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Progressive Chemistry Band Interview

Posted by Cyndi Valerino on February 4, 2014 at 10:50 AM

"Fret for our constitution

 As our walls burn down.

 You pray for hope and a new start,

 but you won't stand up for yourself because we're all too poor

 and at war with ourselves."

(Stand ~ Progressive Chemistry)

 I recently spoke with Progressive Chemistry. Progressive Chemistry is a local Southwest Florida (Northport) band that officially formed on November 10, 2012. I know a couple of these guys and was thrilled to get the chance to talk with them. Progressive Chemistry is Kevin Wallace on bass, PJ Ruccione on guitar and backup vocals, Rob Lewis - lead vocalist, John Ferland lead guitar and backup vocals and Matt Viola on drums.

Unfortunately, Matt was unavailable for the majority of the interview. It was his birthday and he was with family. Happy Birthday Matt!

 When I asked how they came up with their name, John told me, “Some people think we're a progressive metal band but it’s more than that. It's five guys that have chemistry and are determined to move forward."

 And they certainly do have a chemistry together! Within 3 months of jammin’, they had recorded a video, at least three songs and played a show.

SRO - Who writes your music?

 Kevin- "I contribute to the writing process. All of us share in the creative process. Rob writes most of the lyrics.I wrote the lyrics for 'Some Way Out' and the music for 'Shovel'. John has written the majority of our riffs."

 SRO ~At what age did you start playing?

 Kevin- “I wrote my first song on a Casio keyboard at 7. I didn't start playing in a band until I was 19."

 PJ - "I started playing guitar at 11. I got my first acoustic when I was 12 or 13. I started bands at a young age, but I see Opaque Tourmaline as my first real band."

 Rob -" I started playing when I was12, singing when I was 14. My first project /band was an industrial band with long time friend and musician Angel from Team Cybergeist."

 John - " I started playing guitar when I was 13.  I joined the school guitar club. My brother had an old acoustic just laying around and after a couple of allowances it was mine. And so it began."

 SRO - If you could pick any artist, dead or alive to perform with, who would you pick?

  Matt -  "Boston would have to be my first pick, followed closely by Pantera. And I can't forget about Dream Theater. Mike Portnoy has taught me so much about drumming."

 Rob - "I would like to play a show with DevilDriver, because they are a huge inspiration to me."

 Kevin - "Jon Bonham. As a bassplayer, the drums are a driving force for my playing. Matt is responsible for directing a lot of my riffs to be what they are. I am a huge Zep fan, and thin kit would be amazing to jam with him for a few hours."

 PJ - “Avenged 7 Fold, because they really inspire me with their riffs. And the Doors, because of Jim Morrison's lyrics."

John -" Black Sabbath/Tony Iommi.He is the godfather of heavy metal and has influenced so many musicians. To have that kind of influence on so many musicians through the years is the greatest compliment anyone could be paid, as far as I'm concerned."

 SRO -John, how many guitars do you have?


 John - "I am always buying selling and trading them. I have 12 now.I have a few that I will always have because they have special meaning to me."

 When I asked him if he named them,  I think he may have laughed at me just a little. Hey ... some people do! 

"No, not really" he replied. "I just reference them. Like, I am going to play my Gibson V tonight."

 I was a little shocked to learn he would be playing as he just had surgery the night before. But ... I guess you just have to keep on rockin.

  Progressive Chemistry has a CD release soon... "Evolution"... "... since we are evolving as a band" (John) He added that it is also the title of a song on the CD. 

Rob told me "Our new album is passionate, intense and in your face...the most personal album I have ever been involved with."

So keep your eyes open for that.

 They play at Voodoos in Port Charlotte on a fairly regular basis. Their first show was there. And they just played Voodoos for its 1 year anniversary celebration.

Last year, they were selected by ReverbNation to headline Project Independence at the Brass Mug in Tampa. And in the past year, they have played with Adema and Soulfly.

 On February 15, they are playing at the State Theater in St Pete with HED / PE and Smile Empty Soul, and on February 22,  they are playing with Mobile Death Camp. Mobile Death Camp is Beefcakes (of Gwar ) side project."We are very excited to rock this out." said PJ "This year's a great start and we are about to go through the roof!"

 There are a few surprises coming in April and May, but that's all they would tell me.

 So, I've teased you a little with Progressive Chemistry. There is certainly a lot of passion and talent going on here. Now it's time for you to go check them out! Tell 'em Cyndi sent you! 

Rock n' Roll!

~ Cyndi Valerino                   


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Categories: Interviews

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