Alex Keskitalo is a newly minted dad. His study is a small, soundproof room within a room. Here, the singer and flutist can not only work on his songs in peace, but also conduct the Zoom interview with eclipsed undisturbed. In the process, things get almost philosophical at times.
eclipsed: The new songs are about topics like war and other crises in the world. Are the times so gloomy that you couldn't get around that?
Their 1999 debut "The Great Divide" and its follow-up "Liberation" (2001), both released on the Magna Carta label, were well received by fans of progressive music with a metal twist worldwide. But instead of simply continuing to follow the path they had successfully taken, the New York band wanted to renew themselves musically. "We wanted to get more involved with songwriting, explore other musical fields. That didn't fit with what the label wanted anymore," guitarist Jimmy Pappas says. Singer and keyboardist Josh Pincus adds, "When recording albums for Magna Carta, we always tried to balance the progressive, wild parts and the structured songwriting parts. Everyone in the band liked the 'songbands,' as I call them: Kansas, Rush, also Deep Purple, Black Sabbath. They are all based on really good songs with high recall value. After the two progressive albums with Magna Carta, we felt a bit limited, so we decided to focus more on writing catchy songs."
"After the release of our debut 'Rise' in 2006, we hit the ground running for ten years. Produced six studio albums and were basically always on tour worldwide," guitarist Paul Mahon succinctly summarizes the career to date of the Northern Irish classic rockers The Answer, which he founded in 2000. On their penultimate album, "Solas" (2016), it seemed that the band had somewhat freed itself from its blues and classic rock roots. "Yeah, at that point it felt right. You're probably not really proud of an atmospheric album like that for another 20 years." However, it didn't fit the usual style of the Northern Irish, who have an irresistible frontman in singer Cormac Neeson, who always tries to carry the audience along - and it didn't sit right with Rory Gallagher fan Mahon, either.
The band from Brandenburg began in 2010 under the name Stonehenge, earned a name in the stoner scene. You can already hear in the old releases that here were young savages willing to explore further musical realms and mix different things to their heart's content. "In 2020, the collaboration with Noisolution began, and we decided to change the name. The old one had such a stoner rock appeal, and our music didn't live up to that anymore," says singer and guitarist Enrico Semler. Unfortunately, the first album as Kaskadeur, released in September 2020, went down in the turmoil of the Corona pandemic. "We couldn't go on tour with it. But we still met as a couple to rehearse whenever possible, gathered ideas." The pandemic did have one positive side effect: the government launched support programs and increased funding to help the struggling cultural scene get back on its feet.
On three albums so far, the quartet Algiers from Atlanta followed a straight path between the blues and gospel tradition of the southern states and the industrial rock of the north. On their fourth record, "Shook," they now take a completely new direction, or rather, break off in every conceivable direction at the same time. As if she wanted to rake in the history of 20th century music with a huge crowd of guests - among them Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against The Machine, Mark Cisneros from The Make Up and Samuel T. Herring from Future Islands - she combines elements of blues, jazz, rock, punk, hip hop, funk, electronic music and many other styles to a supernova of cultivated eclecticism.
With "Chrysalis" the Finnish quintet Polymoon has presented a convincing second album, which serves prog, psychedelic and also shoegaze fans very well. In places the album has the power and drive of Motorpsycho, but in addition contains many shimmering sounds created with the help of various guitar effects devices. We talked to singer/keyboardist Kalle-Erik Kosonen (rather reserved) and guitarist Jesse Jaksola (with a likeable Prince Ironheart hairstyle), who you immediately notice how well they harmonize with each other.
Nick van Dyk is one of those people whose energy seems inexhaustible. The interview with him takes place early in the morning, after which he will be traveling to a congress in Las Vegas. In "real life," he is a Harvard-educated top manager who was a senior vice president at Disney. Quasi on the side, he has been active with Redemption for over twenty years, leading the band to more than respectable success. "I just like being able to be creative and make music with good friends. And it's great when people recognize that," he says.
In recent years, Toto keyboardist David Paich has been plagued by health problems from time to time. In the interview with eclipsed, however, there is no sign of this: The 68-year-old appears at midday with a baseball cap, but without the obligatory sunglasses for the interview and seems very tidy. He covers a wide range of topics, from his solo debut "Forgotten Toys" to his childhood, when his father, the arranger Marty Paich, took him to the large recording studios of Los Angeles - an experience that was formative for the rest of his life
eclipsed: I recently read in a biography about the late Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro that you wanted to record a solo record called "That's The Way I Am" back in 1974. What became of those songs?