Thursday, April 25, 2013

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Interview: Half Past Four


Half Past Four is a Canadian band formed back in 2005 that has 2 albums out. The newest one is Good Things (2013), just released.

Their first album was born 5 years ago, Rabbit In The Vestibule (2008), with that album they did many interviews and had many reviews around the world. They also played to an enthusiastic crowd at Prog Day in North Carolina in September 2008.

After some drummers changes the band were introduced to Marcello in early 2012. With the new line up they began writing more songs and planning the next recording immediately. Their new album was released on April 13th 2013.

Half Past Four's original music was made for the most loyal of progressive music fans but also for the newly initiated listeners hoping to find a new kind of music to fall in love with.

This interview was taken just after the release of the album and the band talk about it and about the difficulties of a new band in the new market. Check it out below:


Interview by Diego Camargo



Progshine – One of the first things I noticed when I heard about the band was the name, cause it was quite unexpected. Can you tell us where ‘Half Past Four’ came from?

Half Past Four - Half Past Four was a name that didn’t have any particular attachments or connotations to it. We were trying to avoid attaching ourselves to a name that made us sound like one particular genre. We wanted to be free of association so that we could move freely composition wise.

Progshine – Does being from Canada, nor Europe or the USA, make you think that you have a kind of ‘wall’ that you have to climb to achieve your goals?

Half Past Four - Yes, but not because we are necessarily FROM anywhere, its more because we haven’t made it outside of our country. Canada only tends to react to you when you have been successful elsewhere first.

Progshine – The way the band writes music is quite different from other bands of the same generation. How do you usually write your songs?

Half Past Four - Member bring different ideas to the studio and we put them all together.


Progshine – 
It’s been 5 years between Rabbit In The Vestibule (2008) and Good Things (2013). How different both albums are in the band’s perspective?

Half Past Four - To us, the material is more unified and sounds more like the band we are. Developing our own sound was the goal and with this album we  are all writing on the same page if you will. The first album was a collage of various writing styles that we were trying to knit together which is why it was called Rabbit in the Vestibule – the whole album was like an ante-room that led to many other different rooms. This one is like a collective singular baked good. lol

Progshine – Did the use of new instruments like the Chapman stick, the change of drummer and the experience acquired in these years help to mold the new album? Marcello, can you tell us how it is to play and record with the band?

Half Past Four - Absolutely – the new instruments were fun to experiment with and we have developed a really tight chemistry over the years that works seamlessly in the studio.

Marcello Ciurleo – For me it was a great experience. The reason being I could try different techniques in this band unlike a straight rock band – I have more freedom to play around the kit, which is very exciting for me. This is right where I want to be as a drummer.

Progshine – As you first look at the Good Things (2013) cover (click HERE to see the cover) you might think that it is just a normal cover, but there’s a concept behind the cover and the artwork of the album, isn’t there?

Half Past Four - Good Things (2013) is an exploration of the creative process as perceived by the artist. Good things is essentially what every artist hopes they are creating.  Being a progressive rock band places a higher degree of responsibility for the quality of your work. Because you are competing against an extra high level of musicianship. You are compared to geniuses. The album, therefore, is an expression of our creative process, hopes, fears and artistic apsirations. The bread and the sharing of a meal are  universal symbols of a communal offering . We are offering you our creation and inviting you to our table to enjoy it with us.


Progshine – The band did an Indie Go Go campaign to fund Good Things (2013). Even if you didn’t achieve the final amount you need you were able to raise a high number of people into the project. Especially if you come to think that you’re  quite a new band. How do you see it from the band’s point of view? Is it the way to go nowadays?

Half Past Four - Yes. The twenty-first century brought about a few radical changes to the music business. The album as such, has been devalued by the ease of playlist creation in itunes. Digital distribution of music deprived us of the careful examination of an elaborate vinyl record cover. The way in which the artist sells their music has also changed. If necessary people can download anything for free. But very often, we, the artists, deprive them of a way to show their appreciation to us. Crowd funding is an excellent way to let a fan from anywhere in the world to directly contribute to the financial success of their favorite band. Indie gogo has enabled us to do just that.

Progshine – By the way, you now have your own Label, the Paper Plane Music. How it is to be the artist and the manager?

Half Past Four It's hard work but its interesting because we are on the front lines, making the connections and we get to have control over everything including the profits. We do work with various promoters and people who help us, but we knew after much research, that making our own label was the only practical thing to do and so far it is working fine for us. However, if anyone wants to help us, they are more than welcome! lol


Progshine – Now that the Good Things is out, what are the plans? How you’re planning the tours from now on?

Half Past Four - Right now we are fielding offers to play in the northern american states, and we are planning our take over Quebec. We hope to have CD releases in Montreal and New York and to play mainly in festivals. If any festival would like to include us, please contact us!

Progshine – In all of my interviews the final space was devoted to messages from the bands and artists to their fans. So the space is all yours!

Half Past Four - Well, we want to thank all of our fans and future fans for supporting our music and enjoying the albums. We would love to play for you one day and hope that you are active in your support by sharing our website, music and videos with everyone on facebook and blogs and talk about us by mentioning us to anyone you think might be interested. All the best and keep us in your CD player!

Thanks for everything Diego!! We really enjoyed this interview.
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See more 
Half Past Four on Progshine:
Podcast #10 with the song 'The Earth' from the new album
- Good Things Review

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