Between A Rock And A Prog Place: MOODY BLUES' JOHN LODGE – "We Were Called Progressive, Classic Rock, Underground…"
December 31, 2023, 3 months ago
What truly is progressive music? Each month BraveWords will aim to dissect that answer with a thorough overview of the current musical climate that is the prog world. Old and new, borrowed and blue. A musical community without borders. So watch for a steady and spaced-out array of features, current news and a buyer's guide checklist to enhance the forward-thinking musical mind. So, welcome to BraveWords' monthly column appropriately titled, Between A Rock In A Prog Place.
In this month's column, we speak to Moody Blues bassist John Lodge about his upcoming US tour Performs Days Of Future Passed, as well as early prog, modern prog, and his favorite Moody tunes.
What can fans expect at the upcoming Performs Days Of Future Passed Tour?
"I hope to transport fans who bought the original back to those halcyon days, and to new fans at my concert, I hope my performance of Days has an excitement and emotional experience they can call their own."
What do you recall about the writing and recording of the Days Of Future Passed album?
"The recording took a week, a week that changed my life and the life of the Moody Blues. It was an exciting time, to be given a recording studio for a week was groundbreaking – and showed the faith Sir Edward Lewis and the Decca record company had in us. We knew the album was different to anything else at that time."
The album has often been pointed to as one of the first-ever prog-rock albums. Do you agree or disagree?
"In hindsight, yes. But you have to remember the term 'prog rock' didn’t exist! We were called progressive, classic rock, underground, and only later was this term used to encompass all definitions of the Moody Blues."
How is it performing on stage with your son-in-law, Jon Davison?
"Jon Davison, first of all, is a beautiful person. He has a wonderful voice, fantastic musician, and his commitment is a wonderful, powerful contribution to my presence on stage, and an absolute joy."
What are some of your favorite Moody Blues songs to perform live?
"'Isn’t Life Strange,' because the musicianship of the 10,000 Light Years Band for me is unbelievable. Every night they send shivers through my spine and it’s a perfect platform for me to sing. And 'I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock n' Roll Band)' because of the sheer energy created by the band. And of course, 'Ride My Seesaw' – because Jon Davison joins me."
Are you a fan of any modern-day prog artists?
"Today, everything is streamed. I hear an artist, by the time I try to find the artist, the streaming has moved on. That is why vinyl is the only route to explore, but one needs a platform…"
Future plans or projects beyond the upcoming February/March shows?
"I am concentrating on my new album, Days Of Future Passed…My Sojourn, for the foreseeable future. I am touring in February/March in the USA, and then on the Flower Power Cruise out of Miami – I am looking forward to that. My next hope is that I will be performing in the UK as soon as possible, and if the opportunity arises in Europe, it’s been too long."
Between A Rock And A Prog Place News Blast
Canadian prog metal vets Voivod will be touring North America for almost a month beginning in late February with co-headliners Prong – for a complete listing of dates and to purchase tickets, click here. German proggers Unprocessed recently issued their fifth studio album, …And Everything In Between, of which the song “Die On The Cross Of The Martyr” (which features Tim Henson and Scott LePage of Polyphia) has been issued as a video – and can be enjoyed below.
Symphonic metal soprano vocalist/pianist Talia Hoit recently unveiled a new video for the tune "Whispers In The Storm," and yes, you can view it. Swedish prog metallists Evergrey recently issued an 'anniversary album' in the form of From Dark Discoveries To Heartless Portraits, which is available to order.
Austin, TX prog-metallists Transit Method Will be issuing their third album on February 2, Othervoid, while the new single/video “Psychometry” can be viewed/heard below. Symphonic metallists Therion recently issued the final album of the Leviathan trilogy, entitled…Leviathan III, which you can obtain here.
New Jersey symphonic metallists, Everdawn, recently issued their latest album Venera, which can be heard and/or purchased. And lastly, Chicago proggers Dissona recently issued a Blade Runner-inspired EP entitled Dreadfully Distinct – and if you'd like to check out a drum playthrough video of their tune, “Renaissance,” you're in luck!
January 2024 New Albums
Trevor Horn- Echoes: Ancient and Modern
Neal Morse- The Restoration, Joseph: Part Two
MesaVerde- All is Well
10cc- 20 Years: 1972-1992
Caligula's Horse- Charcoal Grace
Although Tool is largely thought of as an alt-metal band – perhaps because they first hit the scene in the early '90s, and were automatically embraced by the Lollapalooza set – they certainly have their proggy and arty moments. Don't take our word for it and demand some proof? We hereby present a compilation of pro-shot clips of the band from their stellar 1993-1997 period, for your enjoyment.