Interview – Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a legend in modern progressive metal. He is the mastermind of Ayreon, the all-star rock opera series that includes the albums The Human Equation, Into the Electric Castle, and 01011001. He is also member of the bands Star One, Guilt Machine, and Ambeon.

Most recently, Lucassen released his second solo album, Lost in the New Real, via Inside Out Music.

Here is a phone conversation in which we discuss the new album, his garage studio, how he came in contact with collaborators Mikael Åkerfeldt, Devin Townsend and Rutger Hauer (Yes, the Rutgar Hauer from Blade Runner), and much more.

Listen to the full interview with samples of the new album after the Jump…

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Beard and Mustaches That Rock

As a self-proclaimed facial hair enthusiast and rock and roll deejay, it only seems natural to notice that there are a lot of musicians with epic face hair. From classic rock to hip hop, interesting facial hair is a feature in an industry that loves crazy looks.

The band "The Beards" is proof of the relationship between face hair and good tunes


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Second Time around

For the second time in a 5 month span I was able to go see Zappa Plays Zappa at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. For those unfamiliar with the Band, it is a tribute band of sorts that plays the music of famed guitarist and rock hero Frank Zappa, who died of cancer in 1993 of cancer. The leader of the band is Zappa’s son Dweezil. Dweezil spent over three years to learn the catalog of his father’s vast collection and has done a great job to master it. Dweezil Zappa opened the catalog of his father and put on a great show. The venue itself was very unique and gave a great sound to the show. The Crest theater has stadium like seating and is older and gave a great surround sound feel. This show was vastly different from the show I had seen in San Francisco when the band was an opening act. The first act of the show was a short half hour set of mostly lesser known songs from the 1960’s. The second set was much longer and was absolutely rocking. The second set featured a more diverse sound. Some blues songs, mixed in with some jazz and then a quick turn into a solo on a kazoo. [Read more…]

Like father like.. and the return

I have been to my fair share of concerts and shows of a wide range. Everything from the Warped Tour to an Underground rap show. But watching Zappa playing Zappa and Return 2 Forever at the Warfield Theatre in San Fransisco was absolutely mind blowing. Thursday night was truly a great for me as a music fan and has opened my ears even wider than they were for great music. Neither of the groups I saw had extreme radio play and TRUE cult figures. [Read more…]