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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The name's Alex Ricard, but please. Call me T-Bo. Or even better, by my rightful title as mighty King T-Bo.

I, too, am a regular on Progulus Radio, dating back almost to the site's inception in 2005. I believe I joined a month or so after it was created. My tagname comes from another site I frequent, RPG Chat, where my username is Terry_Bogard, after the fighting game character. Somebody once shortened it to T-Bo, and I liked it, so the name stuck.

Anyhow, my journey to prog began as a young boy. My dad is a quite talented guitarist and vocalist, and while not the best in the world at it, he is certainly capable. There was always music playing in my house growing up. My dad loves everything from Bob Dylan to Led Zeppelin to Robert Johnson to Django Reinhardt to bluegrass. I'm serious, his music taste changes constantly. He's even been digging some of the Dream Theater, Neal Morse, and Sigur Ros I've been throwing to him lately. In 1999, I was nine years old, and my dad went on a religious retreat. It was then that he started playing guitar regularly again, for the first time since he'd been in college. That Christmas my little brother and I both recieved small guitars, and he taught us basic chords, and eventually enrolled me in formal classical music lessons. For years and years I played classical guitar, but with no real passion for it. I played, and I enjoyed the music, and I practiced, but outside of my own tinkling of nylon on wood, I never really took the time to listen to music.

But that all changed one day at my friend's house. He put on a CD of this band he had just discovered. It started quiet and calm, with a theatrical singer saying something about fearing darkness. And then it got HEAVY. I was instantly hooked on Iron Maiden, and from that point on I constantly listened to music. Maiden, Metallica, Dio, Megadeth, Rush, Led Zeppelin, you name it. I became a guitar disciple, exponentially increasing in my abilities as I switched over to electric guitar.

One day, in school guitar class my freshman year, I was jamming out some Maiden with a friend of mine and he turned to me and told me about this band called Dream Theater. He had me download their song "A Change of Seasons", and then made sure I sat and listened in its entirety. From there, there was no turning back. Opeth, Tool, Ayreon, Pain of Salvation, Symphony X, Frost*, Spock's Beard, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Meshuggah, Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Vanden Plas, Muse, Transatlantic, OSI, et al.

I began to love all forms of progressive music, from the epically pompous stylings of Rhapsody (of Fire) and Blind Guardian (always sticking to my metal roots), the ethereal minimalism of Tangerine Dream and Sigur Ros, the brutality and intensity of Spiral Architect or Behold... The Arctopus, the intense emotional journeys of Arena and IQ and Everon and Marillion and A.C.T., the simple weirdness of The Mars Volta and Magma, and the pure beauty of Mostly Autumn and Panic Room and Parhelia, and so on. I still enjoy extreme metal, and rock, the occasional blues or jazz, lots of classical, and pretty much everything. Even hip-hop.

And so, I've begun my own prog-ject. It's called Hopefactor, a word I discuss quite frequently on my main blog. Hopefactor is very much a prog-metal project, but my music has touches of electronica, acoustic music, and symphonic metal in it. The official site is here, but there are no samples up yet due to the lack of technology. However, I've already written a concept album's worth of material (INCLUDING a 20-minute epic!), and more.

So, there's your T-Bo in a nutshell. I will be reviewing music, offering my opinions on modern music (being a young guy, I'm still very aware of mainstream music, though one of my favorite things to say is that I "stopped listening to the radio once I got into music"). And I'll be throwing out rants as well. I'm sure you'll be entertained. I'm looking forward to posting! And maybe, if I do enough, I can go on the sidebar as one of them FEATURED AUTHORS... :O

Also, bow before me. I am your King, after all.


BG said...

Hi T-Bo,
Nice to have you with us.

As for challenging the rest of seems that at the moment you don't need to do much, since lately we have been pretty inactive. Anyway, I look forward to hearing more from you.

About you project. You should try to talk to Ray or Sean about how to take it further. Since they already have something going for them, they would probably have lots of ideas.

"See" you on the tag-board !

stringray said...

yes T-Bo, you are the king!
King of teenagers at least!
Young people with a great musical taste and musical knowledge like you are hard to find! I'm glad that young ones like you and ProgessiveLunatic are keeping up the prog torch!
Go on and bring prog to the masses of young musical faint-hearted sheep! Convert the sheep!