Tag Archives: Progstravaganza questionnaire

2KX on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: 2KX

2KX is the permanent band formed from the 2009 international prog endeavor, “Lisa LaRue Project 2K9.” The band is headed by keyboardist Lisa LaRue, who has released four solo albums previous to the LLP2K9 “World Class,” and is twice Oklahoma Music Awards’ “Native American Artist of the Year.” She has also been nominated for several Native American Music Awards in addition to a Hollywood Music Award.  2KX was nominated as “Best Instrumental Band” in the 2011 Los Angeles Music Awards.
The band took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence and Lisa answered our standard Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Check it below.
How did you come to do what you do? 
2KX formed as a project band called Lisa LaRue Project 2K9 in 2009.  A core group of participants, and some new members, formed a permanent band in 2010 called “2KX.”  We still have special guests, but there is a core band.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
We draw our inspiration from everything!  It can be a book, a movie, a dream, or a conversation.  Then we all build upon it with each members’ interpretation.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
Art, mystery, excitement.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
No, one of us will start a piece, and then we each add our own parts to that.

What is your method of songwriting?
Late at night :-)

How do you see your music evolving?
We are growing as an integral unit, not focusing so much on the special guests anymore, but becoming a stronger songwriting team.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Don’t expect to make money, just do it because it is a gift given to you by the Universe, and share it with the world  Be passionate!!

What are you looking forward to?
Hearing what we are all writing and playing 10 years from now :-)
Links:

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

Aisles on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Aisles

Aisles are a progressive rock band from Santiago, Chile. They have been considered one of the most interesting acts of recent years. So far they have released three albums, the widely acclaimed “The Yearning” (2005) and “In Sudden Walks” (2009), and “4:45AM”, which has been warmly received by the most prestigious publications of progressive rock.

Guitarist German Vergara answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire after Aisles took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence as a part of Prog Sphere Showcase feature.

How did you come to do what you do?

I remember as a kid seriously deciding I wanted to be a guitar player when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody’s guitar solo. I think that was the beginning of everything for me.

What is your first musical memory?

Probably my older brother playing the piano at our parents’ house, or even myself trying to get some sounds at the piano as a kid.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I owe a lot to Jazz, Fusion, Prog Rock, World Music, New Age and Classical Music. There’s a Latin seal too in our music that we probably owe to South American music.

Some of my influences are: Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, Genesis, Pat Metheny Group, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jean Luc Ponty, Allan Holdsworth, Jean Michel Jarre, Pedro Aznar, Queen, Journey, Ryuichi Sakamoto, King Crimson, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Melancholia is perhaps the saddest song on the album. It talks about a child’s sickness and his mother’s suffering while she thinks about his destiny: Is he going to be happy or live a life in pain? That feeling of uncertainty is Melancholia, which can be a mortal illness. The whole song is sung from the son’s perspective as he sees his mother suffering. Can ‘Melancholia’ itself be the child’s sickness? We don’t know how sick this child is, but somehow his dreams have kept him alive so there’s hope for him in the future. It was a very emotive song to write and record. I remember being at the edge of tears at the studio while we were recording vocals.

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

Not at all. Whatever flows, the method changes every time you want to write something.

What is your method of songwriting?

Most of the times an idea comes from improvisation on your instrument, in my case the guitar or sometimes the piano. Other times you have a pre-conceived idea of what you want and try consciously to get it on your instrument. That’s only the starting point, after that, the methods are countless. You can develop an idea as a band, as a small group of two or three, or by yourself and then arrange the composition as a band. We work in many ways. It would be unwise to have only one method.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think the band has reached a certain degree of maturity now, but that also means that you can never get stuck, you have to evolve. We always try our music to have a meaning and a reason, and with 4:45 AM we have succeeded at writing very emotive songs, which is our intention. I think our sound and music have become more authentic as the years have passed and we’ve developed a very original, theatrical and eclectic type of music.

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

First of all, be brave about doing whatever you love in your life. You have the responsibility of following your dreams. Try to be authentic and spend many hours with you instrument. Don’t hear anybody when they say that you won’t be able to make a living as a musician, only you will put the limits to your dream.

Don’t think of fame and money, just do it for the sake of music, and success will come eventually.

What are you looking forward to?

We look forward to broadening our audience, reaching more people with our music and message. Also to be regarded as a truly original band with a unique sound. We intend to keep developing and evolving with this vehicle of artistic expression called Aisles.

Links:

Official website: http://www.aislesproject.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aislesproject
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aislesproject/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/aislesproject
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/aislesproject

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

Sounds Like the End of the World on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Sounds Like the End of the World

Sounds Like The End Of The World is a five piece instrumental band which formed in 2012. In January of 2013 they recorded their debut promo mini album titled, “It All Starts Here” featuring 5 songs. The album was released in March of the same year. The band has performed live shows alongside God is An Astronaut, Long Distance Calling, Sleepmakeswaves, Tides from Nebula, Tune, Disperse, and Lebowski.

In February of 2014 the band’s first full length album, “Stages of Delusion” was recorded at Sounds Great Promotion Studio in Gdynia. Produced by Jan Galbas, mixed and mastered by Jakub Mankowski, known for his work with artists such as Behemoth, Obscure Sphinx, and Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater.

Read the Progstravaganza Questionnaire answered by Michał Baszuro.

How did you come to do what you do?

I grew up with parents both playing guitar. I always watched my mom doing it during parties with friends and It naturaly became my desire to play guitar.

What is your first musical memory?

It’s polish song called “Pieśń o zachodnich bankierach” by Andrzej Rosiewicz. I was less than 5 years old.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Emotions and everything that cause them. Music is emotion.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

That’s what I love in instrumental playing. There is no message, there is no vocalist that characterize band, there is no straight answer to that question. Everybody is free to feel or imagine everything they want while listening to our piece.

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

Nope.

What is your method of songwriting?

Usually we do it with the whole band. Just jamming over some ideas till we reach this point where everybody feel that “This Is It”!

How do you see your music evolving?

I hope we will develop our sound, ideas and emotions we put in music. Everybody is evolving as a human beeing different way and everybody is experiencing life diffrently. We will see we where it bring us in the future.

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

Do what you love to do and do it honestly – people will see that and
appreciate your work!

What are you looking forward to?

Can’t wait to share my emotions with people on my live shows. See you!

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/s-l-t-e-o-t-w/sets/stages-of-delusion-2014
https://www.facebook.com/SoundsLikeTheEndOfTheWorld

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

Vicinity on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Vicinity

Vicinity was founded in 2006 by Kim-Marius H. Olsen, Frode Lillevold and Kristian Nergård. Vocalist Alexander K. Lykke soon joined the blend making the first complete lineup. The band wrote and later recorded a demo in 2007 at Skansen Lydstudio in Trondheim, but it was the following year’s recording of the EP “Diffusion of Innovation” that the band found it’s true style, writing longer, more technical progressive compositions. The EP was recorded at Toproom Studios and mixed by Børge Finstad in one week, and released two years later (2010) by Pug-Nose Records.

In 2012 the band felt they had written enough good songs to record their debut album; “Awakening”. Drums were laid down in Trondheim Studio in february, and the following months bass, guitars and vocals were laid down, making this the debut recording of the new bass player Pierre-Nicolai H. Schmidt-Melbye, who joined the band following Nergård’s departure in 2009. Reidulf Wormdal joined the recording as a session keyboard player to add a little extra spice to the mix.

The album was mixed by André Alvnizi at Fascination Street Studios, and mastered by Jens Bogren, also at Fascination Street, and will be released by Indie Distribution and Pug-Nose Records, fall 2013. Shortly prior to the bands release concert they got in touch with keyboard player Ivar Andreas Nyland, who following an audition turned out to be the perfect match for Vicinity both socially and musically. At the end of the year Vicinity was named one of the most promising new bands by P3 Pyro, the biggest metal radio show on national radio.

Early in 2014 the band joined forces with fellow proggers Withem and Tritonus and performed at Gamla in Oslo.

How did you come to do what you do? 

I’d been into many genres of progressive and melodic hard rock and metal as well as pop and more straight rock for years, while at the same time developing my skills as a guitarist. When I moved to Trondheim I started looking around for a band to play in, and soon got in touch with Frode, our drummer, and Kristian, our former bass player. We found out that we had several musical references in common, and decided to form a band together. None of us had ever met before starting Vicinity, so the band was originally formed purely on musical grounds, but we’ve since bonded as friends as well. Following a few auditions with different singers we found Alex, and have never looked back since. He gelled both musically and socially, and he has an incredible voice with a character that stands out from other voices both in the higher and lower register. Pierre joined us after Kristian left (moved to another town), and besides being a great bass player he is also very talented when it comes to creating a bridge between Frode’s intricate drumming and the more melodic guitars and vocal lines. The newcomer in the band; Ivar, joined us shortly after we released our debut album “Awakening” in 2013. He managed to learn our material just in time for our release concert. No simple feat considering our lengthy songs with many odd-time sections. He has since proven himself to be a great addition to the band both when it comes to his great keyboard playing and his creative abilities when it comes to coming up with both riffs and broadening our sound. That’s the story of how the band got to do what we do.

What is your first musical memory?Most likely hearing much of the music my parents listened to while we were driving. It never really caught my interest, but when I first heard “Take on Me” by a-ha on the radio, I can’t have been more than 5-6 years old at the time, I was sold. That was the first time i remember having been moved by music. That also in one of many 700 km drives across the country.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From listening to music, my family, my band mates, reading, watching movies, going on walks with my dog and girlfriend, nature, important events in life… in short; it can come from wherever, and you never know when a great idea might appear.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“Walk All the Way” is very personal song, and it’s inspired by some quite dark events that happened in my life a couple of years back, and focuses on the importance of getting through the hard times, and getting on with your life instead of letting the darkness consume you fully. Through a series of metaphors the song looks at man (or woman’s) life as a whole, from the innocence of childhood, up until later in your life, and the challenges you might face, and how you deal with them.

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

Beeing a progressive band the rule is; pretty much anything goes. But we do put much emphasis on trying to have some melodic hooks through both guitar, keyboards and vocals. This pretty much changes from song to song.

What is your method of songwriting?

We usually build up a database of ideas and riffs that we jam around with at the rehearsal space. I might come in with some riffs on the guitar and then we play around those for a while, and then leave the part alone for a while. When we start putting ideas together to full songs we try to find out what fits in where both thematically and melodically. Some times a song can start with a vocal line, some times with some lyrics, other times with a riff. No two songs come about quite the same way. It’s quite an organic process where everybody are pitching in their ideas, and come up with new ways to explore a musical section both when it comes to rhythm and progression. It’s not uncommon for our drummer, Frode, to sing a couple of riff ideas from behind the drum set either. A lot of thought goes into the song structures and how the song should evolve and end up, and it can often be a very time consuming endeavor.

How do you see your music evolving?

Like I said in my former answer; it’s a very organic process, and the music evolves as we do as musicians and human beings. As our interests shift, so does our music, but it happens gradually, so we don’t really notice it. One clear change is that Ivar has joined us as our first full time keyboard player, so I can see our music benefitting from that, adding more complex keyboards, and parts written for the keyboard instead of just added as extra spice after the songs are written and arranged as was the case with our album “Awakening” and our EP “Diffusion of Innovation”.

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

Don’t care too much about what other people think, just write stuff that gets you excited. There is so much music out there these days, so at least try to make yourself happy with it. Work with other great musicians, and let them do their thing. I can honestly say that playing with the other guys in Vicinity is a great privilege, since every time I come up with an idea; it always turns out much better when the band has put it through it’s filter, and added their ideas to the mix. If I’ve had an idea for a vocal part, and sing a demo I might think; that sounded better in my head, but when I hear Alex sing the same part, and the goose bump factor comes into play I often end up thinking; that sounded much better than what I heard in my head! Don’t expect anything to happen magically; it takes a lot of work and organizing to run a band, write music and to get it published. Expect to do a lot of this yourself.

What are you looking forward to?

As of now I’m looking forwards continuing the process of writing new music with the band. We are already hard at work with new material, as well as keeping the band gig-ready just in case a good opportunity should arise.
Links:
Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com
Cereus on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Cereus

Cereus, formed in 2012, defines its music as post-progress (Post-prog.) It is the outcome of inspiration coming from post rock music as well as post metal, with the elements of alternative and progressive climate (Caspian, ISIS, Russian Circles, Marillion). A self-contained whole forms charismatic vocal which by means of interesting timbre and melody creates in every track new different stories.

Domber answered our standard questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

With love and passion for music, everything is possible…

What is your first musical memory?

Rolling Stones vinyl cover with lips and tongue…

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Little bit from inside, little bit from outside… Music is in our heads and hearts, but the world around us gives us plenty of inspirations…

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Cassiopeia is about trying… to reach the impossible, to bring back what is lost, so even more precious… it’s about will to fight the limits and about faith, that there is something more, than what we get and see right here…

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

Not so much… but You can’t escape from that. I don’t even thing we should…

What is your method of songwriting?

First sounds comes from Pablo(guitar) or Conrado(bass), they create the idea, than we meet all together and work out on full concept… the last part is lyrics, but I usually know from the very beginning what it will be about…

How do you see your music evolving?

Too early to say, it’s two years since we’ve met, so everything is in front of us… That would be our first Album this year, so when we’ll make second, I will gladly answer that question… ;)

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

Do what You love, and never think about creating for applause… The creator is an egoist. First of all, You have to like and accept what You do, than applause will find You…

What are you looking forward to?

To play concert with biger bands on the biggest scenes of the world.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/cereusband
https://www.youtube.com/user/cereustheband
http://cereus.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/cereusband

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

Dream the Electric Sleep on Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Dream the Electric Sleep

Dream The Electric Sleep are a progressive rock band from Lexington, KY.

Formed in 2009, guitarist/vocalist Matt Page and drummer Joey Waters recruited bassist Chris Tackett (formerly of Hyatari and Chum). The trio spent the following two years developing a unique sound characterized by an eclectic blend of influences. Although primarily rooted in progressive rock, the band employs elements of classical, folk, doom, psychedelic and pop. In early 2014, guitarist Andrew Hibpshman was introduced to reinforce the band’s live sound.

The band appeared on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence and Matt Page answered our standard Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

Matt Page: Art and music have been always been a part of my life. I spent most of my youth drawing, then around 12 I picked up a guitar. I always knew I wanted to live a life filled with creative practices, and fortunately I have been able to maintain both music and art.

What is your first musical memory?

Matt Page: I was 3 years old singing “ohoh here she comes, watch out boy she’ll chew you up, ohoh here she comes, she’s a man eater”.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Matt Page: I look for cultural narratives that move me personally but that also speak to larger social concerns. DTES’s first album, Lost and Gone Forever, dealt with issues surrounding coal mining, family, energy, desire, and fear and was based in part on the region the band is from as well as the documentary, Harlan County USA. Our second album, Heretics, looks at the suffragette movement and the difficult path individuals walk when standing up for something they believe in.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Matt Page: Matt Page: The song, “Elizabeth”, is in the beginning of the album, Heretics, and introduces us to Elizabeth, a woman living within the traditional ascribed gender and social roles of the early 1900’s but who is beginning to challenge those roles and dream of a better future.

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

Matt Page: We usually don’t have a pre-defined way of writing, but rather compose works based on a mood we are trying to create, and what the narrative calls for.

What is your method of songwriting?

Matt Page: We generally have a small snippet of music or rhythmic idea and start building from there. We record the parts and I start working in vocals. We then listen back to what’s been recorded, then we rearrange things, add new parts and rerecord the song, then repeat until we have something we like.

Dream the Electric Sleep

Dream the Electric Sleep

How do you see your music evolving?

Matt Page: I think we will begin trying new compositional styles and new sonic tones.

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

Matt Page: Start with what you love. Make music you want to listen to. Find an audience that cares about what you are doing.

What are you looking forward to?

Matt Page: Playing Night of the Prog 2014 in Germany this July, then getting back and starting to write the next album.

Links:

http://www.dreamtheelectricsleep.com
https://www.facebook.com/DTESBAND
https://soundcloud.com/dreamtheelectricsleep
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=8853
http://www.last.fm/music/Dream+The+Electric+Sleep
http://www.reverbnation.com/dreamtheelectricsleep
https://twitter.com/dtesband
http://instagram.com/dtesband

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

Orpheus Blade

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Orpheus Blade

Progressive and heavy metal, film music and musicals, a concept fantasy that is really an allegory to real life endeavors – all of these are the cornerstones of Orpheus Blade, a project led by Adi Bitran, who also writes the lyrics and music.

Orpheus Blade took part on Progstravaganza XIX: Convergence and we asked Adi few questions.

How did you come to do what you do?

Well, I do have some musical background, but I’ve came across the turning points by coincidence… In elementary school there were always the occasional school play or choir practice and I used to play classical pieces on the piano during most of my high school years, but it was not till years later that I “accidentally” discovered I can actually sing well. Yes, it was in the shower. I also had a guitar phase which was pretty mandatory for a metal lover, and I started composing some stuff seriously after listening to a friend’s “album” about penises. Believe me, everything looks so less intimidating after such an experience.

What is your first musical memory?

When I was a little kid I used to go with my dad to the park every weekend. I’d rule the swing and sing as I go up and down in it, and not just childish nursery songs. Some people still ask my dad where has the singer gone – she’s still here, only changed her style!

 Where do you draw your inspiration from?

When I’m in a creative mood, I’d usually go and read some favorite poems. Charles Baudelaire with his dark, gothic atmosphere, Oscar Wilde and his rebellion against the world, most of the old English guys – Keats, Yeats, Shakespeare… I’d also use some music of course – Pain of Salvation or Beyond Twilight, songs that have made me shiver or even cry… At times I’d choose film music or musicals. But sometimes the “visions” from the river of creation are so strong that I don’t need any of that, because I just feel I’m pulled into it and bye-bye world (for a while).

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

When I’ve wrote “Dismissal”, I was in a period of uncertainty and I could do nothing about it. I would go to work and eat and sleep but I felt dead inside, craving and crazed, on the edge of apathy that helps me shut myself from the world at times. I chose it as the first single because I felt I have succeeded to capture an honest, real moment in that one – it’s the one song we almost haven’t changed in the production phase. There was something genuine in the creation of it, and I’ve bled for those lyrics… Unlike other tracks in the album, “Dismissal” just flew out of me, bar after bar, riff after riff, without knowing what’s next but without stopping. You can feel the heart and soul of Orpheus Blade in this one – it’s mellow, it’s like a mantra, and I think the most adequate way to describe it would be a cold, harsh despair that’s conquering the heart.

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

As I don’t have much of musical theory education, it’s more intuitive for me. Being the logical person I am, I’m always seeking for patterns, the cause and the effect, an algorithm my mind could follow. I’m afraid to write music like that, so I usually just write what sounds right. If it’s good enough for my ear it’s probably correct, and we could always butcher it apart in the studio later… The process would always be: imagine it, find it on an instrument, write it down, build the rest of the parts, then proceed to world domination!

Orpheus Blade's Adi Bitran

Orpheus Blade’s Adi Bitran

What is your method of songwriting?

Almost always, I write the lyrics first. They come rushing in, usually in bursts, when I’m feeling creative. I’m good with lyrics so that’s the easiest part for me. Then I usually just let a melody haunt my head… I know the piece is probably good when it starts to “breathe” as if it’s alive – there’s a point where the written words are starting to gather and “choose” their melody, where you simply FEEL how it’s going to sound like. Then I know it’s ready for composing, rearrangement, the regular nonsense. Note: this method involves humming some stupid lines to your cellphone, trying to avoid many nagging melodies driving you crazy when you’re most busy, and lots of headbanging. Towards the nearest wall.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think that the most important lesson I’ve learned from the writing process is that I’ve figured I know what I’d like to hear – and that’s a lot. Many people will try to bring you down – most of them unintentionally – but if you know what you want to hear, what emotions and atmosphere you’re aiming at – you’re halfway there. Every new song is a combat with my deepest fears in a way, I think I’m getting better at it. I think I’d be a bit more confident in my music and in myself, losing most of the “am I doing it right?” questions. I still don’t know how it would affect future tunes in matters of form and style, but I think I’ll allow more flow in the process. When speaking of future themes – lately I tend to get myself busy with abstract ideas such as the creator-creation relationship (hint: It’s Complicated), and less with epic fantasy concepts.

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

Don’t do it! It’s too painful to deal with, every step in the way. It’s a one big heartache and most probably it will steal all your spare money and time! Unless it’s stronger than you, and then you’re doomed – welcome to the club! I knew I was doomed for eternity when in my lowest of lows, when I got so angry and was just about to throw it all behind – not a moment has passed, and I was back on the piano, the only thing that could soothe me at this shameful moment. It’s a curse and a bless, so try to spend most of your time in the “bless” part, I guess.

What are you looking forward to?

My big fat Wacken concert, as the headline! Now seriously, looking forward to release this debut album, and I want to reach as many people as I can. I think that’s the whole point of music… Find the people who share my views or relate to my music and love each and every one of them. Already aiming at the second and third album that would hopefully help define Orpheus Blade in the metal world.

Also – world peace, endless happiness, blah, blah…

Links:

http://www.orpheusblade.com
http://www.youtube.com/orpheusbladeofficial
https://www.facebook.com/orpheusblade

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

Stolen Memories

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Stolen Memories

Stolen Memories is a progressive metal band from Lyon, France. They took part on our Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma, and here is what they had to say on the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

Stolen Memories is a band from Lyon. Guitarist Baptiste and drummer Antoine were the ones who set up the project. They have already played in other metal bands before and they decided to form a more ambitious project.

What is your first musical memory?

Najib: My first musical memory is when I listened to the Metallica’s Unforgiven. I told myself “this is what I was looking for.”

Antoine: My first musical memory was when I watched VHS clips of Queen. I think it is the oldest, I was very young, I watched these videos several times.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The ambition of Stolen Memories in its influences was to combine the “classic” prog metal big bands like Dream Theater or Symphony X to name the biggest ones with a new wave of progressive metal like Andromeda or Pain of Salvation that have modernized the style and added a touch of freshness to this aesthetic. We can all hear in our music some heavy parts of Symphony X or influences of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani (actually Baptiste listened too many of these artists).

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The song Scattered Man is about the passage of common sense to the madness, the character lost his family in a car accident, he sinks into madness, but returns to the reason gradually bringing together small pieces of his life. Our songs are dark but still with a glimmer of hope.

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

Not really, when Baptiste composes the songs he doesn’t tell himself that the song must take this way, he just start playing guitar having fun, then ideas come.

What is your method of songwriting?

On the first album, The Strange Order, Baptiste brought almost all of the pieces. We tried on our side to arrange the songs in a second time. For the second album however, Baptiste came out with unfinished songs or just begun: he was also not against the idea of letting others participate on songs and lyrics writing. There was a true exchange on this point and then to summarize Baptiste brought the band’s sound, then this basis has been worked by all, during rehearsals. We really tried to push the synthesis of each musician on this Stolen Memories’s album.

How do you see your music evolving?

After the completion of two albums, we think we have reached the maturity that allows us to tackle our next album with a lot of serenity. After reading all the reviews, we think that we are able to improve, evolve and go further in our musical research.

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

Dear musician, continue to believe in your music. Sell disc becomes increasingly difficult, but we must continue to do what you love, what gives us strength in life is our passion, never give up.

What are you looking forward to?

Our ambition is to get out of France, play in many countries as possible, to know our music, share our energy and our music with a maximum of metal fans. We are also preparing the next album, We honestly believe that it will be the best album we’ve ever made, but there not only the musical side, there is also the promotion, which must be carefully prepared, it demands a lot of work and many sacrifices.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/stolenmemoriesprog

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

Rubik 1138 on Prog Sphere's Progstravaganza progressive rock compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Rubik 1138

Rubik 1138 is a progressive instrumental rock band formed in 2008. Originally from Metepec, México, Rubik 1138 takes its name from the Rubik cube, but with the inverse goal: instead of making six plain color faces (in this case, music), the idea is to combine the colors in every face infinitely. The number 1138 comes from the George Lucas’ film THX1138. The music travels from classic rock, to jazz, nourished with glances of funk, metal, soul, surf and electronic music. The band’s live shows are accompanied by real time video projection and lightning.

The band took part in our standard Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Read their answers below.

How did you come to do what you do?

The four of us come from very different grounds. We all have been making music for a long time and played with different bands from different genres. Some of us even gave up on music and retook it after some years to make something meaningful and with no intents of making something huge, rather having fun and doing something that didn’t sound like the pre-packaged music we hear on the radio nowadays. That’s when the band got started and we went through lots of experimentation and trial and error. We tried to converge all of our personal influences to make a new mixture of sounds. First came the music, than the whole idea of wearing a mask so that the show became more of an audiovisual experience for the spectator.

What is your first musical memory?

Didi: Driving through the night with my mom, dad and brother while listening to hours of my dad’s tapes filled with music from Pink Floyd, Cream, The Who, Led Zepp and Uriah Heep. The sounds that came out of those speakers made me addicted to it, so I started looking for more.

Yehoudi: back home when I was a kid. My mom played Rolling Stones’ and Beatles’ albums while dad played Beethoven and “boleros”. I got my first guitar at 4 and when I was 8 I remember writing my first song.

Duddits: Being with my family in the night while listening “Shine on you crazy diamond” and “Cocaine” in a fantastic/creepy trip.

Mopho: My father received a payment with an old Organ, he took it to our house, so I could learn how to play it.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

From everyday life, music, books, paintings, poetry, feelings, random life events. All of us are music lovers and do our own research and then share our new discoveries with the other band mates. We have gotten to know many new artists through sharing all of our personal tastes with each other.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

It is related with the reason why we exist, not only as a band, but in this world. In english, “Bostezo Universal” means “Universal yawn”, and it comes from that Kierkegard idea that God was bored and then he yawned and through that, the universe was created. It is not exactly that we want to transmit that while playing the song, it’s just the idea that the title pops up.

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

Not really. We like to experiment with ideas that every bandmate shares and make something out of them. We are obviously influenced by other artists and sometimes we try to emulate a certain feel or atmosphere from stuff we like and give it our own flavour. But mostly we try to sound like ourselves and create out of the blue.

What is your method of songwriting?

We get together and jam for a long period of time while trying to come up with new ideas. Sometimes they come in form of a guitar riff, a drum groove or a particular atmosphere. Then we try to create several stages or parts for the same song. Peaks and valleys is our motto. A good composition must be like a story, it has to have an opening, a climax and an ending.

Rubik 1138

Rubik 1138

How do you see your music evolving?

We get new inspiration almost every day and we come across new ideas that eventually reflect on our music. We’ve gotten heavier with time but we’ve also added more contrast to our compositions. I think we have matured musically and have learned what the other band members like to play and how we can focus our different approaches when making new material. I would say that our music has gotten more refined with the passing of time and we understand each other a lot better. But then, we also like to experiment a lot, so, who knows? Maybe the next album sounds completely different than this one. It’s all about keeping fresh and having fun.

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

Play, play and play. Jam with other musicians. Put yourself in situations where you don’t feel comfortable so you can learn something new. Work hard, and do it every day. Don’t give up on your music just because people don’t understand it . Keep at it and try to come up with refreshing stuff and don’t ever forget that making music is all about having fun. If you’re having fun, you’re probably doing it right.

What are you looking forward to?

Mostly the release of our second studio album “Kafkatik” which will be available in both physical and digital formats and tour it around Mexico and the world. We are planning a small European tour for the summer of 2015. We are also releasing a DVD with some songs from the same album played live in a studio for the fans that want a little extra.

We also hope that our music reaches as many people as possible and we hope to connect and meet new musicians and artists from all over the world.

Links:

www.rubik1138.com

http://www.reverbnation.com/rubik1138

https://soundcloud.com/rubik1138

https://www.facebook.com/Rubik1138

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

Road Not Taken on Progstravaganza progressive rock compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Road Not Taken

Road Not Taken was founded in 2011 by guitarist and singer Chris Weinhardt and drummer Benjamin Lindner in Eichwalde, Germany (a small city close to Berlin). Playing together for over 10 years in several bands of various genres it was easy to close to line-up with bass player Florian Valentin and the second vocalist Nico Hentschel.

Chris Weinhardt was kind to answer the Progstravaganza Questionnaire, after Road Not Taken appearance on Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma in April 2014.

How did you come to do what you do?

I started singing when I was in 2nd grade. It might have been an accident or compulsion since I don’t recall signing in for the schools choir in the first place. 5 years later I bought my first guitar and started some kind of band project with a good friend of mine who got his first drum kit. We never parted, played with lots of other people and founded this band called “Road Not Taken” in 2011. Thanks for the great times, Benni.

What is your first musical memory?

My parents put an enormous amount of effort into raising me with the music of Genesis and Phil Collins. Talking about foreshadowing, I guess. To this day I consider Collins godlike, to say the least.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Basically everything. It might be a song or movie. It might be the city at dawn or the last drink you share with your mates after a long night.
Inspiration is one hell of a moody princess and never shows up when she’s needed. Curse you afflatus.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

When it comes down to it, “Hangman” is kind of a nod to the darker times in life that one has to face. You lose control over something you didn’t even have control over in the first place. But then there’s somebody who punches you and yells “Get it together” and you start the next chapter. It has never been easy for me to explain lyrics and meanings. But maybe there’s somebody out there who finds an entirely different meaning within this song. I’d be glad to talk to this person.

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

Almost everytime. It often starts with the guitar and keyboard parts. As soon as I’m finished, our beautiful drummer adds his drum parts, which inspire the last additions and rhythms of melody lines and of course, vocal parts. We did however write songs which started with drums.

What is your method of songwriting?

Grabbing my beloved 7-string and praying for enlightment. Basically most of the time it’s just me jamming in my room and abusing Guitar Pro 5. We have never been the band that writes songs in rehearsals and when it comes to lyrics it’s either staying up way to late and avoiding sleep or getting up way to early and avoiding sleep, for me.

Road Not Taken

Road Not Taken

How do you see your music evolving?

I don’t see it as much as others do. Adding growl vocals to our upcoming EP was definitely a huge step forward, like the missing piece of a puzzle.  And since this is Progressive Rock / Metal we’re free of boundaries. A balanced mixture between dreamy ambiance and in-your-face-metal. What’s not to love?

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

Be open minded. Always. Consider music you don’t like a challenge, not harrasment. There might be more to some genres than you’d think.

What are you looking forward to?

Breakfast. I answered these questions way to late at night. Of course I am / we are looking forward to writing new songs, playing live and connecting with people through our music. It has been a blast so far and we’ll continue making music we enjoy playing and listening to. Prog on everybody and good luck! :)

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProgRNT

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/chrissey-beinhardt

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/from-now-on-to-nowhere/id808412034

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