Progtopia Archives

In a testament to the idea of following one's muse, the Burlington, Vermont-based Elephants of Scotland (Adam Rabin [keyboards, vocals], Dan MacDonald [bass, vocals], John Whyte [guitar, vocals], and Ornan McLean [drums]) have defied the jam-band ethos of their area and forged ahead with their progressive sounds and memorable tunes. With two albums already in their discography and a live album planned, the group played this year's RoSfest in Pennsylvania and are looking to perform more widely, especially in Montreal. Host Mark Ashby talked with MacDonald, Rabin, McLean, and lyricist Greg Skillman about the reasons behind the fast pace of album releases, what old and new prog bands have commanded their attention, and how an encounter with the singer from Toad the Wet Sprocket inspired a track from their newest work Execute and Breathe. They can be found online at www.elephantsofscotland.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Starboard"
"Home Away from Home"
"Geograph"
"The Other Room"
"Mousetrap"
"Boxless"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 21 July 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_055_In_the_Other_Room_with_Elephants_of_Scotland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EST

As Arjen Lucassen has proven, you can indeed make a career out of concept albums. With three works under their belts, Australia's Anubis is well on its way to doing the same. The seven-piece monster (Dean Bennison [guitar], Martyn Cook [wind instruments], David Eaton [keyboards], Robert James Moulding [vocals], Steve Eaton [drums], Douglas Skene [guitar], Anthony Stewart [bass]) released their most recent album, Hitchhiking to Byzantium, in May 2014, and while not plot-driven like their previous efforts 230503 and A Tower of Silence, it is still a series of connected songs, as host Mark Ashby learned in his interview with Moulding, David Eaton, and Skene. They also talked about the night of drinking that led to the initial idea for honoring a lost friend that became 230503, why they choose to write thematically, and upcoming live shows like their supporting slot with Anathema. You can find them online at www.anubismusic.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"A Room with a View"
"Partitionists"
"Leaving Here Tonight"
"Hitchhiking to Byzantium"
"A King with No Crown"
"Dead 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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including Anubis. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 6 July 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_054_Anubis_Hitchhikes_to_Byzantium.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am EST

While by no means a common instrument in progressive circles, the violin has still been part of many influential bands over the years as more than just occasional coloration. A good case in point is the UK band Curved Air, whose 1970s lineup included violinist Darryl Way as a key contributor. While Way has since moved on from the group to projects like his classical band Verisma, he's also released a couple of solo projects in recent years that showcase his talents in different settings: 2013's Ultra Violins being more of a traditional classical work, and this spring's Children of the Cosmos a return to his progressive roots. Way spoke with host Mark Ashby about his earlier years as member of Curved Air, his collaborative projects with the likes of Sting and Tim Rice, how he views composition in the various genres he works in, and more. He can be located online at www.darrylway.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Lagan Love"
"Children of the Cosmos"
"It Happened Today" (Curved Air)
"Polovtsian Dances"
"Spooks"
"Summer of Love"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 22 June 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_053_Darryl_Way_Child_of_the_Cosmos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:59pm EST

If you take the musicianship of Anubis Gate, the soaring themes of Vanden Plas, the accessibility of Rush, and the vocal stylings of Peter Steele, you might find yourself listening to the Australian quintet Voyager. With the impending release of their latest album V, the power-prog-pop metal band (Scott Kay [guitar], Alex Canion [bass/backing vocals], Daniel Estrin [keyboards/lead vocals], Ashley Doodkorte [drums], and Simone Dow [guitar]) is once again taking the world by storm with their instantly-memorable melodies and lyrics. They'll tour the major Australian cities in July, play ProgPower Europe in October, and hopefully more of the world in the months to follow. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Canion about the new release and the accompanying video for "Hyperventilating," his transition from fan of the band to a member, and why it's not a problem for him when critics claim they're "too pop" for a metal band. They're online at www.voyager-australia.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"I am the ReVolution"
"Breaking Down"
"Iron Dream (In Memoriam - Peter Steele)"
"Hyperventilating"
"The Morning Light"
"The Meaning of I"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including Voyager. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 26 May 2014


Who says the bass player gets no respect? Certainly not Julie Slick and Marco Machera, otherwise known as J + M, who will be releasing their first album - Fourth Dementia - within the next month or so. Slick, member of the Adrian Belew Power Trio and the Crimson ProjecKt, has teamed up with Machera (previously featured on a Progtopia Friday Finds show) to create eight instrumental tracks that span progressive, jazz, and experimental styles that often remind a listener of King Crimson but also contain much that is unique to this talented pairing. Host Mark Ashby talked with both bassists about how their long-distance partnership came to be, what it's like to be a part of the Crimson family tree, and if there's a glass ceiling in the rock music business or not. Their websites are www.julieslick.com and www.marcomachera.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Esteem"
"Infinity x 1"
"Feck You Op"
"1986"
"Krush"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 10 June 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_052_Krushing_Grooves_with_J__M.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16pm EST

Flutes and yodels don't find a home in many genres, but luckily for fans of those musical expressions, prog rock is open to them, perhaps never exemplified better than in the music of Dutch quartet Focus. Having been around for over 40 years with some breaks in between, the current lineup consists of Menno Gootjes (guitar), Bobby Jacobs (bass), Pierre van der Linden (drums), and Thijs van Leer (keyboards, flute, vocals). They've just released an album of reimagined takes of past songs called Golden Oldies (though some aren't so old), and they're touring this year in support of it. Host Mark Ashby talked with original member van Leer about the making of their iconic song "Hocus Pocus," influences from classical and classic rock musicians, and why only one band really counts as progressive rock in his view -- and it's not his own. Find them on the web at www.focustheband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"House of the King"
"Focus 1"
"Hocus Pocus"
"Sylvia"
"Aya Yippie Hippie Yee"
"Brother"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 6 May 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_050_Forty_Years_in_Focus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59pm EST

Many classic bands, prog and otherwise, got their start in the late '60s; very few have made a continuously successful run from then until now. Among those fortunate and talented few are the UK quartet Wishbone Ash, whose latest studio album Blue Horizon has recently been released. The foursome (Joe Crabtree [drums], Muddy Manninen [guitar], Bob Skeat [bass], and founding member Andy Powell [guitar]) are mounting a tour of parts of the US beginning on the 15th of April in support of the album. In advance of that, host Mark Ashby spoke with drummer Crabtree about his arrival in the band several years ago as someone who had been alive less time than the band had been active, the diverse styles exhibited through their catalog and even within one album, and the recently-decided lawsuit against former member Martin Turner, among many other topics. Find the band online at www.wishboneash.com and Crabtree at www.joecrabtree.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"All There Is to Say"
"American Century"
"Warrior"
"Take It Back"
"Being 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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 10 April 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_049_Wishbone_Ash_Takes_It_Back.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm EST

Singer, label CEO, even coffeemaker. Nightmare Records' head honcho Lance King fits all these labels and more, but despite that, he's not easily labeled at all. Vocalist for Pyramaze, Balance of Power, and others, since 1990 he's been at the helm of his own company, signing more awesome bands than you can shake a microphone at. Along with members of Anubis Gate (Episode 001), King released his first (and so far only) solo album A Moment in Chiros in 2011, a conceptual work that leans heavily on numerology and spiritual enlightenment yet still rocks hard. Host Mark Ashby talked with King about the sequence of events that led him to start Nightmare Records, the thought process that went into his solo album (and when there might be another one), and how he progressed from a New Age-type of upbringing to a brand of Christianity that, while perhaps not mainstream, is no less deeply felt. The websites to visit are www.nightmarerecords.com and www.lancekingvox.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Infinity Divine"
"Sacred Systems"
"A Moment in Chiros"
"Awakening"
"Joy Everlasting"

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre including Lance King and many other Nightmare Records artists. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 5 March 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_048_Lance_King_Living_on_Chiros_Time.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm EST

Steve Hackett is at it again. Back by popular demand, he's on the road with his bandmates on what he calls the Genesis Extended tour, bringing sell-out crowds classic songs from his time with the seminal art-rock band, including "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight," "The Lamia," and "Supper's Ready," plus a few tracks not heard on his previous tour stops. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Hackett prior to the opening show of the tour in Washington about the kinship progressive rock has with classical and jazz music, why it's important - but difficult - to surprise himself musically (and why it's hard not to "steal"), and those pesky Genesis reunion rumors that seem to crop up from time to time. Visit www.hackettsongs.com for tour dates in the US and Europe through 2014.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"...In That Quiet Earth"
"Fly on the Windshield"
"The Return of the Giant Hogweed"
"Shadow of the Hierophant"
"Horizons"

To listen to the first Progtopia interview with Steve Hackett, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-020-steve-hackett-revisits-the-classics

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 30 March 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_Backstage_Pass_03_Steve_Hacketts_Library_of_Unattached_Ideas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am EST

Direct download: Progtopia_047_Anneke_van_Giersbergens_Unstoppable_Drive.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04am EST

Direct download: Progtopia_046_Touchstone_Sails_on_the_Oceans_of_Time.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57pm EST

In Episode 017 back in September 2012, we heard from Eric Blackwood of the American/English duo Edison's Children. For this first episode of 2014, not only is Blackwood returning to discuss the band's recent release of The Final Breath Before November, his partner Pete Trewavas (also of Marillion and Transatlantic) joins the conversation. With the help of an extremely supportive fan base, the band was able to follow Marillion's model of pre-orders funding the production of the music, which is just one of the topics discussed with host Mark Ashby in this show. You'll also hear about their more mellow approach to songwriting and playing, and what led to Trewavas's almost missing TWO flights home when the band was in its formative days (hint: the police were involved). The band is online at www.edisonschildren.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Final Breath"
"Silhouette - vii. What Did You Want?"
"Light Years"
"Silhouette - viii. The Seventh Sign"
"Silhouette - xii. Music for the End Credits of an Existence"

To hear the first Edison's Children episode on Progtopia, go to http://progtopia.podomatic.com/entry/2012-09-28T05_38_50-07_00.

"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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 13 January 2014

Direct download: Progtopia_045_The_Second_Coming_of_Edisons_Children.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50pm EST

Direct download: Progtopia_044_Sonic_Sensations_in_the_Factory_of_Dreams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EST

Direct download: Progtopia_043_Through_the_Electronic_Borderlands_with_Ian_Boddy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EST

Countless progressive artists have released conceptual works; relatively few of them sound like they truly belong on Broadway. In the case of Arjen Lucassen's Ayreon, however, many fans would pay a month's salary for the chance to see one of the prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist's albums coming to life on stage. Ayreon's most recent effort is entitled The Theory of Everything, and in the spirit of past albums, a stellar cast of well-known musicians and singers brings the story of a father's quest for scientific glory and the savant son who can help him achieve it, but at a potentially catastrophic cost to his family. Lucassen spoke with host Mark Ashby about the research involved in coming up with his stories, the process of writing and rewriting his many works thus far, the prog rock gods and goddesses who are involved in the new album, and whether or not fans might someday see this or another Ayreon album under the bright lights. His website is www.arjenlucassen.com.

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Quantum Chaos"
"Magnetism"
"Merlin's Will"
"Beneath the Waves"
"Love and Envy/Progressive Waves"
"Transformation/Collision"
"The Theory of Everything 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. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Ayreon. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 23 November 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_042_Arjen_Lucassens_Theories_of_Everything.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm EST

At about age 20, he joined his father's legendary band, Tangerine Dream. Sixteen years later, he departed to forge his own musical identity. As a child, the guitarist/keyboardist/composer Jerome Froese was the face displayed on many a TD album cover, but he's done much since then, with a sizeable discography that includes his current project with another former TD member - Johannes Schmoelling - and Robert Waters. Called Loom, the band has released two EPs that have sold out their print runs, performed live (and recorded a concert album), and now are planning a full studio album to come out by Christmas 2013. Host Mark Ashby talked with Froese about the story behind why he might have been considered Tangerine Dream's good luck charm, the factors that led to both his joining and his leaving TD, the criticism he and the band faced during his tenure (and even before that), Loom's current and future plans, and much more. He can be found on the web at www.jeromefroese.com and his webshop www.cybersounds.org.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Streethawk 2012" (Loom)
"Big City Dwarves" (Tangerine Dream)
"Prime Time" (Tangerine Dream)
"Towards the Evening Star" (Tangerine Dream)
"Playing for Penalties" (solo)
"A Long Time Ago" (Loom)
"Meng Tian" (Tangerine Dream)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 10 Nov 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_041_The_Looming_Artistry_of_Jerome_Froese.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25am EST

Is it possible for great prog music to be both modern and "retro"? The Flower Kings prove that the answer is yes. Sweden's fantastic five-piece (Felix Lehrmann [drums], Tomas Bodin [keyboards], Roine Stolt [guitar/vocals], Jonas Reingold [bass], Hasse Fröberg [guitar/vocals]) has just released their 12th studio album, Desolation Rose, on Inside Out, and keeping in the band's tradition, they've mixed the best sounds of the past with the technology of the present; perhaps no one does it better. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Stolt -- one of the busiest musicians in the prog realm, it seems, with other projects like Transatlantic and Agents of Mercy -- about the band's creative approach in the studio (involving reel-to-reel decks!), his history as a musician from the '70s through the present, the social and political themes explored on Desolation Rose, and upcoming live shows including the Progressive Nation at Sea cruise. Find the Flower Kings on the web at www.flowerkings.se, and the Progressive Nation cruise at www.progressivenationatsea.com.

Featured tracks/excerpts:

"Dark Fascist Skies"
"Going Up"
"Sleeping Bones"
"White Tuxedos"
"Tower ONE"

Progtopia's website (www.progtopia.com) now contains all archived episodes and shorter "Friday Finds" programs featuring one song each from two different prog artists. Also please "like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 28 Oct 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_040_Flower_Kings_in_White_Tuxedos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23pm EST

Progressive music celebrates its virtuoso performers, but we as fans shouldn't lose sight of the visionaries who often bring these talents together. French keyboardist and composer Vivien Lalu is one of those people. With his bands Lalu and Shadrane, he's brought together members of bands like Stratovarius, DGM, Symphony X, Mekong Delta, and even Dream Theater for releases like September 2013's Atomic Ark (Sensory), and the resulting music -- whether rooted in a fictional WWII world or lamenting the plight of abused animals -- is nothing short of inspiring. Host Mark Ashby talks with Lalu about his upbringing surrounded by his parents' progressive music, how he brings together such amazing bandmates, what movie he and Mark both had the same reaction to, and the animal rescue charity you can support by buying the new Lalu album. Visit him on the web at www.vivienlalu.com, and to learn more about the charity Alerte SOS, go to www.alertesos.com (French-language).

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Tatonka"
"Revelations"
"Bast"
"Lanterns Dance" (Shadrane)
"Greed"
"Momento"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Shadrane and Lalu. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 12 Oct 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_039_Revelations_from_Vivien_Lalu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EST

The UK proggers Haken (rhymes with "bacon", please) are one of those groups that started off their career at a run and haven't stopped since. Featuring members of other bands like To-Mera (Episode 019), Richard Henshall (guitars and keyboards), Charlie Griffiths (guitars), Tom Maclean (bass), Ross Jennings (vocals), Ray Hearne (drums), and Diego Tejeida (keyboards) have just released their third album The Mountain on Inside Out. The band is supporting the long-anticipated release with some tour dates that include ProgPower Europe and, in February 2014, the Progressive Nation at Sea cruise. Progtopia's host Mark Ashby spoke by phone with chief songwriter Henshall about the new album, the buzz surrounding them from their earliest days, the varied influences on the band members, and why bassist Maclean reminds him of an angel. Visit them on the web at www.hakenmusic.com, and for more on the Progressive Nation cruise, go to www.progressivenationatsea.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Pareidolia"
"Cockroach King"
"Portals"
"In Memoriam"
"Somebody"
"Falling Back to Earth"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Haken. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 19 Sept 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_038_Climbing_the_Mountain_with_Haken.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:58pm EST

The term "symphonic power prog" is virtually synonymous with the veteran quintet Kamelot -- and anyone who argues with you about the band being at the pinnacle of the genre simply doesn't have a clue. The American/German/Swedish band is currently touring North America with Delain and Eklipse in support of 2012's Silverthorn, their first with new vocalist Tommy Karevik, with more dates coming in Europe this November. Progtopia host Mark Ashby caught up with guitarist and original member Thomas Youngblood prior to their show at the Baltimore Soundstage to talk about Kamelot's two decades as a band, their use of female talent, Tommy's integration into the group, and how they reacted to the news that their keyboardist was expecting his first child during this leg of the tour. For tour dates, tickets, and more information on the band, like their Facebook page and visit www.kamelot.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"My Confession"
"Torn"
"Song for Jolee"
"Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)"
"Veritas"
"Falling Like the Fahrenheit"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Kamelot. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 5 Sept 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_Backstage_Pass_02_Kamelot_Rising_Like_the_Fahrenheit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EST

By its very sound, metal music lends itself to dark subject matter. That's nothing new. But Chicago's Divinity Compromised takes a particularly cerebral approach to topics like the abuses of fundamental religion, our future extinction as a species -- even Jack the Ripper -- on their debut album A World Torn, released in March 2013. The band (Jeff Treadwell [lead guitar], Mike Mousel [drums], Vito Marchese [guitar, no longer a member], Ben Johnson [guitar, keyboards], Andy Bunk [bass], Lothar Keller [vocals]) answered the call from the ProgPower USA promoters to fill the spot opened up after Reinxeed dropped out, so those of you attending the premier progressive metal festival in America from September 4-7 can catch them on Saturday to open the day's music. Progtopia's Mark Ashby spoke with Treadwell, Bunk, and Keller about the band's history and writing approach, how they almost missed the phone call asking them to be part of ProgPower, and whether having a keyboardist in the band automatically makes you prog. They're on the web at www.divinitycompromised.net.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"When Myth Becomes Truth"
"The Guardians of Ki"
"Children of a Dead God"
"Descent into Madness"
"A World Torn Apart"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Divinity Compromised. Thanks for listening!

Originally published 29 Aug 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_037_Divinity_Compromised_Tears_the_World_Apart.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm EST

If you're a long-time listener of the show, or if you've dug into the archives, you'll recognize The Mariana Hollow from one of our first episodes, posted shortly after the release of their second album Velvet Black Sky in February 2012. In this first Progtopia Planetary Premiere, the London five-piece returns, as Richie Walden (guitar), Scott Chesworth (bass), Gabriel Moreira (guitar), Adam Stanley (drums), and Rebecca "Spinky" Spinks (vocals) unleash their EP "Scars, Not Wounds" on the world on August 23rd. You'll hear their new track "The Unburned" exclusively on this program (Game of Thrones fans should especially like this one!), as well as another interview where host Mark Ashby discusses with them the change in membership on lead guitar and the compositional changes that came with it, the video documentary they've put together in conjunction with the EP, and how it makes them feel when they're compared with other prog metallers, plus much more. Their website is www.themarianahollow.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Second to None"
"Knife to the Throat"
"The Line of Fire and Blood"
"The Unburned"
"Scars, Not Wounds"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like The Mariana Hollow. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 16 Aug 2013


Sometimes you don't even need vocals to create a powerful progressive rock album. Evergrey guitarist Marcus Jidell has proven that with his debut solo album Pictures from a Time Traveller, due out on August 16 from Lion Music. The Swedish shredder taps into the more familiar metal terrain as well as exotic Middle Eastern and other ethnic sounds to create a rich tapestry of sound that transports you not just through time, but space, to places as diverse as the extreme north and the deserts of Egypt. Jidell spoke with host Mark Ashby about his varied influences and how they inform his compositional style, the reasons he held off on releasing this album for a few years, and how joining Evergrey was a question of being in the right place at the right time. Visit Marcus online at www.marcusjidell.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:

"Tesla World System"

"Rei Zan"

"El Amarna (Ruins of Akhetaton)"

"Arctica"

"Wedding Song"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Evergrey. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 8 Aug 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_036_Traveling_Through_Time_with_Marcus_Jidell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EST

Southern California-based duo Days Between Stations (Sepand Samzadeh and Oscar Fuentes) met through a magazine advertisement, and in the decade or so since, they've released two albums of instrumentally-driven music that Samzadeh has called "art rock" and Fuentes "post-prog." No matter what you call it, their music, including new release In Extremis (featuring a cover by Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator artist Paul Whitehead), is a testament to the best of 21st-century progressive rock -- dynamic solos, orchestral arrangements, and epic tracks with classic instrumentation. The new album was co-produced by Billy Sherwood and features as guest musicians Tony Levin, Colin Moulding, Rick Wakeman, and the late Peter Banks in some of his last recorded output. Host Mark Ashby talked with Samzadeh about the early days of the band and their involvement with the Pineapple Thief, how they enlisted the help of so many well-known proggers, and why Samzadeh himself has only recently considered himself a prog musician, among many more subjects. Visit them on the web at www.daysbetweenstations.com.

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Visionary"
"No Cause for Alarm"
"The Man Who Died Two Times"
"Eggshell Man"
"In Extremis"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 28 July 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_035_The_Visionaries_of_Days_Between_Stations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm EST

"Oriental metal" is a term that has become more widely-applied in recent years as bands from the Middle East have gained prominence, but perhaps no band personifies the style more than the pioneers of the genre, Israel's Orphaned Land. For two decades, the quintet has combined the aggression of metal, the intricate nature of progressive rock, and the melodies and languages of their region into a sound that both defies easy description and brings people from many different cultures and religions together, even in countries where their music is considered subversive and is banned. Always highly political in their message, Orphaned Land (Chen Balbus [guitar], Uri Zelha [bass], Kobi Farhi [vocals], Yossi Sassi [guitar], and Matan Shmuely [drums]) has recently released their album All Is One on Century Media, with tracks designed to make you consider what it is that separates you from your fellow human beings and why those differences ultimately don't matter. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Farhi about the band's stance on religion and politics, the concepts behind their albums, how Orphaned Land has become an underground code among fans, and the effort by those fans to nominate the band for the Nobel Peace Prize. Find them on the Internet at www.orphaned-land.com.

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Ya Benaye"
"A Call to Awake"
"The Simple Man"
"Our Own Messiah"
"Fail"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Orphaned Land. Thanks for listening!

Originally 12 July 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_034_For_Orphaned_Land_All_Is_One.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm EST

When you hear the last name Collins in the context of progressive rock, the first name most will come up with is Phil. That could change very soon, as his singing-and-drumming son Simon is adding to his musical output of solo albums like U-Catastrophe with his new band project Sound of Contact. For the band's debut album Dimensionaut, Collins is joined by keyboardist Dave Kerzner and bassist/guitarist Matt Dorsey, as well as Kelly Nordstrom on guitar in the studio and drummer Ronen Gordon and guitarist Randy McStine in concert. Having wrapped a European tour with Spock's Beard and Beardfish in May, the band will embark on a North American set of shows they're dubbing Bring the Prog Back tour, joined by various support acts in different cities. Host Mark Ashby spoke with Collins and Kerzner about the BtPB tour, the influence of the likes of Carl Sagan on the concept of Dimensionaut, the support Collins' famous dad has provided over the years, and their approach to working with so many of progressive rock's royalty (hint: they're people just like us). Visit www.soundofcontact.com for news and tour/festival dates.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Cosmic Distance Ladder"
"Pale Blue Dot"
"Not Coming Down"
"Only Breathing Out"
"Möbius Slip: Part IV - All Worlds All Times"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 28 June 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_033_Sound_of_Contact_Is_Not_Coming_Down.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EST

It's not unprecedented for a band to break up in dramatic fashion, but events of the past couple of years have torn apart the fabric that has been woven by hard-rock heroes Queensrÿche. Having had their salad days with albums like Operation: Mindcrime and Empire, the band split last year with long-time vocalist Geoff Tate, and subsequently two versions of the group -- both carrying the Queensrÿche name -- have coalesced. Prior to a judge's decision in November as to which entity gets to conduct business under the band name, they're each releasing albums, the first of which was Frequency Unknown by Tate's group. Featuring several well-known guests, the album is being supported by a spring and summer tour through the US and Canada. During a break between concert stops, Tate phoned in to speak with host Mark Ashby about the new album and the band he's assembled, the legal issues he's embroiled in with his former bandmates, why he's not a media watcher, and how he sees the art of music as distinct from the business of music, plus much more, including his Insania wine label. Find them on the internet at www.queensryche.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Running Backwards"
"Give It to You"
"Jet City Woman"
"Cold"
"In the Hands of God"
"Silent Lucidity"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Queensrÿche. Thanks for listening!

Originally published 3 June 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_032_In_the_Hands_of_Geoff_Tate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm EST

Mr. Mister and King Crimson. If this were 1987, you might wonder what those two seemingly different rock bands would ever have in common. If this were 1995, you'd know that, as strange as it may seem from an outside perspective, the drummer of the former would join the latter. Pat Mastelotto has had a long and varied career in many more projects than the two listed here (XTC, the Rembrandts, and more recently Stick Men), and along the way he's impressed at every turn. While King Crimson has morphed into the Crimson ProjecKt, Pat is still very much active in the prog scene among his many other session-musician and touring duties, and host Mark Ashby spoke with him about his years in the business, his integration into Crim's double-trio lineup of the mid-90s, how he tried to lobby Robert Fripp to fill in for a missing guitarist during a UK tour with Chrysta Bell, why collaborating with lesser-known musicians can be better creatively than working with more-famous types, and much more. Find Pat online at http://patmastelotto.com.

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Smudge" (Stick Men)
"No Words to Say" (Mr. Mister)
"B'Boom/THRAK" (Crimson ProjecKt)
"Kataklazm" (Ktu)
"On/Off" (Stick Men)
"Melrose Ave." (California Guitar Trio)

You can also listen to the Progtopia podcasts featuring Mastelotto's Stick Men bandmate Markus Reuter at the following links: http://progtopia.podomatic.com/entry/2012-10-12T13_07_57-07_00 and http://progtopia.podomatic.com/entry/2013-04-05T06_53_27-07_00

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 22 May 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_031_Pat_Mastelottos_Traps_and_Buttons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01pm EST

As soon as you hear that a son has followed in his famous father's musical footsteps and achieved success, you know the skeptics out there will slyly suggest nepotism or favoritism of some sort. If you suspect that in the case of keyboardist Adam Wakeman, we're here to tell you...you're wrong. Sure, he started his career releasing albums with his famous father Rick, but the fact that he's performed with so many well-known artists and has even written tracks with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne should attest to him earning his place by his own voluminous talent. In the midst of his many responsibilities, Wakeman found time to write and record the album I Am Anonymous with his band Headspace (Wakeman, Damian Wilson [vocals], Lee Pomeroy [bass], Richard Brook [drums], and Pete Rinaldi [guitar]), released in May 2012. Drawing inspiration from the work of psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the five-years-in-the-making album shows off the prog chops of all of its members in epic-length tracks that run hot and cool when needed and will leave you in no doubt that Wakeman has done his family name proud. Host Mark Ashby spoke with him while on tour in the Far East about his feelings bearing the mantle of Wakeman the Son, the camaraderie among Headspace's members, how he feels working in many different genres, and what Ozzy had to say about some complex tunes Wakeman brought to the writing sessions for the Scream album. Find the band online at www.headspaceonline.com and Wakeman at www.adamwakeman.co.uk.

Featured tracks/excerpts:
"Stalled Armageddon"
"Fall of America"
"Invasion"
"Daddy Fucking Loves You"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like Headspace. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 12 May 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_030_Adam_Wakeman_and_Headspace_Theyre_Not_Anonymous.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52pm EST

The Knights of the Round Table have been part of Anglo-Saxon legend for a millennium, with their stories told and retold, reshaped and reformed over those centuries. But leaving the comedic genius of Monty Python aside, most versions of the search for the Holy Grail have hewed fairly closely to what we must assume is the original tale. Swedish composer and musician Anton Johannson (formely of Mister Kite), however, has taken the story of Sir Galahad and considered what it might be like if Galahad had decided not to be the completely pure soul his family had selected him to be. The result, Anton Johannson's Galahad Suite, will be released on May 11 as a digital download by Lion Music. In this interview, host Mark Ashby speaks with Johannson about the (very) long gestation period for the album, the cast of musicians he selected to help him bring his concept to reality, and what the progressive music scene is like in Sweden these days. Visit www.galahadsuite.com for more information and links to the project's YouTube and Facebook pages.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Morning Sun - The Battle"
"Never Alone - The Victory"
"Galahad - The Hope"
"The End Is Near" (Mister Kite)
"Somewhere - The Quest"
"Coming Home - The Reward"
"Happy - The Incident"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 26 April 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_029_Anton_Johansson_and_the_Quest_for_the_Holy_Grail.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EST

If you follow the prog-metal scene, you know that Italy is home to many of the best bands in the genre. Perhaps no band is a better example of this type than DGM. The five members (bassist Andrea Arcangeli, keyboardist Emanuele Casali, singer Mark Basile, drummer Fabio Costantino, and guitarist Simone Mularoni) have just released their new album Momentum on Scarlet Records, and fans of their fast-and-furious but still melodic approach will no doubt be pleased with the eleven single-word tracks that grab you and don't let go. The veteran band is hitting the road this year to support the album, and host Mark Ashby spoke with Mularoni about what the letters in the band name mean, how he came to be a part of the group, his strong ideas when it comes to composition, and why the term "prog 'n' roll" suits their music just fine. Visit them online at www.dgmsite.com for news and merchandise, and Simone's Domination Studio at www.dominationstudio.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Void"
"Living on the Edge"
"Unkept Promises"
"Reason"
"Trust"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Please also visit our partner stations IAAM Radio at www.itsallaboutmusic.net and PRM Radio at www.progrockandmetal.net, where you can listen to and request songs hundreds of bands in the genre, including many featured on Progtopia like DGM. Thanks for listening!

Originally posted 12 April 2013

Direct download: Progtopia_028_DGM_Has_Momentum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm EST

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