Rising Stars Revisited – Neural Mass

Sylvain Rodrigue (drums/vocals) brings us up to date on Canadian prog rock band Neural Mass. You can read the original Rising Stars interview here

What are you currently up to?

Since releasing our latest album ”Final Warning” in 2010, we have been rehearsing with our actual line-up: Gary, myself , and our new guitarist Steve Otis. We no longer have a bass player.

We now are using pre-recorded bass tracks. So, for us, it’s a completely new way of working, and it’s a very interesting challenge. Almost no mistakes allowed !

We are also adding some visual aspects to our live shows (videos and synchronized lighting).  We are very excited to play live after a 5 year absence. We think the audiences will sense our enthusiasm.

What have been the highlights of the past ten years for the band?

Lots of ups and downs (laughs).  In 2003, we were playing as a trio with guitarist Mark Tremblay (from the band Spaced Out)  who we met when we were recording the album ”Sunshine Hill”. In 2004 baseman

Fred Thompson joined the group. As a quartet, we then recorded the album Opposite Control and a live album called Playing for Fans.

We were doing a lot of shows back then and at some point, the band was just moving around in circles so Gary decided to leave. In 2007 Fred passed away and the band completely dissolved. Then Gary and I decided to reactivate the band. We then recorded the album Final Warning. Mark Tremblay makes a guest appearance on that album. This is the first album featuring guitarist Steve Otis who is now a full member of the band.

How has the music industry and live music scene changed in the past ten years? How has this impacted on the band?

Of course the internet changed everything in the music industry. More doors are now open and more and more people are trying to get in, all at the same time !

It’s a big jungle but at least you can control what you are doing and reach the right person who will appreciate this kind of music. It like this for all styles of music but more so for specific niche styles like ours. Progressive rock has been there for many decades now and is still very much alive.

What is it that drives you all on as musicians?

What I like the most is composing and recording. Creating music is still the most pleasant thing to do. Live shows are great as well, for other reasons…

How do you think the live music scene may look in five to ten years? time given the fact that a lot of the 70?s and 80?s bands will have stopped touring by then?

Very good question. I hope that people will try to explore more of what’s coming. There are a lot less band from the 90′s that are still around. I think there will be more ”next big thing” bands that will enjoy brief success. Everything changes so quickly and people are taking things, using them up and throwing them away almost immediately . This also applies to music. Some artists will manage to a have long careers though.

Message for your fans?

Visit our website www.neural-mass.com for all updates, a lot of things to come in the near future.


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