Tag Archives: Progstravaganza compilation

KILLCODE on Progstravaganza progressive rock compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Killcode

KILLCODE is a five piece band based in New York City. Their unique sound is a product of their diverse influences and has been described as “Southern infused Metal / Rock with modern vocals.” KILLCODE’s songs are hooky super charged sing along anthems with BIG guitars and driving rhythms.

The band has appeared on Prog Sphere’s Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma compilation. Bass player, Erric Bonesmith answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

I went for a ride in my older brothers Impala Convertible  (I think the car was a 71′) and he put on Van Halen’s Diver Down. I knew right then that I wanted to make rock&roll my life. After hearing the first Black Sabbath album, I was pushed in a little heavier direction but, it’s all rock&roll man.

What is your first musical memory?

Listening to Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels with my Pop.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Everywhere, every breath, everything! For real… I can’t imagine that it’s possible to be a real “artist” if you don’t have it in you to just be singing, writing, painting… Whatever it is you do, all day everyday. It doesn’t have to be physical but, there should ALWAYS be a song or a picture or words flowing in your mind.

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

Nah. It never starts the same way. It might be the rhythm first or the melody or whatever but we are also lucky to have 5 guys in this band that are real musicians and real writers. That’s why :::KILLCODE::: is so eclectic. It’s not just one vision for five guys but, instead, five guys for one vision.

What is your method of songwriting?

Live, drink, f*ck, eat, rock and at the end of the day… Tell a story about it.

How do you see your music evolving?

Much like a jellyfish. Beautiful and fluid but, one helluva sting when necessary.

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

Just do it and don’t take anything for granted. There is no entitlement and no one owes you anything. You need to work hard then work more. Boots in the ground getting your name out there and establish a brand for people to recognize you by. Get your sound, get your image and bust your ass.

What are you looking forward to?

Sitting on a porch in the mountains, dog at my feet, surrounded by family and looking at my platinum albums on the wall thinking “that was a helluva ride”.

Links:

http://www.reverbnation.com/killcode

https://www.facebook.com/KillcodeOfficial

http://twitter.com/_KILLCODE_

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

Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma

Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma Out Now

Prog Sphere’s Progstravaganza progressive rock compilation series has reached its eighteenth edition with the release of the brand new sampler titled Transforma.

Transforma brings seventeen songs, building another varied sampler of the world’s underground progressive music. Check out great tunes from Jason Rubenstein, Ethereal Riffian, Killcode and fourteen other artists, download the sampler and make sure to share it with your friends.

In the meantime, Prog Sphere is open for the music submissions for the  next Progstravaganza compilation which will be released later this month. Artists interested in submitting their music can contact Prog Sphere at the well-known e-mail address: info@prog-sphere.com

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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

ascensionfeat

PROGSTRAVAGANZA XV: Ascension Is Out

Merry Progmas, everyone!

Along with the holiday spirit we present to you the brand new Progstravaganza XV compilation titled “Ascension”, hoping to make your holiday season a little bit more prog.

This sampler is comprised of 33 songs in total, showcasing artists all the way from UK down to India to South Africa. That pretty much says everything about our determination to showcase bands from absolutely every corner of the world.

The great cover art of the sampler was once again designed by Linden Artwork, check their website and ask for assistance if you are in need of the album art, poster or any form of graphic design. The compilation also includes PDF artwork with all the participants presented visually.

Make sure to visit the website on a regular basis as we will be bringing new features in the coming days. We are already open for submissions for the next part of the compilation series, so if you create music or know someone who does and who might be interested in taking part on our sampler, contact us at info@prog-sphere.com

Have a great holiday season and Happy New Year!

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Oneironaut

Using a method entirely of their own conception, Oneironaut takes bits and pieces of musical histories past to create a new sound that is best described as a complex type of loop-centric rhythm based ambient music. “Occult Fascination” has a plethora of instruments used, from electric guitars to 4-string Irish tenor banjo and also includes a wide range of genre influenced riffs, from Progressive and Death Metal to Jazz, Bluegrass, Funk, and Folk; illustrating Oneironaut’s unique playing style and exceptional musicianship.

http://oneir0naut.bandcamp.com/

The Fierce and the Dead

The Fierce and the Dead

The Fierce And The Dead was originally born out of sonic experimentation when making Matt’s second solo album, Ghost, and they’ve developed into one of the most original bands in the UK rock scene. Their unique brand of instrumental rock music, fusing rock, post-rock, punk and progressive elements, has made a huge impression through one full-length album and two Eps, as have their incendiary live performances, most recently as part of the Stabbing A Dead Horse tour of the UK with Knifeworld and Trojan Horse. Continue reading

Shineback

Shineback

Shineback the highly anticipated new project from Tinyfish frontman Simon Godfrey. Following on from Tinyfish’s 2010 album The Big Red Spark, the project explores elements of cinematic music, electronica and rock which seeks to exemplify the true nature of what it means to be a progressive musician in the 21st century. Continue reading

PH

Philhelmon

My musical life began way back as an eight-year-old who fell in love with the guitar after hearing the music from bands like The Shadows etc. As a teen my guitar playing evolved listening to first of all, The Beatles, then Jimi Hendrix, The Cream, and many many others. Post high school I was interested in many other forms; Blues, Progressive Rock, Classical, Jazz and all new music created as a result of these styles colliding. But to get famous was and is an utopia. But I love music, so I can’t help myself for being addicted!

I became a graphic designer and still working with the Mac for more than a decade. As a long-time (bass)guitarist I also like to write and play blues-based rock, progressive rock and make videoclips. I’m also a synthesizer aficionado. In a nutshell; when ELP and Wendy Carlos with the MOOG Synthesizer came along I wanted to play keyboards as well. In 1969, with (school)friends, I founded Bluesgroup Crusade which later on in 1971 became Progressive Rockgroup Crusade. We split up in 1974 and my fellow musicians start playing in famous dutchgroups like; Cuby & The Blizzards, Livin’ Blues, Finch and later on in The Urn, Ayreon etc. In 1980 Due to my growing interest in the facets of production, engineering, arranging and composing I started in a spare bedroom my own studio as a side business for graphics, photography and writing commercial music for audio visual media.

In 1985 I recorded with the help of musical friends my first soloproject ‘DIFFERENT PLACES, DIFFERENT FACES’, still available on iTunes and many other internet stores. The follow up ‘Trains, Plains and Automoblies’ never saw the daylight but will be finished someday.

In 1990 the original blues line-up started up again and was renamed ‘Bluesgroup Crusade+Friends’. In 2000 I left Crusade to join the Precious Time Project. After a silent period for about 25 years three members of Precious Time, John Geel, John Havermans and Reno de Bruin starts to reunite in 2000. My good old friend John Havermans (keyboards) asked me to participate in playing and recording to capture and revive their typical seventies sound. We released the first album ‘DID I EVER TELL YOU’ in 2003. In 2005 Precious Time released their second album ‘IF THE GODS KNEW’.

http://philhelmon.bandcamp.com/

Dead-End-Space

Dead End Space