Go in-depth with prog rock, prog metal, and electronic music
Episode 108 : Feels Like Home for Karnataka
March 17, 2017 07:34 AM PDT
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.
"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 107 : Nothing Is Impossible for Damian Wilson
March 02, 2017 06:35 PM PST
The feeling you get when you hear a truly remarkable voice is a special one, and that's the way many prog fans feel when they find out that Damian Wilson is part of a project. And those projects over the years have been many, whether in his early years with Landmarq through fronting Threshold and Headspace, or on his own solo albums like 2016's Built for Fighting. His versatility in flowing between genres is remarkable, and in this interview with host Mark Ashby, Wilson discusses why he would actually like to be involved in more projects, the pros and cons of performing as Jean Valjean in a touring company of Les Miz, and how fans will be able to hear a piece of him in every song he's written over the years. You can find him online and learn more at www.damianwilson.net.
"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 106 : Because Djam Karet Says So
February 13, 2017 08:27 PM PST
You could call them a jam band, you could call them instrumental prog, but whatever you do, don't called them commercial. California's Djam Karet has been creating their own brand of self-described "self-indulgent" music for over three decades, but a devoted following has managed to find them, anyway. Maybe that's because their excursions into improvised territory don't meander and wander in directions that nobody else can follow. Their approach comes off as focused and highly musical, as evidenced on almost 20 albums including their newest, Sonic Celluloid. Host Mark Ashby talked with founder and multi-instrumentalist Gayle Ellett about why they've never even thought about satisfying anyone but themselves when composing and recording, what allows them to have stayed together for so long, and whether or not he feels they have anything in common with bands like the Grateful Dead or Phish. They're on the web at www.djamkaret.com.
"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 105 : Once Around the World with Francis Dunnery
January 14, 2017 06:48 PM PST
One of progressive music's true Renaissance men, singer and multi-instrumentalist Francis Dunnery will resist any attempt you or anyone else makes to classify him. Having begun his musical career in the eighties with pop-proggers It Bites, Dunnery has done much in the years since he left the band, including moving from the UK to the US and exploring all sorts of genres and endeavors within and outside of the music business. His most recent album Vampires is a collection of re-recorded It Bites tunes, and he'll be performing a few concerts from the 20th to the 22nd of January 2017. In this interview, he talks with host Mark Ashby about wanting to clear the mental clutter of the past, how his in-house concerts evolved and what you can expect if you attend one, and why he chose not to "wear the clown shoes" in his career. Find him online at www.francisdunnery.com.
December 30, 2016 11:24 PM PST
Five years down, and hopefully many more to go. 2016 was unquestionably the program's best year for guests, with many well-known artists filling up our bandwidth with great stories, but as always, we take pride in shining the spotlight on the unsung heroes of prog, too. You'll find all of that in this hour-plus episode recapping what you heard and maybe what you missed in the past twelve months. Make sure to visit www.progtopia.com for all past episodes, and give us a like on Facebook and a follow on Twitter, please! Thanks for your support this year and in years to come.
December 19, 2016 08:43 PM PST
We like them so much around here, they're back for a third time. Hemina from Sydney, Australia, first appeared on Progtopia in April 2012, and now with their third album Venus, this foursome (seated l. to r. Doug Skene [guitars, keyboards, vocals], Nathan McMahon [drums, vocals], Mitch Coull [guitars, vocals]; standing Jess Martin [bass, vocals]) has created their most well-rounded work to date. With influences ranging from the most technical metal to 80s pop and funk, Venus contains plenty for fans of smart, eclectic progressive music. You'll hear from all four members about McMahon's entry into and role in the band (and which prog metal vocalist took an interest in his setup), the science behind the vocal harmonies that distinguish them from the crowd, and which of them would be most likely to make an embarrassing social media post (among other things). They're at www.hemina.com.au.
Listen to Hemina's previous episodes:
December 05, 2016 06:58 PM PST
What were you doing in the mid-1960s? Were you even born yet? That's when the story of the Little Rock, Arkansas band Rayburn begins. As teenagers, they honed their craft and gained the attention of Chuck Berry and Levon Helm, among others, even recording demos and signing a recording contract. So what happened? Why are we only just now hearing of Rayburn and their 2016 album The Living End? The story is kind of amazing, with family drama and medical tragedy, and you'll hear the band's keyboardist and driving force Steve Stephens (pictured while recording the new album) discuss the ups and downs that have followed Rayburn for years. You'll even hear an excerpt from one of those early demos along with the band's unique blend of progressive and southern rock elements. Fans of Hammond organs, be sure to tune in! Find them online at www.rayburn.band.
November 16, 2016 06:01 PM PST
Having started over 20 years ago on his prog rock path with Spock's Beard, Nashville's Neal Morse has branched out on several different roads since then -- with Transatlantic, Flying Colors, and with the band named after him. Their newest effort, The Similitude of a Dream, is just out on Morse's Radiant Records, and it's a double-album tour-de-force based on a certain classic work of literature. Morse (center) speaks with host Mark Ashby about his many projects including those with drummer Mike Portnoy (right of Morse in photo), some of the conflict generated during the making of the new album, and how faith informs his art and his life. Find him online at www.nealmorse.com.
Photo: Robert SmithProgtopia Backstage Pass #5 : Marillion Risks Melting Their Guns As a Show of Strength
November 01, 2016 03:00 AM PDT
When you're a well-respected and veteran progressive band like Marillion, perhaps it's not a risk to make one of the words in the title of your 18th album an expletive. But context is everything, as the band's bassist Pete Trewavas explains in the interview you'll hear as the latest Backstage Pass episode of Progtopia. Touring North America and Europe from October through December in support of "F E A R" (or "F*** Everyone and Run"), Marillion still captures an audience as perhaps no other progressive act can these days, as the many fans who travel the country and even the world to follow them can attest. Trewavas talks with host Mark Ashby about the band's friendship and longevity (and whether they've discussed what they would do if one member would say they couldn't continue), the fickle promotional habits of labels past, and that potentially-controversial album title. Check for more tour dates at www.marillion.com
October 17, 2016 07:03 AM PDT
When last we heard from Mike Morton, singer for The Gift out of the UK, their acclaimed second album Land of Shadows was relatively new and the band's star was on the rise after a lengthy hiatus following their first album Awake and Dreaming. Now solidified as a six-piece lineup including Morton (vocals, flute and acoustic guitar), David Lloyd (lead and rhythm guitar), Leroy James (guitar), Stefan Dickers (bass), Gabriele Baldocci (keyboards), and Neil Hayman (percussion), their third album Why the Sea Is Salt will be released on 28 October through Bad Elephant Music. You'll get an exclusive first listen on this show to the track "Tuesday's Child," as well as a wide-ranging interview with Morton about the virtuosity now found among his bandmates, the recurring lyrical themes among The Gift's albums, and a game of "Choose the Best Genesis Song" from among eight tracks for this former tribute band vocalist. Find them online at http://thegiftmusic.com.
To listen to the first episode featuring The Gift, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/episode-058-walk-into-the-water-with-the-gift
A podcast dedicated to progressive music in its various forms, including interviews with the musicians themselves.
I'm a fan of all sorts of music, but primarily progressive rock, progressive metal, and electronic. I also run a voiceover/audio recording business, Sound Mind Voiceovers (www.soundmindvoiceovers.com). As a narrator for the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, I've recorded almost 400 audiobooks. You can also find titles I've narrated for the commercial audio market on audible.com.
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