part of SIDE EFFECTS - a box-set containing four single LPs - on colour vinyl - crustacean 61-64
The Soft Bombs - Echoes (originally by Pink Floyd)...Arcade Messiah - Four Horsemen (Aphrodite's Child)
This whole, infeasibly large project started a long time ago with The Soft Bombs' 17-minute interpretation of Pink Floyd's 'Echoes', which i received from the band some 18 months ago (thanks to Nick Leese at Heyday) and was completed by Arcade Messiah's wonderfully-extended prog epic take on Aphrodite's Child's 'Four Horsemen', a track I've always wanted to see on FdM vinyl
Michael Padilla from The Soft Bombs contributed a track to the strangefish 5 bonus CD; Arcade Messiah (aka John Bassett) is responsible for the KingBathmat (wonderful name) releases and has recently been featured in glowing terms in PROG (lucky bugger)
Michael Padilla, from The Soft Bombs, expains their choice of track..."we loved the pompeii movie version and that's what we based it on when we were learning it; we knew it wouldn't be exactly like that version but thought it was a good starting point. It took several tries over a few weeks to get a good performance"
FdM asked John Bassett (aka Arcade Messiah) about his recording - a complex, modern progressive rock masterpiece to my ears....
why the choice of track?
I wanted to pick a song that wasn't too well known, but was a really good song, was cool, and had a timeless feel but yet had a reasonably open song structure so that I could mess around with it and bring some new ideas to enable me to fulfill the criteria of making a long 18-20 minute song.
what are your thoughts on the original band/artist/recording?
I only heard of this track a few years back, and was blown away by the song and the album "666" which really sounded to me so ahead of its time. I was surprised that I had not heard of it before? maybe I have led a sheltered life? Aphrodite's Child's "The Four Horsemen" is a brilliant atmospheric song with some amazing vocals by the now late Demis Roussos.
can you describe the recording process?
All instruments, recording was done by myself over a period of a month. I took the original chord structures of the song and created new riffs and instrumental passages that I hope embellish the original tune, the singing and the song itself does not start proper until the 10 min mark in this version. I really wanted to utilize the song as a springboard to create some new music that would fit around the original song and create a heavier extended version that worked in harmony with the original song but also worked as an Arcade Messiah tune and therefore wouldn't sound out of place on the 2nd Arcade Messiah Album.
what were you looking to add/subtract/change to the original recording?
I wasn't crazy about singing on this, as I didn't like the idea of being compared with Demis Roussos whose vocals are amazing and so unique sounding, but yet I felt the track needed it as its so fundamental to the song, so I decided to stylize the vocals on the verses with effects to make the vocals sound more like an instrument and lend it a futuristic element, bring it into the digital dark ages.
- what live/recording plans do you have for the rest of 2015?
None at the moment, at this time I'm working on the 2nd Arcade Messiah Album with which I'm planning on using "The Four Horsemen" as a theme, I plan on it having 5 tracks, with the first 4 songs being musical representations of the four different horse colours, white, red, black and green with the final track being "The Four Horsemen"
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