ProgSphere

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/mikael-akerfeldt-about-touring/
Mikael Akerfeldt

Opeth mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt was asked by Overdrive about his recent comments on touring becoming increasingly difficult to him and whether he could see Opeth become “a band that releases music with the occasional live show,” to which he replied:

Honestly? I would love that.

I’ve been touring a lot of the last few decades and I have to say that I’ve lost my a desire for attention.

The attention whore in me has reached its quota and I’m just more interested in creating music in the studio.

If I could survive by just writing and creating music, with a little bit of feedback, I would probably be very happy indeed.

Mikael added:

I just like to write in a controlled environment, I’m not an improvised type of player and like to be in control of everything.

So I really love the studio environment because it’s a place where you can create something from nothing and that concept is really fascinating to me and it makes me feel like I’m actually good at something.

When I’m on stage, I spend most of my time thinking about how shit I am, so I really need that studio time to make me feel like I’m actually doing something. I need to feel like I’m creating something and not just shaking my ass up on stage cracking jokes.

Asked to single out the accomplishment he’s most proud of, Akerfeldt replied:

I would have to say, the longevity of the band. This business is not easy and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult as each year rolls by. We’ve had members come and go over the years and problems with the business side of things which makes me think sometimes, ‘How the hell did we get through that?’

I was a complete slacker when I was growing up. My grades were average and all I was interested in doing was playing music. I had no real interest in getting a job of any kind and just wanted to create and write music.

I guess I’m proud of myself for making the decision of wanted to be a musician and just going for it. I would have been happy with a tin of beans and a guitar if anything else, just as long as I was making music for a living.

From that decision I made 27 years ago to today, it’s hard not be proud of what I have achieved over the years with the band and I just want to keep doing what I love, which is making music that makes me happy and excited.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/news/barry-weinberg-come-out-and-play-single/
South Florida Prog Rock Songwriter BARRY WEINBERG Launches “Beyond the Astral Sky” Single

As previously announced, South Florida-based musician Barry Weinberg is set to launches his debut album Samsarana in January 2018, a release which takes on an expanded sound that seeks to “blow up” musician’s personal experiences. After the debut single “Beyond the Astral Sky,” Weinberg are dropping a new single today, for the song “Come Out and Play.” Listen to it below.

Commented Weinberg: “The idea of ‘Come Out and Play’ came to me when I was driving by myself 14 hours from the mountains of Western North Carolina to South Florida. My mind was wondering and I started reminiscing back to when I was starting high school. At that time, like most pubescent male teens, all I could think about was music and girls. I’m driving and all of a sudden the main guitar riff popped into my head and I started singing to it. I wrote the lyrics down as I sang and ‘Come Out and Play’ was born. The lyrics are basically about a teenage kid wanting to say and do all the right things to ask a girl out… and it coming out all wrong?

He continues: “One of the main themes of ‘Samsarana’ is the polarity/duality of life’s experiences. ‘Come Out and Play’ is a fun, upbeat song about teenage crushes. The song that follows on the album is called ‘A Passage of Time’ and is a love song I wrote to my wife at our engagement. It expresses the true eternal heart connection we experience when we fall in love with somebody… in contrast to the teenage angst we feel as a kid.

Described as a fun upbeat neo-Punk song about teenage angst and high school crushes, “Come Out and Play” rides on defiant guitars and a relentless rhythm. The tune is available for streaming on Soundcloud.

For more info visit Barry Weinberg’s official website.

Other links:

YouTube

Soundcloud

ReverbNation

Facebook

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/korzo-interview/
KORZO Announce Sophomore Album "Supremacy"; First Single Out Now

Ukrainian progressive / post-rock act Korzo are about to launch their second studio album ‘Supremacy‘ through Massive Sound Recordings on November 20th. In a new interview for Prog Sphere the band discusses the message they deliver with the new album, creative process behind it, influences, and more.

Define the mission of Korzo.

Korzo is a friendly and intuitive mindscape with a lot of atmosphere and progression in the music which takes it far beyond the realms of anything you might hear from bands. We are on a mission to make an atmospheric music that is not bounded by a specific genre. Each song telling a story about things that happen around.

What is the message you are trying to give with Supremacy

The message is about inner peace: “what really means is here, inside, your inner dimension.”

Korzo - Supremacy

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

I used to write down everything that came to my mind, but now I leave only those ideas that spinning in my head for several days. Usually, I write down riffs and melodies on a recorder after which they pass selection and arrangement with musicians.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Back in 2013, we’ve recorded our first album, which was composed basically on jams and and we didn’t think about carefully crafting every moment of the track. But when it came to recording the second album with the new line-up I took a totally different approach to carefully craft each piece of the song.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

It was a quite fast process, despite the fact that were forced to put Korzo on hold back in late 2014 due to the problems with previous label and the founder members were no interest in this project anymore, so there was no line-up at the beginning of the album recording. But in the 2016 keyboard player Johaness gave an idea to revive Korzo. So I needed to find new members in few days. Then I started to write riffs and bring all the ideas to session drummer and other musicians over the internet. So, that was a little bit different process, unlike the first album which was composed on jams. A big amount of time we spent for mixing, mastering and release stuff, so that’s why the album coming just now.

How long Supremacy was in the making?

The writing and recording of the album took us about 6 months. Then for several months, we’ve solved the issues with the album release.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I have to mention some names like Sigur Ros, Devin Townsend, Flower Kings.

Korzo

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is good for promotion, the social media and all the stuff, you know. But nowadays everyone who thinks that he can sing or play recording an album. There are tons of artists around, it’s like a flood and you don’t know what listen to.

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

Well, sometimes music can help to go through the hard times. So I hope that our music makes people happy.

What are your plans for the future?

There are some ideas, which was not used in the new album, so we’re planning to record an EP and release it after the Christmas. Also, we plan to make a tour for Supremacy, but I can’t say anything more at the moment.

Hear a single “Beauty” from the upcoming album below. For more information about the band check their Facebook page.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/korzo-interview/
KORZO Announce Sophomore Album "Supremacy"; First Single Out Now

Ukrainian progressive / post-rock act Korzo are about to launch their second studio album ‘Supremacy‘ through Massive Sound Recordings on November 20th. In a new interview for Prog Sphere the band discusses the message they deliver with the new album, creative process behind it, influences, and more.

Define the mission of Korzo.

Korzo is a friendly and intuitive mindscape with a lot of atmosphere and progression in the music which takes it far beyond the realms of anything you might hear from bands. We are on a mission to make an atmospheric music that is not bounded by a specific genre. Each song telling a story about things that happen around.

What is the message you are trying to give with Supremacy

The message is about inner peace: “what really means is here, inside, your inner dimension.”

Korzo - Supremacy

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

I used to write down everything that came to my mind, but now I leave only those ideas that spinning in my head for several days. Usually, I write down riffs and melodies on a recorder after which they pass selection and arrangement with musicians.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Back in 2013, we’ve recorded our first album, which was composed basically on jams and and we didn’t think about carefully crafting every moment of the track. But when it came to recording the second album with the new line-up I took a totally different approach to carefully craft each piece of the song.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

It was a quite fast process, despite the fact that were forced to put Korzo on hold back in late 2014 due to the problems with previous label and the founder members were no interest in this project anymore, so there was no line-up at the beginning of the album recording. But in the 2016 keyboard player Johaness gave an idea to revive Korzo. So I needed to find new members in few days. Then I started to write riffs and bring all the ideas to session drummer and other musicians over the internet. So, that was a little bit different process, unlike the first album which was composed on jams. A big amount of time we spent for mixing, mastering and release stuff, so that’s why the album coming just now.

How long Supremacy was in the making?

The writing and recording of the album took us about 6 months. Then for several months, we’ve solved the issues with the album release.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I have to mention some names like Sigur Ros, Devin Townsend, Flower Kings.

Korzo

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is good for promotion, the social media and all the stuff, you know. But nowadays everyone who thinks that he can sing or play recording an album. There are tons of artists around, it’s like a flood and you don’t know what listen to.

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

Well, sometimes music can help to go through the hard times. So I hope that our music makes people happy.

What are your plans for the future?

There are some ideas, which was not used in the new album, so we’re planning to record an EP and release it after the Christmas. Also, we plan to make a tour for Supremacy, but I can’t say anything more at the moment.

Hear a single “Beauty” from the upcoming album below. For more information about the band check their Facebook page.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/derek-sherinian-about-sons-of-apollo/
DEREK SHERINIAN on SONS OF APOLLO: "We're a Rock Band with Sick-Ass Chops"

Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian – former members of Dream Theater and current members of Sons of Apollo supergroup alongside Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto – talked about what makes their new band different from the rest, with Derek telling Big Bang:

Mike and I were very instrumental in the vocals as far as the lyrics and the melody lines.

We wanted to make sure that there was none of the cheesy elements that are in most progressive rock bands.

The high vocals [mimics vocals] or the low [vocals], or the fake anger, like acting like you’re upset but you’re not.

There’s none of that shit. It’s fucking straight-up rock and roll vocals. That’s what separates Sons of Apollo from the rest of the pack. We’re a rock band with sick-ass chops with octopus pedigree.

Portnoy said:

Basically, this was my dream lineup. My dream lineup instrumentally was PSMS [the instrumental band featuring Portnoy, Sherinian, Sheehan and Tony MacAlpine], I was the one who chose that lineup as well.

I knew that was for progressive metal, kind of jazz fusion instrumental. I thought that was the best lineup for that.

Once we had that PSMS experience, Derek was, like, ‘Hey, we should turn this into a full-time band.’ The timing just wasn’t right.

Now that the timing was right, we took PSMS as a kind of a blueprint, but we knew we needed a more hard rock, heavy metal guitar god and a singer.

Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto were to me, the guys. I pictured in my head, what is the dream lineup for a progressive metal, hard rock, supergroup? This was it.

This news story was originally published here: https://www.prog-sphere.com/specials/derek-sherinian-about-sons-of-apollo/
DEREK SHERINIAN on SONS OF APOLLO: "We're a Rock Band with Sick-Ass Chops"

Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian – former members of Dream Theater and current members of Sons of Apollo supergroup alongside Billy Sheehan, Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto – talked about what makes their new band different from the rest, with Derek telling Big Bang:

Mike and I were very instrumental in the vocals as far as the lyrics and the melody lines.

We wanted to make sure that there was none of the cheesy elements that are in most progressive rock bands.

The high vocals [mimics vocals] or the low [vocals], or the fake anger, like acting like you’re upset but you’re not.

There’s none of that shit. It’s fucking straight-up rock and roll vocals. That’s what separates Sons of Apollo from the rest of the pack. We’re a rock band with sick-ass chops with octopus pedigree.

Portnoy said:

Basically, this was my dream lineup. My dream lineup instrumentally was PSMS [the instrumental band featuring Portnoy, Sherinian, Sheehan and Tony MacAlpine], I was the one who chose that lineup as well.

I knew that was for progressive metal, kind of jazz fusion instrumental. I thought that was the best lineup for that.

Once we had that PSMS experience, Derek was, like, ‘Hey, we should turn this into a full-time band.’ The timing just wasn’t right.

Now that the timing was right, we took PSMS as a kind of a blueprint, but we knew we needed a more hard rock, heavy metal guitar god and a singer.

Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto were to me, the guys. I pictured in my head, what is the dream lineup for a progressive metal, hard rock, supergroup? This was it.

This news story was originally published here: http://www.prog-sphere.com/interviews/the-earth-and-i-interview/
The Earth And I

New York-based progressive metal / djent five-piece The Earth and I released their debut album ‘The Candleman‘ earlier this month, a seven-track album that is soon to receive a successor. The band plans to release their sophomore effort titled ‘The Curtain‘ in early 2018.

About this all, The Earth and I tell us in the interview below. 

Define the mission of The Earth and I.

We like to think of ourselves as a small, regional non-profit organization focused on the relationship between individuals and the natural environment. Though music may not be the most economically sound medium, it’s the most universal—one that we hope will help us spread our message. The Candleman is a high-concept, low-fidelity adventure about the most profoundly environmentally-friendly behavior of all: eating other human beings.

Tell me about the creative process that informed The Candleman and the themes it captures.

We realized that we wanted to jump on the djent bandwagon right around the time that Periphery‘s second full-length came out, but we were never that well-funded, and that’s really, we think, what people are referring to when they suggest that we have our own sound.

From the outset, we wanted to continue a story we’d started telling as early as the band we shared in high school, the naissance of which was as a cover band of Coheed and Cambria, perhaps best known for their sequence of rich plots, dense like mid-19th century Russian literature. The lessons they (and other progressive post-hardcore artists of their ilk) taught us were hugely informative nearly a decade ago when Dan, Nick, and Suss first started sharing the stage.

For this album, we wanted to strip away some of the plot and focus a bit more on the characters. In the context of a story that might be considered horrific, we wanted to evoke an emotional response other than fear.

The Earth and I - The Candleman

What is the message you are trying to give with The Candleman?

We’ve got some sweet bangers and some sad tunes written by cuddly men with beards. So bring the whole family, ya hear?

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

Guitar Pro 6 and a shared Dropbox folder was a great boon to us. There exists sheet music for every instrument on every song on this record.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

It’s funny that you use the term “architected”, as the story’s protagonist, or perhaps antihero, is called the Architect. In a song like “Little Frames,” for instance, we dive into the Architect’s psyche and inner conflict, and the instrumentation very purposefully reflects that.

That wasn’t the case for every song though. Once, our guitarist, Liam, was tasked with chewing a full printed sheet of lyrics down to a wet wad and spitting the ball into a homemade roulette containing a random assortment of key and time signatures. After somehow accruing a sizable gambling debt, we scrapped that idea.

Whereas songs like “Little Frames” contain music and lyrics that ebb and flow in emotional tandem, others have an intentional contrast. Look at the most upbeat song on the record, “And Now for a Slight Departure.” The lyrics are depressing as hell.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Shane Stanton at Architekt Music in Butler, NJ did an incredible job tracking our drums and vocals. That man has nice preamps. So many pre’s. Pre-pre’s. He can turn a mic-level signal into gamma radiation.

Daniel Siew, our guitarist, handled all of the stringed instruments at home, spending most of his time focusing on the one-stringed phonofiddle we used for backing tracks on almost every song.

How long was The Candleman in the making?

Four and a half years is really our best estimate. The chorus to “Little Frames” was written as early as May of 2013. We spent many years writing the music, but I think there were two key components that caused the process to be artificially long and arduous. The first is that we spent a good amount of time keeping our ears to the ground for the right vocalist and, as it turns out, this is a terrible way to find a singer, unless they’re super fat and like to jog or jump rope. Or maybe if they sing via sonar through their heels. Anyway, Kendyle Wolven was the right choice.

Secondly, we jointly recorded an entire additional LP at the same time. It’s called The Curtain, and it is very much a direct companion to The Candleman. The Curtain will be out in early 2018.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Without reaching too far back, we’d sincerely like to thank Periphery, TesseracT, Monuments, Skyharbor, Exivious, David Maxim Micic, Coheed and Cambria, and Circa Survive for sharing their music with us and with everyone else. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and to that, we respond: our record is very flattering.

What is your view on technology in music?

I think we embraced the tech we could afford on this record. We’re making music in the now, and if we hadn’t adopted and adapted new technologies or new styles or new techniques to our music, then we would have merely pastiched yesterday’s art.

Tech doesn’t make music better. It certainly didn’t make our music better than, say, Steely Dan‘s music, but hopefully the technological and stylistic space we’re living in will be somehow apparent to anyone still kind enough to spin our record thirty or forty years from now. We want to participate in something relevant to us, and to the music lovers around us. We probably couldn’t have done that exactly the way we wanted with less. And, sure, there are many very evocative, emotive, resonant songs that are also relatively minimalist, or relatively old-school, but we’ll take some amp modelers, a cymbal stack, and some polymeters instead, because that’s what we have. Maybe that will make it beautiful to fans of those things right now, and maybe it will be beautiful decades from now for entirely different reasons having in large part to do with nostalgia.

Writing something genuinely timeless would be an incredible feat, and we continue to have our eyes set on that goal. For now, we’re humbled to finally share our music in 2017.

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

We’re big fans of David Maxim, and he has sort of a mantra of “Music for the Sake of Music,” which I think all of us try to embody. We just want to make music that’s meaningful and purposeful to us. If it loses that resonance, it stops being music. Anything else is icing on the cake… but we looove icing.

That, and we’re told it sets a great rhythm for cultist rituals.

What are your plans for the future?

The Candleman‘s sister LP The Curtain will be available in early 2018. We’re looking forward to sharing a selection of playthrough and music videos over the next six months. After that, we’re on to LP3, which, we were just informed by our lawyer, needs to be presented as a formal apology for the first two.

The Candleman is out now; order it from Bandcamp. Follow The Earth and I on Facebook and Instagram.

[embedded content]