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A podcast dedicated to progressive music in its various forms, including interviews with the musicians themselves.

Progtopia Mark Ashby

    • Musik

A podcast dedicated to progressive music in its various forms, including interviews with the musicians themselves.

    Episode 144 : Lobate Scarp - "Spirals and Portals"

    Episode 144 : Lobate Scarp - "Spirals and Portals"

    Named after an obscure topographical feature, California-based Lobate Scarp has been sharing their brand of theatrical prog with the world for close to a decade, and while they haven't had a formal release for a few years since their debut Time and Space, they're back with an EP called Spirals and Portals. The release is a prelude to an upcoming Kickstarter campaign for their second full-length album, to be formally announced in October. Host Mark Ashby speaks with singer, keyboardist, and songwriter Adam Sears about that odd band name, their crowd-funding successes and shortfalls, and their addition to the bill for RoSfest 2020 in Florida. You can learn more about them online and get their music at https://www.lobatescarp.com/.

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "Nothing Wrong"
    "Time and Space"
    "And We Tried"
    "Beautiful Light"

    To hear previous archival episodes, go to www.progtopia.com, and follow the show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/progtopia).

    • 43 Min.
    Episode 143 : Once There Was - "Breathe, Be, Bleed"

    Episode 143 : Once There Was - "Breathe, Be, Bleed"

    Some prog metal fans will know the name Jessica Lehto from her involvement in the bands Factory of Dreams (Episode 044) and Beto Vazquez Infinity. But there's a softer side to this Swedish singer/songwriter with the angelic voice, and that is reflected in her solo project, Once There Was. The style of music under this name has been fluid over the years, but the most recent release Breathe, Be, Bleed is being called "electro pop opera." Whatever you describe it as, it contains haunting vocals and harmonies, with synthesizer accompaniment ranging from driving to quietly symphonic. Host Mark Ashby speaks with her about how Once There Was has changed over the years and how it differs from other albums she guests on, why she's content being mostly a studio musician, and how digital-only releases suit artists like her. Find her online at www.jessicalehto.com.

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "Blue"
    "Heartbeats"
    "Anywhere"
    "Black"
    "Unknown"
    "Fading"

    To hear previous archival episodes, go to www.progtopia.com, and follow the show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/progtopia).

    • 36 Min.
    Episode 142 : Hemina - "Night Echoes"

    Episode 142 : Hemina - "Night Echoes"

    We obviously can't get enough of Sydney's Hemina, who have been supporters of this program since its very early days (check the archives at www.progtopia.com if you want proof). So with the release of their fourth album Night Echoes, it's only right that we check in with band members Doug Skene and Jess Martin and see what it's all about. They talk about the chances they take with diverse influences from funk to pop to 80s retro stylings mixed in with their trademark brand of progressive metal, how a song like "What's the Catch?" and its associated video were formed and fashioned, and which country seems to be surpassing all others for streams of their music. You can order all their music at http://hemina.bandcamp.com.

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "One Short"
    "We Will"
    "Flicker"
    "What's the Catch?"
    "In Technicolour"
    "The Only Way"

    To hear previous episodes featuring Hemina, as well as all archival episodes, go to www.progtopia.com.

    • 46 Min.
    Episode 141 : Edison's Children - "The Disturbance Fields"

    Episode 141 : Edison's Children - "The Disturbance Fields"

    Edison's Children are no strangers to Progtopia, having been featured twice already, but this is their return to the program after a few years' absence, with their fourth album The Disturbance Fields freshly released in mid-July. Begun as the duo of Marillion's Pete Trewavas and Eric Blackwood of Blackwood & Foti, they've added members like Rick Armstrong (son of astronaut Neil), Lisa Wetton, and Henry Rogers to create a soundscape of darkened moods and messages of warning. Those warnings on the new album are for the climate changes happening around us all with alarming speed, and with the albums single track "Washed Away" spread over 14 parts, the band tells a tale of peril at the hands of a wrathful Mother Nature. Trewavas stops by to talk about the band's recent gig in Florida supporting Alan Parsons, how likely he thinks a scenario like the one depicted in the album could be to really happen, and...all right, a little bit about his *other* band, too. Find them online and get the album at www.edisonschildren.com.

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "A Random Disturbance"
    "Asphyxiation"
    "The Tempest"
    "A Cold Gray Morning"
    "The Surge"
    "Into the Dead Calm"

    To hear previous episodes featuring Edison's Children and Marillion, as well as all archival episodes, go to www.progtopia.com.

    • 50 Min.
    Episode 140 : Zonder Wehrkamp - "If It's Real"

    Episode 140 : Zonder Wehrkamp - "If It's Real"

    Drummer Mark Zonder and guitarist/keyboardist Gary Wehrkamp are familiar names to progressive metal fans who listen to the likes of Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery, and Warlord. So it may come as a surprise to learn that their first album as a duo, If It's Real, leans to the introspective, melodic side. Still displaying the high-quality musicianship they're known for, Zonder and Wehrkamp take listeners down some darker trails, but with a message that if you're feeling down, this doesn't have to be the end of your story. Host Mark Ashby chats with them about the pros and cons of releasing their album independently, how they deliberately chose a more scaled-back approach on the majority of the 10 tracks on If It's Real, and how they might continue this collaboration. They're online at www.zwband.com.

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "Too Late"
    "I'd Do Anything"
    "Where Are the Children Going?"
    "If It's Real"
    "The Next Big Thing"
    "It's Not the End"

    To hear all archival episodes, visit www.progtopia.com, and www.facebook.com/progtopia to follow the show on social media.

    • 47 Min.
    Episode 139 : The Gift - "Antenna"

    Episode 139 : The Gift - "Antenna"

    Back with their fourth album, Antenna, on Bad Elephant Music are UK sextet The Gift (Mike Morton [vocals], David Lloyd [lead and rhythm guitar], Leroy James [guitar], Stefan Dickers [bass], Gabriele Baldocci [keyboards] and Neil Hayman [drums]). This release sees the band keeping true to a progressive sound while pushing their own personal boundaries from their usual 70s-based aesthetic into new territory. Host Mark Ashby chats with Morton about the liberating feeling that comes from not feeling the need to produce epic tracks, how the band has meshed over the course of the past two albums, and the intimate motivations for the beautiful track "Snowfall," which is played in full here. Find the band online at http://http://thegiftmusic.com/

    Featured songs/excerpts:
    "Wild Roses"
    "We Are Connected"
    "Far Stranger"
    "Long Time Dead"
    "Snowfall"

    To hear previous episodes featuring The Gift and all other archival episodes, visit www.progtopia.com, and www.facebook.com/progtopia to follow the show on social media.

    • 40 Min.

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