First of all, let me thank you for taking the time to do this interview!
(Robert) A pleasure!
1. Great band name, how did that come about ?
(Robert: guitars, vocals, keyboards, flute) That is an interesting one. For a number of years, the core members of the band played in a UK Yes Tribute band called Fragile who, amongst other things, played with Steve Howe from Yes in 2005, 2006 and 2007 (thought I’d better get that one in). Every year since about 2000 we have done a European run or two, regularly playing at the marvellous Spirit of 66 Club in Verviers, Belgium. It was miles and miles on the French and Belgian motorways that did it. Credit must be given to Steve Carney (lead vocals) for the concept. He noticed the “Aquaplanage” road signs every few 100m and loudly proclaimed, “let’s do some original music and call it Aquaplanage!”.
(Steve) Having come up with the name, we then had to (in true prog style) come up with a concept and meaning! So, if you go to the band website www.aquaplanage.com all is revealed. The name fits the music and has a bright shiny quality about it, which is nice.
2. Do you find it important to be classified as a progband and /or do you see yourself as a progband? Or you couldn’t care less about classification genre wise… as long as people recognise/like your music?!
(Robert) Knowing how the music business works and that things like to be pigeonholed, I see prog as a good place to be. Although, I must point out we did not intend to overtly make the album proggy (more later on this). However, given our collective influences, it is hardly surprising it turned out that way! I would like to think that the album has appeal in the wider world.
(Steve) It’s not important to me, but I don’t object and indeed it’s a compliment in my view to be associated with a genre that has been innovative and influential. To rub shoulders with the idols of my youth is a good place to be, and moreover prog is hip again!
3. Do you find cover art important? Please elaborate.
(Robert) We wanted a quality product so we felt it right to get a quality artist – Ed Unitsky no doubt. Ed speaks very little English as you may be aware, so I was dealing with Nancy, his manager in Illinois most of the time, relaying concepts of what I wanted it to look like. Somehow, Ed got the message without the need of words and what he has come up with I think sits alongside any of the best Prog Art.
(Steve) I echo Robert’s take on this, and the work of Roger Dean and Patrick Woodruffe amongst others set a benchmark that continues to this day. The visual should be as interesting as the sonics in my view."
Robert Illesh (guitars, vocals, keyboards, orchestral
arrangements, flute, programming)
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