Star Period Star: A Prog-Rock Odyssey

Posted: March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

By Christopher Horton 10363792_10205941617037115_9205961443205621886_n

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I met Dan Sweigert while i was working downtown. We worked in the same area, and became friends pretty fast. Mostly because he was the second weirdest guy working there (I was the first). Turns out, we had a lot in common, and ran the same social circles.

I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with Dan and Pat on numerous different occasions and capacities over the years, and they are scary talented. Star Period Star often blends tense poly-rhythms with poppy melodies, but adds some heavier moments as well. They are Progressive to the core and while they have some improv jam moments, it never devolves into something self-serving and pretentious. They truly have an original sound for the Savannah area….and actually, maybe the planet. *Editors note: I did not consult with the whole planet, so don’t quote me on this.

Last year they released “Cant See the Forrest” on CD and digital download, with some older material as well as some new. I recommend my two favorite tracks :“Snares” and “A Means to an End”.

You can find it at: http://starperiodstar.bandcamp.com/

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This isn’t just trippy album artwork. This is literally an image pulled out of Dan’s head. He thinks in colors.

They are a real “musician’s band”, and a real joy to watch live. I got to catch up with Dan Sweigert , and ask him some questions about the band, the future, and a tour…

Star period Star has a unique prog-rock sound, who does most of the writing?
I’ve done most of the writing myself, but am starting to get the other band members involved in that process on the next album. There’s a lot of creativity in this band and people will get a taste of some of that on our tour this spring as we will be including a few minutes of improvised music in our sets.

You guys are going on tour! What’s some of the highlight dates and venues that you’re most excited about?
The whole thing started when we got the opening slot with the rock-in-opposition band Thinking Plague in Denver, CO. I’ve been listening to them for almost 20 years, so I’m pretty excited about that show. TP is a remarkably innovative band. We’ll also be returning to play my hometown of Chicago for the first time since 2001. This tour is shaping up very nicely as we are playing with a very diverse and talented group of bands including Origin of Animal, the Cell Phones, R6 Implant, the Pat Sajak Assassins, Ut Gret, Grackle, Hustle Souls, Dachshund, Thinking Plague, and Xebrula. 
 Some of your influences are pretty obvious, but what are some of the lesser known ones? Any guilty musical pleasures lurking around?
A big one for me is Cheer-Accident, and I really love Gentle Giant and 5uu’s. There’s really WAY too many to mention here. I also listen to a lot of music outside the prog-rock world like Cibelle, Idaho, Henry Threadgill, Sparklehorse, Konono #1, a bit of everything. Pat and Greg have more of a heavy-meets-jazzy background and they’re really into the whole John Zorn school of bands like Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3, etc. Corey (our drummer) loves Crimson, Battles, Don Cab, post-rock stuff. My personal guilty pleasure is I LOVE Kansas, but not the hits so much. I’m really into their live Two for the Show double album. They have a very unique sound combining beautifully orchestrated longer pieces combined with a serious helping of complex, heavy, and at times, bluesy riffage. 
* I have to admit, I love everything Kansas ever did. I don’t care what people think of me. Those guys could write a song, sing three part harmonies, and had killer guitar licks. If you don’t like Kansas, you’re not cool.
Do you have any recording plans for a follow-up to “Cant see the forest”?
Yes, we’re working on what might be a double album. The songs are all based on significant figures in American history: Ben Franklin, J Edgar Hoover, John Nash, Tesla, Edison, etc. The album opens with a tune called “Daylight Spending Time” and closes with “Twilight Savings Time” and those two songs kind of tie the whole thing together. I wonder if Ryan Graveface would be interested in releasing this album. It would be the first progressive rock album on his label, but I think it could make a really cool double album. I’m not saying I think the sound quality is better on vinyl, I think I just have a bit of a fetish for that format, the look and feel of it, with all the extra space for artwork.
* Personally, I hope there is a song about that time Tesla and Edison beat each other up in a gladiator style fight surrounded by lions whilst arguing over the specifics of electricity. I’m not sure if that’s actual history, or something I made up….but hey, reality is subjective right? 
That sounds crazy ambitious. But hey, Star Period Star are an ambitious band. If you have the chance to check them out live, DO IT.
You can check all of their tour dates, music news and media at: https://www.facebook.com/StarPeriodStar
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