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All posts for the month February, 2019

Proving that prog isn't just for dinosaurs!

I’m delighted to announce that the podcast for edition 278 of Live From Progzilla Towers is now available.

In this edition we heard the following music:

  • Haunt The Woods – Elephant
  • Crippled Black Phoenix – You Brought It Upon Yourselves
  • Crippled Black Phoenix – To You I Give
  • Glass Hammer – Fade Away
  • Hanford Flyover – Freefall
  • I Am The Manic Whale – Strandbeest (Live)
  • Illumine – Reference
  • Illumine – Sunrise
  • Kevin Gilbert – Mephisto’s Tarantella – Version One
  • Lalle Larsson Trio – Last Venus
  • The Buggles – We Can Fly From Here
  • North Atlantic Oscillation – Fernweh
  • Phil Keaggy, Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta – Caravan
  • Point Clear – Hit and Run
  • Starfish64 – Determination (Complete)
  • Talk Talk – Desire
  • Magenta – Prekestolen
  • Thumpermonkey – Make Me Young Etc
  • Thomas Giles – Incomplet
  • Thomas Giles – Milan (Feat. Kristoffer Rygg)
  • Neal Morse – A Love That Never Dies

iTunes/iPod users*: Just search for ‘Progzilla’ or subscribe to: http://www.progzilla.com/media/podcasts/podcast.xml

Enjoy!

Edition 175 of Steve Blease’s Heavy Elements is now available as a podcast.

Playlist:

Long Distance Calling – Trauma
TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc – Anthem
Queensrÿche – Blood of the Levant
Sümer – Vanes
Wolverine – And She Slowly Dies

Epic at 11: Alkaloid – Rise of the Cephalopods

Dali’s Dilemma – Despite The Waves
Atomic Opera – Achilles’ Heel

Album of the Week: Mastodon – Crack The Skye

Crack The Skye
The Czar
Ghost Of Karelia

Headspace – The Day You Return

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=23646&IdCompany=8

The Mute Gods, featuring Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett), Roger King (Steve Hackett) & Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, The Sea Within), have announced the release of their third studio album ‘Atheists and Believers’ for 22nd March 2019.

Watch Nick & Roger sit down to discuss the new album over a pint at the pub in this new interview clip: https://youtu.be/lMaZFsLhfII

Listen to the album’s title track here: https://youtu.be/yCMGNS9XmuE

Arriving just over 2 years after its predecessor ‘Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth’, Beggs once again turns his attention to the state of the world as we know it now, focussing on universal topics such as politics, humanity & love over the course of 10 tracks that run from turbulent rock compositions to more sentimental pieces of music.

Nick comments: “The album’s key message is that we now empower stupid people and don’t listen to educated, informed experts anymore because truth is no longer fashionable.”

For ‘Atheists and Believers’, Beggs has enlisted some very special guests, including Alex Lifeson, Rush’s legendary guitarist; Craig Blundell, renowned drummer currently playing with Steven Wilson’s band; multi-instrumentalist Rob Townsend with whom Beggs worked in Steve Hackett’s band and his vocalist daughter, Lula Beggs.

‘Atheists and Believers’ will be released on Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD & as a digital album. You can find the full track-listing below:

  1. Atheists and Believers
    2. One Day
    3. Knucklehead
    4. Envy the Dead
    5. Sonic Boom
    6. Old Men
    7. The House Where Love Once Lived
    8. Iridium Heart
    9. Twisted World, Godless Universe
    10. I Think Of You


The Mute Gods is the musical vehicle Beggs created in 2015 to channel his song writing. It was conceived while he was embarking on an intensive period of almost continuous touring, firstly with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and then latterly, Steven Wilson, the prolific, widely-acclaimed composer, musician and record producer with whom Beggs still records and tours.

Beggs’ career spans nearly four decades, working with artists across a broad musical spectrum. Bassist, stick player, composer and vocalist, Beggs has sold more than three million records with his own groups, including Kajagoogoo, as well as contributing to genres such as pop, rock, funk, soul, Celtic and latterly, progressive rock.

Among the artists with whom he has collaborated are rock and pop legends John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Belinda Carlisle, Kim Wilde, Gary Numan, Seal and Engelbert Humperdink, as well as progressive rock’s Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Iona and Lifesigns.

Alongside Beggs in The Mute Gods are his regular collaborators Roger King and Marco Minnemann. King is the keyboards player, guitarist and producer of Atheists and Believers, and Steve Hackett’s right-hand man for more than 20 years. Minneman, who has also played with Joe Satriani, is regarded as one of rock’s most exciting drummers and has worked with Beggs on Wilson tours and recordings.

The Mute Gods Online:
http://www.themutegods.com
https://facebook.com/themutegods
https://twitter.com/themutegods


INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=23644&IdCompany=8

Swedish alternative rockers PORT NOIR are pleased to announce the release of their new album, ‘The New Routine’ on the 10th May 2019, their first for InsideOutMusic and the beginning of a new sound for the band.

The band comments: “We went back to the music we grew up with and tried to find out what got us into playing in a band in the first place and fused it with the music that inspires us today. The result is our best album yet. It’s The New Routine.

The new album sees the trio blending old-school rock with contemporary pop, R&B and hip-hop in a creative and minimalistic fashion. Inspired by bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Death from Above 1979, The Weeknd, Daft Punk, Queens of the Stone Age, ‘The New Routine’ is direct, energetic and intense.

‘The New Routine’ will be available as CD, LP + CD & as digital album, and the track-listing is as follows:

1. Old Fashioned
2. Flawless
3. Blow
4. Champagne
5. Low Lights
6. 13
7. Young Bloods
8. Define Us
9. Drive
10. Down For Delight
11. Out Of Line

Watch the video for the track ‘Old Fashioned’ (the album’s opening track) here: https://youtu.be/tZ6BiRnTol8

Stream / download the single here: https://PortNoir.lnk.to/OldFashioned

Consisting of Love Andersson (bass, vocals), AW Wiberg (drums) and Andreas Hollstrand (guitar, keys and backing vocals) they’re a band that’s been around since 2011. During the years they’ve toured and played extensively through Europe supporting In Flames, Pain of Salvation, and Karnivool to name a few.

Their last album ‘Any Way The Wind Carries’ was released in 2016, with Metal Hammer UK commenting that it combined “aching melody with shuddering depth.” Recorded with Daniel Bergstrand, at a small mountain village in southern Spain instead of their native Sweden, ‘Any Way the Wind Carries’ was another bold statement from a band that defies pigeonholing in favour of embracing a vast array of influences and distilling these into smartly arranged, concise songs.

PORT NOIR is:
Andreas Wiberg
Love Andersson
Andreas Hollstrand

PORT NOIR online:
www.portnoir.com
https://www.facebook.com/portnoirofficial/
https://twitter.com/portnoir
https://www.instagram.com/portnoir/


INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=23641&IdCompany=8

Tim Bowness’ fifth solo album ‘Flowers At The Scene’ is set for release on InsideOutMusic/Sony on the 1st March 2019. Produced by no-man, the album is a vibrant collection of 11 strikingly diverse songs.

With a week to go until the albums release, today sees the launch of the track ‘It’s The World’, which features the talents of Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Steven Wilson, Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) & Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree). Watch the video now here: https://youtu.be/ohSYbX4qHzc

Tim comments: “This is the outlier on Flowers At The Scene.

I Go Deeper and Borderline are unique to themselves, but don’t feel out of character with other songs on FATS. It’s The World is definitely a track apart, though.

It started with me writing a song using guitar and trumpet loops and ended with Brian Hulse fleshing out the chorus, Jim Matheos adding some Metallic menace, and rhythm section Tom Atherton and Colin Edwin taking to the piece like twin Lemmys to whiskey.

I could hear a Peter Hammill shaped hole in the chorus – as you do – so I asked PH to add some backing vocals. In his Rikki Nadir guise, he also played some savage guitars on the chorus.

Steven Wilson beefed up what was there with his usual mixing flair and added a haunting synth towards the end of the song.

The lyric is an account of someone blaming everything external on what might be an internal problem. On some levels, it’s self-pity on a global scale but with the current state of the world it’s not exactly clearcut.

Bob Hodds’ video very nicely captures the paranoia in the lyrics.”

Tim and his live band have also confirmed some initial live dates, including an appearance at Night Of The Prog Festival 2019. Find those dates below:

31st May – De Boerdij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands (co-headlining with Anneke Van Giersbergen)
2nd June – Wroclaw, Poland
3rd June – Warsaw, Poland
7th June – Dingwalls, London, England (support from Amy Birks)
20th July – Night Of The Prog, Loreley, Germany

Listen to ‘Borderline’, featuring Big Big Train’s David Longdon on backing vocals & flute, as well as Dylan Howe, Colin Edwin & Ian Dixon here: https://youtu.be/qDuOJWLXM28

The second in a series of podcast episodes where Tim gives some background on the new album was recently launched, and you can listen to the first part here: https://timbowness.lnk.to/FlowersAtTheScenePodcast

Watch the video for ‘I Go Deeper’, the first single from the album, here: https://youtu.be/ptY7m76xAps

‘Flowers At The Scene’ will be available as CD, LP + CD & as a digital album, as well as a limited edition red coloured vinyl version available exclusively through Burning Shed. Pre-order now here: https://timbowness.lnk.to/FlowersAtTheScene

Prog Magazine have said of the album it is “literate, heart-aching art rock at its finest”, while Louder Than War comment that the record “sees him delivering a set that drips with the tasteful quality you’d expect given his fastidious care and meticulous work ethic.

Tim comments of the new album: “‘Lost In The Ghost Light felt like a conclusion to a particular way of writing and working. In the wake of that, Flowers At The Scene very much feels like a new beginning.

It was an exciting project to put together and it was great working closely with long-term creative partners, Brian Hulse and Steven Wilson plus a talented cast of new collaborators. Steven was initially brought in to mix the album, but very quickly was helping develop production ideas alongside Brian and I. Listening to pieces such as Not Married Anymore, Borderline and The War On Me, we both felt that the project had more than a hint of the spirit of no-man and it became obvious that this was a no-man co-production rather than a Bowness/Wilson one.

Elsewhere, the likes of Jim Matheos, Colin Edwin, Dylan Howe and Tom Atherton delivered some incredible performances and it was a delight to get Peter Hammill, Kevin Godley, Andy Partridge and David Longdon involved.

Peter and Kevin were two of my favourite singers growing up and I’ve been a long-term fan of XTC, so it was genuinely a thrill to hear their excellent contributions.”

Representing the duo of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson’s first joint production in over a decade, the album features performances from an extraordinary cast of players including Peter Hammill (Van Der Graaf Generator), Andy Partridge (XTC), Kevin Godley (10cc), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree), Jim Matheos (Fates Warning), David Longdon (Big Big Train), co-producer Brian Hulse (Plenty), Australian trumpeter Ian Dixon, and drummers Tom Atherton and Dylan Howe. The Curator, David K Jones, violinist Fran Broady and Charles Grimsdale also guest.

Mixed by Steven Wilson and mastered by The Pineapple Thief’s Steve Kitch, the album’s artwork is by Jarrod Gosling.

The full track-listing is as follows:
1) I Go Deeper (4.15)
2) The Train That Pulled Away (4.04)
3) Rainmark (4.15)
4) Not Married Anymore (3.30)
5) Flowers At The Scene (3.04)
6) It’s The World (3.03)
7) Borderline (3.45)
8) Ghostlike (5.08)
9) The War On Me (3.47)
10) Killing To Survive (3.59)
11) What Lies Here (4.00)


Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with no-man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson.

In addition to releasing six studio albums and a documentary DVD with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice, Mercury Prize nominated Banco De Gaia, Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera (amongst many others).

Tim recorded the album Flame (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), and co-produced/co-wrote Talking With Strangers (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention).

Tim Bowness released his fourth solo album, ‘Lost In The Ghost Light’ last year through InsideOutMusic, garnering the best solo reviews he has ever received and reaching #5 in the official UK rock chart. It also picked up Best Cover Artwork at the prestigious annual Progressive Music Awards 2017.

TIM BOWNESS online:
http://www.timbowness.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/timbowness
https://twitter.com/TimBowness

INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

THE PROGRESSIVE TRACKS SHOW #301 
(Continuing to ‘Generate’)

Welcome to the 2nd set of 300 editions of The Progressive Tracks Show… as I continue to ‘generate’ sound with the help of some amazing artists!

Some shows are pleasing… others are ‘interesting’. This particular one may fall into that ‘interesting’ category. It’ll be top-notch music, designed to expand your listening pallet!

Remember, you can access podcasts of any previous Progressive Tracks Show at: http://www.progzilla.com/?s=progressive+tracks (there are 140 now!).

PLAYLIST:

  • Tera Melos – “Trash Generator” from Trash Generator on Sargent House
  • a.P.A.t.T. – “Yes… That’s Positive” from Fun With Music on Hi-N-DRY L.L.C.
  • Frank Zappa – “Peaches en Regalia” from Hot Rats on Frank Zappa Catalog
  • Jork – “AE-35” from Uneasy Truce on Jork
  • Sha’s Feckel – “Knarrho” from Greatest Hits on Ronin Rhythm Records
  • Frank Zappa – “It Must Be A Camel” from Hot Rats on Frank Zappa Catalog
  • The Bob Lazar Story – “Meat Whores/Glass-Eyed and Frankly Ft. Crazy Legs” from The Silence of Perez de Cuellar EP on Lucidbrucemusic
  • Abrete Gandul – “Diligencias Pendientes” from on Abrete Gandul
  • Frank Zappa – “Willie The Pimp” from Hot Rats on Frank Zappa Catalog
  • Tera Melos – “System Preferences” from Trash Generator on Sargent House
  • a.P.A.t.T. – “Works Like A Charm” from Fun With Music on Hi-N-DRY L.L.C.
  • The Bob Lazar Story – “There’s No Trolley” from The Silence of Perez de Cuellar EP on Lucidbrucemusic
  • Abrete Gandul – “Tango Ideologicamente Falso” from Referencias Circulares on Abrete Gandul
  • Yowie – “The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You” from Synchromysticism on Skin Graft Records
  • The Bob Lazar Story – “My Hand Looks Like A Brontosaurus” from The Silence of Perez de Cuellar EP on Lucidbrucemusic

If you have comments or suggestions for show topics/ music (always welcome), feel free to contact me any time via email:  ProgTracks@KPTZ.org

But first… enjoy the show!

Mike “ProgTracks” Pollack

P.S.  You can skip looking for these posts each week by subscribing to the podcast below!

Edition 146 of THE PROG MILL – first broadcast on Progzilla Radio on Sunday 24th February, is now also available to stream anytime you like or download as a mp3 file. Two hours of superb progressive rock. This week no less than NINE artists or bands appear on the show for the very first time #supportingnewprog

This Week’s Playlist

The playlist for last night’s PROG MILL (edition 146 for Progzilla Radio and 366 in total) first broadcast Sunday 24 February, was:

1 I Am The Manic Whale – The Man With Many Faces (New Forms of Life – Live at the Oakwood)
2 Time Collider – Clock Strikes Twlve (Travel Conspiracy)
3 Deafening Opera – At The Edge (Let Silence Fall)
4 Skylake – Luna (In Orbit)
5 O.A.K. – La Cena Delle Beffe (Giordano Bruno)
6 Cheeto’s Magazine – Ready to Rumble (Amazingous)
7 Weend’o- Angel Dust (Time of Awakening)
8 On The Raw – Big City Awakes (Big City Awakes)
9 CREA – Some of Us (Dwarves and Penguins)
10 Anton Evans – Sit Back (Outliers)
11 The Emerald Dawn – Shadow in Light (Searching for the Lost Key)
12 Bloodrock – Scottsman (Passage)
13 Zan Zone – For The Rising Sun (Its Only Natural)
14 Wigwam – Fairyport (Fairyport)
15 Focus – Le Cathedrale de Strasbourg (Hamburger Concerto)

You can hear The Prog Mill on Progzilla Radio at these times every week (www.progzilla.com/listen – via the tune in radio app and on internet radios):

Sundays 10pm – Midnight UK (2200utc) – main broadcast
Tuesdays 0300-0500 UK (0300UTC) – For North America – Mon 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern
Tuesdays 2300-0100UK (2300 UTC) – 1500 Pacific/1800 Eastern
Saturdays 6-8pm UK (1800 UTC) – Family friendly Saturday evening repeat

Your melodic and symphonic progressive rock music suggestions for the show are very welcome. Just email shaun@progzilla.com, or message via twitter @shaunontheair or facebook.com/theprogmill

 

KRAZZ LOFT VINYL SHOW

 

Broadcast   24th  February 2019

1.       Soul Sacrifice Santana
2.       Westside Story Medley Buddy Rich
3.       Oo-Wee Ringo Starr
4.       The Wife Of Ushers Well Steeleye Span
5.       Jitterbug Charlie Daniels Band
6.       You got me Hummin Cold Blood
7.       Place Over There Buddy Miles
8.       Flight Of The Snow Goose/ Preparation/Dunkirk Camel
9.       Love Me Now Gino Vannelli
10.   Jane Seymore Rick Wakeman
SAILIN’ 6-PACK
11.   Sailing Rod Stewart
12.   Son Of A Son Of A Sailor Jimmy Buffett
13.   Come Sail Away Styx
14.   Sail On Sailor The Beach Boys
15.   Sea Cruise Glenn Frey
16.   Vahevala Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina
17.   Maggie Redbone
18.   Indian Summer Elton John
19.   Pocahontas Neil Young
20.   Just For Kicks Savoy Brown
21.   The Break Up Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em) Greg Kihn
22.   Sub-Missions Sex Pistols
23.   Digital Man Rush
SLIDE INTO A SIDE – side 1 INITIATION – TODD RUNDGREN
24.   Real Man
25.   Born To Synthesize
26.   The Death Of Rock and Roll
27.   Eastern Intrigue
28.   Initiation
29.   Fair Warning  
30.   Wild Horses (cvr-Jagger/Richards-Sticky Fingers-71, GP) Flying Burrito Brothers
31.   Age Old Puppet Norton Buffalo
32.   One Day John Batdorf / Mark Rodney
THE FAMILIAR TO THE FORGOTTEN
33.   Roundabout Yes
34.   Prince Rupert Awakes King Crimson
SWINGTIME IN THE KRAZZLOFT
35.   Take The “A” Train (written 1939 by Billy Strayhorn) Count Basie Orch/Duke Ellington Orch
36.   Autobahn Blues Woody Herman & His Herd
37.   Satin Soul Blue Mitchell
38.   40,000 Headmen Blood Sweat & Tears
39.   Halo Of Flies Alice Cooper
40.   Child In Time Deep Purple
41.   Bombay Calling It’s A Beautiful Day
42.   Candlemas Carol Steve Ashley
43.   The Enchanted Gypsy Donovan
44.   Troof Shawn Phillips (Ft Worth)
45.   Sugar Ditch Hank Crawford

This news story was originally published here: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/newsdetailed.aspx?IdNews=23639&IdCompany=8

Lonely Robot, the project masterminded by producer, guitarist and singer/songwriter John Mitchell (Kino, Frost*, Arena, It Bites), have announced the release of ‘Under Stars’ for the 26th April 2019.

John comments: “It is the final part in the astronaut trilogy, and was recorded over an intensive month and a half period. This time I wanted to reference my love of 80’s synthwave pop a little more, so beware the 808! The title is derived from belief that we as humans spend far too much time not noticing the beauty around us and far too much time tethered to technology.” 

The album once again features drums by long-time collaborator Craig Blundell (Steven Wilson), plus bass contributions from Steve Vantsis (Fish), with all other instrumentation on the album delivered by Mitchell himself.

‘Under Stars’ will be released as a limited edition digipak CD (featuring 3 bonus tracks), gatefold 2LP + CD & as digital album. 

The track-listing is as follows:
1. Terminal Earth
2. Ancient Ascendant
3. Icarus
4. Under Stars
5. Authorship Of Our Lives
6. The Signal
7. The Only Time I Don’t Belong Is Now
8. When Gravity Fails
9. How Bright Is The Sun?
10. Inside This Machine
11. An Ending
12. How Bright Is The Sun? (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
13. Under Stars (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
14. Lonely Robot – Chapter One – Airlock* CD / digital bonus track

‘Under Stars’ is the final album in a trilogy for Lonely Robot, John Mitchell’s visionary project. This began in 2015 with the ‘Please Come Home’ album and continued two years later with ”The Big Dream’.
I always saw this as a trilogy, and it feels like the third part of the Lonely Robot master plan has reached a natural conclusion.

As with the two previous albums, there is a theme running across the songs here, as Mitchell explains.
On ‘Please Come Home’, the theme was about the idea that life on Earth didn’t originate from this planet, while for ‘The Big Dream’, I was really giving everyone the benefit of Zen musings according to John Mitchell. This time things are a little more down to earth. What I am doing is looking the millennial generation, and the fact that kids today are so tied to their phones and to technology. They really have no clue what is actually going on around them, and I find that worrying.

John Mitchell is a man with a rich musical heritage and history – from musician and vocalist, to songwriter and producer. With bands like Arena, Frost*, Kino, It Bites and Lonely Robot, to name but a few, Mitchell has left his mark on the current progressive rock scene and has been involved in dozens of recordings. He is also a respected producer & mixer, running Outhouse Studios in the UK and working with artists as diverse as You Me At Six, Enter Shikari, Alter Bridge, Asia, Don Broco, Funeral For A Friend, McFly & much more.

LONELY ROBOT online:
www.facebook.com/johnchristianmitchell
www.johnmitchellhq.com


INSIDEOUTMUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/insideouteu
www.insideoutshop.de

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/whitesides-daughter-interview/
Whiteside's Daughter

Looking at the “influences” section on Whiteside’s Daughter‘s Facebook page reveals quite an interesting selection of artists that this Jackson, Mississippi trio cites in order to describe their work. The genre they make — dubbed as Southern Gothic Prog Rock/Proto Metal — is possibly the weirdest tag you could discover, but take a listen to a promo the band launched on Bandcamp, and you’ll be exposed to quite a pleasant collection of tunes.

The full-length album titled ‘The Life You Save‘ will be launched this June, and the trio — featuring Steve Poff on vocals, Brian Hughley on drums, and Steve Deaton on guitars, bass, and keyboards — tackles a concept story “about James, the gay son of an Alabama Pentecostal preacher, who in high school rebels and falls in with John, his ex-Baptist atheist classmate and guitarist for a high school death metal band called Village Witch.” 

Deaton spoke for Prog Sphere about the upcoming release.

Define the mission of Whiteside’s Daughter.

Our primary goal is to make music that we would want to listen to ourselves. We do aspire to create conceptual music that will catch the ear of those who enjoy adventurous music and narrative concepts.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your debut album “The Life You Save” and the themes it captures.

I’ve had this concept about fundamentalist religion brewing for some years, based on my own experience of growing up Southern Baptist and from the many similar stories I’ve heard from friends or read in literature. I’ve always loved the dark, grotesque, and taboo themes of Southern Gothic literature, especially in Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, and I thought the story of hellfire preaching, guilt, suicide attempts fit nicely in that narrative genre.  I’ve also been drawn to dark music (Sabbath, Pentagram, early Opeth) with dramatic riffs and minor keys, and thought it would be cool to merge Southern Gothic literature with progressive rock, gothic rock, and proto-metal.

What is the message you are trying to give with “The Life You Save”? 

Ultimately, I hope the story will stand by itself as a compelling narrative without any overt political or religious or anti-religious messages. But that being said, this story clearly wants to display the tragic consequences of young kids being told that Hell is real and that being gay, or having doubts, or listening to Iron Maiden, or having premarital sex or whatever will doom you for eternity. In the Deep South, that stuff is very real. I and many others I’ve known have experienced the depression and suicidal thoughts that come with all that. And a few of my friends have actually succeeded in killing themselves. The story is also about the liberating joy of rebelling against all that religious authority, and embracing the rebellious myth of Satan that comes in the teenage rebellion of Satanic metal, death metal, black metal, what have you. I lived through the “Satanic Panic” of the 80’s and was terrified of listening to Sabbath, Maiden, or Ozzy, or even KISS. No kidding! Some of my friends, though, somehow had already discovered stuff like Bathory, Slayer, and Celtic Frost, and that really scared me. When I began to finally shed all that religious baggage as an adult, it was so liberating to even listen to all that music, and I developed a real connection to it.

Whiteside's Daughter - The Life You Save

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Well, all three of us have DAW software such as Logic Pro and because we live in separate places in Mississippi and Alabama, we did the whole project through file sharing. So, for instance, I would have a rough idea for some riffs or chord progressions and I would send those to Brian who would come up with some drum ideas and send it back, or send it to Poff with a basic vocal melody and let him elaborate and modify it because he has a broader vocal range. So, a lot of back and forth, trial and error.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes. I really wanted the story to have that continuous flow—ups and downs, different moods, loud and soft—just like a good movie. The two albums that were obvious influences are Floyd’s The Wall and The Who’s Tommy.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

We really wanted the album to have a lot of variety of sonic textures, but overall we wanted a raw, vintage, live sound—even though we were never all in the same room recording. But especially the drums, we recorded with only four mics, using mostly the sound from the two overheads, and tuning the kit loud and open. We wanted it to sound like early Sabbath and Zeppelin, if we could.  And the guitar tones, I wanted to be raunchy at times—very 70’s. And even though we throw in some dramatic synth stuff, it is old FM synth with wild sweeps, like late 70’s and early 80’s Rush. So even though I love a lot of the current progressive metal and rock, a lot of the new stuff sounds very quantized and produced with drum triggers and such. We didn’t want it to sound like that.

How long “The Life You Save” was in the making?

We started throwing around ideas and file sharing early in 2017—so almost two years.

Steve Deaton

Steve Deaton

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

A lot of prog and metal of course—Opeth, King Crimson, Black Sabbath especially. The concept album idea was strongly influenced by Pink Floyd and The Who. But some of our Southern roots sneak in like the dual guitar work of Molly Hatchet or even The Allman Brothers. And the real poppy song about teenage rebellion is straight up power pop like Cheap Trick or early Who.

What is your view on technology in music?

This project couldn’t have happened without modern digital software. I think digital technology is simply a tool and can be used in many ways. Music can still sound very live and organic, if desired. It just makes the work flow a lot easier and a lot cheaper which is great for independent artists. And I don’t even have a problem with modern pop or experimental music that can be made almost entirely sitting at your laptop. As long as people are doing something inventive that is interesting to listen to, I really don’t care. Sure, it can make music production lazy and stale, but it doesn’t have to.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

As I said earlier, I hope the music is always the primary objective and can stand by itself. But if this story concept by its very nature gets across a message that people can dig, or hate, or find solace in, that’s cool, too.

What are your plans for the future?

Even though this has been a studio project so far, we are planning to put together a live performance of the entire concept. We plan to periodically stage it as a musical dramatic piece in small theaters, in college auditoriums etc. And we already have some ideas for a new concept record, and we have added a bass player to our line up for live purposes, but he also will participate in recording the new project.