Go in-depth with prog rock, prog metal, and electronic music
Episode 129 : Matt Stevens Gets Verbose; and When the Squad Was New
May 23, 2018 10:27 PM PDT
Guitarist Matt Stevens should be no stranger to fans of up-and-coming prog and post-rock music, as the band he's part of -- The Fierce and the Dead -- are on quite the tear in the past couple of years. Securing some key opening slot and festival gigs, the band is riding the wave to greater success, the latest chapter of which is the release of their new album The Euphoric on Bad Elephant Music. Stevens chats with host Mark Ashby about how they're controlling the tempo of their increase in stature, how much of the recorded output is live-to-tape or otherwise, and some tales of playing RoSfest in the USA in 2017. For the second half of the show, we set the wayback machine to August 2014 for a listen in on the very first episode of The Prog Squad, just when you thought those shows might be lost forever. Hear what David Elliott, Jason Spencer, and Cliff Pearson were like before they got to know each other better -- it's like a blind date! Visit The Fierce and the Dead online at www.fierceandthedead.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 128 : Acquiescing with Geoff Barone; Babylonian Prog; and From DC to Denmark
May 11, 2018 02:31 PM PDT
Six years ago, multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barone was on the program discussing his conceptual work Conversation Pieces. He's back this year with a somewhat heavier and, in his words, more "to the point" collection of songs titled Acquiescence. With echoes of the likes of Devin Townsend and even some musical theater, this eclectic album covers topics from his ambivalent relationship with the city he came to and later left -- New York -- and how he hopes his children will turn out all right, among many others. Hear some insights into his inspirations and influences in his chat with host Mark Ashby. Lady Obscure editor Lacy Mucklow and her concert-going pal Dave Perrussel (also a LO contributor) have a first-person report of their journey from their homebase in Washington, DC, all the way to Anubis Gate's home country of Denmark for one of the gigs on their "Shortest Tour Ever." And our Triple Track Special uses the theme of Babylon in three songs from prog artists present and past. Find the artists featured here at www.geoffbarone.com and www.anubisgate.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 127 : Wavestar Part Deux; Holozappa; and Great Opening Lines
April 20, 2018 09:44 PM PDT
It's been many years since the original electronic-music duo Wavestar of John Dyson and Dave Ward-Hunt got together -- about 35, to be somewhat precise. And although Dyson has produced several solo albums since then, it's been many years since the last release with the Wavestar name came out. Now with Paul Ward and Stefan Whitlan bringing their keyboard and compositional skills to the fold, the band is retagged Wavestar II, and the long-awaited album Nightwinds is now available. All three of the guys chat with host Mark Ashby about the olden days of Wavestar, the importance of the Korg Sigma to the trademark Dyson sound, and how this album went from being a Dyson solo project to a group effort. In the Prog Squad, Cliff, Jason, and David join Mark in discussions about the upcoming Frank Zappa hologram tour, awesome album openers, and bands they were behind the times in appreciating. You can order Nightwinds from www.groove.nl or www.cd-services.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 126 : Circuline Is Majestik; Bye-Bye iTunes; and Proggy Jesus
April 06, 2018 01:20 PM PDT
New York's Circuline is going live -- on CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, that is. The band first heard from on Progtopia in Episode 094 is making the first of two planned concert products available this May, two years after their appearance at RoSFest in Gettysburg. Dubbed Circulive::Majestik, it chronicles that show in both video and audio form, and if you jump in on their Pledge Music campaign by April 17, you can get some neat perks along with it. Hear from keyboardist Andrew Colyer and drummer Darin Brannon about the process of creating the video version, the planned second live release later this year, and why they won't be touring again until 2019. In the Prog Squad, all four panelists are miraculously present to talk about the rumored demise of iTunes in favor of fully-streaming platforms, whether Gizmodrome truly is a super group, and if music videos still have a place 30-plus years after TV showed them regularly. Finally, Mark makes a plea for recognition of Webber and Rice's musical Jesus Christ Superstar as a progressive masterwork.
Circuline is on the web at www.circulinemusic.com.
March 15, 2018 06:37 PM PDT
Sweden isn't just a land of top-quality prog metal; you'll also find some great electronic-based prog there, too. Xanima's newest album Planet Hope was released in late 2017, and you'll hear from singer Jade Ell (pictured) and keyboardist Pelle Händén about their many influences and how they conceptualize their works, as well as why they incorporate spoken word and dance elements into their live shows. Also, Prog Squad panelist David Elliott joins us for a one-on-one to talk about the ins-and-outs of running his label Bad Elephant Music, including the types of demanding journalists that bother him the most. Finally, a Potentially Unpopular Position segment from Mark about why maybe some folks need to tone down their fetish with Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett. Websites to visit include https://xanimamusic.bandcamp.com and www.badelephant.co.uk.
March 02, 2018 05:28 AM PST
Featured in this episode of the show is our interview with three of the four members of Chicago's The Cyberiam. Comprised of (l. to r.) Tommy Murray on drums, Keith Semple on vocals and guitar, Brian Kovacs on bass, and Frank Lucas on keyboards, their self-titled debut album is now out, and with their respective groundings in genres within and beyond prog, it's a fully-formed recording that sounds more mature than most bands' first outings. You'll hear about the making of the album and a lot more besides. Plus, we hear from Yes expert and broadcaster/podcaster Roman Guzman with his and Mark's thoughts about the reissue (with new vocals) of the band's 2011 album Fly From Here. And there's a theme of nostalgia running through this show, with three tracks all dealing with that particular emotion in their own ways. All that and a 30 Second Sales Pitch from Poland's Pinn Dropp!
February 16, 2018 10:08 PM PST
Marillionaires. Freaks. Denizens of The Web. They've gone by many names over the years, but one defining characteristic of Marillion's fan base is that they're a family. Intensely loyal, unfailingly generous to each other, and passionate about their favorite band, we spend this special double episode examining these curious folks, of which host Mark Ashby proudly counts himself as a member. With their short US tour in February beginning on the Cruise to the Edge and ending in Dallas, Marillion is swinging through North America for the second time in less than two years including neglected areas in the south, and you'll hear pre-concert views and opinions from some enthusiasts, excerpts from Progtopia's interview with Pete Trewavas from 2016, and a rant/plea from your host about proper concert etiquette and what we all can do about breaches of it.
To hear the Backstage Pass interview with Pete, go to http://progtopia.libsyn.com/progtopia-backstage-pass-5-marillion-risks-melting-their-guns-as-a-show-of-strength
January 28, 2018 07:47 PM PST
Australia's prog scene is by all accounts booming, and one indication of that was the Progfest show held in Sydney on the 20th of January. Several-time guests Hemina were part of the Poseidon Stage there, and guitarist/singer Doug Skene checks in as a correspondent about the bands that were part of the festival -- most of which are new to us at Progtopia. Jason, David, and Mark chat in the Prog Squad about a UK pub's policy of not booking female-fronted bands and other subjects. Finally, Mark debuts the Potentially Unpopular Position (PUP) to explain why he thinks it's all right that Tangerine Dream pressed onward without their late founding member Edgar Froese.
Featured song excerpts:
January 11, 2018 07:25 PM PST
Our first episode with the new format features host Mark Ashby's interview with keyboardist, guitarist, and singer/songwriter Adam Wakeman. Last heard from in Episode 030, Wakeman is releasing a new album with Headspace bandmate Damian Wilson (interviewed in Episode 107 last year), their second. Hear about the Kickstarter for the album and its unique perks, how he went about booking their tour, and exclusive first listens to excerpts from tracks from their sophomore effort. Next, Lady Obscure editor Lacy Mucklow checks in with her report on the Galactic Cowboys reunion and album release show in Houston on December 1st. Then, the roundtable Prog Squad returns to the airwaves with Mark, Jason Spencer, and David Elliott discussing Big Big Train, the Security Project, and veteran bands they do and don't necessarily need to see live again. Finally, a call to all bands and artists out there for our 30-Second Sales Pitch segment. We want to hear from you so that the world will hear from you, too!
Featured song excerpts:
December 29, 2017 09:52 PM PST
Six years down, and while there are some changes in store for the show in 2018, it's that time in the calendar when we look back on what has come in the previous 12 months. You'll not only hear clips from interviews and songs from all the guests we've had on the show in 2017, you'll also learn the winners of Progtopia's year-end awards in eight categories (in no particular order): Best Newcomer, Best Bass Performance, Best Drums Performance, Best Keyboard Performance, Best Guitar Performance, Best Vocal Performance, Best Song, and Best Album. Who wins? Oh, come now. You'll have to listen to find out! When you're finished, catch up with all the full episodes at www.progtopia.com. Thanks for your support and making this another wonderful year!
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.
Mark ashby's Friends
Subscribe to this Podcast