We could not miss it. It was very important that
any of the progressive fans didn’t miss this first edition,
of a festival that had been brilliantly organized. It was
an event that had been prepared for a long time, doing the
best promotional work trying to reach as much people as possible.
A festival that had a great band listing in a city called
a town that had been helping a lot the festival, from the
city authorities to many other people to organize a very difficult
The bands that were playing that night
were; Planeta Imaginari (Barcelona),
Guillermo Cides (Argentina),
„u (Madrid), Deus
Ex Machina (Italy), Ozric Tentacles
(UK) and the local group Boogie Dreams.
The musical party started a bit earlier
for us in a hotel near the concert pavilion where the artists
were hosted. The reason was that a meeting with the musicians
and the media had been held before the festival started. So
we had the opportunity to chat a bit with them asking them
about progressive music matters and also allowing them to
talk about their recent work. The meeting was a great deal
and everything went great with a lot of communication by both
parts (the content of this interviews might come out here
in a future article). Meanwhile everything was going well
and the people were happy and expecting the best.
The place was big enough to let in
much more people than the ones that attended, so the pavilion
was in two quarters empty. However that didn’t seemed
to be a problem because the crowd was quite big, just about
400 people, and that’s a success in a country where
nobody moves to go to any progressive music performance. In
front of the main entrance we had all the services where we
could easy our hunger with some food stalls and also easy
our musical hunger with some CD and Magazine vendors. So the
feeling was very nice and everybody seemed pleased.
The performances started around 19:30
and they opened up with a group coming from Spain called Planeta
Imaginari. A band that maybe was not very known by
the spanish progressive fans but that did a great show. A
group with an interesting stage craft, wearing seventies’s
clothes and also creating a seventies’s kind of music.
These musicians from Barcelona had a lot of talent developing
a difficult prog-rock but varied and nice-to-listen. A band
that knew what was doing and that was able to make long compositions
based mainly on the guitars and the rhytm section. Also adorning
its music with keyboards and with something not very used
in prog-rock which were the bongos. Their main influences
were coming from important bands such as Soft
Machine, King Crimson or even Henry
Cow. A good festival opening.
was the next course. His performance could be labeled as surprising.
On his own on the stage and with his stick bass he was able
to create something as complete as a symphonic orchestra.
We were stunt enjoying his playing, devising and capturing
every sound and then composing the songs with them, all at
the same time. Just to explain how it was you just have to
figure one single man with a single instrument playing “Siberian
Khatru” from Yes or some
works from Bach. And that’s
what he did. Surprising.
represented the image or the stamp of the seventies at Manresa.
The old spanish band leaded by Jose
Carlos Molina performed a set full of classic themes
from the band. This group is one of the few bands coming from
the seventies spanish pro-rock movement that are still alive,
although they had never been much in the most classical prog
water. Their style comes from the classic hard-rock more than
the classic prog-rock, with parts of great flute developments
plenty of power. Well, that’s what „u
offered us a show a bit short but very emotive.
We were making for the midnight and
the most brilliant moments were arriving. Deux
Ex Machina with its unique singer and a great showman
Alberto Piras appeared. They
are a band with a superb and powerful live performance. The
musicians had a great time on the stage just burning their
instruments. The songs that played were pieces taken mostly
from their great album "De Republica"
and also from their last record "Cinque".
I just need to tell you that it was worthwhile all the kilometers
that we made to Manresa to see this. Progressive fireworks
and a music that went beyond the prog-rock and that left all
of us very impressed. A band that no one of us would have
The stars of the night were the Ozric
Tentacles. A band that has been playing and still is
for many years, a band that has a high status among progressive
and psychedelic music followers all over the world, a band
that has sold more that a million copies of their records
in this last years and maybe for all these things they were
the headliners. Well, they did what they were expected to
do. Most of the previous performances and the bands themselves
were almost unknown to many attended so that I think that
was what made the people enjoy it a lot, but with the Ozric
I think we all knew what was all about. They didn’t
disappoint in any way. Their show was spacy taking us into
a trip to some colorful and sounding madness that we all loved.
It was very late and the people were
quite tired and so were us. It was quite a long time since
we arrived at it and we still had to see one more group. Boogie
Dreams were in charge of closing the festival. A band
that I’d like to mention in a special way. A young bunch
of guys that enjoy themselves a lot playing and creating,
a band that has got one CD released, and that’s a hard
and pricey thing to do nowadays, but they got it. They have
the skill of bringing out many different styles and mixing
them up like genius. I perfect way to understand this music.
We’ll be watching them for sure.
We went out of the festival very late
and very tired, but it was worthwhile and we’ll come
back whenever they want. To give this review a fare end I
would like to thank to all those that with their effort carried
this huge thing out. The Minorisa
Progressive festival was a success. Thank’s specially
to the organizers and all those people that attended. We really
hope to come back again to a new edition next year and with
that give a good push to the progressive rock events in this
country. Thank you.
Costa, October 2002
As i told you in the Minorisa 2002 festival review, here
you have the massive interview-meeting that was held two hours
before the event. An interview that gathered us with some
of the musicians of all the groups performing that night and
to which we were kindly invited by the organization.
- What can you tell us about the big names of progressives
rock with whom you have worked?.
Every musician is different from each other, and every instrument
is also different from each other. The music that we make
is not the same and what we do is trying to mix it all up
as well as we can. What i can say is that i have learnt a
lot playing with people like ELP or Fish. The experience is
unique, but in musical terms we all are different, the main
difference is that some of these artists have done things
that has become more important inside the musical history.
- Do you always
play on your own?. It is maybe to give more importance to
an instrument that maybe has become a second course inside
No, i don’t play always alone. In fact i have three
different bands depending on the place and the idea of what
i want to do each time. There is one group of seven people,
another of five, and the last one which is myself alone on
the stage. I don’t think the stick is a second course.
It is an instrument with and endless number of possibilities.
-Which is the situation of prog rock
Before the economic collapse the progressive music scene was
very healthy, i’ve been playing for a lot of people
in South America. I think people from there are giving up
a bit the popular music and are beginning to find what they
- How would you define your music?.
We are a band that has always liked to investigate. We are
musicians without any concept idea, we like to experiment
with rhythms and try to enjoy the instruments as much as we
cam. It’s a music that has a lot of elements, elements
that are never the same, we try to develop new things and
I guess that is how the music sounds.
- From "De
Republica" to this last album the band has made a significant
change in style and also you have changed the record company.
What’s this change all about?.
As i told you the change is constant. We try not to get into
any musical cage, we like to change and experiment. The record
company change has nothing to do with our evolution and to
where we have moved on this last record. We try to find the
people that understand what we do. It is not easy. It’s
a hard time for music in general and the music that we do.
- Are you a
The progressive label is something that we don’t
put much attention on. There are a lot of people that could
be progressive without being inside this movement. If the
music that we understand as progressive is like the word says,
a music that heads for any kind of experimentation and that
it implies creation and innovation, then I think we are progressive.
But then we would have to put people like John
Coltrane in the same bag.
- Why do you
use the latin?.
We use it as a sound, we think that the lyrics have to be
like another instrument inside the band, it doesn’t
matter if it can’t be understood by the people.
- This question
is asked directly to Alberto Piras. Have you got any vocal
No i haven’t. I’ve always thought myself.
- You lived the progressive movement
of the seventies, tell us something about that time.
In the seventies the progressive music was accepted because
there were many things that still were not invented. It was
something new and people didn’t know about it, that’s
why the musician could live with that way of making music
at that time. The media was not the same as nowadays, the
musical industry was not as nasty as it is now.
- How do you
get to survive for thirty years in the spanish music scene?.
Stealing (laughs) or trying to adapt myself a bit to the tendencies
every time. After the seventies the heavy metal broke in the
spanish market. In the nineties the folk music raised again
and the acoustic rhythms mixed with other styles. To be able
to keep on making music I had to tuck into all that, and here
In the nineties
the music turned into a more folk style, and many bands took
that way to create their music. You also did that in the nineties.
How would you explain that change of doing things?.
We did it because we were starving. The musicians had to reinvent
ourselves and take something that could be easy to work with.
The nineties were hard times for many people and somehow we
saw the way out by using that formula. We had to make something
for a living.
- Your last
record Rˇquiem was recorded in 1996. Why did you wait so long
to release it?. Are you gonna play anything of this album
It is not a work that I’m promoting. It’s a record
that I finished years ago and that it was made to take some
musical ideas out of my system. Some compositions that in
those days I thought it was not the time to publish them and
now it is. And no we don’t play any of those songs today.
- Tell us about your influences, we haven’t had the
opportunity to listen to your work, but we have red your names
together with Frank Zappa , Henry Cow , Soft Machine.
Yes, it is the kind of music that we like and it’s the
music that inspires our work. We can not cope with what has
been happening to the music lately and we want to concentrate
to create something that we really believe and relieve us
as musicians. All that influences are natural things that
- Are you related in some way to
the catalan progressive movement called “rock laieta”?.
No, actually we don’t know any of those bands that formed
that movement. I don’t think we have something to do
with them, because we don’t know them.
Could you account for briefly from where your music comes.
Have you got any kind of idea what you are gonna do before
recording?. I say it because
your music seems to be and endless jam session.
Our music is never been made out of an idea that we had thought
before playing. It is made of a bunch of different ideas coming
from everybody in the group. We do have an idea how we want
focus or direct the music but this is not a concept that we
have previously thought about.
- How can you keep alive that style
of doing music?.
I guess is this source of ideas that somehow creates the music
and also our style.
- You have had many success in Europe
but, what about America?
Yes, now we are succeeding in many places around the United
States. We’ve done some very successful concerts there.
It’s not easy to enter the american market.
- The sense of humor is something
that seems to be an important part of you.
Yes, that’s right. We never take ourselves very seriously.
- Which are your main influences?.
Uffff! There are so many. How long do we have?. Because we
could spend the hole night.
- From where did you take the name
of Ozric Tentacles?.
It comes (the guitar player looked up raising his arms to
the sky) well, I can’t explain. Sorry.
- How have you planned the end of this big party?
We are very happy to be in this festival among these such
brilliant bands. The truth is that we don’t know if
we are going to be to this artistic level. We do what we like
and what we want with our music. We hope everything goes all
- How can there be someone nowadays willing to held a big
musical event, a big festival without needing to earn anything,
just doing it for free?.
We do it the same way many of the bands or musicians do it
most of the times. We do it because we love this music and
we don’t mind to sacrifice ourselves, work and doing
all the best to take this kind of thing to the right end.
We are very happy with what we are going to do and we hope
that we’ll be able to do it again from now on every
- What is progressive rock for you?.
All the musicians more or less answered something like: a
music that creates. A music that develops brand new musical
ideas. A music that experiment and that sometimes is wrongly
used, to name music that is just copying what some other people
did in the past, and that is not progressive music.
- Do you think Internet has helped
this kind of music?.
Ozric Tentacles: internet has
been very important for non commercial music. It has connected
the public with all kind of innovating musical movement and
through it this music has had a better opportunity. It has
let the musician to have the control over the promotional
work and in some way the musician has become a business man
dealing directly with his music.
Deus Ex Machina: i think that
is something that somehow does not give a very good image.
I’m not against internet, but it is kind of wyrd to
see musicians doing business and trying to move into a unknown
territory. I don’t thing that is the musician’s
thing, but i do think that it’s been something good