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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 15 2011 at 15:55


The ANABASIS is a progressive rock collaborative studio project conceived by multi-instrumentalist and composer Barry Thompson of Norton, MA (US) with lyrics by freelance writer and author George Andrade of Fall River, MA (US). In 2009, Barry approached George with the idea of merging a personal story of falling from grace and redemption with that of a sociopolitical story of the self-destructive impulses that riddle and affect our public existences and mirror the inner struggles that we harbor, while also highlighting the hope that can release us from such travails . the debut album was named "Back From Being Gone" and The ANABASIS was born.

I got in touch with Barry Thompson and here is their story.

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Anabasis is what we called a supergroup in the good old days. How did this band come about and how did you get together the band ?

In 2009, I approached George with the idea of merging a personal story of falling from grace and redemption with that of a sociopolitical story of the avarice, lust, betrayal and self-destructive impulses that riddle and affect our public existences while also highlighting the hope that can release us from such travails … the album was named “Back From Being Gone” and The ANABASIS was born. But we knew we needed additional help with the project, so since I had worked with Lee Abraham before, and loved how his album “Black and White” sounded, I asked him to produce and mix the album for us.  Lee also brought in Gerald “Mully” Mulligan for drums.  It was around this time that we sent Ryo Okumoto the demo for “Rome” and he took the song in a completely different direction that what we had originally produced as a demo, but we recognized that not only was it a different direction, but it was a better direction.  Originally, we only planned to have Ryo as a guest, but he expressed some interest in doing more, so we decided to have him on every track except “Carpe Diem” which had already been completed by Jeroen Hendrix on keys.  Jeroen’s performance was perfect so we didn’t see any need to do it over with Ryo.

How did you sort out the contracts since most of the band members are contracted with their life & limbs to other labels and publishing entities ?

Everyone on the album who required payment were paid as session players up front, and several of the players donated their contributions since they were friends of mine and just looking to have some fun playing good music without the stress and hassles of business entanglements.  This was a labor of love on my part, we literally have no chance of making any profit on it, but that’s not why I make music anyway.  I make music because I love music, and I know that my friends who are the core band, Per Fredrik Pellek Åsly (vocals) Gerald Mulligan (drums) Ryo Okumoto (keyboards) and George Andrade (lyrics/producer) are in this for the love of the art form and the joy of creating music.

Why did you choose that name ?

The word ANABASIS can mean “an advance” particularly a military advance, and since a large part of the conceptual underpinning of the story has to do with the Roman Empire and how they conquered Egypt, but ultimately met their own demise through their own self-destructive impulses.  But you’ll notice that some of the songs are also about more individual personal struggles, and I thought a word that means “advancing” was well suited to that side of the concept as well, since the songs deal with human struggles.  Plus, it sounds cool.

How did 10T Records get involved in this project ?

I am friends with Kerry Chicoine of the progressive rock band “Mars Hollow” and when we were closing in on finishing the album I sent him a few of the reference mixes and asked if he thought his label might be interested and he put me in touch with Steve Carroll and the rest, as they say, is history.


The end product was the album Back From Being Gone released some weeks ago. Please tell us more about this album. How would you describe the music ?

The music is a collection of songs that I’ve literally been developing for the last decade.  There is a trilogy of epic tracks that we refer to as “The ANABASIS Suite” and those are Track 1, “Rome,” Track 4, “Vikings,” and Track 6, “Egypt” and those are the three historical tracks that George Andrade did an amazing job with lyrically.  Ryo Okumoto helped us tremendously with these tracks as well.  Repeated listens will reveal plenty of musical and lyrical nuggets throughout these three tracks with there being several melodic themes that are revisited as well as several lyrical breadcrumbs that tie them all together into one very large package.  The other three tracks are a bit more personal in nature and provide a peek into my own personal struggles.  Musically, I would say we walk right up to the line where heavy metal begins, but we never quite cross that line.  There are certainly plenty of moments of crunchy guitars, and I think anyone who listens to this album is going to know that I am a fan of Iron Maiden, Transatlantic and maybe even Fates Warning, but they may also be surprised at how thickly orchestrated it is.  For example, if I remember correctly, Ryo sent us 16 individual various keyboard tracks for “Vikings.”  I know you can’t please everyone, but we really tried to make an album that had something on there that most fans of progressive music would enjoy.

The album is out and is awaiting the reactions from honest/curious/envious wanna be rockers/stoned/tea drinking reviewers with various personality disorders. What is the Anabasis plans now ? Is Anabasis a project now or a band which plans to come up with a new album ?

The ANABASIS is purely a studio project.  In fact, no two musicians ever occupied the same room at the same time in the recording of this album as it was done completely over the internet.   Sadly, in the age of torrents the studio band is a dying breed, since we must survive on album sales alone and won’t be out playing any gigs.  As I mentioned earlier, this was a labor of love, something I wanted to do for the love of the genre and for the pleasure of creating something from nothing.  I have had such an incredible experience putting this music together and working with all of these ridiculously talented musicians.  We will definitely be doing another album, everyone who was on this album is already on board for the next one and I am pretty sure that we’ll have a few more very well known special guests from the progressive rock scene next time including at least one more member of Spock’s Beard, possibly two more.  I’ve already got two tracks fully demoed, one is an epic and another three that I’m working on, so yes, we’re well on our way to album #2.

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the musicians I’ve worked with on this album and I can’t wait to make the next one.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to listen to our music.  We appreciate every single fan.


Thank you to Barry Thompson for this interview & 
for promoting the band here in ProgArchives

Their PA profile is here and the homepage is here 

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Andy Webb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andy Webb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2011 at 16:16
Wow, that was fast! Great interview.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2011 at 06:11
Thank you, sir.  We aim to please.  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Failcore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2011 at 12:56
To be honest, I don't see why every new band doesn't get out and beat the bushes like you guys are doing. It does stimulate interest, and I'll prolly definitely pick up your album someday whereas I might not have otherwise if you'd just been another random artist added to PA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2011 at 13:08
I've been meaning to pay 10T records another visit and this will definitely have to go in the shopping cart.  As always, another great interview by Torodd. Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2011 at 15:16
Thank you very much!

We're at a bit of a disadvantage over a lot of other bands because we're never going to do any live gigs, so we're going to have to rely 100% on CD and Digital album sales.

As I mentioned in the interview, I am not doing this for money at all.  I personally financed the entire project myself.  I paid the session musicians, I paid for the mixing and mastering, the artwork, the replication, all of it.  And I'll do it again for the next album.  I just love creating music.

The only thing I hope we can accomplish is if I could just maybe get half the money back that I invested, I'd be thrilled!

But the biggest payback is when we get positive reviews like this one.  Or when people come on our FaceBook page and tell us they love our music.  That makes it all worth it!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rustedsynapse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 10:12
Originally posted by Deathrabbit Deathrabbit wrote:

To be honest, I don't see why every new band doesn't get out and beat the bushes like you guys are doing. It does stimulate interest, and I'll prolly definitely pick up your album someday whereas I might not have otherwise if you'd just been another random artist added to PA.

Thanks, Deathrabbit - that was really cool of you to notice ... Barry and I don't take anything for granted and we're working really hard to get our project out and heard at the highest possible levels; we love and respect this genre of music too much to cop any attitudes other than complete humility and appreciation for the opportunities that we are given through our work - that is the ultimate barometer in the end, the music (and words, which is my job). Smile

And thank you Rushfan4 for your consideration of "Back From Being Gone" - we appreciate you giving us a shot and we hope that you enjoy it! Big smile

Thank you, Torodd, for interviewing Barry - that was grand of you to do and really helps us, much respect sir. Bowdown

Cheers and thanks to all of you who have supported us already  - we couldn't do this without you! Clap


Edited by rustedsynapse - November 18 2011 at 10:17
"Time is the only critic without ambition"

- John Steinbeck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kErrYkOMpOsT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 14:24
Very nice, Barry! Super-ultra congrats to you, George, Ryo, and all the fine, fine folks involved with this slice of melodic, progressive, metallic goodness. I am *very* happy to have had a very minor role in helping this project reach a potentially wider audience via the good people at 10T Records.
 
Best of luck with sales and promotion, this is a worthy album and a damned fine debut if I do say so myself (and I just did, didn't I?).
 
Hope to play a role on at least one of the tracks on album number #2!!!!
 
Kerry
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 14:36
Kerry, we'll definitely figure out a way to get you on #2, bro, thanks for the support!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Failcore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 14:39
@Kerry-You do keys for Mars Hollow rite? That debut album was epic. Loved Eureka.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 14:59
He's their bass player
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Failcore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 15:11
Ah, well the bass work was delish as well. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 15:33
Originally posted by Deathrabbit Deathrabbit wrote:

Ah, well the bass work was delish as well. Thumbs Up


Kerry's a hell of a guitar player too.  In fact, he'll probably deliver a solo on the next The ANABASIS album Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 15:40
The new Mars Hollow release was my previous reason for needing to visit the 10T Records site; your album just gives me more incentive to do so.  Their debut was one of my favorites from last year so I am definitely looking forward to hearing their new one too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 15:43
Great!  Thank you for your interest, rushfan4!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2011 at 15:49
Now purchased.  Time to camp out at the mailbox to await the delivery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KirksNoseHair Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2011 at 06:45
Thanks again, we appreciate everyone who gives us a shot.  Smile

By the way, I have a "bonus track" that's not on the CD, rushfan4, PM me or send me an email at barry -at- theanabasisproject.com and I'll send you a link to download it.

That goes for anyone else who has bought the CD.  I guess I have to take your word for it  that you bought it, but that's OK, I am a trusting kind of guy Smile
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