prog Archive

Steven Wilson: Hand. Can. Remix.

Steven Wilson came to fame via Porcupine Tree – one of his many group projects – and his name has become synonymous with current-day progressive rock. In addition to a highly successful solo career – 2015’s Hand. Cannot. Erase. is his fourth and arguably best album – Wilson has made a name for himself through

Project/Object: Frank Zappa Fantasy Camp

“I started Project/Object around 1989 or ’90,” says guitarist André Cholmondeley, leader of the popular Frank Zappa tribute group. “I thought, ‘Yeah, we’ll do this for fun. We’ll do it once a year on Frank’s birthday.’ But I never had the concept that it would be a group involving musicians who had played in Frank

A Look Back at ELP with Carl Palmer, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … Bill Kopp: With the benefit of studio technology, bands in the early ’70s could overdub and make really dense, layered albums. Reproducing that sound onstage was another matter, especially for a three-piece, I would imagine … Carl Palmer: Of course we didn’t have MIDI in those days, so we couldn’t

A Look Back at ELP with Carl Palmer, Part Two

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: The term “supergroup” was just coming into use around the time ELP got started. And it certainly applied to you three, since each of you had achieved success in previous projects. I would imagine there were expectations placed upon you by the music press and so forth. Did

A Look Back at ELP with Carl Palmer, Part One

Late-breaking Author’s Note: Very shortly after I turned in this feature for publication — it ran in December on BLURT — news broke that Greg Lake had succumbed to cancer at age 69. Carl Palmer and I didn’t spend a lot of time discussing Greg specifically, but Carl did, as you’ll see, make repeated references

Best Music of 2016: Concerts

There’s a bit of overlap where my best albums and best concerts of 2016 are concerned. And there are some old favorites, too. John Mayall Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC March 11, 2016 It was only around this time that I pivoted to writing as a full-time job (in other words, how I make my living).

Rick Wakeman on Solo Work, Singers, and Sex Pistols

In addition to his work with Yes and Yes-related projects, Rick Wakeman has had a long, successful, and prolific solo career. [Shameless plug: I wrote the liner notes for CD reissues of two of Wakeman’s albums, Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record and Rhapsodies.] Today I present the portion of our interview covering his solo work, and

Geeking Out on Gear: Rick Wakeman Talks Keyboards

During my conversation with Rick Wakeman, the subject inevitably turned to equipment. As a keyboard player myself, I was thrilled at the opportunity to discuss gear with one of the great keyboard players. Today I present that portion of our chat. – BK Bill Kopp: Right as you came to prominence, keyboard technology was really

In a Word, Yes: Rick Wakeman on the ARW Tour (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … My conversation with Rick Wakeman continues. Note that our chat took place in summer 2016, before the lineup of ARW had been finalized. Wakeman discusses plans for as “utility” player – a sixth member – but in the end ARW was just five musicians. I saw them in October, and

In a Word, Yes: Rick Wakeman on the ARW Tour (Part 1)

Back during the summer of this year, I enjoyed a wide-ranging and lengthy conversation with keyboard legend Rick Wakeman. The ostensible basis of our chat was the then-upcoming ARW tour, featuring three ex-members of Yes: Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman. In this two-part feature, I present the ARW-focused part of my conversation with