|.||with members of the North American Progressive Rock Band METAPHOR|
Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Motta - As I understand it, Metaphor has been active since the
last decade. Have you
Malcolm Smith: When we first formed as a Genesis tribute band, we kicked around several names, and decided to stick with Metaphor.While you were a cover band, which of you definitely sat down and said: “Hey guys, what
about composing and performing our own repertoire from now on"?
Marc Spooner: Malcolm always had a few songs in his back pocket (the ones that became Seed and In the Cave) and played me tapes of them.I know while being a cover band, you were doing only the Genesis songs from the Gabriel
era. What is your impression of the Genesis music of the Collins era?
Marc Spooner: I always thought ‘’Trick of the Tail’’ was an unqualified masterpiece. ‘’Wind and Wuthering’’ is about 85% great. I always had a soft spot for ‘’And Then There Were Three’’. I like ‘’Duke’’ in parts and same with ‘’Abacab’’. After that, I can't really listen to them. Whatever the era, they were always a great live band.Concerning the ‘’Starfooted‘’ album, I have had the opportunity of reading some reviews
of it, and as far as I could see, it was very well received by most prog fans. How does a
musician basically feel right before having his very first album thrown into the market?
Is there any sort of apprehension towards the acceptance of his work by the listeners?
John Mabry: We were shaking in our boots! At least I know I was. It's very scary, like going out on stage naked. Without your teddy bear. Fortunately, most people were very kind. We only got one bad review for ‘’Starfooted’’, as I recall, and what do the Kurdistanis know, anyway?Some reviewers of your second CD “Entertaining Thanatos” have strongly taken its
sonority as being very close to that of Genesis. I personally disagree and would say it is a
bit closer to the Neo-Prog direction on many aspects, in some of the keyboard passages
for instance, and I quote bands like Arena and Grey Lady Down as a lively reference.
Would you personally take it as a progression or were you intentionally trying to get rid
of the old roots?
Malcolm Smith: The material on “Entertaining Thanatos” has in many ways moved away from the Genesis influence...Clearly, ‘’Starfooted’’ and ‘’Entertaining Thanatos’’ are successful works. Has the success
of those two CDs brought the band a certain recognition, requests for gigs, label interest,
or other positive professional results?
John Mabry: It brought us a lot of personal pride, and plenty of praise from our peers. It has also given us a lot of confidence, like, "Oh, a critically-acclaimed album--we can do THAT. Give us something hard!" I'm sort of kidding. ‘’STARFOOTED’’ was SO well received, we were a bit daunted to follow it up. Fortunately, we had so much material written and in rehearsal when it finally did hit that we didn't spend too much time agonizing over it.From what countries does your music receive the most positive reviews?
Malcolm Smith: Both our CDs have received good reviews from around the world, maybe the most positive ones for ‘’Entertaining Thanatos’’ are from France and the USA, so far.Lyrics for some of the songs on ‘’Entertaining Thanatos’’ were based on mythological
tales. Will you be making use of any other literature on forthcoming albums by Metaphor?
Marc Spooner: Yes, the next CD will be based on the novel, "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell.Your first CD was released by Galileo Records, a label from far-off Switzerland, and
‘’Entertaining Thanatos’’ is released on your own label, TropeAudio. Did you receive any
offer from labels in your own country?
Marc Spooner: Most prog labels are either not interested or cannot offer a good enough deal to make it worthwhile for us financially. In other words, we'd take all the risk. So that's what we did for Thanatos - took all the risk and released it ourselves.Concerning the current live performances, do you still play out any Genesis tunes when
asked by the audience, or do you only play out your own songs now?
John Mabry: Live! Ha! You make me laugh.I understand that ‘’Starfooted’’ is being distributed here in Brazil by Rock Symphony
Records. Are you aware of its acceptance here and also around other South American
Marc Spooner: Yes, we were thrilled to have ‘’Starfooted’’ licensed by Rock Symphony and hope that your review and this interview will help sales of ‘’Entertaining Thanatos’’. It's great to have fans in South America!Just to close our interview, would you like to impart any message for all those who
appreciate not only the music by Metaphor, but the Progressive Rock music in a
Marc Spooner: Keep listening, keep buying, keep caring about it, and don't let anyone tell you what you should be listening to.
Anderson - Bass Guitar and other low frequencies
Greg Miller, Drummer with the fine Bay Area band "Mind Furniture", will be guest drummer on their upcoming 3rd CD.
with guests: Feffrey Baker & Bob Koehler - Drums
Only a very few people either 1) understood the ad, and/or 2) responded. Despite the cryptic nature of the ad, Metaphor was formed with keyboardist Marc Spooner, drummer Bob Koehler, and brothers Vince and Robert Montia on bass and vocals. This first version of Metaphor specialized in performing the music of "classic" Genesis, from the so-called Gabriel Era of 1970 to 1974.
Though rehearsals were sporadic and "real life" continued to interrupt, Metaphor fully realized over three hours of this very creative and challenging music, as a tribute to the music of classic Genesis.
Following two successful performances, the band decided to drop the Genesis material and pursue original, uncompromising, progressive music. In 1996, a search began for a new bass player and singer, to replace Vince and Robert who left to pursue other creative endeavors.
In 1997, Jim Post joined as the bassist, and John Mabry as vocalist/lyricist. Rehearsals began with much of the music written by Malcolm and Marc, as well as a piece penned by Bob and two by John. Recording for Metaphor's debut CD began in fall of 1998.
In 1999, Metaphor completed recording its debut CD, "Starfooted", at Suspect Studios in Sunnyvale, California, and subsequently signed a record contract with Galileo Records, a Swiss progressive rock record label. Galileo released Starfooted in April, 2000 to very positive reviews.
In July, 2000 bassist Jim Post decided to leave the band in order to focus on other endeavors. The band fortunately found a wonderful replacement in Jim Anderson, who now handles all bass and bass pedals duties.
In 2001, Metaphor focused its limited time on writing and arranging a lot of new material. At the same time, recording of two new songs took place, one of which will appear on the BayProg compilation CD, to be distributed in the Spring, 2002 issue of Expose Magazine.
After the recording sessions for the two new songs, in late 2001 drummer Bob Koehler, one of the original members of Metaphor, informed the band that he was ready to move on and focus on other priorities in his life. Metaphor in 2002 auditioned a number of drummers to fill the spot, and welcomed Jeff Baker as guest drummer for its second CD, "Entertaining Thanatos" released in spring of 2004.
Throughout 2004, Metaphor wrote, arranged, and began rehearsing a 3rd CD's-worth of material.
is Metaphor music?
music itself is well-described by writer and prog afficionado Bradley Smith
description can certainly be applied to Metaphor. Creativity, interesting
and changing moods, alternating time signatures, quality musicianship,
and a commitment to creating music of our own design, regardless of commercial
potential (or lack thereof!), are also apt descriptions of Metaphor.
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