When they founded in 1995, Progressive Rock was slowly on the rise again and was no longer dismissed as obscene. In the meantime, the English formation Arena looks back on a twenty-year history. The bombastrockers celebrate this with a new album. The second with singer Paul Manzi. Looking back on their own career, the Arena bosses Clive Nolan and Mick Pointer also ponder the unsteady line-up of their band.
Mick Pointer (Marillion) and Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Strangers On A Train, Shadowland and others) are by no means novices when they launch their Arena project in 1995. The symphonic-hardrock interpretation of her progressive roots reached its first climax in 1997 with "The Visitor". After "Pepper's Ghost" (2005) it took six years until they changed the sound a bit towards AOR with "The Seventh Degree Of Separation". Meanwhile the British are ready with their eighth studio album "The Unquiet Sky" and an anniversary tour. With eclipsed Pointer and Nolan went on a ramble through 20 years of band history.
eclipsed: Congratulations on your anniversary! Would you have thought in 1995 that you would still be making music together in 2015?
Clive Nolan: Absolutely not. Especially for Mick, ten years after his bad experiences with Marillion, it was a real culture shock when he returned to the music business.
Mick Pointer: We didn't have any plans, just wanted to do something together out of love for music.
eclipsed: Were there any other band names for discussion besides Arena?
Nolan: I can remember Solomon, which became a song title for us. We also thought about August. With band names, that's one thing: In the beginning they all sound pretty stupid, but with time you get used to it.