Personal Signet on Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Personal Signet

Raw and uniquely sounding guitars merging with strong vocal melodies accompanied by top-level musicianship of all band members. That is Personal Signet, a group of amazing instrumentalists and gifted songwriters from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Personal Signet’s music stands somewhere in between art rock and progressive metal, often being spiced up by electronic arrangements and programming.

Check them out on the Progstravaganza XVII: Progression and read the questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

We have been writing music from early days and we all met at a music workshop in Czech republic in 2003. We found out our music visions were very much alike, one thing went to another and we started playing live. The feedback was good so we figured it would be a pity not to continue and now we are about to release our second full length album already.

What is your first musical memory?

Listening to Pink Floyd – The Wall on vinyl as a 5 year old. And humming Slovak folk songs prior to discovering Pink Floyd.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

We listen to tons of new music everyday. Everything is so easy to reach and find these days which is amazing and also slightly frightening. As I said I started out listening to Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel as a kid. Then the 90’s and the grunge period came followed by the Brit pop era. I totally fell in love with bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Blur and others. Nowadays I think we are pretty open minded when it comes to music genres and we digest everything what we feel has something to say to us.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The song Wires carries the message of conflict between humans and technology. We tend to spend too much time with electronic devices, internet and social media in a kind of twisted reality. We feel the real life is different and it’s important to preserve friendships elswhere then on Facebook or via tablets and iphones. All these devices and platforms are surely amazing but we try to keep everything in a „in moderation“ mode.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

The tracks usually come out of live rehearsals. Then we play around with ideas and the lyrics usually come last.

Personal Signet

Personal Signet

What is your method of songwriting?

See the answer above.

How do you see your music evolving?

I think it’s evolving in a less metal and more art-rock/experimental way and hopefully poeple like it.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Be open minded, be yourself and be nice to people.

What are you looking forward to?

We are really excited for our new video Wires which is about to drop soon.

Links:

http://www.personalsignet.com

https://www.facebook.com/personalsignet

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Basta on Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Basta

Basta are instrumental progressive rock band coming from Castelfranco di Sopra in Tuscany, Italy. They answered Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

We just put together the instruments we liked to play! The result is an original mix between standard-rock elements (drum’n'bass, electric guitar), classical elements (bass clarinet), and some unexpected frequencies (made by a melodion!)

What is your first musical memory?

Our first live (that’s what you’re asking about, right?) was a kind of rock jam-session. Prog riffs plus simple chords with solos. Three years ago. That’s how everything began.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Prog has always been in our DNA, like metal and classical music. So, we take inspiration from Dream Theater, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, and, in Italy, PFM and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

It’s hard to answer, because we are a totally instrumental band! Anyway, the song we chose is “Mondi Paralleli”, “Parallel Worlds”. It’s like a role-playing game between the different elements of the music: rhythm, harmony, melody. A game in which there is sometimes dialogue, sometimes fight, sometimes exchanges of parts, sometimes interpenetration, sometimes sudden detachment, always dynamic tension. Like life.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Absolutely not. Or, to be more precise: our patterns are our lives and Chianti wine!

Basta - instrumental prog rock from Tuscany

Basta – instrumental prog rock from Tuscany

What is your method of songwriting?

In the last time we started writing all together from a zero-point, whereas before we started from an idea of one of the members.

How do you see your music evolving?

Now we have a bass player, from september 2013. So, our music is evolving towards a more defined and rich rhythmic section. On the other hand, the clarinet can develop its full melodic power, interweaving with the melodion. The guitar remains the backbone, linking all the rest and giving stability to the whole.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Be original! There are too many copies of copies. And, on the other hand, listen to all kinds of music: originality is not to create things out of nothing, but to create oneself out of the real world, the world of the others.

What are you looking forward to?

We are working on the next album, and we search for a label. But, above all, we’d like to find live dates, especially rock-prog festivals… in all the world!!

Links:

www.bastapuntoesclamativo.it

https://www.facebook.com/Bastapuntoesclamativo

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Structural Disorder

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Structural Disorder

Structural Disorder is a progressive metal group formed in Stockholm, Sweden in September 2011.

The band consists of Markus Tälth (guitar/vocals), Jóhannes West (electric accordion/vocals), Hjalmar Birgersson (guitar/vocals), Erik Arkö (bass/vocals) and Karl Björk (drums).

The band was featured on Progstravaganza XVII: Progression and here is what they had to say.

How did you come to do what you do?

Erik: The progressive genre felt like the ”natural choice” for us, mostly due to the fact that there are “no restrictions” to what you can and can’t do within the genre (At least in theory – sometimes I wonder how “progressive” the progressive genre is.) I guess the name and the very being of the genre has gone from being the definition of something that wants to expand the borders of music to being something that defines a certain sound and certain aspects of the music (The odd meters, the long songs, the jazz-influences etc.). And don’t get me wrong – I love the genre and the music, but this is something that has crossed my mind a few times.

What is your first musical memory?

Erik: For me, I think it’s either Jan Johansson (”Jazz på Svenska”) or Count Basie (The “Atomic”-album). The defining moment for me, that drew me in to metal though was the time when I saw the video for “Renegade” by HammerFall on TV.

Karl: I can’t really remember my first musical memory. But the moment that led to my musical path was the first time I heard “Kiss alive two” with the drumsolo on “God of thunder”. Which coincidentally was during the same time as we were learning the basics in drumset playing in school.

Hjalmar: I don’t actually remember this, but I have been told by a reliable source (my mom) that I was really into Paul Simon’s Graceland when I was two. Also, I do remember borrowing a mixtape of Electric Light Orchestra songs from my mom and listening to it repeatedly until there was literally only noise left on the tape.

Markus: I can’t really remember my first, but I do know that I got into metal when I was around eleven, with bands such as Dimmu Borgir and Marduk. Dimmu’s Puritanical album had just been released and my brother brought it home, and I got fascinated with how it sounded and how fast they played. But it wasn’t until I got into Opeth some years later that my eyes really open for music and genres.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Erik: Everything from Meshuggah and Behemoth to Eva Cassidy and Sting.. And everyday situations, movies and books…

Hjalmar: I think it’s hard not to give a really general answer to this question. For me, I have some musicians that never fail to inspire me, such as Daniel Gildenlöw, Devin Townsend, Esbjörn Svensson (rest in peace), Magnus Öström, Jem Godfrey, Fin Greenall, etc. Also, there is an ever-changing array of new discoveries (or rediscoveries). And of course, there are sources of inspiration in other things than music as well. I am greatly inspired by rainy days, quantum physics and dark and twisted TV shows such as The X-files and Fringe. I am sure everyone else would have a quite different list.

Markus: My inspiration is very subconscious. Most of the time when I write music it just comes totally unconnected to something else. There are a few times where I write songs that are in directly inspired by something, or even if I notice later that it sounds like something else, it had been subconscious during the writing process. But when that happens, I most often gets inspired by the latest thing I listened to.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Johannes: The song is the closing act of our eponymous debut concept album. The story as told through the lyrics focuses around the feelings that a mentally ill man experiences while locked up in an institution. He is painfully dealing with and re-exploring the events from the outburst of his mental illness, and learning about what happened to the people that he loves. This track represents an open end to the story; the protagonist has fully realized the chain of events that brought him there, and he has escaped the delusional phase. But the tragedies of the past have put him in a state of apathy. During the development of the song, however, he transcends into another state of mind, looking for forgiveness and trying to find peace. Whether he finds it, and whether he is released from his mental and physical cell or not, is probably better left unanswered.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Johannes: Well, I would say no. When we are composing for the band (and there are a number of composers among us, and sometimes we write together as well) I would say most of us write what we like to write; If it fits into our musical bag then we’ll use it. Our sound also has a range of musical environments and types of songs within itself, making the boundaries less easy to cross. Structural Disorder is the creative force of its members, combined one way or another. Also, this is a good thing about a genre like ours that is generous when it comes to style definitions.

Structural Disorder

Structural Disorder (Photo by Philip Wessman)

What is your method of songwriting?

Either we jam out new riffs/melodies in our rehearsal place or write stuff (sometimes entire songs) at home that we present to the rest of the band – sometimes it’s just an embryo, which gives everyone in the band a lot of freedom when it comes to the arrangement and other times the song is pretty set in its structure and arrangement.

How do you see your music evolving?

The songs that we are writing now feel like the “natural progression”, considering what we wrote for “The Edge of Sanity”. We constantly try to challenge ourselves technically – but without the cost of a good song, so to speak.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Erik: Listen to all kinds of music – even stuff that you normally wouldn’t listen to! If you love metal – try to listen to some jazz, if you like pop then give Meshuggah a go and try to find something that you enjoy with every type of music.

Karl: Strive towards writing music for yourself before trying to write music that you think that other people might like. There is a convincing honesty that people react to in a positive way when you play something that you personally think is so good that you don’t really care if you are the only one who really like it. It may not be the recipe to reach millions of dollars in your account, but people do tend to see through you if try to write songs with the sole purpose of trying to make money or gain celebrity status.

What are you looking forward to?

Johannes: Like with the release of our debut album, it is so wonderful to get a piece of the excitement coming from people that enjoy our music. It is something really personal about it since our music is personal and we feel that we really can contribute when other people from all over the world appear to like it, sometimes very much. I hope that this happiness I feel will grow as more people get in contact with our music in the future.

Karl: In addition to what Johannes mentioned, I am personally looking forward to see the overall progression of the band in every aspect, such as sound, stage presence, visual effects and so on. We have a lot of ideas for the future and we are also writing some new songs that we feel will take the band to the next step.

Links:

facebook.com/StructuralDisorder
structuraldisorder.com
youtube.com/structuraldisorder
instagram.com/structuraldisorder
twitter.com/StrDisOfficial

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Bulbs on Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Bulbs

Bulbs (hailing from Liverpool, UK) bring together adventurous music-making with information and sound samples chosen to challenge the audience to look around them at the world in which they are living. A ‘totalist’ project Bulbs seeks to challenge its audiences with complex cyclical rhythms and deep underlying thematic structures whilst simultaneously presenting a hedonistic, seductive, immersive and ultimately compelling musical experience, accessible to all. Presenting their live performances with specially made synchronised projected visuals, Bulbs specialise in creating atmospheric and consciousness-expanding experiences for audiences.

How did you come to do what you do?

Neil has been playing and writing music since about the age of seven, starting with the guitar and moving onto keyboards (piano/synths/church organ etc). As a young lad he got interested in Progressive Rock artists and bands such as Mike Oldfield, Yes and ELP, and they, along with a long stint as a treble and later a tenor in a church choir, were essential in his early musical education. He later got interested in minimalist music and eventually completed a Masters degree in Music (Composition). For many years a solo guitarist, over the last ten years he has been more involved in performing with ensembles and in collaboration with other musicians, such as The Neil Campbell Collective, Sense of Sound Singers, vocalist Anne Taft, cellist Nicole Collarbone, singer-songwriter Stuart Todd and more recently with guitarist Carlo Bowry (Wizards of Twiddly/Muffin Men), electronic musician Gordon Ross, The Perri and Neil Quartet (with Perri Alleyne-Hughes) and of course Bulbs.

Andy’s Dad was a multi-instrumentalist in various Ukrainian folk ensembles for a while. Then he bought Andy an acoustic guitar for his birthday and for him it went from there.

Joey realised at a very early age that he was a drummer. Adam Ant was the realisation – Drums, Drums and more Drums …

Marty says he was never told to be quiet while thrashing about on a guitar listening to The Clash and The Pistols and the John Peel show. He picked up a bass at thirteen and became a bass player because no one else he knew had one. Then he got an old battered drum kit when he was sixteen and became a drummer. Marty jammed with anyone he could for the next few years doing the odd recording session. He played with singer songwriter David Gray for three years then formed Zeb in Liverpool and spaced out for ten years. Mainly he played bass but later on got more involved with sampling and electronic sounds. Marty loves making music using computers. Squelches and bleeps still excite him. Over the last few years he has worked with Mulakong in Spain, The Hatband, Snappertronics and his current electronic dub outfit Babadub. He was asked to record Bulbs for a demo by Joey who was also in Zeb. After that he was persuaded to get more involved with the production of the album and organizing rhythms and textures for live shows.

What is your first musical memory?

Neil was told by his Mum that in the pushchair when he was about 2 years old a lady commented on his sense of rhythm when he was singing to himself in the Post Office queue… From very early on he always sought out new ways to make music – little electronic toys, drums, bottles, tin whistles etc. So music was always there… He used to sit in his grandparents parlour with their old record player playing the LPs they had there – Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Chet Atkins etc. The first memory that relates to listening to the music that would help shape his late style was listening on headphones to Mike Oldfield’s Hergest Ridge on cassette when on holiday in Cornwall when he was about 10.

Andy’s first musical memory was listening to ‘Lily the Pink’ (The Scaffold) with his sister doing the ironing in the summertime. He says it seemed rather prescient.

Joey used to sing along to ‘Without You’ by Harry Nilsson when he was about two years old.

Marty’s first musical memory was listening to Blueberry Hill and My Old Man’s a Dustman on old 78s in his parents.

Bulbs from Liverpool

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Neil takes his influence from lots of other music he listens to in all sorts of styles from Prog to Singer-Songwriter, Electronic music to Contemporary classical and Jazz.

Andy says ‘the good, the bad and the ugly… It all has an influence – stands to reason…’

Joey believes that nature is the key. Good future drumming can always be heard in a tree or in the movement of a machine.

Marty loves the simplicity of dub reggae – how a song can be transformed using the mixing desk as an instrument. Deep repetitive bass. Brian Eno still does it for him. He’s into electronic stuff but he likes traditional folk music too. He says he doesn’t listen to much Prog.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

It’s message cannot be described in words – that is why it is a piece of music.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

When Bulbs write music they bring together fragmentary ideas they have and these ideas are embellished and expanded upon in rehearsal until a fixed composition emerges. The starting point is a trio of Neil, Andy and Joey. Then they bring in Marty to provide extra production and electronics, refine some of the arrangements and add further ideas. Aside from this there is no specific system to create the music – but we know what Bulbs music sounds like – it is not too jazzy, it often involves complex time signatures, and it treads a line between raw energy and lush multi-layered ear candy.

What is your method of songwriting?

As above, the band bring everything they know about music into the process of making it. And they develop it in service to the emerging music, keeping egos out of the way of the creative process.

How do you see your music evolving?

Bulbs members each have different ideas about this and we all work on different musical projects outside the band which allow them to stretch out to different goals. Within Bulbs there is not a definite plan as to what happens next. Bulbs have been working with synchronised projected visuals and would like to take that show out across the UK and into Europe. But, also, they have been developing some new songs, following on from the On CD, and may be looking to expand the line up with some other musicians.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Focus on what makes you happy in music-making and forget about the ‘market’. Recognition or commercial success would be happy additional pleasures but they are not the main goal. The goal is make great and interesting music that you are pleased with and which fulfills you, and to do your best to share that music with as many people as you can get to.

What are you looking forward to?

Neil is looking forward to completing a solo album, which he has been working on over the last year or so, with Marty producing some of the tracks. This is planned for release later in 2014 and combines elements of classical music with jazz fusion, electronica and prog.

The band are all looking forward to the Summertime – and perhaps a Bulbs tour of Europe.

Links:

http://www.bulbsmusic.com/

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Magg on Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Magg

MAGG is a progressive rock / metal band from Cancun that seeks answers to the principal questions of humanity. Its first album, a double-disc LP, released in 2013, has been applauded by specialized critics praising its symphonic sound and comparing it to leading bands like Dream Theater. 

Read the Progstravaganza Questionnaire with Magg below.

How did you come to do what you do?

A calling we guess. What did Droctulft see in Ravenna to abandon his kindred?

What did Saul of Tarsus see to become the prey instead of being the hunter? Some of us took our first music class very late and decided to quit our jobs soon after. The others grew up with an instrument, almost foretelling their future.

What is your first musical memory?

Each member had his own approach to music. As a band we have been always focused to perform original songs, however, in our very first jams we played Dream Theater and Genesis songs.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The Double-slit experiment for quantum particles shows how these particles act different when observed. The Universe modifies its behavior when it is observed, like a revelation for the observer.

For many artists, “art” comes from an intellectual exercise, but music is an enigma.  How do we know minor is sad and major happy? Why can abstract things without symbols communicate feelings? Even Schopenhauer said music comes from a true inspiration. 

So music comes from revelation, as Johann Sebastian Bach knew when he wrote “Jesu Juva” (Jesus help me) at the beginning of his manuscripts.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“Chinese Room” is a fourteen-minute song that tells the story of Maria, a pop-star who discovers she is a machine.

The lyrics cover these points:

a) Alan Turing’s test as the solution for the question: “Can machines think?”

b) John Searle’s challenge to the test with the “CHINESE ROOM” thought.

c) Nobel laureate Sir John Eccles’ dualist model that includes a brain and a self. (Soul?)

d) The nature of reality.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

We have a formula: Yito (guitar player) writes a sketch-song and it is presented, modified and completed at the rehearsal room.

What is your method of songwriting?

To sit and wait.

How do you see your music evolving?

Our first songs were oriented on solos and instrumental passages; however, our recent material is based in structures and atmospheres.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Every musician should follow Daniel Gildenlöw’s advice/joke: Give up! Get an education, get a job!

But if you (we) still continue, it may come from a truly “inspired” purpose.

What are you looking forward to?

To someday, be able to touch minds with our lyrics and to touch souls with our music. (Or vice versa.)

Links:

http://maggband.com/

Sludgebucket

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Sludgebucket

Sludgebucket is a stoner-metal trio that was formed in Oakland California in early 2006 by bassist/vocalist/songwriter Kelly Waldrip with the help of good friend’s guitarist John Santos and drummer Douglas Weldy.  The idea was to take the vibe of 60s and 70s psychedelic heavy blues rock, early doom bands and fuse it with progressive, punk, metal, and sludge. 

Read the Progstravaganza Questionnaire answered by Kelly Waldrip.

How did you come to do what you do?

I came to do Sludgebucket in late 2006/2007 when the band I had been co-writing in became more of a write in the moment jam band, so I needed an outlet for my songs. I asked two of my friends to record and play live and that’s how it began.

What is your first musical memory?

My first musical memory was when I was a child hearing my mother and father playing records by the Beatles, Janis Joplin, The Mommas and the Papas, Crosby Still Nash and Young, and many more.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from life, other music I listen to, as well as working on fundamentals.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The song “Penniless Blues” is an instrumental, but the meaning behind it had to do with those lean times, scraping by. Sleeping on peoples’ couches, my truck, the studio, no money in my pockets. It was a reminder to myself of how low it can get, to be thankful for what I have now.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

I don’t believe I follow any pre-defined patterns when writing a song.

What is your method of songwriting?

Usually it flows out how it flows out. Sometimes I use some structures as guidelines, but usually I let the vision of each piece guide the way. It usually starts with a riff or riffs that I build on from there. The lyrics almost always come later. I believe my songwriting has gotten better with time. It certainly seems easier than when I’d started. The music definitely changes and develops with each new member in the band, along with their styles and personalities.

How do you see your music evolving?

I believe my music will keep evolving as time goes on and as I grow as a musician.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

The advice I’d give to musicians trying to write inspired music and get it out to the world is: be true to yourself, write what you want to write, write what you enjoy and want to hear, don’t worry about exterior things. We definitely are influenced by what we hear, but strive to find your inner voice and let it flow out. The benefit to making music in this age is all of the resources at your fingertips to get your music out all around the world. Use these tools, refine your craft, and above all; have fun.

Links:

http://www.sludgebucketmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SLUDGEBUCKETMUSIC

https://twitter.com/SLUDGEBUCKETbnd

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

Joel Gilardini of The Land of the Snow

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: The Land of the Snow

The Land of the Snow is a project and a state of mind of Joel Gilardini (treated guitars and drums programming).

The aim this peculiar one-man-band is to explore the possibilities offered by combining and merging different musical languages (ranging from experimental music to metal, with a jazzy flavor), in order to create something different and unpredictable, with a possibly high emotional involvement between the music and the listeners.

The Land of the Snow appeared on Progstravaganza XVII: Progression and here is the questionnaire answered by Joel Gilardini.

How did you come to do what you do?

When I started The Land Of The Snow I was intrigued by the idea that if a Dj or an electronic musician go on stage alone and play their show, why can’t I do the same with a guitar? That idea made me start this instrumental project, using only guitars and drum programmings.

What is your first musical memory?

I think the first musical memories were playing 2 old vinyls from my father’s collection when I was a child: “Wish You Where Here” By Pink Floyd and “Magical Myster Tour” by The Beatles. He had a lot of Rolling Stones vinyls, but I never managed to start something with Rolling Stones. And these 2 albums I mentioned were just mindblowing to me at that time, and still they are.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The main inspiration I follow for The Land of the Snow are snowy panoramas, tibetan/hymalain cultures and inner feeling, but also sounds. I love to listen to sounds and to manipulate them.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The Land of the Snow is not only about music. To me it’s also a kind of medium to look inside and developpe your innerself. I strongly invite everybody to swallow into the song and find their own meaning/message. This song to me is a kind of struggling with yourself and your biases, in a way you’ll then find again your way, that ‘s the feelings I got from it.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

I don’t feel I follow any kind of patterns, when I compose a song I try more to follow a file-rouge, a specific feeling or emotion, which develops its climax during the song.

The Land of the Snow's Joel Gilardini

The Land of the Snow’s Joel Gilardini

What is your method of songwriting?

I start from one idea/riff, from which I improvise a “guitar only” sketch of the song. This give me some ideas how the song can be, but the real composition process starts when I record that first idea, putting drums on it and composing other guitars to go along with it and then building up part after part until I come up with a whole song.

How do you see your music evolving?

I feel the music with the time is getting slower, with a more doom metal feeling, but always open to work with non standard structures and uncommon sounds.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Just follow your heart and your intuitions, forget about genres, every kind music is beautiful as soon as it starts to speak to the heart and opens up the mind!

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to share my music with more people and to get in touch with more musician out in the world!

Links:

http://thelandofthesnow.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/thelandofthesnow
https://soundcloud.com/jgilardini-music
http://twitter.com/JGilaMusic
http://www.reverbnation.com/thelandofthesnow

IRIDIC

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Iridic

IRIDIC is a brand-new progressive rock/metal band from guitarist John Souki and vocalist Luke Mellinger. Channeling the baroque grandeur of Muse via the breathless dynamism of Dream Theater and the rhythmic technicality of Periphery, the group looks set to establish itself as a formidable force on the international stage.

John answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire. Read it below.

How did you come to do what you do?

IRIDIC came by way of my dream of finally pursuing my passion for progressive rock/metal music, after years of performing with artists in various genres as a sideman. I’ve been a long-time fan of great music, progressive and not, and wanted to form a project that would bring out some of my favorite elements in, what I hope to be, a unique sonic blend. Luke has been a long-time fan of progressive music as well, and is a very creative individual, so it was a no-brainer to join forces. We are personally compelled by quantum theories, human experience, and consciousness, hence the name IRIDIC (of the iris of the eye, in this case, the third-eye.)

We also like chicks, video games, good beer, technology, and other fun things, haha.

What is your first musical memory?

In our very brief time as a duo, one of our fondest memories would have to be when everything felt right and decided to bring IRIDIC to life!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

We are influenced by the world around us, the human experience, and philosophy. Musically, our main influences include Muse, Dream Theater, The Reign Of Kindo, Periphery, Hurts, Opeth, and many more.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

“Catharsis” will be a part of our upcoming full-length concept album. It’s the turning point of the listening experience, symbolizing the struggle of a man’s upbringing, the result of years of emotional abuse, and his unleashing of this pent-up rage in a war-like setting, which then allows for a period of emotional healing. The premise of the album is growth and forgiveness through the pain and suffering of a man’s life and the circumstances that dictate his actions and emotions.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

For the most part, we come with pre-composed ideas and write to a structure. However, there have been moments where we simply jam and create a song without structural boundaries.

What is your method of songwriting?

We don’t have a specific method per-say. We write what feels right to us in the moment.

Iridic's Luke Mellinger and John Souki

Iridic’s Luke Mellinger and John Souki

How do you see your music evolving?

We aim to be open-minded and inspired to new ways of creating music. We are looking forward to finishing up our debut album, collaborate with other artists, and have fun every step of the way. From a creative standpoint, we love great music and seek to learn new things with every release.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Not to sound cliché, but stay true to your dreams. Protect and harness your unique talents, surround yourself with like-minded individuals, never let anyone get you down, invest wisely, and whatever happens, be honest in your pursuit. In this ever-changing industry, it is looking like the ball is in the artists’ courts, so create a strong team and go about it independently. There is always growth in struggle and a light at the end of the tunnel!

What are you looking forward to?

We are excited about our full-length release later in the year, as well as launching our crowd-funding initiative, performing and touring, and meeting great people along the way!
For more info, visit us at:www.iridicmusic.com

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com 

OVRFWRD on Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: OVRFWRD

OVRFWRD is a four piece all instrumental progressive rock band  formed in late 2012. All four seasoned musicians, including drummer Rikki Davenport and guitarist Mark Ilaug, bassist Kyle Lund and keyboardist Chris Malmgren came together with diverse and complex backgrounds and musical influences. Together they have a common goal; to create and perform powerful, colorful, interesting and sonically descriptive music, engaging and pushing forward on the musical journey they have embarked on.

OVRFWRD have appeared on Progstravaganza XVII: Progression. Read below their answers on our questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

The idea of an instrumental rock band was talked about for quite a while before we actually formed. But when the singer of our previous band skipped out on a recording session -we took it as a sign. That was moment we decided to embrace the ideas we had and move on as an instrumental band. So far, it has worked out great for us.

What is your first musical memory?

Good question! Generally speaking, all of us have a lifelong history of music and being exposed to it. We will spare you the lengthy stories of our individual memories, and just say they were all pretty good and that they have been a part of our lives from an early age. Music in any form is a wonderful thing.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Our inspiration comes from many places. Musically we all grew up on Rock and Metal of the 70′s and 80′s. Jazz and Classical music has been a big influence as well. We don’t have a specific, or conscious place we pull from. We are all creative and the things that may inspire us vary. We are fortunate in that we are inspired, and we don’t take that for granted. It is up to us to work and turn the inspiration into music, and maybe one day we could inspire someone else.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

The great thing about being an instrumental band is there are no lyrics to define a songs meaning to someone. The music can mean something different to everyone who hears it. Any message in the song “Stones of Temperance” is up to the listener to hear or see. The inspiration and some of the ideas for that piece evolved over a long time, and when the song was put together it took on a life of it’s own. To us, it is a small sonic journey, or sound path to venture into. It is hard to say what that looks or feels like to others. Hopefully it will be a good vision or message.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Absolutely not. Our goal is to always be mindful not to fall into predictable patterns and arrangements. We really try and create with no motive outside that particular part or piece, and not be lazy with the process. A lot of it is being very self-critical of the music and not settling or accepting what we think could be better.

OVRFWRD band

OVRFWRD (from left to right: Mark Ilaug, Kyle Lund, Chris Malmgren and Rikki Davenport)

What is your method of songwriting?

We don’t have any particular method to our writing process. We all write and create, so we are never short on ideas. Some songs have been born out of a jam. Some have been brought in a little more developed. Either way, they all go through a process before they’re finished and every member has a real impact on the piece.

How do you see your music evolving?

Our last album was released a little over a month ago. We are certainly happy with it, but are moving on and already working on material for the next release. We don’t sit around and talk about what we want our new stuff to sound like, and nothing is really preconceived or planned. What we try to do is surprise ourselves and push ourselves as much as possible. Obviously, no one wants to make the same record twice, so hopefully we will evolve naturally and keep growing and challenging ourselves.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Our advice is – be yourself. Play what you love. Be your own band/musician. Be 100% true to yourself and your music.

What are you looking forward to?

We are looking forward to getting out on the road and playing our music where we can. We are already looking forward to the next album as well. It’s a great journey to be on.

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

R-Evolution Band

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: R-Evolution Band

R-EVOLUTION BAND was born in 2010 from an idea of the multi-instrumentalist and composer Vittorio Sabelli. The main target of the band is to destroy pre-existing styles and completely change them by a new approach using different sounds and contemporary elements (this is the meaning of the name R-E Revolution/Evolution Band). 

Read the Progstravaganza Questionnaire answered by Sabelli.

How did you come to do what you do?

I started playing clarinet when I was 10 years old and heavy/thrash metal guitar at 15 years old. After the graduation at Conservatory and 12 years playing with a Symphonic Orchestra, I started to play and study jazz music and composition. I recorded two albums made by my original compositions (“One Way” in 2010 and “Versus” in 2011) and after that I wanted to try to make in practice my personal way to compose on existing songs, challenging myself to do something that had never been done before. My love for Pink Floyd, Mozart, Stravinsky and extreme metal led me to explore THE WALL and gave me the courage to destroy it and rebuild it entirely with my R-Evolution Band.

What is your first musical memory?

I can remember the bands coming to my little town playing Opera. My father loves classic music very much and when I was young it was very common in Italy to see band playing Opera during village’s festival. Then I have a clear very bad memory of my first piano lesson at 5 years old, when I fled away and after that I waited 5 years before starting to play clarinet.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

It depends on what I’m writing in that particular moment of my life and on the character that I want to give to the composition. More than wait for an inspiration I make me inspired. I mean, if I’m working on a ballad or a classical taste song I spend many hours by the sea with my pencil and staff waiting for something comes out. Otherwise, if the song has a heavy or prog taste, or free jazz or noisy, I plunge myself into the chaotic world listening to that kind of music that leaves traces in my unconscious and brings me new ideas and inspiration.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

If you feel as a true fan of prog and Pink Floyd and you think you know THE WALL deeply and better than anyone else, the R-Evolution Band launch you a challenge. Have a listen to our album and you will find something completely new with the same concept of the original one but seen from its ‘dark side’ and you will discover the 26 songs under new guise.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

Absolutely not! As the R-Evolution Band name itself says, our will is to destroy and revolutionize any existing pattern trying to led the listeners to explore new territories and atmospheres. In “THE DARK SIDE OF THE WALL 1979-2013” I mixed up different styles that I love and joined them together to show up another point of view.

The Dark Side of the Wall

What is your method of songwriting?

First of all I find an idea, a riff to start composition and I leave it to mature for few days or sometimes weeks or months. After that I take it again to work on it and join it to the following sections. Sometimes the first idea doesn’t change; sometimes it becomes a very different thing. Finally I work on the arrangement which is the most important part for the R-Evolution Band, always searching for new colors and sounds to give to the listeners something they never heard before.

How do you see your music evolving?

My first album “One Way”, was mainly jazz, with twelve-tone’s elements, odd times and a female voice. In the second album, “Versus”, I changed the voice with the guitar of the Swedish Lutte Berg and I started to compose in an ‘open’ way, leaving much more space to the ideas exchanging between the musicians. The line-up of “Versus” was the embryo of the R-Evolution Band that two years later destroyed completely the Roger Waters’ THE WALL and build it up again with the support of additional musicians to add new colors and create a new musical experience.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

The only way to do this is not to copy other people music and style but always making effort to find an own personal style. Sometimes you need to borrow some ideas but the important thing is to develop them in a personal way and make it different, make it yours. There is nothing more exiting that creates your own music, never heard before.

This is the meaning of Evolution/Revolution.

What are you looking forward to?

We’re searching for a management and booking agency to make a tour with this project and at the same time we’re working on a new album, almost ready and maybe out on 2015, made by original compositions that will change again the direction of our music. But I can’t say more!

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/revolutionthewall

http://www.r-evolutionband.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/VSrevolutionband

Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to info@prog-sphere.com

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