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Spock's Beard

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Spock's Beard's Dave Meros From 2008

This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at

So, what prompted the decision to do a live DVD and CD now?

We have wanted to do one for three or four years now and finally got an opportunity to do it with a really good video company in Holland on our last Europe tour.  We hadn't done a video since Neal was in the band so we wanted a DVD to document our new formation.


How would you say the band’s live show is similar to the Neal Morse days?

Lots of energy and some goofing around like we've always done.  We do a lot of Neal's songs as well.


And how would you say it’s different?

New material, of course.  That's probably the main thing.  Plus two drum sets on stage and the interplay between Jimmy and Nick when they're both playing at the same time.  


Any plans for a new disc?

Sure. . .no specific dates set now, but we're all writing new songs with a new CD in mind.


What about side projects – what side gigs are the guys working on?

Nick has a couple of new solo things that he's working on at the moment.  Al did his solo record last year.  Ryo has always got something brewing. . He's actually living in Japan on a temporary basis now and working on a couple things over there.  I have been toying with the idea of a side project consisting of all the material that I write that is a little too dark for Spock's Beard, but it's always on the back burner so it may or may not happen.  


Who do you see as musical influences, both personally and as a band?

It's pretty much a "you name it" sort of thing.  We're fairly schizophrenic as far as music goes. . the whole multiple personality thing.  We've all grown up going through different phases and playing all different styles of music.  Personally, whenever I hear something that I really like it becomes one of my big influences, so by this time there are probably hundreds, spreading the entire spectrum from classical to death metal.  Haven't gotten much into hip hop and rap, though. . .I guess I'm a little to old to really "get" it.


Does the live release showcase an entire complete show or is it culled from several shows?

It's one show in its entirety. 


What’s ahead for you guys?

We're just about to start a Europe / UK tour.  We're starting today, in fact, so that's in our immediate future.  After that, it's more writing, getting enough material together for a new CD, recording that new stuff, releasing it, getting a big gigantic platinum hit, then buying a beach house in Malibu.


Do you feel that the "Progressive" label has helped or hurt you in acquiring new fans?

Without the progressive rock fans we wouldn't even be a band I don't think, so in that regard it has definitely helped.  Having said that, progressive rock is a small niche in the music business,  even smaller than jazz and blues, so it's kind of limiting in that sense.  But there are crossover bands like Porcupine Tree and System Of A Down that are kind of redefining what progressive rock is and having some success in a bigger market.  I also think that is something that is becoming a little more commonplace and I hope that it continues to go in that direction.


Do you feel that the success of bands like yourself and Dream Theater has helped bring new progressive bands more into the spotlight?

Dream Theater definitely helped define and popularize the more prog metal part of it for sure.  But yeah, when I think back on when we started out it seemed like the prog scene as it applied to the non-metal part of it was suffering and that's right about the time bands like Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings came on the scene.  All of a sudden there seemed to be a sort of revitalization of prog music.  It would be great if some form of progressive rock became mainstream again and we became recognized as a band who helped pave the way for that.  That would be very cool.


What new bands are you inspired by?

I'm sure I'm missing some really great ones, but the first three that come to mind are Porcupine Tree, Tool and Sigur Ros.


What’s the latest CD that you’ve gotten that’s purely blown you away?

Well, this is going back a few years, but Audioslave's first record was the only thing I would listen to for a couple of months.  Same thing with Tool's Lateralus CD.


What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?

Clutch, Sigur Ros and a death metal compilation disc. . .I think I bought those three at the same time.  I told you I was a schizo.   


What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Believe it or not, I don't find going to concerts enjoyable. 

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You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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