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Prospekt are back with the follow-up to their debut. Not much has changed. They have a new singer, who fits in seamlessly. The compositions seem to have become a bit more interesting and varied, and this album also features formidable guitarist Greg Howe and Dragonforce singer Marc Hudson as guests on a couple of songs. We had a nice chat with guitarist Lee Luland about these and other subjects.

By: Bart D. | Archive under prog / sympho metal

Welcome back with a new record! Could you introduce the band for people who don't know you yet?
Thanks! Yeah we are a five-piece band from the UK. Our style is progressive metal, with all kinds of other elements thrown in...

'The Illuminated Sky' is your second album, and it has to be said: while the first one was good, this one sounds more alive to my ears. Does that make sense?
Of course. I think this is a more mature sounding album. From the songwriting to the performances it's certainly a much more polished album.

'The Colourless Sunrise' was the title of you debut. Now 'The Illuminated Sky'. Am I right in thinking those titles have something in common?
You could say that! There is a connection there and not just in the 'the', ha! Basically it follows on from the last album in the story.

Let's be blunt: you're not the most original band in the world. Prospekt is based around what a band like Symphony X is also based on (and as a Dutchie, the bridges and instrumental sections remind me of Sun Caged). But I can imagine, that when you play harmonic arpeggios in your leads and everyone says "Jason Becker", you might want to hear a different reaction. Or do you feel it is simply an honour to keep this tradition and style alive?
Sure. Both Symphony X and Sun Caged are cool bands so to be compared to them is always a compliment. Same goes for the Jason Becker comparison - He's one of my biggest influences so to be compared to him is always very flattering. Hopefully people will hear that with this album, we are trying to bring something a little different to the genre.

As a lot of bands, also in progressive metal, jump a bit on the djent wagon, your admirably keep doing what you did and work on that. Do you have any thoughts on the evolution of style in the progressive area of music?
Thank you. Yeah the prog genre encompasses a lot of different styles. Over the last decade or so (since Djent became a big thing), some bands have incorporated that more as an influence. While I'm a fan of djent in some bands, for Prospekt I never felt the urge to want to bring that into fold.

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You managed to get Marc Hudson and Greg Howe to guest on your record. How did this work with Greg Howe: did he choose a song, or did you write something with him in mind? As usual, his playing is awesome and recognizable. Do you by any chance enjoy his 'Sound Proof' as much as I do, and how did the idea of him joining in get started?
On the last album we had a super guest solo from Paul Wardingham so it felt right to include another notable guitarist on this one. Greg Howe is my favorite player so I thought, why not try and get him involved! The section he played on was originally a guitar/keyboard duel but I just thought Greg could solo over all of it. It's a great showcase for what his playing is all about. And yes 'Sound Proof' is a super album - some slick grooves on that one!

There is no word about 'The Illuminated Sky' being a concept album in your bio, but it sure does feel that way. I'm not good at lyrics without booklets though, so am I right? And if so, or not, what are the songs about? And also: how important are the lyrics to you in comparison to the music (melodies, groove)?
You're right! The album is a concept album. It's about one man's journey to save humanity. His journey takes him throughout the universe and to the different worlds within it. For example 'Beneath Enriya' is about a planet that on first impressions is a dream world. However, upon discovering more about it, we find out that's it's anything but. Generally the music and lyrics go hand in hand. Songs like 'Akaibara' have a more personal subject matter. Whereas 'Alien Makers of Discord' is all descriptive and darker.

You create complex and orchestrated music. I imagine it is a lot of composing, or do you as a band also jam on ideas? And how do you feel about playing live? Are there plans to tour for this record?
Yeah a lot of work goes into each song definitely. We tend not to jam as much these days so I'll usually write the stuff and then we'd go from there. It's a long process but we always strive for the best quality. No filler...filler is bad! And yeah of course, we'd love to tour. No concrete plans right now but hopefully soon.

You now have a refreshed line up. What can we expect from Prospekt in the future?
It would be great to tour the new album and take our music to different countries. Then get on and start work on album three. No four year gap this time though haha!

These were my questions for now. Thank you for taking the time to answer them. If there's anything I forgot to ask, please feel free to add. The last words are all yours!
Thanks a lot! Hopefully see you guys on the road!

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