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Syndication

Naples, Italy, has a secret, but we think everybody should know about it. The quintet Soul Secret, previously profiled in Episode 006, is back with their first concept album, called 4, and members Luca Di Gennaro (keyboards), Antonio Vittozzi (guitars), Antonio Mocerino (drums), Lino Di Pietrantonio (vocals), and Claudio Casaburi (bass) - pictured here with Neal Morse - are picking up sonically where they left off with 2011's Closer to Daylight. Combining influences into their own progressive style that includes metal, fusion, and more, this album has already received worldwide critical acclaim. Host Mark Ashby talks to Di Gennaro about the new album, its story, and how their new vocalist came to the band, among other topics. Visit them online at www.soulsecret.net.

Featured songs/excerpts: "On the Ledge" "Our Horizon" "K" "The White Stairs" "Downfall"

To listen to the first episode featuring Soul Secret, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-006-getting-closer-to-daylight-with-soul-secret

"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 29 April 2015

 

Direct download: Progtopia_071_Climbing_the_White_Stairs_with_Soul_Secret.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56pm EDT

With a name inspired by an early Marillion song, you might be surprised to know that Lisbon, Portugal's Forgotten Suns sound more like a combination of Pink Floyd and Symphony X. Members Ernesto Rodrigues (keyboards), João Samora (drums), Ricardo Falcão (guitars), Nuno Correia (bass), and Nio Nunes (vocals) play a brand of progressive metal that is refreshing in its stress on melody instead of overly-complex technique and its liberal use of spoken word samples to create often-epic-length works that include their newest album When Worlds Collide, released in March on Premiere Music. Host Mark Ashby talked with Falcão about the change in style for the band from their first two albums until now, why their songs tend to be longer, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of being located in out-of-the-way Portugal as a prog band. Find them online at www.premiere-music.net.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"When Worlds Collide"
"Doppelganger"
"Mind Over Matter"
"News"
"Rise & Fall"
"Fortress of Silence"
"The Road to Nowhere pt. 1"

"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 April 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_070_Inside_Forgotten_Suns_Fortress_of_Silence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35am EDT

It's not that difficult, we promise. This Swedish sextet currently comprising Jonas Engdegård and Tord Lindman on guitars, Johan Brand on bass, Anna Holmgren on flute and saxophone, Linus Kåse on keyboards and Erik Hammarström on drums is set to tour Europe in April with their style of progressive rock that hearkens back to the classic sound of early King Crimson and Genesis with modern production values (but still with mellotrons!). Host Mark Ashby chatted with Engdegård and Brand about the upcoming concerts, why they chose not to translate their song titles into English (or any other language), and which country they think has a great set of fans, and why. They're online at www.anglagardrecords.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Ur Vilande"
"Jordrök"
"Sorgmantel"
"Längtans Klocka"

"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 29 March 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_069_Everyone_Say_Anglagard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11am EDT

The name makes them sound like they should be a Norwegian doom outfit with long blond hair and indecipherable growling vocals. While they are somewhat heavy, Odin's Court can best be described as fitting into the niche where Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden meet. The Maryland quintet comprises Dimetrius LaFavors on lead vocals, Jeff Pierpont on bass, Matt Brookins on guitars, keys, and backing vocals, Rick Pierpont on guitar, and Gary Raub on drums (Jeff Sauber - pictured), and their new album Turtles All the Way Down has just been released. Host Mark Ashby talked with Brookins about their influences, the reason that he recently brought in a new lead vocalist when he had been handling those duties for years, and the concepts behind the current and past albums. You'll find them online at www.odinscourtband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Back Where the Daffodils Grow"
"The Warmth of Mediocrity"
"Mammonific"
"...But What's the Question?"
"Box of Dice (Does God Play?)"
"Turtles All the Way Down Part 3"

"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 19 Mar 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_068_All_the_Way_Down_with_Odins_Court.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

Twenty years is a long time for any band to be together, but to keep the same lineup over that time is rarer still. In the case of California's Rocket Scientists (Erik Norlander [keyboards/vocals], Don Schiff [bass, stick, bowed string instruments], Mark McCrite [guitar/lead vocals]), their cohesiveness is attributable, they say, to mutual respect and a disinclination to reject each other's ideas. They released two albums in 2014, the all-instrumental EP Supernatural Highways and the full-length Refuel, with traces of Yes, the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, and other more pop elements present in a toe-tapping mixture. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Norlander and Schiff about how they all met and began making music together, the reason behind all the videos they've released recently, and the lucky break Schiff got when looking to buy a cello. You'll find the band online at www.thetank.com. Featured songs/excerpts: "Galileo" "Regenerate" "Traveler on the Supernatural Highways" "She's Getting Hysterical" "It's Over" "Cheshire Cat Smile" "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 28 Feb 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_067_Refuel_and_Regenerate_with_the_Rocket_Scientists.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EDT

A producer for Pink Floyd striking out on his own with a work bearing his name. Is this 1976 and Alan Parsons we're talking about? No, indeed. We're in the present day, and the twice-Grammy-nominated producer (A Momentary Lapse of Reason, The Division Bell) that we're talking about is Andy Jackson. Fresh off his production work on the band's latest (and likely last) effort The Endless River, Jackson has released a new album of his own, perhaps appropriately for a recording engineer titled Signal to Noise. While not his debut solo work, it is his first in years, and host Mark Ashby spoke with Jackson about the new work and the influences he brought to bear on it, the challenges of putting together The Endless River from pre-existing work without the benefit of the late Richard Wright being around to record new parts, and what it was like to work with Pink Floyd during Roger Waters' final years with the band. He can be found online at www.andyjacksonmusic.com. *** "Whilst the ethos of the engineer does make a difference to the sound of the final thing ..., what really makes [Pink Floyd] sound like them is their choices and their arrangements and their aesthetic. ... We are enablers." Featured songs/excerpts: "Brownian Motion" "One More Push" "Spray Paint" "The Boy in the Forest" "Herman at the Fountain" "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 January 2015

Direct download: Progtopia_065_Spray_Painting_with_Andy_Jackson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm EDT

The world of progressive music is truly global, as interesting, challenging, rewarding songs can be found everywhere. Israeli stringed-instrumentalist Yossi Sassi is a shining example of that, as he not only incorporates Mediterranean sounds into his work, but as he's said elsewhere, no matter where a stringed instrument can be found in the world, "I will find you, and I will play you." A founding and long-time member of oriental metal pioneers Orphaned Land (profiled in Episode 034), Sassi recently struck out on his own, this year releasing his second solo album, Desert Butterflies. Host Mark Ashby talked about his eclectic style, the connection between his family roots and the kind of music he creates and seeks out (and why he won't move away from his native land for bigger opportunities), and his own unique instrument, the bouzoukitara, among many other topics. Find him online at www.yossisassi.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Orient Sun"
"Cocoon"
"Drive"
"Fata Morgana"
"Believe"

To hear the interview with Orphaned Land's vocalist Kobi Farhi, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-034-for-orphaned-land-all-is-one

"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 December 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_064_Yossi_Sassi_and_the_Rise_of_the_Orient_Sun.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm EDT

Female-fronted metal bands are often expected to have a certain sound. Their singers are expected to cite the likes of Cristina Scabbia or Sharon den Adel as their main influences. That's not what you'll find from Whitehall, Pennsylvania's, MindMaze. Joining sibling duo Sarah (vocals) and Jeff (guitar) Teets are drummer Kalin Schweizerhof and live bassist Rich Pasqualone in a combo that is forging its own identity with its two albums to date, Mask of Lies (2013) and this October's Back from the Edge. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond sat in on the new album, which is one of the topics host Mark Ashby talked about with Sarah and Jeff, as well as their early days under a different name, what it's like being family members who write together, and the double-edged sword that is the existence of a metal band with a woman at the microphone. You can find them online at www.mindmazeband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Back from the Edge"
"The Machine Stops"
"This Holy War"
"Through the Open Door"
"Onward (Destiny Calls 2)"
"Consequence of Choice"

"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 23 November 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_063_MindMaze_Walks_Through_the_Open_Door.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm EDT

Ambient music is often misunderstood. Since the songs often deviate from traditional compositional forms, some might think it's easy to create it. German/Swiss trio centrozoon prove that when musicians go beyond improvisation to "composing in the moment," the result is anything but simple or repeatable. Tobias Reber (electronics), Markus Reuter (touch guitar), and Bernhard Wöstheinrich (synthesizers, electronics) create tonal sculptures that challenge and engage in ways that traditional music cannot. Host Mark Ashby talked with Reber and Wöstheinrich about their enjoyment in wordplay, what it means to "play the wrong notes," how to turn a laptop into an instrument, and news about their brand new album The Room of Plenty. Find them an www.centrozoon.de and www.centrozoon.bandcamp.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Paalm"
"Aarooma"
"tales of children in trees"
"Hoorn"
"Tooong"
"Plaan"

For previous episodes featuring centrozoon's Markus Reuter, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-018-markus-reuter-more-than-just-a-stick-man and http://progtopia.libsyn.com/backstage-pass-1-markus-reuter-more-than-just-a-stick-man-part-2

"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 10 Nov 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_062_centrozoons_Room_of_Plain_Tea.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Every band claims at least some degree of uniqueness. Few actually achieve it. New York's Braindance not only sound like little else out there, they coined a new term to describe their sound: progressive darkwave. Melding elements of prog metal, goth, new age, and more, guitarist Vora Vor and vocalist Sebastian Elliott have been building a devoted fan base since the early 90s, and although they only have four releases, they obviously believe in quality over quantity. Their newest concept album, Master of Disguise, was released recently in an eye-catching package complete with 16-page comic, and features their signature blend of styles plus samples from film and television to advance the story of an alternate reality from our own. Mark Ashby spoke with Elliott about the multiple terms he once used to describe the band before landing on progressive darkwave, the finances involved in being an independent artist marketing his own work, his take on the differences between New York's and LA's progressive metal music scenes, and the type of fans that "get" Braindance's music. They're online at www.progressivedarkwave.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Valley of the Kings Chapter I: Beyond"
"Written in Stone"
"Only a Moment"
"The Game"
"Lost"
"Entombed"

"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 29 Oct 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_061_Only_a_Moment_with_Braindance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53am EDT

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