The bastion of progressive, challenging and heavy music in the world, Kscope is celebrating ten years in business in 2018! Cheers! To help us celebrate, music industry veteran Simon Glacken of For The Lost PR has shared his favourite releases from the Kscope label.Continue reading
Recent years have seen The Pineapple Thief mastermind Bruce Soord in an experimental and pace changing mindset to say the least. From the electronica driven prog of his Wisdom Of Crowds album, his reflective solo album and PT’s previous, more hard rock and riff focused album Magnolia (Kscope); charting Soord’s course has been an unenviable task. So it isn’t too surprising that, against his own omission previously, that latest album Your Wilderness(Kscope) is somewhat a return to more familiar territory.
To say that this is a return to their roots is a quite a disservice but Your Wilderness definitely fits closer to the mold of the likes of Someone Here Is Missing(Kscope); particularly in its soothing and smooth atmosphere which proves, for the most part, uplifting with hints of melancholy. Ultimately however Your Wilderness performs a happy medium between such albums and the sharper counterpart Magnolia.
There is plenty of evidence of its predecessors more refined and harder edge, such as in the way “Tear You Up” builds into a more metallic territory, or in the majority of the album’s succinct song durations and structures. Not that fans lost on the way won’t find plenty to restore their faith, with plenty of exploration and layers and the near ten minute “The Final Thing On My Mind”. The addition of Gavin Harrison on has also added a much greater dexterity and dimension behind the drum kit.
Your Wilderness has a difficult role to fulfill coming after such a polarising and somewhat unique release in Magnolia, in that it has to appeal to both the fans perhaps lost at that point yet not feel like a backwards step for them; and they do so with seeming ease. Still as accessible as their brand of prog has always been but with enough deep intricacies to offer something new each time. Some will say this is back to form, but this is also a perfect evolutionary step for one of Britain’s greatest prog forces.
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In the final part of 3 part feature on The Pineapple Thief and their excellent new album, Magnolia (KScope), songwriter Bruce Soord spoke to Ghost Cult Magazine about songwriting and side projects…
“It does take a long time, you can’t force it. I have a guitar lying around and when inspiration is dished out then I just pick up the guitar and go. The thing is if you don’t get that magic, that spark immediately then its not going to come if you work at it, you just have to put it aside and leave it for the time being.
“I think it was about 18 months, the song writing. It was a real labour of love.”
The song writing process for Magnolia in actual fact began shortly after the previous album All The Wars (Kscope) was finished giving an indication of how long the process is. Of course this period of time did also see the realisation of Soord’s long awaiting Wisdom Of Crowds side project with Jonas Renske of Katatonia fame. “That has been gestating for a long time, about four years, so that was something I was dipping in and out of with the guy I was writing with. That wasn’t so hard because they were pretty much finished, we just didn’t have the vocals, so getting Jonas down to sing was relatively easy.”
Speaking of Wisdom Of Crowds, and cementing Soord’s reputation was one of prog’s most active components, he confirms that there is more to come from that particular project: “There will be a WoC 2, hopefully next year depending on their time with Katatonia because I know they are planning on the new album… It’s going to be a different this time because Jonas is writing as well. He has already sent me some stuff and ideas, so it’s actually started.”
If this wasn’t enough to have surely earned Soord some time with a cup of tea and slippers, he has also recently finished touring with Katatonia as guitarist on their unplugged tour in support of their stripped down effort Dethroned And Uncrowned (Snapper), an experience that Soord is very appreciative of. “It was great fun, for one the Katatonia guys are hilarious to be on tour with and two, not being the frontman, just the guy at the back who does acoustics is just so easy. It was so relaxed, I could sleep easy.”
This experience touring with a band with a more overtly metal audience (one that is still shared with the prog crowd), plus expressing elsewhere his admiration and love for the likes of King Diamond and other extreme metal acts shows Soord as music lover with a wide taste. Unsurprisingly however it is clear that Prog is where his heart resides the most, and there is one musical venture that he is keen to explore. “The thing I am quite keen to do, whether it will ever see the light of day, is a solo album that’s just me but very much designed for the studio and is a lot more cinematic. Not symphonic, but something very progressive in the sense of long pieces not worried about the verse, chorus song structure and delving into the broad influences I have without worrying about how we are going to do this live.”
Clearly Soord is one of the most musically passionate presences in contemporary rock and prog, and this is perhaps why it is so easy to find that emotional connection to his music; not just because of the familiarity of his music’s tales and feeling, but because he is a hungry music lover, just like the rest of us.
Words by CHRIS TIPPELL
Read our review of Magnolia here
Every now and then musicians feel the urge to spread their wings and do something totally different from their main commitments. Bruce Soord of Pineapple Thief fame is one of those people. With Wisdom Of Crowds he explores his love for Depeche Mode and other likeminded bands. In Jonas Renkse of Katatonia fame he found a kindred soul and together they set out creating some soul stirring music…Continue reading
The collaboration between The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord and Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse invoked both excitement and curiosity amongst the progressive rock world. Yet, given prog’s nature to encompass a plethora of diverse music’s and backgrounds, it came as no surprise.Continue reading