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Unveil the Mystery (Issue no5)

Hellow fellow mysterious readers!

Rehearsal's are still going stronger, did i mention our new guys are doing so well its like they've always been around in the band? Well hell yes, they do! Were rehearsing a lot of songs, some of them hadn't been played live for quite a while. The set for Ottawa is a big warm up show for the upcoming European tour, so be warned, its not gonna be a short set! That being said, its a shame we can't play more in our own area, province and country, but i'm sure its gonna be fixed pretty soon, our ''team'' is working on it, right? Of course they do ;) I don't know if its just me, but playing in my home town or around it, with friends and relatives in the audience in a small club, makes me more uncomfortable than playing in front of a thousand strangers! For no reason, and it just doesn't make sense when you think of it, because an enormous bunch of disappointed strangers can be so much harmful to your career than a few disappointed friends in the audience, and generally strangers are much harder to win over especially when they never heard of your band... Outside of the rehearsals with mystery, i'm also rehearsing with a new cover band project called ''room service'' . Its mainly classic soft rock material, sometimes flirting with jazzy pop, folk and funk....the real fun to be in this is doing it with some old friends, and returning to where it all began for me, back on the drums! Ah, did i missed them? Yes indeed! I started off on drums many moons ago, at age 5. Being very shy, not even performing in front of my parents, it took me almost 12 years before i finally played in a band in front of an actual audience, behind my sparkled blue kit (with only one decent piece of hardware on it, a ludwig cymbal stand, the rest of the kit didn't had any brand written anywhere). After that i continued playing in many groups on the drums for several years while also learning acoustic guitar and keyboard by ears (only because it was the only other instruments i could fit in my room and play without disturbing the neighbours). My 20 yo pearl export kit eventually retreated in favour of the bass, wich i accidentally started to play when i joined my genesis tribute 12 years ago. No doubt that bass is the perfect instrument for me, its the best of both worlds, using all my knowledge of rhythmic concepts and combining it with the melodic side of it. I do feel more involved as a musician with a bass in my hands. But drums are like the essential backbone of the band, it just drives the whole thing so powerfully. While i feel more involved harmonically as a bassist, i certainly feel more ''in full control'' of the band behind a drum kit, holding everything together, it all depends on you if it falls apart or not. I feel at home with it after all these years, as comfortable as an old pair of shoes, truly an amazing feeling. Phil Collins once said ' you can have a bad band with a good drummer in it, and it will still sound good'. Nothing to do with the fact that he's my all time hero, still i completely agree with that. I've been rusty on the first rehearsals but its getting there, and i'm a much more of a deep, groovy, fluid time keeper now that i've ever been before, thanks to all the great drummers i've played with. Just by watching them, all from the best point of views no seats in the audience could ever get me, how can you not learn and be inspired? I've lost a lot of subtlety since then, but with the kind of material were playing, i think i'm doing just fine, its all about what the songs needs anyway, and thats more important than anything else. First show will be performed august 23, in one of the old districts of Montreal where i grew up as a teenager....probably with quite a few old friends in the audience (ah crap (!) haha) I've been watching the ''flying colors live in europe'' dvd a few times recently. Since mr. Portnoy left Dream Theater, ''Flying Colors'' is his only side project really grabbing my interest, aside of the good old ''transatlantic''. This crossover pop/prog thing is a well kept secret to my biggest surprise: a lot of old DT fans i know still don't have a clue what i'm talking about when mentioning this (!!). The very nice harmonies provided by Portnoy, Mcpherson and Morse is probably what i like the most about it, the opening piece ''blue ocean'' of their first album (the second one is about to be released i think) is a brilliant example of it. The long time partners Dave Larue and Steve Morse playing accessible prog? Yep, and doing it very well. Portnoy and Neal Morse still have that unmistakable chemistry between them, and the unknown guy, Casey Mcpherson....brilliant singer, you can see and hear he's from a completely different background compared to the others but it blends remarkably well in the overall sound and style of the band, making it totally original from the rest of the bunch , like ''finally, coldplay meets prog'' - Casey's voice of course reminds me a lot of Chris Martin. So if you have'nt heard of them yet, highly recommended, if you liked transatlantic etc.... Tomorrow night i'm off to see one of our mysteron's, Sylvain Moineau, performing a few streets away from my home, outdoor concert, as lead guitars on a tribute to legend french singer Francis Cabrel. Its gonna be fun! That is all! Have a good weekend. i find your lack of prog disturbing.... -frank

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