With "Elements", the Frankfurt based prog metallers Thoughts Factory have delivered an excellent second work, which can easily keep up with the latest releases of Dream Theater, Tomorrow's Eve or Vanden Plas. Keyboarder Sven Schornstein, who actually works as a high school teacher, chatted with eclipsed about the background of the album, but also about the band constellation. Thoughts Factory are seasoned professionals, with guitarist Markus Wittmann and drummer Chris Maldener once working at G.I.T. and P.I.T. respectively. in Los Angeles and now work as music school teachers; bassist Bernd Schönegge, on the other hand, is playing in two cover bands besides his engineering job, and the new frontman Cornelius Wurth earns his bread and butter as a vocal and guitar teacher as well as "with live performances in various bands, mainly cover bands" (his successor at Journeye is subsignal singer Arno Menses)
Their collaboration hit the metal scene like a bomb at the beginning of the millennium. And in hardly any other side project were the trademarks of the main bands so clearly visible from the very first second as in Demons & Wizards, the playground of Blind Guardian singer Hansi Kürsch and Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer, which is entering the third round with the current album "III". "Yes, you simply cannot deny this fact", laughs Kürsch in the interview. "Jon has a very concise guitar style, and the same goes for my vocals. It's just our musical character and also our craft, and you can't simply subtract that. However, I find the symbiosis that arises from it very special. Demons & Wizards, for example, offers me much more room for singing, so that my approach is also changing
Stephen Malkmus is a world musician in the best sense of the word, because he is constantly on the move. After years in Berlin he returned to the USA to Portland, Oregon. Musically, too, he opens the focus towards global music experience. His new album "Traditional Techniques" describes a whole range of places on this planet. It sounds like a journey with many stops. "It could be," Malkmus confirms somewhat embarrassed. "I haven't psychoanalyzed my lyrics. The sound of the album is based on the contributions of different musicians, and everyone brings their own story, which is never heard in the interviews, because I give all the interviews
Shortly after each other Steve Hackett (12.2.), Peter Gabriel (13.2.) and Tony Banks (27.3.) celebrate their 70th birthday in these days, in October follows Mike Rutherford (2.10.). Together with Phil Collins, just turned 69, they form the classic 70s line-up of Genesis. While Hackett and Collins only joined the group later, the other three met at an elite boarding school, where music offered them a free space in the midst of conservative structures. eclipsed traces the band's early years, from their first musical steps to the release of "Trespass", their first prog album. Peter Gabriel in the "historical interview" of 1971, former road manager Richard Macphail and Steve Hackett about his birthday and his work with Genesis.
Neil Peart is dead. The drummer and lyricist of Rush died on January 7th in Santa Monica, California at the age of 67 from a brain tumor. The multi-award-winning drummer and book author had already left the band in 2015 for health reasons. Rush had thereupon declared the end of their career. Throughout his life Peart was a researcher, a seeker. Whether it was playing drums, reading literature or acquiring knowledge in general: The unpretentiously shy, but at the same time warm-hearted and extremely eloquent Canadian was constantly on the lookout for new subjects, into which he knew how to plunge with almost childish naivety, only to emerge from this process as a grown-up personality.
After two groundbreaking demos (also under the predecessor name Aslan), Psychotic Waltz's 1990 debut "A Social Grace", the debut of the century, thrilled the metal underground with brilliant guitars, hypnotic lyrics and melodies - and even flute interludes. After their fourth album "Bleeding" (1996) the band broke up completely. Only at the beginning of 2011 the sensational live return in original line-up followed. With "The God-Shaped Void", the band from El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, is now back on record with a prog metal exclamation mark. We talked to singer Devon Graves in his adopted country Vienna.
eclipsed: Devon, even before the reunion gigs in 2011 together with Nevermore and Symphony X you were talking about a new album. Why did it still take so long until the final release?
January is definitely not a month for water sports in England. A perfect time for hobby surfer Nick Barrett to promote the new Pendragon album "Love Over Fear". It took about six years to complete, and it represents a new turnaround in the band's history: away from the somewhat harder pace taken in 2005, back towards neo-prog.
eclipsed: Your new album is finished. How does it feel?
Nick Barrett: It's the very rare case where you think: Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to do! I am really very happy with the album. It was also a lot of fun to record it. It was much less stressful than usual. Maybe that's because I've been living in Cornwall for a while now, not far from the sea.
eclipsed: What took you so long?