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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Bob Madsen of 41Point9 from 2018


Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – sort of a "highlight reel?"

41Point9 came about in a dark, cobweb filled corner of my mind.  After releasing a jazz album in 2007 that kind of went nowhere,  “If it's unlikely I’ll ever make money making music, then I’m just gonna make music that I want to hear and that I enjoy making”  With that decided,  I  tried to put together a band that would just be about having fun and writing the type of music that got the blood pumping, with songs that told stories and didn’t skimp on the musical ideas and musicianship.  At first I tried using local players to form the band, but that didn’t quite work out so well.  Then I remembered my old friend and former vocalist and founding member of Enchant- Brian Cline.  Brian had done some great work on the aforementioned  doomed jazz album of mine, and we had had such a good time, it seemed like a no-brainer to work together again.  I called Brian, begged, whined and cajoled until Brian finally acquiesced and agreed to become part of the band.  Reportedly there are some photographs in a safety deposit box somewhere, that when Brian was reminded of their existence, tipped the odds in favor of his joining the band.

Next up, Kenny Steel joined the band.  Fresh out of a recovery program for addicted metal heads, Kenny added the missing ingredient that we so clearly needed.  Namely, he knew what the heck he was doing musically while I (and to a lesser extent Brian) was pretty clueless in this department.  Kenny is the man with the fingers,… no, I mean it…… he actually has ten of the little things and they seem to know what to do most of the time.  He routinely convinces us to do amazing things on guitar and keyboard, and in the process helps out immensely when we paint ourselves into a musical corner.

After completing seven of nine songs for the debut album Still Looking For the Answers, the project was picked up by Prog Rock Records, and the album was released in early 2011. A few years later we were picked up by Melodic Revolution Records and just recently we decided to make go at it with our own label The Highlander Company Records.  Recently Kenny Steel has bowed out of the band to focus on his teaching career.  The guitar spot has recently been filled by Chad Quist an extremely talented and long term friend of mine.

In October of 2018, 41Point9 released our second album Mr. Astute Trousers and re released a newly mixed and mastered version of our debut album Still Looking For Answers.  Both albums are available pretty much everywhere.

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

I probably would be involved with some fiendish plan to take over the world using nothing but goldfish and a spatula…


How did the name of the group originate?

41Point9 is a joking reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series of books in which the reader discovers that 42 is the answer to “the meaning of life, the universe and everything."  I thought to myself, "well, if we aren't the answer to all that, we certainly are pretty darn close." And hence the name was born.

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Just about anyone who plays music that makes you think and feel.  We are not so interested in any one genre as we are just the whole of the musical spectrum that makes you have a reaction of some sort or another.  We are just lucky there are several ointments available for the kinds of reaction most folks have to our music.
MSJ: What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

“It's not prog”  (laughter). Seriously though, the nicest things that have been said about the music is that it transcends boundaries and that it's “Prog your girlfriend will like."  I kid you not, one reviewer said that about our music and it still makes us chuckle.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Lunch and a nap.
MSJ: I know many artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Flippity, flappity funky fun futuristic mess.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?

Unfortunately most of them have filed restraining orders, which makes that rather difficult……

MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Absolutely hurts musicians.  It's no longer economically feasible for a new band to make any money at music.  I am just lucky I make most of my money making sweaters from pocket lint.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?
Conversely I think that’s kind of cool.  Its almost like sharing trading cards or something.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Oh that’s easy it would be Brian Cline (singer for 41.9). The way he messes with my lyrics is a constant thorn in my side. The fact that he makes them better is completely beside the point…..
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Poets of the Fall, Ultraviolet.  These guys are amazing.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
No, but I was absolutely transfixed by the ingredients on a box of breakfast cereal the other day
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Journey/Def Leppard.  Lots of nostalgic fun
MSJ: Do you remember the first concert you attended?
Yep, Queen  Bicycle tour.  Yep I’m old.
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Early Brian Cline solo albums.  He’s so hunky….
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Geez, I don’t think your magazine has enough pages to go into that….

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Neal Peart, Barack Obama, Winnie the Pooh
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Pizza, of course!
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Yes… ahem….. would somebody please buy our album?
MSJ: This interview  is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:
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