WITHIN PROGRESS: "Our name is part of the band's greater philosophy, which is the concept of impermanence"
Greek prog act WITHIN PROGRESS already crossed my musical path in 2018 with their EP "Oceans of Time", and after having followed their development over the years, the announcement of them releasing new music woke my interest of course.
Their debut album "Inner" came out on October 21st, 2021, and I had the opportunity to learn more about their background, philosophy and the new record. Welcome to read and check them out:
Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions today. Could you please introduce yourself and WITHIN PROGRESS to our readers?
Hello, thank you for having us! We come from Thessaloniki (Greece) and play modern progressive/alternative metal. The band is consisted of singer Timmy, guitarists Vagos and Tasos, bassist Giorgos and drummer Polydoros. Besides our first album, we’ve released the EP “Oceans of Time” in 2018 and the single “Need More” in 2019.
Let’s stay a moment with the band's history. When and how did you guys get together?
We formed in 2017 in our hometown Thessaloniki as a result of an EP that got written by some current and ex members. We got to know each other through the process of finding the musicians to fill in some gaps in the line-up and much more while recording in the studio and playing live. During that time, we discovered how much we liked writing music together and became close friends rather than just musicians working on an EP. Later on, we shared our similar artistic vision, and the band went on.
The expression “Within Progress” is an interesting choice for a band name, and considering the development you took from your debut EP to your first album, I’d say you fulfil it in a positive way. How did you come up with it, and is there a deeper meaning or story for you behind?
Thank you! Our name is part of the band's greater philosophy, which is the concept of impermanence - The notion that nothing stays the same, everything is constantly changing and evolving. Our lives are no different, and while sometimes we want things to stay constant, we learn that they never do.
We are strong believers in always looking ahead, because nothing can be done to change what has already happened. Depicting that aspect of nature in our music and lyrics is our number one goal, and this name is a constant reminder of that.
What can you tell us about the origins of your beautiful cover artwork, and how does it reflect “Inner” thematically?
The album cover, drawn by artist Pedro Mooniz from Brazil, depicts a symmetrical/circular, ethereal shape with a stairwell leading to what seems to be a closed door in its centre. The shape is supposed to represent the word “INNER”, and invites the audience to look behind the door. Perhaps go even further inside and discover entirely new and surprising things. It’s very much like taking a peek at your own subconscious.
Could you dive a bit into the topics of your new album with us, please?
In “INNER”, we mainly focus on human behaviour, psychology and spirituality. Each member of the band has contributed with at least one very personal story, which is why we chose a 5-letter title (one for each member). We talk about issues like trauma, depression and identity crisis, which go unnoticed in today’s hectic, fast-moving society. They remain very personal problems that each individual deals with alone. Sometimes they’re not even dealt with, but merely put in a corner of the mind while we each carry on with our everyday lives. More optimistic topics like love, life and the human consciousness are also mentioned. For the first time, we also touch on global and modern issues like climate change and civil war.
Music-wise, you mention different influences from modern metal and prog acts like Soen, VOLA or Korn, but also electronic and Greek folk/traditional music. That’s an interesting mix, and you manage to create your own sound out of it. Could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?
Usually we start a song as an idea on guitar, piano, or even drums. We collect all our ideas in a shared folder and work on them on our computers first. It’s very common that vocals and lyrics get completed after the music. Once we’re more or less sure about the song’s structure, we rehearse it in the studio until we think it’s ready to be recorded. Most songs on “INNER” took months to complete, as we made changes all the time.
As far as recording, we took a different approach than for the EP a couple of years ago. This time, each member worked alone in the studio with the producer, instead of the whole band. That way everyone was concentrated to give their best performance, and we think it worked.
Do you have a favorite song on “Inner”?
If we could answer that question, we wouldn’t be releasing them all in the same album!
Haha, I see! Let’s talk about WITHIN PROGRESS live: What was your most memorable show so far?
Our first time in Athens back in 2019 was definitely a whole other experience! Traveling after another concert the night before, meeting the bands, and playing for a new and welcoming crowd was very fulfilling for us! It was a night to remember, and we are incredibly impatient to repeat it, especially with our new songs!
I’m really impressed by the number of great bands and new music coming from Greece at the moment. Is there something special about the Greek rock/metal scene? And did you notice changes over the past years?
We feel like we have just arrived to the “show” here in Greece, as WITHIN PROGRESS is the first serious creative project for all of us, and we’re still learning. The Greek scene seems to be putting out more and more bands over the last few years from all kinds of genres. It’s a shame only a few of them get international recognition.
A change we’ve noticed is that the term “progressive” gets much more coverage today than maybe a few years back. Even for acts that don’t consider themselves as traditional “prog” artists, the term is more often than not, used to describe their music. Bands are definitely experimenting and trying new things, which is always good!
Absolutely :-) What can you tell us about your future plans?
We’re planning on promoting our new album as much as we can through social media. Playing live seems very unstable right now with concerts still getting cancelled, but we’re really hoping to make some shows too.
Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
Thank you for these insights into your work. All the best for you \m/