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Episode 115 : Spare Some Love for Annie Haslam
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August 15, 2017 09:41 PM PDT
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In a Brazilian artist's depiction of progressive music's Last Supper, among the likes of Ian Anderson and Roger Waters, the placid figure at the center of it all is the owner of perhaps the most soaring voice in the genre: Annie Haslam of Renaissance. Since the early 70s, Haslam and the band have been delighting audiences with their brand of symphonic rock that features her five-octave vocal range. While still an active musician who will be touring with the band this autumn, Haslam has branched out into the visual arts, as well. Host Mark Ashby speaks about those endeavors as well as the process of adding a 10-piece chamber orchestra to four dates on the upcoming eastern US jaunt, what advice she gives younger musicians, and the recent moment in Rio de Janeiro that nearly brought her to tears on-stage. Visit her and the band online at www.renaissancetouring.com and www.anniehaslam.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Can You Understand?"
"Spare Some Love"
"Mother Russia"
"At the Harbour"
"Turn of the Century" (w/Steve Howe)
"Going Home"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 114 : Illuminating the Sky with Prospekt
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July 26, 2017 09:05 PM PDT
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They're a UK band that spells their name in a Russian way, but make no mistake: Prospekt is full-on progressive metal that is neither formulaic nor derivative. With their second album The Illuminated Sky just released, band members Lee Luland (guitars), Rox Capriotti (keyboards), Phil Wicker (bass), Black Richardson (drums), and Michael Morris (vocals) have crafted a science-fictional framework to guide the ten songs within it. Luland speaks with host Mark Ashby about influences ranging from Dream Theater to John Williams, the changes in personnel and style between albums 1 and 2, and how he got one of his favorite artists to do a guest spot on the new album. Catch up with them on social media at www.facebook.com/ProspektUK.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Ex Nihilo"
"Akaibara"
"Dissident Priests"
"Alien Makers of Discord"
"The Illuminated Sky"
"Beneath Enriya"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Progtopia Planetary Premiere 12 July 2017 : Soul Secret - "Entering the City of Gods"
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July 12, 2017 07:23 AM PDT
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Two years ago, when Soul Secret keyboardist and story-writer Luca Di Gennaro was last on Progtopia, host Mark Ashby asked him (off-air) if the band would be willing to provide an exclusive track for a world premiere when their next album would be released. Di Gennaro agreed, and now we know he is an honest man. In this episode, you'll get a listen to a song from their upcoming conceptual work Babel, due for release on 28 July. The early-prog enthusiast also talks about why he prefers the focus of writing to a concept, the philosophical and literary bases for Babel, and their performance this weekend in support of Mike Portnoy at the Night of the Prog Festival. They can be found online at www.soulsecret.net.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Newton's Law"
"Awakened by the Light"
"What We're All About"
"Entering the City of Gods"
"Will They?"

To hear the previous two episodes featuring Soul Secret, click these links:
http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-006-getting-closer-to-daylight-with-soul-secret (2012)
http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-071-climbing-the-white-stairs-with-soul-secret (2015)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 113 : In Equilibrium with Nicolas Waldo
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June 23, 2017 09:27 PM PDT
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The air guitar was invented because of musicians like Bogotá, Colombia's Nicolas Waldo. With blisteringly-fast technique that has gotten him compared to John Petrucci and Joe Satriani, Waldo has released several solo albums showcasing his shredding style that is still firmly rooted in progressive elements. With the recent releases of his solo album Equilibrium and band project Energema's The Lion's Forces (based on the Chronicles of Narnia), Waldo has been busy this spring. Host Mark Ashby speaks with him about how long it took him to practice to become this fast, his work as a guitar teacher and who can train with him, and which guitarist he'd most like to share a stage with. Waldo's Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/nicolaswaldo/.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Mirror of Madness"
"The Final Code"
"Multiverse"
"Equilibrium"
"Ancient Rebellion" (Energema)
"Mystic Fingers"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 112 : Quietly Storming with Galahad
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June 02, 2017 10:06 PM PDT
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Thirty-two years in the business, and still going through the changes in personnel, the ups and downs in the sizes of prog audiences, and all the creative challenges that come with that sort of longevity, Galahad are true survivors. Owing much of their early sound to Gabriel-era Genesis and 70s Yes, they've since carved out their own personality, which often includes extensive reworkings and reimaginings of their past tracks. Some of that is on display on their latest release, Quiet Storms, which also contains several new songs with a more contemplative feel overall. Host Mark Ashby chatted with singer Stu Nicholson about the inspiration he draws from a band that is very different from them -- Rammstein -- changes in guitarists, and why certain tracks might be more logical for reworkings than others. They're on the web at www.galahadonline.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Melt"
"Don't Lose Control"
"Mein Herz Brennt"
"Guardian Angel (Hybrid)"
"Weightless"
"Marz (and Beyond)"
"Termination"

To hear the previous episode featuring Galahad, click this link: http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-024-galahad-battle-scarred-but-euphoric

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 111 : Riding the Ghost Mile with Voyager
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May 21, 2017 07:30 PM PDT
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"This is real cream!" So says a YouTube commenter about the music of Perth, Australia's Voyager (Simone Dow, guitar; Ashley Doodkorte, drums; Danny Estrin, vocals and keyboards; Scott Kay, guitar; and Alex Canion, bass and backing vocals). Seems as good of a description as any of the powerful (and tasty) blend of metal, pop, and prog that they've been banging out for six albums now. The most recent of those, Ghost Mile, is just out, and host Mark Ashby catches up once again with Canion about the crowds they've been playing for, including in their hometown, how it's possible to be close friends and still make a band work together without either suffering, and if djent is an appropriate word to apply to them. Visit www.voyager-australia.com for more information.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Disconnected"
"Misery Is Only Company"
"Ghost Mile"
"As the City Takes the Night"
"Lifeline"
"What a Wonderful Day"

To hear previous episodes featuring Voyager, click these links: http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-051-breaking-down-voyager
and
http://progtopia.libsyn.com/backstage-pass-4-progpower-usa-xvi-retrospective

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 110 : Hey, It's Bobby Kimball
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May 02, 2017 09:35 PM PDT
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You know him mainly from his vocal work with classic rockers Toto, particularly on big hits like "Hold the Line" and "Rosanna," but did you know he's the guy singing backup on the Tubes' "She's a Beauty," or albums from the likes of Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, and Quiet Riot? Bobby Kimball is in his seventh decade but still sounding like a singer half his age, and his latest solo album We're Not in Kansas Anymore has just been released in the US after a November release overseas. AOR listeners everywhere will have plenty to love about this record, and he speaks with host Mark Ashby about his early musical development and cross-racial friendship with a man nicknamed Tanner, his pride in the Grammy Awards Toto garnered with their smash album Toto IV, and how he keeps his vocals in shape after all these years. He's online at www.bobbykimball.com

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Flatline"
"Hey It's Me"
"Good for You" (Toto)
"On My Feet"
"Scam"
"Africa" (Toto)

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Progtopia Planetary Premiere 18 April 2017 : MindMaze - "Drown Me"
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April 18, 2017 03:00 AM PDT
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Six months since our last Planetary Premiere show, and we're going on the heavy side with this exclusive-to-Progtopia track from Pennsylvania's MindMaze, a prog-power metal quartet that is now on the cusp of bigger and better things. With the new album Resolve coming out at the end of the month on Inner Wound, they'll be embarking on a North American tour of over a month in length in which you'd be wise to check out their high-energy sets. Host Mark Ashby talked with guitarist Jeff Teets about listening back to older material and why they chose the theme and concept for the new album, and you'll hear Resolve's fourth track "Drown Me" here before you'll hear it anywhere else. They're online at www.mindmazeband.com.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"Moment of Flight"
"Dreamwalker"
"Edge of Eternity"
"Sign of Life"
"Drown Me"

To hear the first episode featuring MindMaze, click the link: http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-063-mindmaze-walks-through-the-open-door

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 109 : Tom Slatter, One of the Happy People
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March 31, 2017 02:21 PM PDT
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He's been called "discomfiting" and "overly whimsical," and while those labels are debatable, there's no denying that UK singer/songwriter Tom Slatter creates the kind of music he wants to, and fans of quirky storytelling and often-progressive music have been finding him. His latest album, Happy People, was released on the 17th of March on Bad Elephant Music, with members of the Rube Goldberg Machine (Episode 093) assisting. With concepts that are reminiscent of dystopian science fiction and riffs that are alternately toe-tapping and impossible to count, Slatter has earned himself a nomination for the Prog Magazine Limelight Award in 2016, though the world will never know why he didn't win. Hear him talk with host Mark Ashby about the literary inspirations he draws on, why bad reviews can sometimes be good, and how being late on a deadline turned into a running joke among his supporters. He's on the web at www.tomslatter.co.uk.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"The Steam Engine Murders and the Trial of Seven Bells John"
"Happy People"
"Some of the Creatures Have Broken the Locks on the Door to Lab 558"
"Even Then We're Scared"
"A Name in a File"
"All of the Dark"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

Episode 108 : Feels Like Home for Karnataka
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March 17, 2017 07:34 AM PDT
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We love our female-fronted symphonic rock on this show, but Karnataka transcends such a label with a blend of progressive, metal, and world music that has been entrancing fans for a couple of decades. Frequent guests at festivals like this year's HRH Prog and on their own tours like the current End II End jaunts, the band (Jimmy Pallagrosi [drums], Hayley Griffiths [vocals], Enrico Pinna [guitar], Ian Jones [bass], and Çağri Tozluoğlu [keyboards]) has built a sizeable fan base through their live shows and albums like 2015's Secrets of Angels. With influences and instrumentation that suggest areas of the world from India to Ireland and all points between, they're a must-listen for fans of intelligent yet accessible prog. Jones chats with host Mark Ashby about the early pre-Karnataka years, how the classically-trained Riverdance veteran Griffiths became their singer in 2011, and why they try to play live as much as possible. They're online at www.karnataka.org.uk.

Featured songs/excerpts:
"The Gathering Light"
"Feels Like Home"
"Your World"
"Road to Cairo"
"Forbidden Dreams"
"The Calling"

"Like" Progtopia on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Progtopia and www.facebook.com/groups/1380357308874546/) and follow Progtopia on Twitter (@Progtopia) to send a message about the show and to receive news about current and upcoming interviews. Thanks for listening!

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