Because of Mike Varty winning a fantastic CRS Award recently and him touring around Europe with Landmarq again, I had a really nice conversation with this cheerful world class keyboardist the other day. Because of the length of the interview and the way Mike keeps on talking forever, which was very nice by the way, I had to do some serious cutting and editing for you to turn it into a nice read. Like he told me himself: “I’m hoping you cut it down or something, get rid of the rubbish!”. Still, you will have to sit down for quite some time to do the reading!
Being present for a concert review at the Zoetermeer gig of the Prog Rock Royalty Tour, with Neal Morse and The Flower Kings performing and doing a Transatlantic set together as well, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to have a little chat with a relaxed Neal beforehand.
Jason Spradlin, who describes himself far too modestly as “…the bloke who hits things and grunts”, is the drummer for mostly Arlington Texas based, and mostly instrumental collective Herd Of Instinct. Jason celebrates the release of the group’s fine work of alt-prog angular soundscapes Conjure (favourably reviewed at DPRP not so long ago) by rounding up the band and locking them in a cowshed somewhere near Arlington, where the unfailing gaze of the DPRP interview spotlight falls upon them, in the form of Roger Trenwith.
At the beginning of March I had the opportunity to chat with Mike Keneally whose Wing Beat Fantastic album was my favourite release of 2012. Prior to the start of the day’s rehearsals for the live debut of Brendon Small‘s Galaktikon at WesFest 8 , in LA, Mike took the time to chew the fat and discuss his life in music.
The DPRP duo review on Kingcrow’s new album In Crescendo made me curious about some facts regarding the band and the recommended album. So I had the pleasure to have a little chat with the composer, guitar player, co-founder of Kingcrow and very sympathetic guy Diego Cafolla in Rome, Italy.
Following the highly acclaimed album When Age Has Done Its Duty which came out in 2011, Robin Armstrong has been back in the studio to record the next Cosmograf album, The Man Left In Space. With the album just released, DPRP’s Alison Henderson caught up again with Robin to find out how he got the new album ready for lift-off with a little help from some very distinguished friends.
Last year, DPRP’s Alison Henderson journeyed to Leighton Buzzard and the studio to talk to John, Nick and Frosty and was privileged to hear a very early mix of Lifesigns last January, then the final version last month (December). Here follows some of the extracts of the conversations that ensued with the three of them during the two meetings that explain how the Lifesigns project came about and what we can expect.
Best-known as the creator and mastermind behind Welsh prog crowd-pleasers Magenta, Rob Reed assembled one of the most illustrious casts of performers to appear in his musical project Kompendium. Steve Hackett, John Mitchell, Nick Beggs, Francis Dunnery, Nick Barrett and Mel Collins are just a handful of the who’s who of prog playing on the Kompendium album Beneath The Waves which was released at the end of 2012. To find out more about how he persuaded these glittering prog alumni to get involved, DPRP’s Alison Henderson traveled up to the Rhondda Valley in Wales to meet Rob at his recording studios and had a four hour discussion about all things prog, including the interesting choice of footwear of some of his guest musicians while recording their parts and his three and a half minutes of musical perfection.
Hailing from Northern Ireland, Fruupp are one of the most astonishing overlooked bands of the 70s, seamlessly fusing progressive rock with many other influences whilst remaining highly original in their output. Between 1973 and 1975, the band released four albums, all on Pye‘s progressive Dawn label. With each album, Fruupp explored new territory, and built up an exciting catalogue of well-crafted and highly memorable music. Although not an actual member of the band, Paul Charles was more than just a mere manager for Fruupp, and has an incredibly good memory of the years the band were together.
Steve Hackett is a man who little or no introduction to most, famous for adding his lyrical guitar work to some of Genesis’s most progressive works from 1971 to 1977 before embarking on a solo career that has seen Steve explore different facets of guitar playing some flamenco acoustic to blue and all points in between, In this interview with John Wenlock Smith of DPRP Steve talks about the recording of his new album Genesis Revisited 11 and the reasons why he chose to revisit these piece now