Jerry Lucky: I know that bands dislike labeling their music…but I’m wondering when someone asks you what kind of music Half Past Four play…what do you tell them.
Half Past Four: It depends on who is asking. We might say progressive rock to those who understand what it is, and we’ll say Art Rock or Jazz rock to those who don’t.
JL: There aren’t many bands in Canada playing what I would call arty-prog-rock…how do you guys do it? Or maybe more to the point…why do you do it?
HPF: Because we like what we like, and we do what we do...if you know what I mean. There is no pretention. We write what comes to us and it happens to be progressive J
JL: Who are the bands that have influenced you?
HPF: We all have different bands that influence us and they change a lot.
JL: Do you have much of an opportunity to play live gigs?
HPF: Not as much as we want to. We would love to be a lot busier playing live than we are.
JL: What’s the reaction from the audience?
HPF: People love it and sing along. Our audiences are amazing.
JL: Tell me how the band came into existence?
HPF: In 1999 Constantin and Dmitry met while playing with other bands and decided to start a band together and went through several different line-ups of players. Then Igor joined and they began to form a sound and began exploring the progressive music genre. In 2005, Kyree joined after answering an ad for an English singer. Several of the songs were translated from Russian for Kyree to sing, and we began writing together. Finally, last year January of 2012, Marcello came on board and this is the current and (hopefully) permanent line up.
JL: When you started composing or jamming was there any thought to how you wanted the band to sound or what direction you wanted to take?
HPF: We wanted it to reflect our various backgrounds and influences but with our own twist and original ideas.
JL: What’s the hardest thing about performing music in Canada?
HPF: Getting gigs. Getting people to come out to shows. Canada is tough unless you make it elsewhere. The place to play is Quebec...but it’s very difficult to break in. So far no luck for us!
JL: I was listening to “Rise” off the new album…it was a real prog tour-de-force. How did that song come together?
HPF: Like most of our songs, Rise came together with one person coming in with a strong idea, and the rest of us bringing our own thing to it. In this case, it was the songwriting skills of Iggy. He came in with the main structure and everyone shaped it from there.
JL: “Cool Water” is another very cool song…with the string bits…Is there a typical pattern for how your music comes together?
HPF: Cool water stated with Les’ riff and then we jammed out the rest. Everyone had a different part written and we put it all together eventually.
The songwriting method varies from song to song. It is very collective.
JL: Would you say the new disc, Good Things is more proggy than the first?
HPF: It is much more uniform in terms of the style and there are more epic pieces to the songs. I guess you could say it is more proggy in some respects. Maybe less crazy? That’s up to the listener.
JL: The internet has really changed the exposure/promotional landscape for music…how have you been using the web to gain exposure?
HPF: In every way possible. We have a beautiful website, we maintain and use our Facebook page all the time for everything. We are talking on blogs and forums and websites belonging to many progressive and art rock music groups.
JL: What’s on the long-term agenda for the band? Lots of touring, media exposure, huge success…massive stadium tours?
HPF: We would love to be in a place where our music is generally known and respected and we are able to open for and play with bigger bands and attract large audiences. All the good things that come with writing and playing original music.
JL: Well we wish you all the best…lastly then if you were stuck on a desert island with no MP3 player…just 5 CD’s…what discs would they be and why those?
HPF: Well, it was tough, but our list is..
Pink Floyd – Animals
King Crimson – Court of the Crimson King
Yes – Close to the Edge
Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick
Perry and Kingsley – Kaleidoscopic Vibrations
Plus Genesis – lamb lies down…and anything by Sergio Mendes...
JL: Thanks a bunch.
HPF: Thank YOU!!!!