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Progressive Rock Interviews

Gadi Caplan

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Gadi Caplan from 2014
MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music?

I've been playing music most of my life. I started out playing xylophone and piano as a child and when I was 13 I switched to guitar. I studied privately and taught myself as much as I could for many years. When I was 24 I started my studies at the Berklee College of Music and majored in guitar performance. Over the years I played in all sorts of bands and in 2009 I formed my own group. We started performing in Boston and released our first album Opposite Views in 2011. I continued writing new material and recorded the second album Look Back Step Forward which was released in 2013.
MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Not really sure since I've always been involved with music, but lately I've been very interested in yoga and meditation and I used to be (and still am) interested in environmental studies.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
There are many but the main ones would be 60s and 70s rock, prog and fusion artists such as: Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Gong, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Frank Zappa and many, many more.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
I will be performing around the north east, both with my band and solo. I've been in touch with many local prog/fusion groups and we will be putting on concerts with several local bands. I am also working on new material for the next album.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Yes, it is hard to label music, and usually one person's label doesn't make sense to another person. I generally describe my music as progressive rock or fusion. It's based on rock with jazz, funk, classical and world music elements mixed in.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
All of my influences that I listed above, and also the local musicians I mentioned I'll be performing with. I was privileged to share the stage with one of them recently: Joe Deninzon and Stratospheerius. There are many more great local bands I hope to collaborate with - such bands as: Out of the Beardspace, The Tea Club, Edensong and many more.
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
This is a tough question, which I had many discussions about with fellow musicians. Downloading music for free has its plus and minus, but one thing is that there is no going back: online file sharing has changed everything, some say for the better and some for the worst, but you can't undo it.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
I'm not a fan of that, not because of the free sharing of music but because of the fact the musicians put a lot of effort into the production of their music, including live concert recordings and they might not want a bad quality recording floating out there and not representing them properly.
MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?

I have no enemies, so I hope my super hero version won't have one.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?

My answer would probably vary from week to week but right now I would say either the Yes Close to the Edge line up or Zappa Roxy and Elsewhere line up. These bands are so good I don't see the point of mixing and matching. There are many great bands like that, and next week it will be something else for me.

MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
Interesting question, I haven't been planning festivals but I have been planning shows with several prog rock bands on the same bill. I mentioned a few earlier: Joe Deninzon, Out of the Beardspace, etc.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
I'm not sure what was the last CD I bought but I think it might have been Zappa in New York. Lately I've been listening to lots of Genesis and Yes and also some great Israeli artists: Eviatar Banai, legendary Israeli singer Arik Einstein who sadly just passed away and Israeli hip hop pioneers HaDag Nahash.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
I read two excellent spiritual books this month: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
I saw Roger Waters "The Wall" tour last year which was phenomenal. Lately I've been to many great shows by local artists.
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”

Not sure what you mean by guilty pleasure - no guilt in music for me.

MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I guess you mean weird band story. Well, I used to play in a rock group called “InnerCombustion.” Our lead singer Patrick McConnell (who sang on my first album) cracked his head open by jumping on stage and not noticing that the speakers were ridiculously low. He played the rest of the show with blood dripping from his face and the next day we played in a pizza eating contest/ music festival. Yes, that was a very weird weekend.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
I want to thank you for supporting independent music and exposing it to your readers. If they would like to check out some more music by me or by other independent artists they can at my website www.gadicaplan.com. I feature relatively not well known bands on my "band of the week" segment.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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