M.S: Hi Jem, how are you? Thanks for granting us a bit of your time for
this interview.

J.G: I’m very well thank you. No Problem. 🙂

M.S: What caused the sudden change, from writing music for bands like Atomic
Kitten or Ronan Keating to composing song over 10 minutes long?

J.G: Frustration. Partially because I was getting very bored of writing
pop songs with only 2 or 3 chords in them, but also partially because I was
so disappointed with how little progressive rock had progressed. It was still
full of Mellotrons, choirs, Minimoogs and men over 40 years old wearing face
paint. It was like the 1980¹s and the 1990¹s had never happened. I was horrified
at the lack of imagination. There¹s an English saying that goes ³If you want
a job doing properly, do it yourself…² So I tried.

M.S: The band begins in 2004, why have you waited 2 years to release your

J.G: With pop music, the emphasis is very much on "now now now!", getting
things done as quickly as possible. Sometimes I think that makes the final result
not as good as it could be. I’ve certainly had that happen to me. With Frost,
I didn’t want to rush anything so that the finished album could be as good as
I could possibly make it. When I ran out of ideas or inspiration, I’d shut down
my computer and go and do something else until I felt ready to go back in and
carry on. I think it made a big difference to the end result. Having said that,
the second album should be out by September 07. 😉

M.S: After working with many bands, have you been influenced by any of them
to elaborate this work’s sound, or do you think it’s original in that sense?

J.G: I hope it’s original in the sense that I’ve tried to make the album
I never heard when I was researching all the other prog bands before I started
Milliontown. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant because it’s not meant that
way. It’s just that I could hear a big "hole" in the genre. So I simply tried
to fill that gap. Obviously my own influences will still be there, from Genesis
to It Bites and so on, but I hope the general feeling will be that it’s something

M.S: How did you get in touch with the rest of the members of IQ and tell
them you wanted to create this proyect. What do these musicians have that interests
you most?

J.G: John Jowitt was suggested to me by John Mitchell who was the first
person I worked with during the recording. From there, I asked JJ if Andy Edwards
would be interested as I love his drumming. It didn’t really occur to me that
I was "borrowing" 2 fifths of IQ. Until afterwards! 😉 Thankfully the rest
of IQ have been very cool about it.

M.S: What was the recording process like? In which studios did you guys
record it and why?

J.G: We recorded mainly in my own studio called The Cube. It’s a little
building in the garden of my house. The drums and some additional backing vocals
were done at JM’s place in Reading, UK called The Outhouse.

M.S: Do you think there is some kind of connection between you being a writer
and composing this album? Have you maybe musicalized the plot of a book into
a song?

J.G: Milliontown is based on a book called The Apprentice by Gordon Houghton,
a very dark comedy about an undead guy who¹s dug up and tasked with helping
death on a week¹s apprenticeship. If he does a good job, he gets to ³live² again
forever. If not, he gets put back in the ground and no hard feelings. Needless
to say, over the course of the week, he starts to piece things together and
gradually realises the shocking story of his own demise¦The song is the story
of those 7 days.

M.S: What is the meaning of a telephone box in the cover of the cd?

J.G: It’s a secret! 🙂

M.S: I think that telephone booth hides the whole musical universe of Frost
which starts with Hyperventilate, because that song sounds like a burst of cold,almost
freezing, fresh air, hehe, am I very mistaken?

J.G: How did you know my secret?? Hehehe 🙂

M.S: What was the cause of you writing a song oer 25 minutes long such as

J.G: I always wanted to have my own "Supper’s Ready" moment. I had a bunch
of ideas that wouldn’t have worked as songs in their own right, however when
combined in a certain order, they worked together very well I thought. So Milliontown
was born. I originally only wanted it to be 15 minutes long, but I kind of got
carried away…

M.S: Now that we’re at it, is Milliontown any existing city you’ve looked
at? Or is there any explanation for it’s writing apart from that?

J.G: The book is based in Oxford, I hear that there’s about a million people
living in Oxford, so…

M.S: Ok, you have to give us some reasons for us to buy your album, try
to sell it to the readers.

J.G: Milliontown is a 21st century prog album. If you’ve become frustrated
or bored with the same old prog cliches being used time and time again on other
prog albums, give us a listen. It’s progressive in the true sense of the word.
There’s still plenty of fine musicianship, but mixed with good melodies and
interesting songs.

M.S: What does this album have that every other one lacks?

J.G: There’s only 15 seconds of Mellotron on the whole thing.

M.S: Obviously internet is affecting the whole musical industry with no
exceptions, but do you think it can be so problematic for bands with minoratarial
market focus like yours?

J.G: I think illegal downloading is over hyped. If it really did mean the
end of the music indusrty as we know it then a lot more would have been done
by now to stop it. I don’t approve of it, but I’m a realist.

M.S: What is your opinion of the musical world nowadays?

J.G: I think it’s in really good shape, there’s lots of good songwriters
out there making great records. The UK in particular is enjoying a real renaissance
at the moment, this is a good time to be a music lover.

M.S: What do you think of the future of progressive rock?

J.G: There’s lots of new interest in prog I feel. With bands like Pure Reason
Revolution, Man On Fire, Darwin’s Radio, Porcupine Tree, Spock’s Beard, Kino
and so on, I think we’re on the cusp of a new new wave. The older bands are
still contributing something relevant too so I think progressive rock is actually
thriving again.

M.S: Which is your view of bands like Dream Theater, or Symphony X, which
take progressive rock to a large cuantity of people?

J.G: It’s not music I particularly enjoy to be honest, but these two bands
have certainly been fantastic ambassadors over the past few years. I fully support
and admire what they’ve achieved even though I can’t listen to more than half
an hour of each without my head exploding.

M.S: Which are your future plans? In the brochure it says that you are planning
to go on tour and maybe record a second album, is that right? It would be great…

J.G: We’re going on a small European tour in October supporting Pallas,
after that we plan to do more gigs in the New Year and beyond. The second album
is already being written and I hope for it to be released in September 07.

M.S: Which was the last gig you’ve been at as a spectator?

J.G: I went to see Thomas Dolby on Friday in London. He was superb.

M.S: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

J.G: I’d like to say thank you very much for reading. I really hope you
like the album and I sincerely hope we can come and do some gigs at a town near
you very soon. Take care and thank you.

M.S: Thank you for answering our questions, it’s been a pleasure.

J.G: No problem. I’ve enjoyed it. 🙂

David A.
Photos: https://www.myspace.com/milliontown