Progtopia Archives

Have you ever just known that an underrated band you enjoy is poised for a breakthrough? Melbourne, Australia's Teramaze could very well be that group. Comprised of Nathan Peachey (vocals), Luis Eguren (bass), Dean Kennedy (drums), and Dean Wells (guitar, backing vocals), the band's latest album Her Halo was released in late October to wide acclaim, as was their 2014 effort Esoteric Symbolism. Since their rebirth several years ago, the band's direction has become more progressive and has steadily gained new fans around the world. In this interview with host Mark Ashby, Wells and Peachey talk about the balance in writing challenging music that still contains accessible elements, how they deal with haters, and the support Mascot Label Group has been giving them surrounding Her Halo. Find the band online at www.teramaze.com.au.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Trapeze"

"Out of Subconscious"

"Her Halo"

"An Ordinary Dream (Enla Momento)"

"To Love, a Tyrant"

To hear the first Progtopia episode featuring Teramaze, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-008-through-the-madness-of-teramaze

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 07 Nov 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_082_Out_of_Teramazes_Subconscious.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08am EST

Just another female-fronted prog-metal band? Not exactly. Indianapolis' Chiasma aren't very far into their career, but they're already carving a niche for themselves with a sound that includes the standard symphonic instrumentation and occasional growls, but also vocoders and a willingness to experiment with sound. Members Katie Thompson (vocals and keyboards), Derek Steele (guitar), Ian Inman (guitar), Dan Gugenheim (bass), and Dustin Weddle (drums) have one album, Synthesis, out already and are planning to release their second within the next few months. Host Mark Ashby chats with Thompson and Weddle regarding the piecing-together of the band, what Indiana is like as a progressive destination, and how cats figure into their music-making (or maybe the blocking thereof). Find them online at http://chiasmatheband.bandcamp.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Phajaan"

"Walls"

"Adventure Through Armenia"

"Cry for the Dream"

"Starboard"

"Impetus Lost"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 30 Oct 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_081_A_Turn_to_Starboard_with_Chiasma.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03am EST

Ask anyone who has been there: The premiere progressive and power metal festival in the United States takes place every September in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015, ProgPower USA experienced its sixteenth installment, with four days of events with bands from around the world entertaining sold-out crowds at the Center Stage venue. Headliners this year included the likes of Anathema, Falconer, and Angra, but other up-and-comers like Helker and Native Construct were also received well by the ProgPower faithful. Host Mark Ashby attended for the first time, and he brings you interviews with a few festival attendees, Voyager's Alex Canion, and festival promoter Glenn Harveston, who talks about the visa issues that plagued him this year and his team's quick responses to it, how much time he has to watch the bands he books, and what makes ProgPower the festival that sells out its thousand tickets in nine hours (for next year's shows). And you hear Mark's ideal "ProgtopiaPower USA" lineup, four days of shows comprised entirely of past Progtopia guests. Learn more about the festival at www.progpowerusa.com.

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 12 Oct 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_Backstage_Pass_4_ProgPower_USA_XVI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:57am EST

The U8 Touch Guitar is quite the versatile instrument. Creator Markus Reuter uses it as part of the dynamic group Stick Men but also in the avant-garde centrozoon. Another minimalist-style composer who employs the U8 is French-born, Austin-based C├ędric Theys. Founder of Mad Ducks Records, Theys has already released two albums this year -- Imagur as part of the duo Dim13nsion (pronounced Dimension 13) and his solo effort Eternity's Antechamber -- and both will appeal to those who enjoy ethereal soundscapes. Host Mark Ashby talked with Theys about his preference of the U8 to the Chapman Stick, his spontaneous composition style, and the other acts on his record label, which you can find at www.madducksrecords.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"We Can't Use the Sun Anymore"

"A Small Stretch of Eternity"

"Atomic Fission"

"Stepping Through Existence"

"Peaceful Plains"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 30 Sept 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_080_Stepping_Through_Existence_with_Cedric_Theys.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52am EST

Are they prog? Are they punk? Are they post-rock? Whatever box you put them in, The Fierce and the Dead will probably squeeze into it. This instrumental four-piece with guitarists Matt Stevens and Steve Cleaton, bassist Kev Feazey, and drummer Stuart Marshall have indeed created a cult following beyond their UK home, vocals be damned. Their newest EP Magnet has just been released on Bad Elephant Music, and they've been making the festival circuit in the late summer/early fall. Host Mark Ashby speaks with Stevens about the unclassifiability of TFATD, the scientific ideas that went into their album Spooky Action, and why they embrace the EP as a medium for releasing their songs. Visit them online at www.fierceandthedead.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"I Like It, I'm Into It"

"Let's Start a Cult"

"Part 1."

"Ark"

"Part 6 (The Eighth Circuit)"

"Palm Trees"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 9 Sept 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_079_Lets_Start_a_Cult_with_The_Fierce_and_the_Dead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am EST

For the second show in a row, we feature a band with a powerful woman at the microphone, although this time, the music is decidedly heavier. Stockholm's The Murder of My Sweet (Daniel Flores [drums, keyboards, vocals], Christopher Vetter [guitar], Angelica Rylin [vocals], and Patrik Jonson [bass]) released their third album Beth Out of Hell this month, and it's a dark concept album about the interplay between good and evil that shows how the world and the forces many believe control it are not necessarily black and white. Host Mark Ashby talks with Flores about the research that went into the story for the album, their acceptance of the "cinematic metal" label that was applied to them early on, and what it means to be a female-fronted band that doesn't subscribe to all the conventions many expect from that genre. Find the band online at www.themurderofmysweet.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Euthanasia"

"Always the Fugitive"

"Bleed Me Dry"

"The Awakening"

"Requiem for a Ghost"

"The Humble Servant"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 27 August 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_078_Awakening_to_The_Murder_of_My_Sweet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm EST

"Full and fat." That's how Landmarq keyboardist Mike Varty (at far right) describes his band's sound. Joined by bandmates Steve Gee [bass], Uwe D'Rose [guitar], Tracy Hitchings [vocals], and Daniel Martin [drums], Landmarq has been around since the late 80s and is therefore solidly in the neo-prog realm inhabited by IQ or Pendragon. Initially fronted by Damian Wilson, the band made the switch to a woman singer in the late 90s, a move seen as daring by some. Host Mark Ashby talked with Varty about what Hitchings brings to the group, her cancer diagnosis and recovery, and the new CD/DVD RoadSkill: Live in the Netherlands. He also plays the Tournament of Prog Keyboardists -- Who is the winner? Find them online at www.landmarq.net.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Thunderstruck"
"Turbulence"
"Entertaining Angels"
"Glowing"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 9 August 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_077_Riding_Out_the_Turbulence_with_Landmarq.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:58pm EST

The term "power trio" has become a hallowed lineup formation among prog fans who revere bands like Rush, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and King's X, among others. Centreville, Virginia's Iris Divine (guitarist/vocalist Navid Rashid, bassist Brian Dobbs, and drummer/keyboardist Kris Combs) are a prog-metal three-piece that has come out of the gate about as powerfully as a band can with their debut Karma Sown. With echoes of some of the previously-mentioned groups as well as Alice in Chains and Pantera, Iris Divine is starting to get some attention outside of the mid-Atlantic and will be touring in late July and early August on the east coast. Host Mark Ashby talked with Combs about the switch from the early days as a quartet, the interesting perks they offered for their Kickstarter campaign, and his winner in an eight-band tournament of famous power trios past (it might not be who you think!). Find the album at https://lasersedge.bandcamp.com/album/karma-sown

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Prisms"

"A Suicide Aware"

"The Everlasting Sea"

"In Spirals"

"Mother's Prayer"

"Fire of the Unknown"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 14 July 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_076_Sowing_Karma_with_Iris_Divine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51pm EST

Is art rock progressive rock, or vice versa? Or are they different styles altogether? For UK multi-instrumentalist Grice Peters, the distinction has some meaning, although his brand of melodic yet atmospheric music isn't easily classified, anyway. With leanings toward the sound of David Sylvian and his associated projects, largely because of the involvement of Sylvian's ex-bandmates Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen, Grice's new album Alexandrine is a musical journey through space from the North African dunes to the shores of the British Isles. In this interview with host Mark Ashby, Grice gives his take on the art rock label, how his youth in London prepared him for the musical path he'd later follow, and the plethora of guest musicians and producers who have helped shape the sound of his albums. Catch up with Grice on the web at www.gricemusic.co.uk.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Flaw 2 (Silica)"

"12 Syllables"

"Alexandrine"

"Frozen Water"

"Leftside"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 27 June 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_075_12_Syllables_Maybe_More_with_Grice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49pm EST

Progressive filmmaking? You might be able to apply that label to Mathew Miller, who has turned the classic IQ double-album Subterranea and turned it into a feature film that he wrote and directed. Currently making the rounds of various festivals, the film Subterranea stars an Emmy Award nominee and other Hollywood names depicted in gorgeous Montana settings to tell this tale of a twisted social experiment and its aftermath. Host Mark Ashby chatted with Miller about what brought him to this particular prog rock album when there are so many concepts out there, the band's reaction to and involvement in his project, and what else from the prog realm he'd like to be a part of bringing to a visual medium in the future. Keep up with the film at www.subterranea-movie.com and with IQ at www.iq-hq.co.uk.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Failsafe"
"Capricorn"
"Subterranea"
"Unsolid Ground"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 13 June 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_074_Mathew_Millers_High_IQ.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06am EST

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