Between A Rock And A Prog Place: PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS' JOHN BOEGEHOLD – "A Lot Of Prog Stuff I Hear Is Either Too Heavy For My Taste Or Retreading Old Ground"

October 3, 2023, 2 months ago

By Greg Prato

feature hard rock pattern-seeking animals

Between A Rock And A Prog Place: PATTERN-SEEKING ANIMALS' JOHN BOEGEHOLD – "A Lot Of Prog Stuff I Hear Is Either Too Heavy For My Taste Or Retreading Old Ground"

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 Pattern-Seeking Animals keyboardist John Boegehold about his band's new album, Spooky Action At A Distance, its most challenging tracks, as well as his thoughts/concerns about the current state of prog. 

How does Spooky Action At A Distance differ from previous Pattern-Seeking Animals albums?

"First off, we recorded at a new studio with a different engineer who also mixed the album. We always try to not repeat ourselves with the material, so there are some new musical styles and approaches on this album, especially with the vocals."

What is the meaning behind the album title?

"Comes from physics. Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen pointed out a problem with quantum entanglement in 1935 that Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance.' Nothing to do with the music on the album, it's just a phrase I really liked."

Please discuss the album's first single, “Window To The World” - what do you recall about writing/recording it, and its lyrical meaning?

"'Window To The World' is a song that's been around for a long time. I was in a band with co-writer Diane Boothby (and Dave Meros), but we never recorded it or played it live. I always loved the song, so decided to record it with P-SA. Lyrically, it's about an ordinary guy who has the world at his fingertips through his computer, phone, TV, etc."

Which other tracks do you fancy from the album and why?

"I'm really happy with the way everything turned out, but I think my favorite is the longest song 'He Once Was,' which is quite different from anything we've done in the past. 'Underneath the Orphan Moon' I also really like, especially because of the live string quartet on that one. Has a classic Elton John vibe."

What would you say is the most challenging Pattern-Seeking Animals to play, and why?

"I don't play in the live band but other guys seem to think that 'Time Has A Way' from Only Passing Through was pretty challenging. 13+ minutes long with multiple time and tempo changes."

What do you think of the current state of prog-rock?

"My opinions are mixed. I love recent releases from Wobbler, Retreat From Moscow, Big Big Train, Wilderun, Pendragon, Flower Kings, etc. But a lot of prog stuff I hear is either too heavy for my taste or retreading old ground. Overall though, there seems to be more and more prog being released every year and the genre overall is healthy."

Touring plans? Other projects?

"No tours or live dates lined up at the moment but we're looking into a few different possibilities for 2024. Hopefully, we'll have something locked in soon. The only other project I'm working on at the moment is the fifth P-SA album."

Between A Rock And A Prog Place News Blast

On November 24, a pair of prog rock classics from the late '90s/early '00s will be reissued – Devin Townsend's Infinity (available for pre-order here) and Spock's Beard's Feel Euphoria (which also can be pre-ordered, right on over here). And while Infinity will include bonus tracks and be made available as a variety of formats (CD, vinyl, and digital editions), Feel Euphoria will also include bonus tracks but be issued solely on vinyl (the first time ever issued in that format).

Another prog-y recording from yesteryear making its debut on vinyl will be Rockin' The Ritz: NYC 1988 from 3 – on November 17 (but you can indeed place a pre-order). Who the heck was 3, you ask? Understandable question. 3 was a short-lived prog trio comprised of Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer, and Robert Berry, that lasted for a single studio album, before exiting stage left. And if it's another reissue of a recording from yesteryear that you crave, who about a 4CD + 1 Blu-ray Audio Super Deluxe (showcasing 88 total tracks with 57 unreleased tracks and mixes) of Frank Zappa's 1973 classic, Over-Nite Sensation, to mark its 50th anniversary? Watch the video below for all the specifics concerning the release (which drops November 3).

Arriving on November 10 will be the second album by Nick D’Virgilio, Neal Morse & Ross Jennings – understandably titled Sophomore, and from which a video for the track “Anywhere The Wind Blows” can be viewed below. Prog/arena rock vets Kansas has extended their 50th anniversary tour – which will now run well into 2024 (with a complete listing of dates viewable on their official site).

Haken has announced they will be launching a 2024 'An Evening With' tour throughout North America, with dates listed on their site, as well. And lastly, the German progressive quartet Unprocessed will be issuing their latest effort on December 1, …And Everything In Between, while a music video for the track “Thrash,” is indeed already YouTube-able

October 2023 New Albums

October 6
This Winter Machine- The Clockwork Man
Trevor Rabin- Rio
Roger Waters- The Dark Side of the Moon Redux 

October 20
Galahad- The Long Goodbye 
Temperance- Hermitage: Daruma's Eyes Pt. 2
Within Temptation- Bleed Out 

October 27
Pattern-Seeking Animals- Spooky Action at a Distance 
Serenity- Nemesis AD

Classic Clip

With the impending release of the Frank Zappa: Over-Nite Sensation/50th Anniversary box set, how about we inspect a live performance of one of the album's classic (and proggiest) tunes, “Montana,” recorded/filmed the same year the album originally arrived? 

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