Progtopia Archives

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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