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Svetonio View Drop Down
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Joined: September 20 2010
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pseudo/Sentai
    Posted: February 01 2015 at 17:35
In favor of my blog "2010s New Prog Revolution",  I made an interview with Smurph from NYC's band Pseudo / Sentai, in December 2014.
Here is it.
 
 
 
 
 Some people think that flame is finnally gone out and that the prog rock have no future, also that the unsigned & unknow prog artists would not release they albums online at e.g. Bandcamp but just a few CDs for their families and friends that is great to be released and so on. What you as a contemporary prog musician think about new prog in general and at the end of 2014?

I'm confused about you saying things about artists releasing things at home and not on bandcamp. I have known some recluse type musicians that only want to share things with their families and friends, but that's not an epidemic. Most artists want their statement to be heard in some form. And even the recluse types have sound clouds and they will share them when they want.

For me to speak of specifically 2014 is kinda silly. I don't keep up with the years very often. I check the "Suggest New Bands" and keep my eyes mostly on the Avant Progressive forum that Udi Koomran runs, but I'm more often discovering bands from 2012-2013 because I'll get so focused on my own music. But seriously I am excited about music now. I think every year since the early days of online streaming music (2004/2005/2006) has been the best year ever. Every year you have more bands, more groups, and more music. Now quantity can't compete with quality, but I will say that we have both nowadays

 

So much quality exists in fact, that most of my favorite bands don't make any money off what they do. There is an explosion of quality music but the music business is shrinking slightly every year. Still, as a creator of music myself, I know that if I never have a child and focus entirely on music, I will be able to create enough to be proud of my output before I die.

  What about the lack of prog acts at the major festivals? What's the major reason in your opinion?

There is a lack of prog rock at major festivals because there isn't a market for prog. There are some great modern extreme prog bands playing at festivals because metal has a market. There are some prog/alternative bands that play at festivals because there is a market for alternative music and if you're able to create memorable, catchy riffs while keeping the prog mentality there is still a market. There is still a market for prog related jam bands like Eumatik, Umphrey's, etc but I'm personally not willing to sit through 35 bad jam bands for 4 good ones.

I know there are some prog festivals that exist, like Nearfest (not sure if this is still going on) and there's a cool venue called ProgHouse in New Jersey, but for me the festivals that truly matter are the RIO festivals in France in Japan every year. I would kill to have enough money to go to those festivals every year but I'm too focused on my own music. I don't even go to more than one show a month at most. Very disappointing to miss all of those experiences but this is the sacrifice needed to create an output while working a full time job.

 Would you think that new prog will be regarded much better if some of the legendary, globallyknown, major festivals should be declared by the state as a cultural heritage, so the corporations that would be expelled from the organization of the festival and then the festival to be organized by, say, the ministry of culture of supposed country and financed fully by the state budget, and then, on that way, to make conditions that are needed that such festival host these carefully selected prog, psych and art rockers instead of just randomly choosen mainstream entertainers such as it is currently the case?

I have little trust for the way the world works. I only try to understand it so I can play along as much as possible without hurting others.

These festivals are tough to put together and I don't really know enough about the reasons why they are the way to are to really say too much about it.

 Bansheeface is a great tuneWhat other surprises can we expect from Pseudo / Sentai's new album?

Thank you! I'm glad you like it. Well, I feel that the album is quite varied yet much more cohesive than most of the stuff we have worked on. This is album that took 5 years to complete. Somewhere on the internet there is version of the album that is 5 years old. I'll refrain from sharing that. It was essentially the first thing we ever tried to record as a band, and we decided our ideas were beyond us at the moment. So we worked. And now we are here.

So to truly answer you, there are plenty of surprises but I must mention one in particular, an amazing guitar solo played by our friend Sawyer "Oak Sawblade." He did some guitar work for us on the album because Scott was too busy working out the much detailed and complicated lyrics and I was too busy working with session musicians to learn every part. He rode a bus down from Berkeley Music School in Boston and did the extra parts for the cost of a ticket and some food. He even bought his own food sometimes! But I told him that he could write his own solo for a section of this song of ours and he really went all out.

There is also some mellotron, quick and insane keyboard parts layered quietly underneath everything, weird moments, epic moments, and vocal harmonies out the wazoo.

I also have to mention we just finished recording out 5th full length and are waiting for mastering! This will be a busy year!

  We are the at the end of year. The best prog surprise this year in your opinion?

Oh man... I'm not sure. This year was pretty cool for music. I'm going to say PoiL's Brossaklitt was absolutely amazing. It's so catchy and hectic at the same time. And if you listen enough to where you can sing along, you'll never have some much fun singing along in your life. 

I will also mention A Lonely Crowd, who are ALWAYS awesome, and say I'm disappointed I haven't had enough time to listen to their whole album more than a couple times. Most of my music is listened to on the subway so I can't stream all the fun new stuff that I can't afford.

Also I will say that I submitted to the will of the Mollusca this year and cranked a whole lot of Slugdge. They might not be on progarchives but that's some solid prog blackened death metal. Very melodic and crushing, and every single song is about slugs. There are puns and beautiful lyrics covered in slime.

And seriously who can forget Knifeworld? Kavus Torbai is an idol of mine... I couldn't give enough respect to that guy if I tried.

There are many more 2014 albums for me that aren't from this year but that's just because I'm slow to catching up on things.

  The best prog debut this year in your opinion?

Umm... Wow... that's tough. I actually couldn't tell you off the top of my head. Most of the bands that I've loved this year had their albums released in 2012/2013 because I'm behind on music usually haha.

... Wow all the things I'm thinking were debuts are 2nd albums. Can I raincheck? Shocked

 Thank you for the interview.

No problem! Thank you!
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