DPRP: Well Alec, first of all we would like to thank you already for your time. Can you tell us a little bit of the history of the band?
Alec: Mark & Jeff began working together on some original prog music and shortly thereafter I joined in with them and there began formation of Cairo. We tried a few singers before Bret was sent to us... We wrote a 2 song demo that was well received by Magna Carta and we signed a record deal with them. We then wrote the rest of the 1st cd and recorded it ourselves in our own studio.
DPRP: You signed a deal with Magna Carta almost immediately. What do you think of Magna Carta after working together with them for some time?
Alec: I'd have to say it's as love and hate thing based on the fact that we love all they are able to do for the band in terms of exposure and distribution and the way they patiently wait while we record and tweak and fine tune the cd's that we make, and we hate that they are only able to take things as far as they are enabled by the sales of what at this time is a rather limited mass appeal music. There was a time when prog rock was able to reach out and connect with many more fans than are currently enjoying the genre, but at this time it is a tough nut to crack... I believe if a Prog Rock Wave were to gather momentum, that Cairo would find ourselves well poised with Magna Carta to rise up and meet the challenge of taking Cairo music to the world .
DPRP: At the moment you signed a deal with Magna Carta, a lot of other bands signed a deal with them. Are you familiar with some of the other Magna Carta bands, like Magellan or Sahadow Gallery?
Alec: We're fans of our fellow labelmates. Although I don't spend a lot of time listening to all the Magna Carta bands I do enjoy the two you've mentioned. The contact we've had from our labelmates has been based on this mutual respect for each others work. Although we are label mates, I think there are notable differences between the bands.
DPRP: Concerning the first album. The reactions in Europe were great. What about the reactions in the US.?
Alec: There is a lot of POP, RAP, HIP-HOP, COUNTRY, METAL, OLDIES, etc , fiercely competing for air time in the US and there are very few songs being played on radio or MTV that even approach the style of music we play. Music runs in cycles and perhaps the second wave of prog is dawning. I feel that prog rock has been a part of my life since I first heard Genesis & Renaissance in my teens, but I guess it's not the same way for rest of the US...
DPRP: Are you satisfied with the sales of this first album?
Alec: Satisfied... Hmmm ... So many ways to define that word. Well lets say that we are proud of the 1st Cairo cd, and we are glad to be in the 15% of those who are able to at least break even on the cost of putting out a disc. We would have liked to try to gather a larger fan base through video, but we have been unable to fund one as of yet.
DPRP: What do you expect from the new album, 'Conflicts And Dreams'? The first reactions in Europe are again very possitive.
Alec: It is so gratifiying to have such heartfelt reaction from Europe, South America, Canada , as weel as eastern Europe.. We expect to see an increase in sales even though in some ways this is a "deeper" album requiring greater inverstment from the listener. It's awesome to see that so many parts of the world still love this style of music and that there are so many passionate fans ! !
DPRP: The album is out now for a couple of months. Can you already say if your expectations came out so far, or is this too early to say?
Alec: I am quite pleased with what were able to do on 'Conflict & Dreams'. I feel that Mark , Bret , Jeff and I took Cairo into a Deeper and more Intense realm. I am yet again amazed at the performance level of my bandmates and at the complexity of the works we produced. In this way I am very pleased to report that MY expectations were met quite nicely... However, I am not able to report any chart topping sales, but I would have to admit we've always worked to satisfy our musical vision and we never put any time into the consideration of anyone elses idea of what music is acceptable in the world of commerciality. So be it...
DPRP: What are the plans for the next couple of months months and what are the plans for the future?
Alec: We are dying to test our fortunes in the Video arena and are working toward that end. Mark is talking about playing on a ELP tribute record and we are all staying busy in a multitude of areas.
DPRP: You don't talk about touring in the previous question, so I would like to end with with a question that is already aksed to you several times: is there a change that Cairo will start touring and if so, do you guys come to Europe?
Alec: I have to be short in my answer and I can only say this: No specific tour dates as of yet , keep checking the website!!!
DPRP: Alex, thank you very much. Is there anything you would like to say to all prog fans around the world?
Alec: Yes, and that would be not to get discouraged by the lack of mass appeal in Prog Rock...It doesn't matter if its Metal Prog (Dream Theater/Cairo...), or if it's Folk prog (Yes/Genesis...) this music is true to itself. Try to realize that, and celebrate the unique and wonderful place that all of Prog rock holds in your heart. Example; I was driving today and listening to a song by IQ, and suddenly I found my spirit being lifted and begin to soar as I got deeper and deeper into the song. THIS is the magic of a great Prog rock song and even if prog is limited in its ability to reach the masses or even the airwaves, it is still a thing of great beauty and joy to me... Keep prog rock alive worldwide !
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