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    Posted: December 14 2008 at 11:39
3RDegree, this month's featured artist, is a curious band who has spent the last 12 years apart from one another after the release of their second studio album. However, after coming back together and reworking several songs that have since become their excellent new studio release, Narrow-Caster, the band looks like they're going to stick around for longer this time.

Bass playing founder Robert Pashman and quirky vocalist George Dobbs join us from New Jersey to talk about the band's history and the new album.

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ProgArchives: I think the first thing that I want to ask is why… what after 12 years of being apart made you want to get back together to record “Narrow-Caster”

Robert Pashman: I think Pat the guitarist was… we were kind of seeing how easy it would be to work together again even though he had moved to LA, so we were sending each other things over the internet. Different files and mp3s and bigger stuff than that – we use the Apple iDisk to move big files. So we saw that the technology had caught up so that we were able to work with him living over there and me being here and still being able to work on stuff. Then he said, “let’s build up demos of the songs that we already had sitting around from we broke up” and he came home right after Christmas of ’05, and we were out of touch with George, but we had our drummer come, but we had our one friend who came out – so we had three band guys and one non-band member who came out. We just sort of sprung it on Rob after me and Pat had been talking and we asked if maybe he wanted to write and record again. So that’s where it started, we worked on demos for the rest of ’06, we found George… I think in July and by October we were doing drum tracks for 18 songs, 9 of which ended up on Narrow-Caster.

George Dobbs: The short answer is – there was a large collection of demos which we simply could not live without them seeing the light of day, and that was constantly nagging at all of us, I think. Perhaps even secretly… even when we were not in contact.


PA: So what did it feel like to play together after being apart for 9 years and 3 months?

RP: It wasn’t that weird, but it was without Pat. So there was that initial time in ’07 when we got together with the guitarist that we had for that show – so it was me, George and the drummer, Rob. Pat still wasn’t there, he only joined us the week before the first show…

GD: Pat was still in on it though, he sat in with us on one of these… Skype-type connections. He actually tried to play with us, but there was a seven second delay… so it was just a mess!

RP: Yeah, he could play with us, but there was no way to hear him back… so he could get the benefit of playing with us, but we couldn’t have the benefit of hearing him. So… that’s what mattered, really, he just needed to gel with what was going on and it wasn’t until that last week where we were all together in one room. But to answer your question, no it wasn’t that weird… considering it was a decade since the last show. I guess we just kind of picked up where we left off – to use a well oiled phrase. And that’s about it.



PA: So what exactly caused the break up of the band back after “Human Interest Story”?

GD: He cut his hair [points to Robert]. That just wasn’t cool – that wasn’t in the vision that we had of the band, man.


RP: We just got frustrated. It was about a year before the internet took hold, and more than a year before the internet really became a place where music was bought and talked about in a good way. We broke up right when that was taking off, and we actually had a URL back then that was about as unfriendly as it could be. We actually had a website for the first few months of the band and we were trying to get savvy with that and everything. But for the local scene, we tried to create our own scene. We would do theme nights, and I’d get a bunch of bands in the area that were prog, all different facets of prog. There was one with a girl singer, there was one that was sort of power-pop-prog, and we played with this really dark, heavy metal band –

GD: Brain dance, you’ve probably heard of them.


RP: Yeah, and they’re still playing, of course they don’t always play up to their proginess. And at the time also Spiraling, with the keyboardist who played the ‘Symphonic’ tour with Yes, Tom Brislin. He was realy playing down his whole prog element, but we fit him in because he would experiment with jazzy things on the side. So we would do theme nights with 3 or 4 bands and we played in Manhattan, we played up the Jersey Shore, and North Jersey… but that didn’t really happen. But then we tried – no we didn’t try, we succeeded – we opened up for a Rush Tribute band that was in the area, and we would go on before them… but people who go to cover shows usually show up at midnight, so that didn’t turn out to be much of a bumper to our fanbase. It was really tough!

GD: And all in the same club that would let us open up for this Rush band, just as often as they had us open up for this Rush band they’d have us open up for a U2 band or like a Bruce Springsteen band. And just try imagining trying to play a song that’s alternating 7/8, 8/8 time for these people who just want to hear “Glory Days”, it’s a horrible, horrible experience. And normally they’d put us on AFTER, so as soon as these people saw what was in the wind they’d all be running for the door.

RP: We New Jersey folks are not very proud of our own New Jersey bands [laughs].

GD: Hate New Jersey bands [laughs]

PA: So how do you think that the Internet has changed the progressive community?

RP: It’s really been amazing for us in our comeback-version, which is basically mk II of the band, before George was here. But even in the early stages of us getting back together it’s just been incredibly integral. If you go back to that last year were we released Human Interest Story and then 9-months later broke up, we just explained the frustrations of the local scene. But I only knew of one prog guy that did mail order things, who doesn’t do it anymore, but he was a lot like many of the prog sites that the community buys from these days. I knew of “Progression Magazine” which had started up 2 years before we came out and they actually reviewed both our albums, and he’s still going strong, John. I think at the time we knew there were festivals out there but I think the only one that started back then that’s still going today was North Carolina’s Prog Day, that outdoor event. I think NearFest started a year later. I always say that even the little concert that we played in ’07 at the NJ ProgHouse, which is an evolving venue, but they were having it at this one room Schoolhouse, and that’s down, maybe 30 miles from us. But that venue… if that was around, a venue that specialized in prog bands… we would have been able to really play there on a semi-regular basis and create a following if it has been going as strong as it is now. So the internet, and just finding everybody and talking to people over the internet… it’s amazing the cds we’ve sold to – places. I mean, we’re an American progressive band in the New York area, but we’ve probably sold more than half of our cds… actually, probably more than two thirds, have been sold out of the country. So that’s not going to happen in a world without the internet, so… thank you, Al Gore.

PA: [laughs]. So I’ve noticed a big change in the style of music between this album and Human Interest Story, was this something that was intentional going into the studio to record?

GD: It was probably inevitable because in one sense Human Interest Story was 90% recorded when I had joined the band. All the instrumentation tracks had been recorded. So this was the first collection where…

RP: If you look on the credits where it says George it says ‘Vocals’ and that’s it. We don’t have any of Georges keyboard playing, and you have none of his – well a little bit of melodies on some of the songs, and some of the lyrics, but you don’t have him as integrated into the album on the whole as you do on Narrow-Caster, so. If somebody likes Narrow-Caster a lot more then it’s probably because it has George’s stamp on it. And with Narrow-Caster, as I said before we had recorded 18 songs and we basically cut that in half. We tried to make Narrow-Caster the more ‘progressive’ of the songs that we had, so the 10 songs, 3 of which were new, became the new album – basically we cleaved we songs we had. It was kind of a though-ahead process as to what songs were going to be included to make this album. So I would just add that it’s George that makes Narrow-Caster different. Oh, and I just wanted to add that on this album there’s no one song that’s really, really poppy, or one song that is really ‘in your face’ progressive, where I think Human Interest Story is like that. There’s more peaks and valleys. You’ll have some songs that will fit on an album that will work as just strait ahead rock and then some songs that would totally not work on there. Were I think that Narrow-Caster is more integrated in that sense.

And George agrees.

GD: [nods]



PA: The album has a lot of symphonic qualities and at the same time has a couple of harder-edged songs like The Proverbial Banana Peel, was there still that need to play something in a harder style?

RP: I think it’s best when we integrate, when the heaviness comes into a track. The band, when we were heading into the recording of The Human Interest Story, were getting more influenced by things that weren’t prog, but things that were happening in the early 90s. Grunge, basically. We were influenced by bands like Soundgarden, Kings X, maybe a little bit of Pearl Jam, especially Pat the guitarist. So if he was listening to that then we would bring this kind of heavy, Alice In Chains kind of riff to the band then we’d probably screw with it and mess around with it – even though most times he would bring in something that was in an odd time which made it pretty unique right off the get-go. There’s a few songs, even on Narrow-Caster that date back, and Proverbial Banana Peel is one of them, that date back to that heavy influence, which is maybe an influence that makes us a little more unique and it’s kind of a Pat thing. If it’s a song that started on guitar then that’s where that can happen and the grunge element can rear its head in our music. But yeah – Apophenia, the first song, is a little bit like that but it’s a little faster than most grunge.

GD: Let’s see… I’m not sure I understood the question, I haven’t had my coffee yet…

RP: [laughs]

GD: But I heard the word ‘symphonic’-something! Now that’s an interesting thing, because when you think hard-hitting… that is sort of symphonic without the organic symphonic instruments. The guitar is a symphonic instrument. It’s a one man symphony! If you think about it, Vagner would have used – no, Vagner wouldn’t have used an electric guitar, but that’s a terrible comparison. But it’s very in your face! Hard-edged guitar stuff is like having a symphony… It’s symphonic! There, I said it!

PA: [laughs]

RP: Alright, that didn’t really answer anything.

PA: It was a nice rant! Anyways, about “Apophenia”, what made you want to write that song? It’s a very meaningful title.

GD: Uh, yeah! I’m actually still waiting to see if I have the pronounciation right, because I’ll feel real stupid if it’s actually Ape-ophenia or something, because there’s no place to verify that. It was actually the result of trolling around and web surfing through the wikipedia world and I was trolling along some articles about psychology and pattern recognition and the idea just really struck me.

RP: Why don’t you explain what it is?

GD: Apophenia is just sort of a… oh… I’m probably going to keep on going into more terminology… but it’s a reflection of confirmation bias – somebody seeks to see the things that they already believe. That’s one sort of…

RP: Oh! I’ve never heard you put it like that! That ties in with Narrow-Caster. I didn’t know that!

GD: Oh hey, maybe it does!

RP: Hey, it’s a concept album! We didn’t even know! [laughs]

GD: So there’s that aspect to it, the people who tend to… there’s other sort of.., see I can’t really define it, I can only point to certain things that are related to it. Like the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy is another psychological thing, which I actually use in the song, a Texas Sharpshooter is somebody who shoots randomly at the wall, sees where there’s the biggest collection of bullets and then puts the bull’s-eye there and draws the rest of the circles around that, then says, “Ah! You see!? I got a bull’s-eye!” I guess that’s kind of the reverse of Apophenia. Then there’s people seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, I’m sure you’ve heard of this, or the face on Mars – people who want to believe, “ah! Extraterrestrial life!” so therefore they read a little bit extra into something. But it’s not only for those things, it can be for mundane things too. But that’s just sort of the jumping point for any number of things that you would call “confirmation bias”.



PA: The other title I was wondering about was the title of the CD and the title track which is something I found rather interesting.

Quote narrowcast |ˈnarōˌkast|
verb ( past and past part. -cast or -casted) [ intrans. ]
transmit a television program, esp. by cable, or otherwise disseminate information, to a comparatively small audience defined by special interest or geographical location


RP: Well, now that it’s related to Apophenia in some way it makes it really interesting [laughs]. Well Narrow-Caster… In a way the whole prog community is kind of Narrow-Casted to. It might be a dual edged sword, to me, the person who is singing the song is saying, “I already know what I need, you don’t need to expose me to anything else. I know what I need, I know where to find it and you don’t need to show me anything else.” You can Narrowcast yourself to someone who will like what you do, and you can be narrowcasted to, so I think it’s a common experience, there’s just so many outlets: there’s so many TV channels, so many places to go on the internet, so many things that you can focus in on, and you can easily miss some things that you might otherwise like. Like, say I never got into jazz and maybe I would really like it if someone would expose me to the right artist. Prog is the same way, I think with you it was Dream Theater – I think I read that – and everything was an avalanche after that, wasn’t it?

PA: Yup, for sure, it was!

RP: Yeah, and for me it was Rush and everything after that. Actually, probably Asia before that… which is actually the perfect gateway drug because they’re only a little bit prog on that record. So that’s narrowcasting, and I’ll end it there.

PA: I think my favorite line from that song is, “This is indeed my world and you’re just living in it,” where did that come from when you wrote it?

RP: Yeah, that’s pop culture. It was appropriate, “you’re just living in my world, I don’t have to focus in on everybody I know.” That’s another thing. Life is short, do you want to spend a lot of time with your closest friends and the people that you have a lot in common with? Or do you want to hang out with a lot of different people in different facets of your life. You can think of narrowcasting like throwing out a net in your everyday communications with people. It’s not just an internet… thing.

GD: Oh! And by the way! The strait definition of Apophenia – it’s not seeing what you want to see – I don’t want to make it seem like that’s what I was trying to say,  it’s the derivation of meaningful data where there may not actually be ANY meaningful data. Think about that… put that in the back of your head.


PA: So how many of the songs are new or old and how many have been reworked?

GD: Good question, and Apophenia is a perfect example. Apophenia started out as a song called “If That’s The Thing You’re Into” and it had a completely different melody, and when we decided that we were going to work on it I just went off on this riff and this new melody. But the band, Rob and Pat for the most part, had worked out all the arrangements and guitar parts long in advance.

RP: And the bridge. That song had a lot shaved off of it, a lot of elements and that stuff.

GD: Narrow-Caster was a song that Rob done completely on his own.

RP: Yeah, Narrow-Caster was fresh, Scenery was Pat’s song and that was fresh, but I added a lot of lyrics to it and George added a lot of melody too. The last fresh song would be It Works, and George wrote that right after the band broke up and it was fresh to our ears upon us getting back together. But all the other songs – oh, and The Last Gasp, the last song on the album, that was fresh, probably ’06-ish. Free For All was a song that we were playing a lot and it kind of became a signature song, we had that recorded and it was mastered for the record, but that was about the only change. Then Proverbial Banana Peel –

GD: That was a song, like Apophenia, that underwent severe melodic changes, although the bud of the chorus was a thing that Rob was doing, and I just took the kernel of what Rob was doing and sculpted it with a slightly different melody.


RP: Live With This Forever was something I worked on over the time that the band wasn’t together. But the song structure was pretty much like it was when the band broke up. The song Cautionary Tale, the music was pretty much in tact.

GD: The verse underwent complete melodic changes, but the chorus was largely the same melodically. Some little tweaks.


RP: And the lyrics are fresh.

GD: The lyrics we worked on over the summer before we released the album.


RP: That leaves one more song, Young Once. Brand new lyrics, until the song gets into the atmospheric part the song is pretty much how we left it.

GD: The atmospheric part was something where Rob had said, “at the end of the song we should have a little synth thing, or something.”

RP: To bring it into “Scenery”

GD: So I spent the weekend or two noodling with some sounds and trying to get some special thing which became the second half of the song.

RP: So the second half of that song is fresh as well.



PA: when you head back into the studio do you think you’ll have other demos that you want to rework or will the material be completely new?

RP: That’s interesting. The other 10 songs which were cut off of Narrow-Caster, about 7 of them are on our live album, the DVD/double cd, and that might be where they reside for the rest of time. We may have one or two of those make the next record if they fit. Were going to see if some kind of theme pops up, and I don’t want to put them on there if it would be shoehorning them into the theme. So it might be what’s unique about that live record is that it will have those songs that are maybe a little less proggy to our ears, and they just belong in that acoustic set on that live record. George has, like 3 or 4 new things, I have one idea, Pat’s got 3 or 4 that he’s started on. So the process has begun. We’ll have to see. I’m leaning towards not having anything that was started in the beginning of the band or even in the beginning of our coming back together. George?

GD: Yeah, yeah. That’s the answer.


RP: Yeah, Pat is a little bit more into still completing maybe 1 or 2 songs that we didn’t do, so we’ll see, because I’m open for it. The key is that we’re finding a fan base now that’s any less proggy than Narrow-Caster was, basically.

PA: Oh yeah. They’ll get you for that.

RP: Yeah, I mean… if we were really interested in having a [brings up the quote fingers] hit single, I wouldn’t mind that one song on the album that could really get you across to success. I don’t think that’s really a concern. Maybe it was a concern on Yes’s 90125, with the one big hit on there that everyone knows them for now and all of the real fans don’t want to hear anymore now. Yeah. We’re not too concerned with that. I think that, like George always says, the one band that was able to get across a slew of ideas without eer having any long songs, really, was Gentle Giant – which is one of our biggest favorites. It’s amazing! And I haven’t seen a thread about this in any of the prog discussions, but with a few exceptions, all of their songs were under 6-minutes. And in most cases there’s more going on in those 6-minutes than in any side-long compositions.

PA: Knots

RP & GD: Knots!

GD: Great example, yes. And Boys In The Band…

PA: and that brings me into my next question very nicely, and that’s: why do you guys like to stay away from that side-long format?

RP: I think because, especially now, because we don’t get together and jam every weekend. It’s more about building up demos and songs and then getting together and with Pat being in LA… I think to me, doing a side-long piece… when you come up with a new album every two or three years it’s gotta be… it’s gotta be… a very good idea. And there’s been so many ideas in that side-long or even album-long format, so. If the concept comes along that’s really unique and we want to write something that’s going to be that long and use all of our time to deal with that one concept… fine. It could happen. We won’t rule it out, especially now that we can do that sort of thing and have an audience that would be into it. George?

GD: Yeah, I’ll go with that.


PA: So for the album artwork I find that you have a lot of very interesting art, which I like, how did you develop the artwork for each one?

RP: Human Interest Story, the album cover ties in with the title track –



GD: Which was not originally the intention! Rob had this idea, you’ll notice that Human Interest Story has Hugo, who was this puppet and you could change his face, like Mr. Potato-head.

RP: More like a doll

GD: Was it a doll?

RP: Yeah, you could stick you hand in there, but he was just a torso! Which was kind of weird. You know how you have those heads that girls play with the hair and they put makeup on the plastic and that… well he was the male version! He came with this funny crooked nose and scar makeup and all this stuff that you could do with him.

GD: So Rob just wanted to have a simple picture of this strange looking bald thing, which this guy is, just like, his face on the cover. Which was actually a really elegant and good idea. Especially given the context of album covers at the time, it was a very uh…


RP: Simple?

GD: Yeah. But that was the forward way of thinking. But we got talked out of it by our art guy, the guy who was going to put this cover together for us – so he asked us what the song was about, the Human Interest Story and I think he came up with the idea with us in the room and we storyboarded it. It would be a bunch of puppets watching a bunch of people on the couch on Jerry Springer. We would be the human interest story and it would be a pun, it would actually be a human who were the curiosity to these puppets.


RP: Oh! I didn’t even think of that! [laughs] I thought I had come up with that whole… no, it’s okay. Was it really Neal? Anyways, it ended up being kind of a pricy shoot. That is actually a TV studio where I went to school in New Jersey and it was kind of a tricky shot, we had to make it look like Barbie and everybody sitting on a rafter and on the background is us and it was kind of tricky to do. Then we took a separate picture of the TV for the outside of the cover. The only thing I don’t like about that cover is our logo. That is totally not how I wanted it to look. That’s the thing that really makes me frown upon it.

GD: Rob’s wife actually made the clothing that Hugo wore on the cover, by the way.

RP: yeah she made that little suit and then we had the microphone pasted to his hand. I don’t there’s anything else conceptual about that, other than on the back those are actual pictures of us on TV in an interview that we did and it’s on our DVD called 3RDvd. And it actually was on that same day. The first album done was done by my girlfriend at the time – do you remember those PSAs, “This is your brain on drugs”? It was actually that actress who… anyways, I forget her name, but we had the world and it looks like an egg and the egg yolk is sitting on a hotplate, and it’s being heated and we had a bunch of worlds. I can’t remember why we had a bunch of them on different…

GD: Like a conveyor belt: More worlds to be fried up.




RP:  And for the new one, we basically wanted to go with simplicity because –

GD: The original art that Rob had was like a Da Vinci drawing, an exploded diagram of two tin-cans, like someone had this great idea of, “Ah!! Tin-cans! We can communicate directly with each other!”


RP: You’ve seen the drawings that Da Vinci made, like 500 years before there was a helicopter, well I wanted to have two cans that would work instead of telephones – like kids stuff. I wanted to have it on parchment paper, but then our artist, who is the guitarist’s sister, she sent back one that had it on blueprint paper and it just visually looked nice. The blue with the kind of messy shades of blue, so I used blueprint paper as the background for the lyrics and everything else inside the packaging.

PA: So let’s travel back to the ye-olden days of everything, how did you originally get into prog?

GD: [laughs] Rob will start first.

RP: Well, my story that I would like to tell is that I was 10 or 11 and at the time Rush had Moving Pictures out and if you look at the videos of Tom Sawyer and I think Red Barchetta and Limelight, they look kind of scary – I wasn’t into metal yet, I was into mostly Billy Joel and Pat Benatar and rock, and here comes Rush and it’s heavy and kind of scary, Geddy’s got the hair over his face and he’s singing high, and Neil’s got this ridiculous drum set and Alex… well I guess there’s nothing particularly scary over there

PA: [laughs]

RP: But it looked scary to a 10 year old! Well, to me! So then I’m in the car with my uncle who’s about 8 years older than me and he’s playing Permanent Waves, and I hear Spirit Of Radio and Freewill, and it’s in the background and I don’t ask who it is. This is after seeing the videos I found scary of the more current album, so I asked, “What is this?” and it was kind of like [insert angelic choir here] and he said it was Rush and I said, “oh, that’s those scary dudes that did Tom Sawyer” and then I found it less and less scary

GD: It’s okay Rob… it’s okay… [pats Rob on the back]


RP: and then with the following album it was Signals that came out, and all my friends with the long hair said, “aw, they’ve got too many keyboards!” and the word was, “They’re too technical!” I used to love that, “what do you mean technical!?” and I loved that album, and they really got interesting with the different layers and textures and the things they used keyboards to do. George?

GD: I had a friend whose older brother was part of that generation where the first prog rock bands had ‘broke’ and he discovered the bands because they were being played all the time. When I became friends with this guy in about 7th grade and I was about 12, and it was around ’80 or 81 and Yes had just come out with Drama, or was just about to. My friend had introduced me to a lot of progressive rock bands, but particularly Yes, and he had loaned me Close To The Edge, and I fell in love with I and I started buying all their stuff, then the next band I got into was Genesis – I really liked the writing, it was also a wonderful relationship with me to The Beatles which was the first band that I was into. So you had the catchy melodies of Genesis and also the sunny sort of rock element from the Beatles and Yes sort of built their things on it.


RP: Especially the first few Yes albums.

GD: Oh yes, right, right, right. From there I just found more.


PA: Robert, what made you want to step down from the role of lead vocalist around the time of the second album?

RP: The one thing that the band prides itself on is the ability to be honest with each other, which is really what’s going to make the new songs interesting. It’s sort of the first time we’re working long distance on the writing process other than just on one or two songs. George just hit us with 3 songs and we were really honest about the things we liked about it, actually we couldn’t say enough good things about what we liked about it, and we’re brutally honest about the things we want to improve upon. In 1995 we were about to play the last show as a trio and our drummer was leaving, things weren’t… we spent a really long time on Human Interest Story and he was just saying, “when are we going to be done?” and he wasn’t integrated into the everyday of the recording because we’d record the drums first thing.

GD: When did you start recording that album?


RP: Like ’93. We’d do maybe 3 or 4 songs at a time so there was maybe 3 or 4 sessions. Our producer was also honest with us, no pussyfooting around, “hey, I got a reference”. So yeah, the thought was that we could really bring the band to the next level if we had another vocalist, and since we were a trio it wasn’t that big of a deal to make it a quartet and it would be cool live because we had been using a sequencer, and I had to play either the bass or keyboard on the songs and it was usually bass and the keyboard would be sequenced. Which meant my drummer had to play with a clip track, which probably was one of the reasons why he wanted to leave the band. We told him, “Listen, we’re going to get a singer,” we showed him Georges demos and he was right back in the fold. By the end of the fall of ’95 we were playing with George, who had learned the parts and we played a gig and never looked back. Then I really enjoyed being the principle-backing vocalist, George’s voice and my voice and especially Pat’s voice are all very different. Pat usually takes the highest parts because he’s got this high, kind of Angelic voice, and mine is somewhere in the middle and George is way more soulful than mine. So it added that other element, not only having a new lead but also having me as a backing vocalist.

PA: George, how did you originally get hooked up with these guys?

GD: There’s a local New Jersey/New York paper called The Aquarium, and these guys put a very large ad in it with all their influences, which had Tears For Fears, Rush, Genesis, Gentle Giant, and these are all the bands I like! And in all my years of trolling the want ads I had never seen anything that was such a perfect match! Todd Rundgren was on there as well, XTC… I talk about it more on the DVD. But that’s pretty much it. It was just a random ad!


PA: It was apophenia.

GD: it was apophenia! That’s right! Exactly! I’ve discovered that I live my life a lot by these magical coincidences… for the better or worse, I mean, I’m tied to this guy now [pushes Rob]

RP: I think you might be also thinking of another coincidence, when we called him this time around because his computer had crashed…

GD: Yeah! This most recent time around my computer had crashed and I lost 3 years worth of recordings. And the other songwriter I was working with abruptly said, “uh, my wife doesn’t want me doing a lot of music,” and that ended. Right around the time Rob called me and I thought, “well, it looks like my future has been chosen for me”.



PA: So what are your favorite songs to play live from the setlist?

GD: Top Secret, always was – that’s from The Human Interest Story. I used to play it on the bass and that was always really fun. It’s a little less fun to play on keyboards because there’s a lot of different sounds and things, but it’s a challenge so I like it. It’s very organic. Symphonic!


RP: For me it’s Ladder, the song called Ladder. There’s just a lot of things going on and it shows the sensitive side of the vocals and the vulnerability in the lyric approach. At the same time having the really heavy things going on. So I think that is a really good ‘one song’ to show off what we do. Look at that we both picked old songs, I guess it’s just because we play them so much. Of the new stuff it’s tough to say.

GD: For me it’s Scenery. The acoustic version that we did of that was a lot of fun.

RP: Reimagining a song from our first album that I sing the vocals on, the almost title track, The World In Which We Lived, we totally mixed that song up for the acoustic show and we actually made it less prog, it was a real fast 7/8 song and it felt very mid-80s Rush, but we totally made it – I hate this overused term – but organic, but I consider that the single from that album because it’s the song we screwed with the most. So the next time we play live I’d definitely be interested in doing that one again. Maybe not at a prog festival, but maybe at a smaller show.

PA: God forbid you play a less progressive song at a prog festival, eh?

GD: We’ve gotten away with it. We played a bunch of our “pop-hits!” at the ProgHouse in New Jersey and it went over just as well as our headier stuff.


JP: but I think if we did a real prog festival the setlist would lean in the more progressive way. It’ll be interesting because by the time we play again we’ll have 4 albums and we’ll be thinking, “what songs can we chisel off of even Narrow-Caster?” which will be interesting to think about.

PA: Coming into the last question now: What was the last cd you listened to?

JP: Interesting! It’s really interesting that you say that because I have it here… IZZ! [holds up the album (As My River Flows)] Everybody has been saying that we sound like them, they’re a New York band and I actually know a girl who knows then really well and she’s the person who took all the pictures for Narrow-Caster. She made me aware of them, and right now I’m listening to a lot of bands that aren’t too far from me. Edensong, who are really cool guys [holds up The Fruit Fallen], well, I know the main dude. And then The Din Within who is a Jersey band, which I found on a mailing list of Kevin Gilbert fans. I’m also checking out Magenta and I just got the last Echolyn album after many years. I’m very, very into Echolyn. George?

GD: Actually because of Rob this morning I was checking out Thud with Kevin Gilbert, and that was the last thing I listened to. The very last thing I listened to. About an hour ago.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks again to Robert and George for taking the time to do this interview, 3RDegree's new album, Narrow-Caster is available now at several online outlets including CDbaby, iTunes and amazon.


3RDegree's MySpace
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micky View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2008 at 12:27
wow Mike... that is a GREAT interview.  Great job..Clap
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2008 at 12:32
Cool! Glad to hear they have some diverse influences apart from Prog *cough* Pearl Jam *cough*.

You sure had a great time interviewing them! Excellent job Mike indeed!Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2008 at 13:05
Audio Interview is available in the artist playlist
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3948

Thanks so much to KING BY TOR and 3RDEGREE  !!!


Prog On !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2008 at 12:47
That was a lot of fun Mike.Always interesting to hear how people got into prog,and of course how these guys re-united after all those years. I look forward to hearing the new one. I wonder if the older ones are available?
"The wind is slowly tearing her apart"

"Sad Rain" ANEKDOTEN
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2008 at 15:36
Originally posted by M@X [email protected] wrote:

Audio Interview is available in the artist playlist
http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3948

Thanks so much to KING BY TOR and 3RDEGREE  !!!




cool.... now's my chance to see if Mike's voice is as sexy as his picture is LOL
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2008 at 16:02


Not. Nearly.


I need a sexy smoker's accent or something. At least I don't think I ever said, "eh" during the interview. That would just be stereotypical!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2008 at 16:03
Originally posted by sinkadotentree sinkadotentree wrote:

That was a lot of fun Mike.Always interesting to hear how people got into prog,and of course how these guys re-united after all those years. I look forward to hearing the new one. I wonder if the older ones are available?


Yup! Just an FYI for everyone, all of the band's material can be purchased from their online shop - I know this for a fact. As for other sites I don't know.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2008 at 23:23
Here is where 3RDegree music is available:
 
2 of our 3 CDs and our live DVD are available at: 
http://www.kinesiscd.com
 
Our 2 latest CDs are available at:
 
The new CD is available at:
and more
 
Everything (including our first CD) is available at:
www.3RDegreeONLINE.com www.facebook.com/3RDegree "Defiling Perfectly Good Songs With Prog Since 1990"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 25 2008 at 16:30
Originally posted by King By-Tor King By-Tor wrote:



Not. Nearly.


I need a sexy smoker's accent or something. At least I don't think I ever said, "eh" during the interview. That would just be stereotypical!


great interview again... and no... I didn't catch any "eh"'s hahahha.. You did the site proud.


and yes... you do have a sexy voice LOL  Not quite like Dick Heath's... but whose is hahhah


Edited by micky - December 25 2008 at 16:31
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2009 at 17:03
Great interview!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2009 at 22:00
Did you catch the audio version as well Alex?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2009 at 09:41
Originally posted by King By-Tor King By-Tor wrote:

Did you catch the audio version as well Alex?


That's actually what I listened to, then I skimmed this version.
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