By Rosine Alleva – Rock At Night EU Editor
Drifting Sun is a UK-based Progressive Rock studio project. Their music, influenced by Progressive Rock giants (Dream Theater, Genesis , Jethro Tull….) is played by fantastic musicians and the atmosphere will take you to another world. If you don’t know Drifting Sun yet, it’s time to open the door to the magic with “Forsaken Innocence”, their latest masterpiece.
Rock At Night interviewed Pat Sanders, the founder of the project.
Drifting Sun released their first (self-titled) album with Musea back in the 90’s when Pat Sanders (keyboardist/composer) and Manu Sibona (bassist) decided to live a new adventure moving to the UK from their native France. They were then joined by American Vocalist/Lyricist Rafe Pomeroy and John Lingwood ex Manfred Mann’s Earth band drummer where they recorded at Clive Nolan (Pandragon) studio. In 1999 the second album “On the rebound” was self-released which was difficult at the time. Only magazines or record labels could promote your music.
After a long gap Pat decided to give the project another chance in 2014 with “Trip the life fantastic” released in 2015. With new technologies it was very different, a brand new way to produce and promote music. “Trip the life fantastic” was also the first track recorded after 15 years.
‘I was so happy when I heard the first guitar lines that I was dancing in the middle studio, the magic was back! It was the beginning of this new adventure!’
Prog Rock nowadays
We know today Prog Rock music is quite often ignored by the media. I asked Pat Sanders point of view and if UK is the right place for Prog Rock nowadays.
‘Prog Rock is born in the UK and many Prog Rock bands are based here. The landscape has changed though with a mix of international musicians. And this music will not be mainstream like in the 70’s. It’s more dedicated to a specific audience who definitely loves to listen to long tracks and enjoys this musical and instrumental techniques. Just like Jazz music’
Forsaken Innocence – New ‘fantastic’ lineup and guest musicians
All the musicians are new on the album . How did the musicians participate to the music?
For Pat it was a real pleasure to work with these very talented musicians on the new opus and most probably it will be the same ones on the next album. Mathieu Spaeter is the only musician who already participated to two previous albums.
When he talked about the guest musicians Pat explained that nothing is really ever planned, it happened just by chatting with friends. Ben Bell (Gandalf’s Fist), Eric Bouillette (Nine Skies) and Gareth Cole (Fractal Mirror) participated without any problem when Pat asked them to add an Hammond solo, violin or guitars on certain tracks.
Maybe a live concert?
Drifting Sun is a studio project, why don’t you play live, did you have any proposals?
Although they already received proposals to play in Festivals, Pat founds it quite difficult to organize when you work with international musicians. But they’re now thinking about it, maybe a project of a live concert but not with the complete lineup of the latest album.
Writing and recording
Pat is writing the music, with already some arrangements but what he likes to do is to present the songs to the musicians and let them put their personal touch on it. “It’s impossible to play exactly what’s written, unless for classical music. When real musicians play a demo, you have to be open to changes. And for the lyrics I usually leave it to the singer. Jargon wrote a song on Forsaken Innocence but asked me to write the other lyrics. I’m the guilty one!”
The album theme
When Pat started talking about the theme of Forsaken Innocence, he found it complex to describe. “It’s about the struggle we face when we’re trying to find this forgotten, abandoned innocence we’ve got inside us which sometimes gets buried as we get older. As we are trying to look inside ourselves we sometimes dig out some stuff that is not necessarily very nice, it ‘s all to do with what we lived in the past, with what we used to be. And to get that goodness out sometimes we have to face our demons, uncover bad stuff that we don’t really want to. A kind of fight between good and bad.
Forsaken Innocence will be the eighth album of Drifting Sun and the critics are already very positive! There is no doubt this wonderful -possibly the best Drifting Sun opus – will have the success these cracking musicians deserve!
The album will also be released on double vinyl with bonus ´Hand On Heart´as well on Digital version which will be released on October 27.
Many thanks to Pat Sanders for this great interview and his availability
Image credits: Pat Sanders – Drifting Sun
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