Progtopia Archives

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

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