band to new places! So, exciting is the word to resume my life atm.

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

Yes! Our first one, we are very satisfied with the fact that it’s done. For us, Uruguayan musicians it’s very important to have this achievement, given that here there is no industry for this music, even for rock music it’s very very difficult to endure.
But besides that, we are very proud of our songs and the way that they came up. Personally I’m so proud of this wonderful musicians that surround me in this project, they have great minds for music and being near them just makes you get your pants on and improve your game.

The album comes with epic heavy prog metal, our primarily influences are Symphony X, Haken and Dream Theater and our main distinctive sound comes from our frontman who sings and plays the sax. We all enjoy every minute of the songs, given that it’s almost half instrumental and half sung.

Tecnocracia comes with seven songs, all of different lengths but all part of the same concept, wich is reinforced with the lecture of the printed booklet, which includes a prologue and a conductive narrative.

In a matter of sound, people can find themselves hearing defying lines in every instrument and also complexity in composition, time signatures and harmonies. Our main goal at the time of composing was making it friendly to the ear, so it won’t be a snobby trip, you can also nod your head and headbang to most of the album, with also nipple hardening ballads and dick hardening solos!

tecnocracia

What was it like working on the album?

Well, it had so many confusing phases. When I got in the band, it had another name and another songs. We had 2 live performances and then we instantly encouraged ourselves to go into the studio, so we recorded our first demo (the 12 minute piece “Microapología”), wich actually is the album’s final song.

After that, we received good feedback and people started to ask about the album… so we got into it. The guys had been working on the 27 minute epic “Tecnocracia”, which was previously named “Terminator” (because of the inspiration on the classic movie), so we worked on that one and then new songs came up from Gustavo, Ale, Mario and myself. Then in August 2014 I entered the studio for playing the drums in a 3-day marathon and then the guys started to lay their instruments over that.

The process of recording was indeed very stressfull and long, because there were a lot of things in which we failed repeatedly due to the lack of experience in recording, so we had a lot of phases of re-recording and an extensive drum editing, given that the result from the studio wasn’t the one we expected. We preferred to take the time to refine the sounds and arrangements, than rushing and having a lower level thing.

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

Yes and No at the same time. We are at the moment, independent and trying to partner with people who could give us the chance to make it, it’s our biggest dream! Our anxiety is there, our impulse is there, we just need the hook to make the jump

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

We want to tour in Europe and United States, given the amount of festivals and consumers of this type of music. Also there is the dream of having the chance to meet our musical inspirations from around the world, who are also constantly touring.

In South America it’s likely to play in Argentina, Chile and Colombia, but it’s hard to penetrate on those markets as Uruguayans. This continent has an audience that tends to accept preferently the northern bands than the locals, but we want to take the necessary shots to get in there, that’s why our message is in a clear local variation of Spanish.

Who and what inspires you the most?

Actually my drumming inspirations are Sebastian Lanser, Anika Nilles, Mike Portnoy and Bobby Jarzombek, but the ones who made me decide to go for the drums as a kid were John Dolmayan, David Silvera and John Otto.

As a composer and guitar player, Bumblefoot, Steven Wilson and Muse.

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 grew in an enviroment of local folk and pop music, but the things changed when cable Tv arrived to the neighbourhood, bringing MTV (when they played music) in the 90’s, so the main attractions from metal were Metallica, System Of A Down, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Korn, Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. I spent my whole childhood and teenage around those kind of bands, until Internet came and the gate was fully open to new things such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater and every related artist and bands from there.

Nowadays I am more influenced with relaxed music as Steven Wilson, Bent Knee, Chon, Eruca Sativa, Mike Love, Ghost, Snarky Puppy. I prefer to feed my musical influences with new things that doesn’t sound all the same, it gives you more tools to work on your compositions.

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 to you, really. It feels really awesome to have this first chance to show the world what we do!

If there is any fan out there, we would love you to spread the word and get in touch with us, we did this as an expression and the final part is to have the feedback! We have a gigantic hunger of knowing the world trough music, adventure and having real conversations that are not trough electric impulses of a screen! 

Thank you so much for this opportunity, again, it means a lot to us!

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elarcos

Review: Elarcos – Tecnocracia

Introducing Elarcos, a progressive metal group from Montevideo, Uruguay, boasting some truly unique fusion influences.

The band was brought to life in 2009, and although they have been around for quite a few years now, they recently debuted with their full-length album, Tecnocracia, released on October 1st, 2016.

tecnocracia

What can I say? Well, it was definitely worth the wait. Throughout the years, the band didn’t sit around rolling their thumbs. Instead, they refined their sound and came up with a truly unique concept, putting lots of thoughts into their arrangements and more importantly, creating music that transcend genre definitions, while being united by a common thread. The artwork of the sleeve and the title the band chose for the album, “Tecnocracia” is a very poignat commentary to the way the world is headed with technology, but the concept is not just about the aesthetics and the idea. The music is also affected by it, with an industrial overtone acting like a glue that brings verything together. While some of the tracks pack a lot of punch in a fairly standard song format (the first few songs are all under the 5 minute mark), songs such as the title tracks add to the truly unique spirit of this release making for a formidable sonic journey that serves as the true heart of this record.

Elarcos set out to debut with a truly masterful record, where they set out to showcase their writing skills, as well as their musical mastery in full display.

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christian-san-agustin

Review: Guamskyy – Seven Parallels

Guamskyy are a solo instrumental project with a truly unique approach, started by artist Christian San Agustin.

guamskyy-seven-parallelsThe Texas-based song-writer, performer and composer set out to explore a wide variety of genres and unleash his full creativity with this particular project, clearly stating that he is not into music to make it big, but more importantly, for his passion for creating music. One of the most striking features of their music is definitely Christian’s ability to cross different genres and platforms, incorporating elements of music from different styles: from metal to alternative and even some subtle hints of hard rock, doom and Djent in the form of really memorable arrangements.

Guamskyy will unleash “Seven Parallels” on December 20th, 2016. On this material, Christian is showing an incredible amount of versatility, as a composer, performer and musician, casting a beautifully diverse collection of songs.

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https://guamskyy.bandcamp.com

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kyros

Review: KYROS – Vox Humana

The very notion of a double album should be enough to make most people giggle a little bit. There are implications of ‘concept album’ and insinuations of ‘prog-rock’ involved in that notion. Neither of these things are not cool, but they encompass exactly what “Vox Humana” is, and exactly what Kyros do.

After the release of a stunning debut album under the name Synaesthesia in 2014, which was thought-provoking as it was sonically mesmerising, the London, UK quintet have slowly been recognised as a rising force within their field of modern progressive rock, and rightly so.

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The focus of the band’s attention has shifted somewhat, and although the debut was somewhat concept record, “Vox Humana” is a piece of work that is entirely based on the story that deals with meaning of being human.

Throughout of the album’s 15-track repertoire, you get epic arrangements brought to perfection which are refined through a pleasant pop filter. “Vox Humana” intersperses jangled guitars with angular complexities that might fly over some heads – repeat listens are deserved. The songs are organised so intricately that all the nuances and difficulties that might have gone into recording such an extraordinary album are totally lost in its beauty.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, sit songs which will shower the listener with jagged shards of heavy pounding; jagged shards that will bypass your vital organs and instead embed themselves within the deeper, darker echelons of your mind. Some of this album is simply unforgettable.

Kyros really do lead by example: with “Vox Humana” acting as a fantastic example of how to take inspiration from all the sub-standard facets of day-to-day goings on to create a stunning collection of songs, they’ve proved that not everything in modern life is rubbish.

“Vox Humana” is available for pre-order here. Follow Kyros on Facebook here.

Ryan Mark Elliott of Eden Shadow

Interview with EDEN SHADOW

Eden Shadow is a brainchild of composer and multi-isntrumentalist Ryan Mark Elliott, and “Melodies for Maladies” is the sophomore studio record which represent a massive chunk of material that explores progressive rock and beyond.

I had pleasure to talk with Ryan about this new material, but he also told me about the gear, his vision of the progressive rock scene today, inspiration and influences, and more.

Hey Ryan. How are you doing?

Very well thank you. It’s been a busy couple of years but I can now celebrate the recent Eden Shadow release.

You released “Melodies for Maladies” recently. How do you feel about the release?

A mixture of elation and relief. This sophomore record was an exciting but tricky record. The band, engineers and team on board with this record were amazing, so I am proud to have created a record where so many talented individuals have had their input. I have been working on this record since 2011 so it seems surreal it’s out there now for people to listen to. It’s an intense album, and I am proud of it.

melodies-for-maladies

How much of a challenge was it to work on the album?

An enormous challenge. It’s an ambitious and tough record to play in the technical sense. Some of the guitar parts I had written before I could play them and Aled has told me that this is one of the most challenging records he has drummed on, and he’s drummed on a fair few records!

Besides that, I was super meticulous with the production process, making sure everything was sounding the way I wanted it too and making the focus all on the playing rather than big walls of sound, which meant much less synthesisers than our last record.

The most challenging part of all though was getting the overall vision and statement across on this album. For all the technical effort that has gone into this album, I’ve intended for it to serve the artistic vision. The reason that that was challenging is because I wrote music about dark themes, I mean really dark. The entire lyrical content, is about post-truth politics, subterfuge, manipulation, the media, war, depression, anxiety and loss. That sounds really miserable but the end of the album does shift the whole perspective of everything and focuses on hope. It took years of searching, arranging and reflecting on this album critically before it all came together in a way that was sophisticated and said what I wanted it to say.

That being said, it has been incredibly exciting to work on this record, there have been some immensely rewarding moments in making this record and the time spent in the studio I would regard as having some of the best moments of my life.

Ryan Mark Elliott

What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from UK are you friends with?

I have had the pleasure to meet a lot of people in the genre and that is mainly through my record label, White Knight Records, and one of the main men behind the label is Rob Reed of Magenta.

I met Rob Reed when I was 17 and he has been a mentor for me ever since. He is a wonderful and very honest musician with a lot of integrity and I have learnt a lot from him. I also know Nick Barret of Pendragon. Myself, Rob and Nick have shared really interesting conversations about music and one of the biggest talking points is the changing ways in which people listen to music. I.e. access over ownership. Spotify hit 40 million subscribers not too long ago, and it is has been a huge topic for artists. I am in favour of streaming and know it is becoming huge, especially with Amazon now introducing their service. Not everyone will be in favour of it though with regards to the pay and loosing that tangibility: Rob and Nick are against it and I can totally empathise why, but at the same time, I am part of a generation that has a different interaction with music. It is fascinating to me. Ultimately, I use a streaming to discover artists so I would be a hypocrite to speak out against it and as a very young artist, my priority is getting heard over getting paid. I would be shooting myself in the foot if Eden Shadow did not feature on streaming sites.

Aside from that, I have met Pete Jones of Tiger Moth Tales, an amazing talent and a breath of fresh air in the prog scene. I’ve met the guys from Haken a few times when I was living in London, I remember finding their first couple of records jaw dropping. They came out when I was still a teenager.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Hackett when I was doing a research project too. He is an absolute gentleman!

What is your opinion about the current progressive rock scene?

It’s alive! Which is good. However, I don’t think it will ever be as prominent as it ever was in the 70’s, and it will always in some ways be on the peripheral with it’s cult following.

I do have my qualms about it and I think that comes down to two things. The first one is the overbearing nostalgia. There are some fascinating young or current acts coming out such as TesseracT, Karnivool and Mew but I feel like the main magazine outlets still won’t venture away from putting Dark Side of the Moon or Close to the Edge on their covers. Those are timeless records but they came out over 40 years ago! We need to embrace and support the new.
The other thing is how inauthentic prog has a tendency to be. Put it this way: music is a form of art, and art resonates best with people when it speaks truth. That would probably explain why ‘Hand. Cannot. Erase.’ is one of the most successful albums of this genre in recent years. It is because it is a very honest album about alienation and isolation that many people could identify with. Prog tends to be more focused on the cerebral rather than sincerity, and I have probably done that myself when I was younger. I am starting to move away from that now. I don’t have a problem with the music being like that at all, it’s more that it just doesn’t interest me as much when I listen to or write music these days.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

The first bands that I ever listened to as a child were Queen and Rush. Brian May and Alex Lifeson were my two huge influences when I grew up as a guitarist. Further on from that, I started listening to frightening guitar stuff like Satriani, Vai, Eric Johnson and Dream Theater. That really shaped me in my teens and those were the players I wanted to play like. I ended up spending hours and hours with a metronome and learning crazy technical stuff. Later on, I then started discovering albums like Debut by Bjork, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, OK Computer by Radiohead and In Absentia by Porcupine Tree. All of those albums were game changers for me. I look back at many of the artists I grew up with and it’s like having a tree of influences where listening to one artist has somehow spurred me onto listening to another!

Ryan Mark Elliott

What are you listening to these days?

There have been some amazing releases over the past couple of years. The latest releases that I am listening to are Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room, Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Eric Johnson’s new acoustic album, Have you in my Wilderness by Julia Holter, Keeping the Peace by Arthur Beatrice, Pale Green Ghosts by John Grant, Beach House latest two records, The Hope Six Demolition Project by PJ Harvey, A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead, oh and Opacities by Sikth. All of these records I have listened to in the last couple of weeks. I recommend them all!

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

Argh, I love so many records! This probably changes on occasion, but the first records to pop into my head are:

Vespertine – Bjork
Moving Pictures – Rush
Dirt – Alice in Chains
Once I was an Eagle – Laura Marling
Wish you were here – Pink Floyd

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Melodies for Maladies”?

I used a 93 Paul Reed Smith (It is a year younger than me!) which is a gorgeous guitar for all the overdriven guitars and most of the solos. I used a custom telecaster for the cleans and leslie effected guitars. I also had my Ibanez Paul Gilbert, 12 string acoustic and a Martin acoustic as well for a wide range of guitar tones. It is an eclectic album so I needed a wide range of guitars and effects. Additionally I used a Victory Countess and Mesa Boogie. The best of British amplifiers, mixed with the best of American!

I reduced the use of synthesisers on this album, but my Moog Subphatty features very prominently on this record. I love it…it sounds enormous! I also used EastWest on Introspect and Logos. Alex used a 89 Washburn and Fender P Bass and Aled uses a Pearl Masters kit.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

Yes. I am currently working with my other band, the Kinky Wizzards on the post-production of the second album. It is a very different side of my musical self, much more humorous and it’s all about the interplay between myself, Miff on Bass and Jiff on drums. A lot of people compare us to The Aristocrats and Frank Zappa. Our record should be out early next year.

I will be looking to play live with both Eden Shadow and Kinky Wizzards next summer.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Welcome to the world of Eden Shadow! Hope you enjoy the new album, and look forward to potentially seeing you on the road!

Links:

http://edenshadow.net/

https://www.facebook.com/edenshadow/

glory-of-the-supervenient

Album Review: Glory of the Supervenient – S/T

There are times in every music lover’s life where a record’s concept, ambition, and execution is understood and loved immediately. Not just by the heart and how it makes you feel but on an intellectual level as well. These moments are when one truly appreciates an artist’s creation. Glory of the Supervenient has all the essential ingredients to conjure up this feeling in anyone who listens to it with no fluff added.

More focused than the meandering nature of Trioscapes and more immediate than the sometimes glacial pace of TesseracT, Glory of the Supervenient has the project, led by composer and drummer Andrea Bruzzone, striking a balance seldom can attain, much less in the realm of progressive jazz/fusion. The sheer number of ideas as to where to go and what to do with the medium has resulted in many albums either going too far with the wall of noise or holding back too much in fear of doing so. Glory of the Supervenient doesn’t experiment with the plethora of soundscapes and instruments available to those subscribing to the jazz/fusion moniker but instead chooses to hone its more contemporary musicianship to a razor sheen. Every instrument is clearly differentiated and contributes to the different cascades of mood every song portrays. The guitars in particular showcase a perfect mix of distorted riffage and technical fret play which play through and off each other artfully. The noodling all has a clear focus in each song, and never seems to just fill space. In fact, the entirety of the record gives a definite sense of progression, carrying the listener from one section to the next seamlessly and gives off a welcome cohesiveness.

gots

At the heart of Glory of the Supervenient is its concept, which is that of stripping away the superfluous qualities of emotion, situation, and inspiration and leaving behind only its essence. This is the “concept” in terms of following certain vibe and structures, and perfectly describes the band’s direction with the absence of a variety of instruments and the sharp focus of the songs. That is not to say Glory of the Supervenient drags on at any point, in fact the pacing is beautifully crafted. Musically, the record achieves everything it was made to do.

Glory of the Supervenient may be a new kid in the block, but they bestow upon the masses a genre-defining album, displaying a marvellous blend of experimentation, songwriting expertise (not using that word lightly), and the feeling of plain rocking. The strange juxtaposition of using a concept of stripped-down instrumentation, conveying feeling and moods at their most basic level using a framework as frequently ostentatious and gaudy as progressive jazz-fusion is not lost on this reviewer and the fact that it’s pulled off so well by one man only releasing a debut album is quite a feat. Those who want thrills without frills in their music cannot go wrong by giving this a listen.

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jonas-linberg-the-other-side

Review: Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side – Pathfinder

Jonas Lindberg has been active with his project Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side for a few years now. On September 1st, this seven-piece group from Sweden’s capital Stockholm released their full-length debut titled “Pathfinder.”

The album is placed deep into the amotspheric, melodic side of progressive rock with influences from the ‘70s, the ‘80s and some contemporary ones. The band adds plethora experimental, pop-rock, and ambient elements to their music. They will surely bring some of the big progressive rock bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s on your mind that is not a bad thing at all.

pathfinder

One can feel that Jonas Lindberg & The Other Side play it safe, and that in the end their music is not “forward thinking” or “progressive.” But that’s because the group as an entity is an apt craftsman, and they know how well to make a song sounds catchy, but still complex enough. There are tons of great moments on the album that contribute to the final outcome, which brings nostalgia and innovation together. This prog rock music is easy to digest, but hard to predict

The musicianship is very strong and the production is warm. “Pathfinder” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it is more than a decent album. There is a lot to explore here, and it’s waiting for you.

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Interview with JONAS LINDBERG

Jonas Lindbert & The Other Side is a progressive rock project, led by (guess who?) Jonas Lindberg. The seven-piece band based out of Sweden’s capital Stockholm released their debut full-length album “Pathfinder” on September 1st, after two EP’s: “In Secret Place” (2012) and “The Other Side” (2013).

In the interview below, Lindberg talks about the project.

How do you usually describe your music?

It’s progressive rock, sometimes with a little more commersial and easy listening vibe to it. I think it’s hard to describe your own music and put a label on it, usually I want to leave that to the listener. Besides that I describe it as progressive, some people have said it sounds like Pink Floyd mixed up with Sting, others have said it sounds like Genesis. Most people seem to compare it to all kinds of various artists and I believe that is a good thing. There is something for everyone in it.

What is your writing process like?

Usually it starts with an idea of some kind, could be a riff, chordstructure or melody in my head. Then I sit down at my computer in the studio, record all ideas and try to build a song around it. Most of the time I never know where it will go or what will happen next. I just go for it and try to let the music flow and “build itself”. It’s kind of a puzzle, getting all pieces of music to fit in the right context. Sometimes there can be several sessions before a good idea comes along that glues a song together. When I have a finished piece of music and I know wether or not it will feature vocals, I write lyrics. That to me is the most difficult part, to figure out what to write about. But mostly the source is stuff that happens around me on a daily basis.

Who or what is your inspiration, if you have any?

I get inspired my many things. Everything from other music to a cool picture or feeling or a sunset or a cool keyboard sound. Those things are usually what gets the creativity going. Musically my inspiration varies a lot depending on what I listen to at the moment. I have been much inspired by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Spock’s Beard and Genesis among others. But of course as always there are many other things that finds their way into the music too. Irish folk music and bluegrass is something I listen to a lot as well as pop, jazz and theatrical film music.

pathfinder

What is your favourite piece on the “Pathfinder” album?

I would have to say “Closer To The Sun” which is the album closer. It starts off in one way and then grows into something completely different. It’s kind of a 9 minute mini-epic in three parts. I really enjoyed writing that one and I’m very happy with the lyrics. It’s one of those songs I can listen to without feeling I could have done something different or better in any way.

What makes “Pathfinder” different?

With this album I wanted to go for a little dirtier and less slick sound than the previous ones. The songs are more rock and guitarbased and there are more analog keyboard sounds. On “The Other Side” I played most instruments myself, so this time I wanted to feature the same lineup that played live, and make it feel more like a band playing together. It’s also the first time that all the songs are completely new and written specifically for this album.

What should music lovers expect from “Pathfinder”?

They should expect big sonic soundscapes with lots of guitars and keyboards. Big pieces of music with many instrumental parts, solos and intriguing lyrics. Something that is great for sitting back with a glass of wine and just listen to. (It sounds awesome in the car too by the way.)

What kind of emotions would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?

I like to make people happy. Make them feel excited, relaxed, maybe inspired in some way. Kind of the same way I feel when listening to really good music!

Which do you like most, life in the studio or on tour?

I like being on tour a lot, seing new places and meet new people. But there is nothing like a great creative day in the studio. The joyful and proud feeling when you have written a new song that you are very happy with.

Pick your three favourite albums that you would take on a desert island with you.

There are so many great albums out there, but here are three that frequently turns up in my playlist: Pink Floyd – Pulse, Sting – The Soul Cages, Roxette – Crash! Boom! Bang!

Get a copy of “Pathfinder” on Bandcamp.

The Surrealist

Interview with THE SURREALIST

The Surrealist is a project founded by guitarist, composer and Berklee student Roopam Garg. Working in a trio setting, the band is about to launch their debut EP “Naked Awareness” on September 17th. Garg spoke for Progstravaganza.

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

Life’s going great man. I’m about to start another semester at Berklee. The band is going really really well. We publicly announced the band a few weeks ago, and the reception has already been so positive. I also just received a new guitar from Kiesel Carvin Guitars, and it’s literally my dream guitar. It just looks so beautiful, like a work of art that came from the ocean, and I can’t stop staring at it. I couldn’t be happier right now.

Speaking of new music, you have an EP coming out on September 17. What can people expect from “Naked Awareness”?

Naked Awareness is a pretty experimental release. There’s a lot of exploration of texture and rhythm that I wanted to do on the guitar, as it isn’t just a melodic or chordal instrument. The guitar has a lot of rich timbral possibilities that I wanted to exploit. Listeners can expect some pretty interesting idea that they may not have heard before.

naked-awareness-album-art

What was it like working on the EP?

It was really inspiring and a lot of fun but at the same time also really stressful. The entire EP took two to complete in terms of the songwriting and recording process, which is not sustainable in the long term. This is primarily from becoming really judgmental during the end of the entire process, which really kills the creativity and flow. But it turned out really well and we’re proud of the release.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Naked Awareness”?

Oh yeah. We plan on touring early next year and it would be our first tour, so we’re really excited and looking forward to it.

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

I’d love to tour Europe and Asia. Just the idea of traveling to different countries where there are a plethora of different cultures and audiences is really cool. I feel like being exposed to many cultures would impact my creativity somehow, which is something I’m looking forward to. India is also a country I’d love to tour in, as I rarely travel there but love it every time I do.

Who and what inspires you the most?

A lot of things inspire me in some way. In addition to musicians, I love reading about Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk and other successful entrepreneurs and follow what they do. Business and entrepreneurship have greatly impacted the way I write music, as I’m constantly thinking about innovating and looking for things that other people may not have explored yet. Questions such as,“how does one differentiate the customer experience?” can really force you to find ways of becoming more creative.

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

Definitely. I’ve made a conscious effort to not listen to much guitar-driven music, just to experiment and see if it spruces up my guitar playing. So I’m currently dwelling in a lot of film soundtracks, such as Angelo Milli’s Seven Pounds soundtrack, Hans Zimmer’s The Dark Knight soundtrack, and David Julyan’s The Prestige soundtrack. I’ve also experimented with taking a break from listening to music, and not hearing anything at all for a couple of months, just to see if it would impact my creativity. And interestingly enough, I find that there’s a certain creative headspace that’s achieved by doing so. I’ve been able to come up with certain ideas on the guitar are unconventional and that I become surprised by, like “where did this come from?”. It’s always nice when you surprise yourself.

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?

May you always do what you’re afraid to do! Thanks for having me.

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Oak

Review: Oak – Lighthouse

The music of Oak is mainly inspired by the early albums of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Sigur Rós. Although I hardly hear other influences or a small change in style on the band’s debut album, the small herd of fans of the band enjoy the sound of Oak over and over again. Maybe I suffer from the same disease because I cherish everything they have done on “Lighthouse.” Sigbjørn Reiakvam, Øystein Sootholtet, Simen Valldal Johannessen and Ole Michael Bjørndal present nothing new that could be considered to be innovative let alone shocking or groundbreaking.

Oak - Lighthouse

However, I guess musicians don’t have to be groundbreaking as long as an album contains beautiful music, even if one already knows what kind of music one can expect. Well, I’m not going to tell you what you can expect on Lighthouse. As I mentioned before there’s nothing new under the sun, so people who are familiar with Oak know what is to be expected; they can buy this album without listening to it first. They know that beautiful guitar passages and mellow keyboard parts are all over the place!

Lighthouse is highly recommended to everyone who looks for a melancholic music that bites and is infectious.

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