Q&A Scene: PROGFEST Special: Benjamin Shannon ~ Kodiak Empire

In anticipation of this year’s PROGFEST, we will be running a Progfest Special Q&A Scene with artists appearing on the bill. Published every day at 10:30am. Stay tuned! And grab your tickets before they’re all SOLD OUT!

Band Name: Kodiak Empire

Band Member: Benjamin Shannon

As well as performing at Progfest, do you have a new single/ album, another upcoming tour?

We’ve got another EP that’s been simmering on low for a while now; we’ll be recording it early-mid 2018 with a subsequent tour to follow shortly after.

What can we expect from you at PROGFEST?

100% Maximum Performance.

Some brand new tunes, (which is super exciting) plus a selection of favourites from our first EP, Silent Bodies.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

I’m going to have to hijack the boys here and say the soul cleansing ceremony I experienced from a Canadian Inuit while in the mountains of Banff, Canada. That was fucking rad and a real piece of work.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

Okay, so if it’s a dish I’d say a croquembouche. It’s a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel. In Italy and France, it is often served at weddings, baptisms and first communions. Croquembouche translates directly to ‘crunch in the mouth’ that’s what I’d like to hope we sound like.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

The day we found out we got asked to support COG; we were all on the phone to each other like stockbrokers on cocaine. Couldn’t believe it.

What, or who, inspires you?

Everything and Anything. Chaos and Order. Milk and Cookies. Wicked Green Mind Games. Breeder Rodjohns.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Catalyst – Oceansize

What excites you about Progfest?

Such an incredibly diverse and talented line up. So stoked to see some of my favourite bands and hang out with some wonderful ladies and gents. The community is just unreal, everyone looks out for each other and is really genuine. I think that’s a big reason as to why these shows are so successful. 

What’s next for you?

I’ve been conducting this improvised orchestra which has been mad, about to tour Aus with my Original Jazz Trio, Milton Man Gogh, got an EP coming out with a heavier project called Found In Trees and heaps of gigs, teaching and uni. Haven’t even had time for a croquembouche!

What’s your scene?

It’s an arms race.

Listen: www.kodiakempire.com/ | kodiakempire.bandcamp.com/
Social: www.facebook.com/KodiakEmpire/ | @kodiakempire

 

The 2018 line up of Progfest will be the strongest yet with Norway’s LEPROUS confirmed to headline all 3 Progfest festivals, plus headline their own sideshows in Perth and Adelaide!

Some of Australia’s finest acts including: Voyager, AlithiA, Orsome Welles, Meniscus and Dyssidia were confirmed for Progfest as part of the first round announcement.

The full national line up for all festival shows can now be revealed. Confirming a massive 24 bands will be taking part across the 3 festivals (acts to appear on selected dates as per below).

PROGFEST 2018 Featuring:
Leprous
Voyager | AlithiA
Orsome Welles | Meniscus | Osaka Punch
Toehider | Breaking Orbit | Glass Ocean
James Norbert Ivanyi | Dyssidia | Branch Arterial
Acolyte | Opus Of A Machine | Majora | Kodiak Empire
Hemina | Enlight | Balloons Kill Babies | Fierce Mild
Mercury Sky | He Danced Ivy | Logic Defies Logic | Genetics

Osaka Punch: These Brisbane genre benders deliver a tonne of groove and extremity in equal measures. Their virtuosic high energy show has forged them a reputation as one of Australia’s most wildly entertaining live acts. The group’s distinctive fusion of funk jams, jazz chops and a rock ethos sets them apart from most heavy acts, and allows an element of humour and satire in an otherwise very serious scene.

Toehider: Melbourne’s world-acclaimed singer/instrumentalist Michael Mills and his band of merry men, aka the prog power trio Toehider, bring their unmissable show to Progfest on the back of their latest release GOOD. Featuring Mills’ unmistakable, otherworldly voice and signature bizarre storytelling lyrics, stadium-worthy guitar melodies and driving classic rock rhythms, Toehider is a prog cult classic known the world over, with prominent admirers such as James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Devin Townsend and Aryeon!

Breaking Orbit: Progfest 2018 will mark Breaking Orbit’s momentous reunion, with this being their first show with the original lineup since Progfest 2014. Their dynamic prog-alt brand of music ebbs and flows through passages intricate and eclectic, melodic yet heavy, tribal but modern, atmospheric and at times brutal.

Glass Ocean: Boasting maturity beyond their years, and earning a reputation as a ‘must see’ live act with their modern take on late 90’s progressive pop laced with sensuality, Sydney’s born and bred Glass Ocean are one of Australia’s most prominent up and coming acts.

James Norbert Ivanyi: One of the most original, commanding and versatile young guitarists on the scene today. His unique style of technical modern metal fused with the classic sounds of 1960’s and 1970’s progressive rock music have seen his fan base transcend generations and genres.

Branch Arterial: Following near life-ending experiences for two of their members, Branch Arterial have risen from the ashes to release their strongest album yet Beyond The Border. A unique and distinctive sound derived from the desire to push musical boundaries, don’t miss one of Australia’s most spine tingling onstage performances.

Rounding out the Progfest 2018 line up are
Acolyte | Opus Of A Machine | Majora | Kodiak Empire
Hemina | Enlight | Balloons Kill Babies | Fierce Mild
Mercury Sky | He Danced Ivy | Logic Defies Logic | Genetics

 

PROGFEST 2018
Saturday, January 20: The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Leprous
Voyager | AlithiA
Meniscus | Orsome Welles | Breaking Orbit
Glass Ocean | James Norbert Ivanyi | Osaka Punch
Dyssidia | Majora | Hemina | Mercury Sky | Genetics

Sunday, January 21: The Triffid, Brisbane
Leprous
Voyager | AlithiA
Osaka Punch | Orsome Welles | Opus Of A Machine
Dyssidia | Kodiak Empire | Balloons Kill Babies | He Danced Ivy

Saturday, January 27: The Corner, Melbourne
Leprous
Voyager | AlithiA
Orsome Welles | Toehider | Meniscus
Branch Arterial | Dyssidia | Acolyte
Enlight | Fierce Mild | Logic Defies Logic

LEPROUS
with special guests AlithiA
Friday, January 19: Badlands, Perth
Thursday, January 25: Jive, Adelaide

Tickets from wildthingpresents.com

ABOUT PROGFEST

Progfest 2018 has expanded to include all three east coast capital cities, hitting Sydney and Brisbane along with returning to Melbourne, following its December 2016 sold out edition!

Featuring progressive bands of all styles and genres, from prog, post, psychedelic, art rock, metal and everything in between, PROGFEST is about showcasing bands that think for themselves; bands who rather than following the latest trends, have decided to challenge themselves musically and create music with depth and vision.

Beginning life in 2008, Progfest has grown along side Australia’s love of progressive music, and has become the centrepiece of the nation’s burgeoning prog scene. In the intervening years, the progressive scene in Australia has exploded and the bands associated with it are now a global force to be reckoned with.

Many of the acts have gained huge followings from all over the world. Ne Obliviscaris, Caligula’s Horse, sleepmakeswaves and Twelve Foot Ninja have all headlined Progfest in the past, and each of them have gone on to crack the ARIA Mainstream chart and have global success.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED FOR PROGFEST 2018
LEPROUS: Stepping out of the shadows, Leprous have come into their own this year, performing to packed crowds on their European tour with Devin Townsend and becoming the ‘must see’ act of the Euro summer season. The band released their new album Malina in August this year to critical global praise and have crafted songs that are both catchy and progressive. Featuring sophisticated and intricate textures that are woven around sublime harmonies and rolling post rock rhythms.

VOYAGER: Perth prog masters Voyager are one of the nations most recognised prog bands around the world. With 6 albums under their wings and constant appearances at global festivals such as ProgPower USA, ProgPower Europe, Hammersonic and Euroblast, supporting the likes of Opeth & Deftones plus multiple national tours of their own, Voyager have their live act honed to perfection.

ALITHIA: Melbourne’s tribal space rockers AlithiA recently embarked on a 29-date European tour supporting Leprous (Norway) and Agent Fresco (Iceland). Imagine floating through the cosmos, out of body and out of mind on a space trip shaped by mutant riffs, driven by tribal percussion and a shamanistic feel.

ORSOME WELLES: This Melbourne experimental creative defy classification. Merging progressive music with an early 20th century panache, pounding grooves, intricate instrumentality and raw uncaged power. Their avant-garde live show is a must see!

MENISCUS: These Sydney instrumental post rockers seamlessly blend guitar-driven ambient soundscapes, hard-rock, electronic and psychedelic music with a striking visual element to their live performances that has captivated audiences since the bands inception in 2005.

DYSSIDIA: Adelaide’s foremost progressive metal act have crafted a unique sound amongst their peers. Their breathtaking motifs and intricate rhythms have lead to them sharing the stage with the kings of the global progressive scene.

For tickets and more information:

WildThingPresents

Progfest:

About Mary Boukouvalas 922 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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