Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts


Rock Review And Interview: American Tears-Free Angel Express

Release Date: October 23, 2020

Label: 2020 Deko Music


Making their debut in the early ‘70s, American Tears saw low to moderate success with a triple album set through that time period. While Powerhouse became their third and final attempt for some time as a collective band, leader and singer Mark Mangold, went off to explore trying his own musical path with a solo career. Spawning two albums, Mirror Image and Lift respectively, writing a book, and working on various other soundtracks as The Sign, Drive, She Said and one with Aldo Nova of Canada; Mark saw a blossoming period of growth and popularity. In 2019, the band reformed and reorganized to create White Flags, though there seemed to be no signs of surrender from this group in the near future. Now with Free Angel Express, Mark and American Tears are ready to rumble.

“Sledgehammered” is a great introductory recording. The build-up of the keyboard combined with the chanting vocals is thrilling to the listener as the ‘sledgehammer’ waits in mid-air limbo anticipating a sudden drop. The song instead, remains fluid and consistent tricking the ear and mind. “Set It On Fire” begins as a hunt-and-attack-themed piece. Yet, as it plays out the melodic keyboard and vocals reveal a dream sequence. Approaching the midway of the song, the drums play well into the initial beats of the song. It does very well in keeping the listener in a trance.

“Free Angel Express/Resist/Outta-Here” is a 10-minute instrumental track that is soothing, and offers itself up as a bridge between tracks. With the ‘Resist’ part of the track being the driving force, vocally of the track; the title track delivers the impression of an express railroad that the listener is joyriding on. “Not For Nothing” comes through with a different take of heavy rock blended with blues lyrics and melodies. A surprise to the system, “Not For Nothing” becomes a key track without question.

“Glass” projects itself as a contrast to its song title name. As it can be clear and put together, it can also shatter and crumble. Listening, to the ‘perfect storm,’ it’s as though the shattered pieces are blowing against the singer’s face as he battles on to find a resolution. “Everything You Take” finds itself in the aftermath of “Glass,” literally. The two songs marry together so well that the singer feels like he lost this battle either within himself or with someone close to him. “Roll the Stone” is like the perfect resolution of a trilogy, coming to an epic way of understanding of just picking up what remains, and moving on.

“Blue Rondo” plays on as the most interesting and fun pieces on the album. Its clash of organ versus drum is a surprisingly pleasant sound. All the while the combo gives off a jazz/rock/speed-metal triple-blasted sound to spice up and change up some of the energy of the record. “Can’t Get Satisfied” is a blaring, classic-mid- ‘70s-‘80s track that consists of a strong pop element which allows it to act as the album’s presumable single. “Woke” is an organ-dominated track that has both somber and perseverance concepts to it.

“Shadows Aching Karma” starts off exciting with a “Take On Me” keyboard-pop idea. As the song progresses, the synthesizer effects on this track make it a fun and interactive song that is not-so-much an earworm tune but, it does give off an animated cartoon or videogame soundtrack vibe while it plays through. “So Glow” finds itself in a seemingly positive-reinforcement bright song. Although, this song plays out more as a one-liner repetitive instrumental piece that’s massively appealing to the ear (minus a couple crashes in the middle). Finally, “Rise to the Light” begins just as the title might give way to, in a church-type setting. With the organ beaming loud, Mangold’s voice is bold and largely singled-out apart from the supported instrumentation. It is a refreshing and cool way to end an album that energizes and has the listener’s ear busy from start to finish.

Free Angel Express expels a great deal of energy and vibrato to capture its audience in a melodic, keyboard-rock rush. While few tracks fall slightly short of keeping the momentum booming (i.e. – “Roll the Stone” and “So Glow”), the album shines with genre experimentation and blending. Furthermore, the band’s revival might just land them on solid ground throughout the 2021 new year, should this album get the recognition and consumption it deserves by rock, pop, and metal enthusiasts alike.

Gregg Keniston - Staff
April 15, 2021

Track Listing:
01. Sledgehammered
02. Set It On Fire
03. Free Angel Express/Resist/Outta Here
04. Not For Nothing
05. Glass
06. Everything You Take
07. Roll the Stone
08. Blue Rondo
09. Can’t Get Satisfied
10. Woke
11. Shadows Aching Karma
12. So Glow
13. Rise to the Light


Is Prog Rock Really Progressive? A New Book Discussing the Progress in Progressive Rock Music

Is Prog Rock really progressive anymore? How do the current Prog bands feel about the genre and its legacy? Do they feel that there is progress in the music they perform? Different Prog artists/bands are being interviewed and answer 5 questions about the current status of the Progressive Rock and its culture. This exploratory research focuses on exploring the present and the future of a music genre that survived through the years due to its innovative nature.

While most of the previous Prog books focus on historical facts of the genre, this journalistic effort is a self-criticism of the genre through the looking glass of modern and active Prog musicians. The book starts with an introduction to Prog Rock by VIAJERO INMĂ“VIL Records (Argentina) and the rest of the material is divided into chapters that include the musicians’ answers to the following discussion themes:

1. What is progress in Progressive Rock?
2. Is Progressive Rock really progressive?
3. Accepting other music genres as progressive music
4. Next step for the progress of Progressive Rock
5. Technology and Progressive Rock

The participating Prog artists/bands that are being interviewed: Aisles, Anubis, Ant-Bee, EchoTest, Evership, Karakorum, Kotebel, Life After Mars, Light Freedom Revival, Lars Eric Mattson, Liquid Orbit, Magenta, Mouth, Process of Illumination, RTFACT, Robert Berry, Seven Impale, Soul Enema, Sproingg, Terra Collective, Time King, Wobbler, Yang.

The book was written by Vasileios Yfantis who has also authored other thematic books on Punk, Metal and music technology. Next plans for Vasileios Yfantis include the release of a Prog musical album in 2020 and a new book on melodic rock scheduled for release during the early 2021.

Product details
Paperback: 119 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 11, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1548614416
ISBN-13: 978-1548614416

Book Distribution
Paperback version:
E-book version:

About the author
Vasileios Yfantis has been working in the music industry for more than 20 years as a freelance music journalist. Moreover, he holds 2 Master Degrees in Information Technology and he is a Phd candidate in University of West Attica in Greece. Vasileios has presented conference papers in both Europe and Africa. The main areas of his research interests feature: Musicology, Marketing, Information Communications Technology, Digital Entertainment Industry.

1. V. Yfantis, “The Commercial Exploitation Of Color As A Consumer Stimulus” (Greek Edition), Createspace, 2013.
2. V. Yfantis, “The Lost Lyrics” (Greek Edition), Createspace, 2013.
3. V. Yfantis, “Punk Goes Science: The Academic Punk Bibliography”,CreateSpace, 2014.
4. V. Yfantis, “City Streets Of Europe”, Lulu, 2017.
5. V. Yfantis, “Metal Goes Science”, Createspace 2017.
6. V. Yfantis, “Disadvantaged Populations And Technology In Music”, Createspace 2017.
7. V. Yfantis, “Hip Hop Goes Science: Volume I”, Createspace 2019.

For more information about Yfantis books, check out here:

For more information about Yfantis music, check out here:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158,


Kevin Godley Interview

10 Questions For Kevin Godley

I finally got a chance to interview a member of the legendary band 10cc. The opportunity never presented itself until now. Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman have five new tracks for download only on their site I don't do interviews that often but I have to say that this was one of the very best.  Sit back and enjoy some memories with Kevin Godley and step into the future with their new tracks online... 

MuzikMan: Kevin it feels like I am talking to an old friend! We go back to the days when I got the How Dare You album on vinyl LP from a record club! Since then I have been a huge fan. Actually I first heard Rubber Bullets when I was a junior in High School and was ready to consume everything I could get my hands on by 10cc and then Godley & Creme. I am sure you run into many folks that relate to you this way? 

Kevin Godley: Hello old friend. Good to be talking to you. Lovely, black, thin, precious vinyl. I think the rings of Saturn are made of vinyl. Re: meeting fans. Not that many. The occasional cabbie or train passenger. It’s wonderful though. Those who do care and remember care and remember passionately. I think we touched a small nerve but, for some, touched it quite profoundly.

MuzikMan:  The last 10cc studio album was the 1992 release Meanwhile. This release was an import only and seems to have disappeared into obscurity for some reason and actually is not even listed a main album release on sites like the All Music Guide. I remember the drummer Jeff Porccaro (Toto) dying tragically after this album was recorded. So it looks as though I have a rare recording on my hands now as I cannot find it anywhere.

Can you talk about what happened with that gem of an album and how it all came together?

Kevin Godley: I wasn’t involved with the making of this album at all so I know very little about how it was put together. I was simply asked to sing lead vocal on one song and was flown to NY to record it. The three of us had a lovely reunion breakfast on day one. As I recall all the basic tracks had already been recorded so it was myself, Graham, Eric and producer Gary Katz for two vocal heavy days. I do recall a strange atmosphere in the studio. An intangible awkwardness. Everything sounded ‘great’ everyone got on ‘great’ but there was an essential ingredient missing. I also sensed G and E growing apart. Gary Katz was acting as a political as well as creative buffer keeping personalities as well as music on course. I’ve never actually heard the complete album although I did enjoy singing “The Stars Didn’t Show.”

MuzikMan: Now it’s Godley & Gouldman, what happened to Lol Creme? Is he off producing artists and their videos and other multimedia projects?

Kevin Godley: Lol paints. He’s also involved with a Trevor Horne music project called “The Producers.” That’s all I know.

MuzikMan: I remember when “Cry” came out from Changing Faces and how groundbreaking the title track video was and from that point you and Lol were pioneers in the multimedia industry. What do you see as the cutting edge technologies that have changed the music industry since those days when the video’s really started taking hold during the MTV age?

Kevin Godley: “Cry” is one of my favorites. We were in our pomp on that one. New tech… Many devices and techniques like CGI, Q Base style music technology, non-linear video editing, digital filmmaking tools, ipods, blah blah. G + C’s old maxim: ‘If you can think of it, it can be done’ is now easier to achieve than ever. Meanwhile the internet, undoubtedly, has had the biggest effect on the cultural landscape. Now anyone can do anything and be seen and heard by a vast global community. I sometimes wonder how the quality of work will change if the line between artist and audience blurs any further. Right now everything’s cool and new but there’s a danger that the vocabulary of creativity may shrink to fit. I tend to function in a  ‘less is more’ world so I’m a bit skeptical about where it’s headed. ‘More is less’ could get messy…Discuss.

MuzikMan:  Will there ever be a 10cc reunion and the chances of boxed set coming out with rarities and such? I have been waiting forever for this to happen, is there hope for either events to take place?

Kevin Godley: Graham takes a version of 10cc on the road every year. This year I joined him at two gigs and sang “Old Wild Men” and new song “” I think that’s as close as we’ll get but it was an amazing experience to revisit after thirty years.

MuzikMan:  What was your favorite 10cc album to record?

Kevin Godley: Sheet Music, definitely, because we’d really started to explode creatively and didn’t recognize any boundaries. We were buzzing on each other and exploring our joint and individual capabilities. Lots of excitement and energy at those sessions and, more importantly, an innocence that was open to anything.

MuzikMan:  Looking back in retrospect now do you think all of the Godley & Creme recordings were a direct extension of the 10cc art form and style? Personally I love all that music because it does keep me connected to all the old 10cc releases and makes me want to listen again. Do you find this kind of reaction to your work typical?

Kevin Godley: 10cc taught us how to be ourselves, musically, so any work informed by those years would absolutely be a direct extension. Strange then that G+C’s first excursion into the unknown was an indirect contraction called Consequences. Con Sequences was our ‘Heaven’s Gate.” Great launch party, though. The bigger picture was about freedom from cheese and more emphasis on experiment. At least that’s how it felt back then. We eventually re-discovered our natural musical habitat with L and beyond. I guess however far one strays from an intrinsic style, if it comes from the same people, those who are listening closely enough will be able to join the musical / emotional dots.

MuzikMan:  I see you are right in step with the times releasing your music independently and for download now. Do you feel this is in not only in direct response to what the market dictates but something you have embraced and feel excited about?

Kevin Godley: It’s so clean and direct, particularly for artists with less obvious commercial appeal. If you’re interested in G+G we have a little shop selling G+G things. Come in, browse around. If we’re talking Art versus Commerce, record labels are 100% about COMMERCE. Godley / Gouldman / GG/06 doesn’t scream COMMERCE. Whether it screams ART is not for us to say. I like to think we’re, at least, whispering it in your ear. 

MuzikMan:  Do you think the major labels have a fighting chance now with the way indie music has torn down the traditional distribution model and rebuilt it?

Kevin Godley: Maybe. If the big boys learn to listen and take chances again. If they ditch the purely corporate mentality and get rebooted by people with vision. A few more Chris Blackwell’s, circa 2007, wouldn’t go amiss. 

MuzikMan:  In closing Kevin I would like to give you heartfelt thanks from a lifetime fan for your time. What do all of us diehards have to look forward to in the coming year from you and Graham?

Kevin Godley: My pleasure. Thank you. It’s good to know people are still listening. I hope we can deliver. Expect more music, obviously. Perhaps some film / video stuff. Lots of ideas in the air. We’re not fast, though. Diehards may die before we complete an album’s worth. As of now we only have 5 tracks for download but we’re proud of them. As ever, GG/06 is a further direct extension but, in my opinion, this one has a little more bite and focus than last time around. If you want to know / hear more is the place to go.  Bye for now…

Interview Granted By Kevin Godley With His Permission To Publish And Distribute 2007


Former Yes Man Jon Anderson Gets Close to the Edge...and the Audience

Photo by Deborah Anderson

Classic-rock fans might not see the connection between intricate, musically adventurous progressive rock and all-you-can-eat shrimp and shuffleboard tournaments. But increasingly, fans of this genre -- or Southern rock, or blues, or country, and even Rick Springfield or KISS -- have gathered on the high seas, on cruise ships packed with hardcore fans enjoying concerts, Q&A sessions, workshops and...shrimp. 

This month, Jon Anderson -- the legendary former lead singer of Yes -- will embark on the "Progressive Nation at Sea" jaunt, while his former bandmates headline "Cruise to the Edge" in April. Anderson, who plays an intimate and career-spanning show at Dosey Doe this coming Monday, has done a couple of these events and grown to like them, despite his initial reservations. 

"It ends up being a good time for me and my wife," he says in a high voice that lends credence to the fact that he does not sing in falsetto. "And this time, we've got a balcony and a patio. And we won't eat too much!"

On this adventure, Anderson will do a solo show, take part in a Q&A with fans, and sit in with Mike Portnoy's prog group Transatlantic. As to the wisdom of being in a confined area at sea with some of his most rabid fans, Anderson says he always uses a little Star Wars approach to not being mobbed.

Fotex/The Daily Mail
Yes in the satined '70s: Alan White, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, and Jon Anderson

"I usually do the Obi-Wan Kenobi thing," he says. "Just go through areas with groups and say 'we can pass.'"

Anderson's current tour mixes Yes' classic rock warhorse tunes (of course), solo material, collaborations with other artists like Vangelis, and a seemingly unstoppable flow of new music. It's a lower-key affair that the stadium and amphitheater locations he used to play with Yes.

It's the direct result of a journey he began about six years ago after recovering from the vocal difficulties that began in 2004 and saw the cancellation of a 2008 Yes tour. It led to the group he co-founded jettisoning him rather than wait any longer for his recovery.

He was replaced with Benoit David, the very Anderson-sounding lead vocalist of a Yes tribute band (their current lead singer is Jon Davison).

"People were very receptive to my solo shows," says Anderson, asserting that he's fine now and "sings every day" to keep his voice in shape. "And if I'm having a good time, the audience is as well."
Along with Deep Purple, Yes is probably the highest-profile act not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who absolutely should be. Both were on the initial ballot for induction this year, but didn't make the final cut. 

And while it speaks to what many fans of hard rock, metal and prog-rock see as a bias against their favored genres, Anderson is confident that the Hall will soon say yes to Yes.

"Bands like Yes and Deep Purple and Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer have sold millions of records, and we actually connected musical eras," he says. "It's something I don't dwell on much, but I think if it happens, I'll be very happy, especially for the fans."

He also says that's the most likely chance for him to reunite with his former band members -- if only for a few songs at the one-off ceremony. 

"I have communication with them for a few business matters, but generally, they are doing their thing. I'm in touch with Alan [White, drummer] now and again because we were very close. But Steve [Howe, guitar] and Chris [Squire, bass], not really. We all have our lives to live. And you just get on with things."

Coming up Friday: Anderson on the development of Yes, the term "prog rock," how the Internet has changed making music forever, and playing Houston's "Space Dome" in the '70s. He plays Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 N., 8 p.m. Monday, February 24.

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