What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
MAM: My mother had passed away of cancer when I was nine years old and my father, in an attempt to distract me, got me involved in lots of extracurricular activities such as guitar lessons because at the time I was spending many hours alone in my room listening to music.
DG: I learned to sing harmony with my Mom before I started elementary school. She also taught me guitar basics. I’ve been playing bass for 40 years and have spent at least 30 of those years playing bass and singing live.
MJ: Wanting to make music is something that I’ve had the desire to do since I was about 11 years old. I was 17 before I decided to pick up the guitar and try to seriously learn the instrument.
DH: I was captivated by music from an early age and many of my earliest memories are centered around it. I chose percussion to play in the school band because one of my friends said snare drum was cool. It wasn’t the guitar or mic stand I had imagined until then, but it turned out to be a good fit. I became very serious about playing music pretty quickly. By high school, it dominated my life.
AH: I started playing music at a very young age, being raised in a music household. My mother plays violin and viola, and my father (BTT drummer Duane Harvey) played percussion and drums professionally in many classical and jazz settings. These included his own bands, who would practice at our house. So, I was exposed to a rich variety of recorded and live music from the time I was born. My first serious instrument was bass, which I started playing around second or third grade when I was given a half size Kay upright from my father’s good friend and bass player Mark.
MAM: It began as a simple writing project between two old friends and it blossomed, developed, and evolved into an actual band.
“Hey man how’s it going? This is Danny!”
“Hey man how’s it going…… what’s going on?”
“Are you up to anything? I’m looking to write a progressive rock album.”
“You called the right person.”
DH: Danny asked me to be a part of this project after his initial writing sessions with Michael. He hadn’t heard me play except on some of my old jazz recordings, but we knew each other through our day jobs, and he knew I might be interested in a prog project. I hadn’t touched the drums in about 10 years when this started and though I was still very much interested in music as a listener, I had begun to wonder if I would ever play again, so it was kind of a big deal for me to commit to the project. Danny was originally both playing bass and singing, but when he had to have surgery to address some hand troubles he was having, my son Andrew was able to step in and keep things going on the bass.
AH: I am a multi-instrumentalist, but bass is the instrument I have spent the most hours with and am the most skilled on by far.
DH: That worked well, and when the songs had grown and were done, we realized that we needed another pair of hands to get a passable live sound with this music, so Michael called on his former student Michael Johnstone to play additional guitar and now keyboards. All five of us play on LOST, and it’s been a very simpatico situation for about three years now in total. I hope we keep going and growing and switching things up with all this multi-instrumentalism we have on tap.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
AH: It’s something we are very proud of for sure. We took our time doing everything as well as we thought we could, and I feel like it shows. The entire thing took about two years of work, some of which predates my playing with the band. Some of the ideas and lyrics were conceptualized for even longer than that. It’s about 55 minutes of progressive rock music. I would say that it’s fairly accessible to the average listener as prog goes, but likely also to be enjoyable to more dedicated prog listeners as well.
DH: Pretty much all the work, including rehearsals and writing sessions happened at Michael’s home studio. The drums were mostly recorded live with the band in the studio, with the other parts being redone and overdubbed after that. The best way to hear the album is from the hi-res files on a good quality audio system. We prefer folks buy a download from Bandcamp, but you can also stream the full 24 / 88.2 resolution files on Tidal and Qobuz. Lost is also available to stream in lower resolution in all the regular places.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
MAM: My main influences include Marillion, Rush, modern 20th century classical music, world music, film soundtracks.
DG: Rush, Yes, Kansas, Beatles, Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse, Flying Colors, Neil Morse & Spock’s Beard, & anything with a catchy melody.
MJ: Music wise, my biggest influences have been Allan Holdsworth, Rush, and Sting.
DH: I’ve been influenced by too many drummers to list, but in recent times I would cite Justin Brown, Marcus Gilmore, Chris Dave, Perrin Moss, and Danny Carey. That covers the jazz/funk/rock diaspora fairly well for the last 20 years. All those guys set me re-examining how to play with new and interesting things to try and they all play in a loose, interactive, “conversational” way, which is very important for me. Outside of music, Drs. Richard Small and Sean Olive come to mind from my audio years at Harman, as do a few others whose names would not mean much to you or your readers.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
MAM: I believe we strive and succeed in simulating and synthesizing disparate sounding styles and approaches not normally encountered within the progressive rock genre.
DH: I always have a hard time comparing us directly to other bands, partly because I think directly of other music so infrequently when creating myself. This band is playing honest music the way we want to play it, without concern for fads or trends. It is my hope that our musical personalities combined with our collective skills, insights, and influences—which include an extremely wide range of music from all over the world—make us worth listening to.
AH: At the risk of sounding pretentious, I’m going to say that my personal gripe with a lot of progressive rock bands is what I feel to be a lack of “soul”. It’s almost like they are so over focused on the technical aspects of the music that a certain human element is lacking. I do not feel this way about music I prefer to listen to, and I do not feel it about our music. I feel extremely lucky to be in a band with these four individuals who are very talented both expressively and technically, and I think people who this resonates with will enjoy our music.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
MAM: Albums: Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting, Exit Stage Left by Rush, and Sounds That Can’t be Made by Marillion. Movies: Three Days of the Condor with Robert Redford, Star Wars a New Hope the original Marcia Lucas edit, and Fight Club directed by David Fincher. Books: Humanity: The Moral History of the 20th Century by Jonathan Glover, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte, and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
DG: U2’s Joshua Tree is a must. Any Rush, Kansas, Beatles, or Joni Mitchell.
MJ: My 3 desert island albums are Moving Pictures – Rush, Live In L.A. – Trevor Rabin, Passion and Warfare – Steve Vai.
DH: Just 3 albums is hard, but two favorites in recent years would include Choose Your Weapon by Hiatus Kaiyote, and The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint by Ambrose Akinmusire. I’ll also include the 1972 Brazilian classic Clube Da Esquina by Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges. Movies, I’m less passionate about. Cinema Paradiso is a longtime favorite, and on TV I really enjoyed the Black Mirror series. I do read, but mostly technical things centered around science and music. One book I recommend highly for anyone who cares to understand the climate crisis in a comprehensive way is J.E.N. Veron’s “A Reef In Time”.
AH: Albums: Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion, Lurker of Chalice — self-titled, and Deftones – White Pony
Movies: There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, The Shining
Books: Illuminatus by Robert Anton Wilson, Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
MAM: I prefer working in the studio over playing live although I’ve played live a great deal in the past. I like to control the creativity of working in the studio.
DG: Live. It’s where all the hard work pays off, I love the feedback from a big crowd. The writing and recording process is work, plain & simple. Best job ever.
MJ: I prefer performing live. Performing in the studio is great but it’s just rehearsal. It doesn’t have the same sense of excitement as performing for a room of people.
DH: I like them both, but I’ve done far more live playing in my musical career. I’m a guy who never plays anything the same way twice. I believe living music happens in the moment and I prefer to play actual “live” takes when I’m recording. Much of this comes from my love of and extensive background with jazz and improvisation. I guess my answer is “live”.
AH: I love the process of recording music, but I definitely prefer playing live. There’s nothing like the feeling of playing live music, especially when you can hear everything that’s going on and everything is just clicking and putting you in that special place.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
MAM: “Mental Blindness” might be the most unique piece of music we’ve done to date. I myself am impartial to “Larger Concern” and “Lost 1-5” primarily because these works existed in my head and I had to work very hard to bring them into actuality.
DG: I’m very proud of “Lost” in particular. Michael & I set out to do a Prog record, it’s a whole album side song. Nailed it!
MJ: In my opinion Bleak is the most unique sounding track. It’s the one I find to be the most fun to play.
DH: From a drumming standpoint, I think Mental Blindness is the standout for me on the record. The electronic percussion and real drums are all played together in real time and are hard to tell apart. The groove is unusual, organic sounding, and danceable. I was also happy with the percussion work on Lost part 2. Lost part 3 is probably the most unusual thing on the record overall, with its ethereal harmonies, metric modulations, and our guest vocalist Ani’s operatic singing in Romanian.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
MAM: Future plans include increasing our craftsmanship and quality of the work that we do.
DH: Right now, we’re working on our live show and getting gigs in the real world. I’m diving deeper into ethnic percussion instruments as well as some advanced odd time and metric modulation ideas. I expect we’ll start writing new songs soon and releasing them one or two at a time until we have another album of material.
AH: I hope to be able to keep making as much art and music as I can, both with this project and various others I am involved in.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
MAM: Yes, you should get vaccinated! I’m really tired of working with people that are dying every day needlessly.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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