Q&A With LOMM

The Inner Road

Bio: The Inner Road are a symphonic instrumental prog rock band. Formed from UK Prog Rock band Coalition.  Founder member of The Inner Road, Steve Gresswell began writing a more symphonic style of instrumental prog rock which he didn’t feel was right for Coalition – and so The Inner Road was born. The Inner Road have already established a worldwide fan-base.

Although the main writer for The Inner Road is Steve, he collaborates with other musicians as and when needed for recording and live work.  Steve released a highly acclaimed debut album “Visions” in 2011, with guitarist Phil Braithwaite.

For the new album “Ascension” Steve is working with Jay Parmar, an exciting and well established guitarist.  Ascension is a “heavier” style of prog rock and is immersed in feel, emotion and depth.

Ascension is out on the Orbital Productions label.

STEVE GRESSWELL has been a professional musician for over thirty years and is listed in the INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO OF MUSIC (POPULAR). Steve writes, plays keyboards, records and produces his own music – using different professional musicians for different musical projects.

Steve’s first professional band was in 1970 when Steve was only 15 years old. The band name was JUSTIN CANNS. Justin Canns became successful very quickly – and they performed in the Rock Musical ‘The Soldiers Are Coming’ at the Arts Theatre in the West End of London. This show was highly acclaimed.

Steve has since released many singles/albums over the years with his various bands, including:

•             “Express Yourself ” – Oddjob (Lightning Records) – 1977

•             “Taking England by Storm” – Scorpio (Quicksilver Records) –     1977

•             “Just for You” – Dream (World Records) – 1982

•             “You Make Me See” – Poeima (World Records) – 1984

•             “Berlin Wall” – Guardian Angel (World Records) – 1986

•             “Just For You” – SG Band (Sumo Records) 1989

•             “Border Crossings” – John Wright (Sumo Records) – 1990

•             “East Meets West” – Karel Espandr/Steve Gresswell (Sumo      Records) – 1990

•             “Spirit of Freedom” – Steve Gresswell (Sumo Records) – 1991

•             “PS” – Coalition (Sumo Records) – 1993

•             “Spirit of Freedom” (Remastered) – Steve Gresswell (Sumo      Records) – 1994

•             “Good Morning Day” – Rogers & Gresswell (Sumo Records) –   1997

•             “Christmas Dance” – Steve Gresswell (Sumo Records) – 1998

•             “Band of Brothers” – Steve Gresswell (Sumo Records) – 2002

•             “Collections” – Steve Gresswell (Sumo Records) – 2002

•             “Child of Love” – Steve Murray/London Gospel Choir – worked with top producer Nick Tauber – 2007

•             “Visions” – The Inner Road (Orbital Productions) – 2011

•             “In Search of Forever” – Coalition (Orbital Productions) – 2012

•             “Ascension” – The Inner Road (Orbital Productions) – 31 May 2013

Guitarist/Songwriter/Producer JAY PARMAR’s music is immersed in feel, emotion and depth. His high octane guitar playing is infused with eastern influence and the sonic soundscapes that he creates are tangible and thought provoking.

Jay’s work include his latest much revered album ‘Circle of Fire’ (2012), the acclaimed instrumental album ‘Strange Day’ (2005), the George Lynch Tribute album ‘Will Play For Lynch’ (2003) and appearance on 2 live tracks on the Eden’s Curse album ‘Condemned to Burn’ (2009); and numerous guest appearances on other songs and albums.

Jay has played numerous live shows and toured with Eden’s Curse twice in 2009.

Steve and Jay met at a party in 2012 (how very rock’n’roll).  Jay was playing that night and Steve knew instantly he wanted to work with Jay once he heard him play.  Steve approached Jay and they decided to keep in touch.  Soon after the opportunity presented itself for them to collaborate on the new Inner Road album and “Ascension” was the result.

Genre: It’s not a case that anyone “chose” this genre – this is simply the way Steve writes his music – it’s not a conscious decision to write “progressive” music with time changes. Steve will start to write a piece of music and then he thinks “what would follow on well from that passage” and it may well be that it’ll be some random time-signature – not intentional that’s just the way Steve writes.  The music means so much to both Steve and Jay who put everything into the music.

Initial musical and thematic elements: Steve is the main writer initially. Steve spends most days in his studio writing music. The process is always: piano first, then bass and drums and then it’s built up from there.

Steve wanted Ascension to be a “spiritual” album (although not pastoral). The titles of the songs reflect the ideas behind the music.

Once Jay joined the project the idea evolved with Jay adding his own particular style, which works brilliantly!

Lyrics and themes: We’re both quite spiritual people so most of the concepts ideas we have come from that place.  As previously said, though, Steve is in his studio most days writing music – it’s just what he does – constantly!!!

Ideas about the album: We are very happy with the end product – I think we achieved what we set out to do, which is create musical pieces which tell their own stories (which without vocals is not always easy to do).  Without wanting to sound arrogant we wouldn’t change anything on the album – it’s too easy to look back and say “I wish” – we’re far more interested in looking forward and saying “what’s next….”

Reception: We are thrilled to say that the reception has been amazing, with some absolutely mind-blowing reviews around the world.  It’s humbling to think that people love our music – what more can we ask for?

Preference; live or studio: Both in their own way have something to offer – live work is great for the instant feedback from fans, but creating a finished album is always very exciting and it gives us the opportunity to share our music with a bigger audience.

Next step; live or studio: Yep – we’re going to be recording another album towards the end of this year which will give us more than enough material for a decent tour.  To perform this live we will need quite a large band, and graphic backgrounds, so it’s no small feat, but we’re working on it for next year.

Future plans: Our next project is recording an album with our band Coalition (basically The Inner Road with vocals) – this will be around autumn time.  After that has been recorded we’ll be back working on a new Inner Road album.  No let up for either of us.

Composers: Steve Gresswell historically has been the main writer, with guitars being added after the main structure of the song has been written.  However, that said Jay has taken a lead on a few of the tracks on this album, making changes where necessary.

Inspirations: Jay:  George Lynch, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Stevens; Steve: Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Genesis, Yes and more

Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: We think you should write the music that is in your heart – otherwise you’re not being true to yourself – it may not be the most “commercial” way forward but it works for us.

Anything else? We’d just like to say how much we appreciate our fans – it’s humbling to know that our music touches others.

We look forward to seeing you all out there “on the road”.

More about The Inner Road on their official site!

Here’s the official video of Ascension!

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