Classic Rock Magazine 2006: The State of Prog
Thought prog was all about capes and wizards? Thought it died with the arrival of punk? Classic rock collared the movers and shakers of prog old and new (plus a couple of punks) to discuss the state of the genre in 2006.
Interviewer: What is prog?
Gaz Cobain: Possibility. Creativity. Discovery. Excess.
Interviewer: Do you consider what you do to be prog rock?
Gaz Cobain: I'd describe what we do as psychedelic cosmic space rock. There are elements of prog rock in there. It's certainly an inspiration to us and we're not embarrassed to say that we are influenced by it.
Interviewer: Why are so many prog bands embarrassedd to be called prog?
Gaz Cobain: We're not! I suppose no musician likes to be put in a box and labelled. But people shouldn't be afraid of the term. In the early 70s that generation of bands that you might box together as being 'prog rock' were taking real risks and going somewhere that music had never been up until that point. We need more people like that now and I believe that something is starting to happen at the moment. Just look at MySpace and count the number of new bands making strange, psychedelic, progressive music.
Interviewer: Is it possible to make prog cool again?
Gaz Cobain: You know what? Fuck cool. What's cool ever given us? A whole generation of musicians who haven't got the imagination to embrace anything but the most obvious and one dimensional. If having 20-minute songs and long solos is uncool then bring it on.
Interviewer: Some 'prog' bands seem to be retrogressive ie apeing the styles of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Rush - can they still be prog?
Gaz Cobain: Good question. I think these groups stumbled upon something you might describe as a 'universal truth'. All revolutions discover the truth. And those groups hit upon something so fundamental that you can totally see why people would want to draw upon what they have created and reinterpret it for a new generation. I don't see anything wrong with that. All the greats have done the same.
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