Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bigelf joins forces with Mike Portnoy

Not that I'm a huge fan of Bigelf or anything, but they were okay I guess on Progressive Nation 2009.

And Mike Portnoy posted on Twitter nearly 1 year ago

Off to LA (again!) to spend the week recording drums/guesting on one of my favorite new band's new album...should be fun! More info soon...

And the thing was, when I read that, I was not really thinking of Bigelf when he posted that (maybe The Dear Hunter, although TDH didn't/don't need a drummer), because Bigelf, while newer, are still not really all that NEW given they began over 20 years ago. But they are, for some odd reason, *new* TO MIKE.

They were written up and talked about in the Progression magazine and the Prog festivals in the Mid 90's, even playing ProgFest 97 I recall as I have a live cd with them on that festival. 

But at any case, Bigelf are THAT "new" band based in California Mike was referring to it appears. And with his involvement, to hear their sort of brand of Deep Purple/Uriah Heap-inspired classic hard/prog rock could be interesting.

Ironic too I suppose given some of that style, Mike's new project, The Winery Dogs have supposedly. Maybe the 2 bands could tour together? (and Portnoy playing with both?)

Damon Fox has insisted he didn’t fire the rest of Bigelf – and he’s confirmed a new record deal for an album featuring Mike Portnoy.
The mainman says drummer Portnoy’s voice was instrumental in keeping the band going after the previous lineup caved in.

Announcing the deal with InsideOut, Fox says: “‘Finally! Bigelf lands on a planet whose atmosphere is synonymous with progressive rock. One of my all-time favourite quotes is, ‘Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.’ I’m ecstatic that InsideOut and Mike Portnoy have joined forces with Bigelf.”
“Since 2010, there have been numerous rumours on the Internet that I fired everyone. This is completely untrue.
“After the juggernaut of Cheat The Gallows came to a halt, the business and personal infrastructure imploded. A myriad of personal, financial and domestic matters had enveloped myself as well as certain members of the group.
“There also comes a time when, deep down inside, it just doesn’t feel right any more. This was a mutual feeling, and I believe it was obvious amongst the band. Subsequently, Ace Mark decided to move on in  2011, and a request by the remaining members for a dissolution of business followed. To put it simply, we went our separate ways without malice.”
In the aftermath Fox considered laying the band to rest for good – but Portnoy talked him out of it.
“I had been keeping in close touch with Mike after his very public and difficult departure from Dream Theater,” he explains. “My musical future seemed quite bleak and I was very vocal to Mike about not being able to sustain the band any longer on my own.
“He implored me to carry on. His encouragement and enthusiasm meant the world to me. Recognising that I needed some new allies, I asked him if he would help fight the good fight – and he readily agreed.
“Also, sharing a passion for all things rock’n'roll, my good friend Duffy Snowhill climbed aboard  for another round of thundering bass guitar; and for that, too, I am grateful.”
But Fox emphasises he couldn’t have come back without the support of his “amazing and dedicated” fans. “They send emails all the time saying how they feel about Bigelf. These emails inspire me greatly and they’re the reason that I continue to play this kind of music. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Touching on the new album, he says: “I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new wondrous landscapes we’ve been sculpting. There are lots of surprises around the corner – stay tuned.”