|· Can you tell us a little more about the staff of SoT?|
Pete Pardo - Senior Corporate Account Manager for Safari Books Online by day, Publisher for Sea of Tranquility by night. Pete is a long time progressive rock and metal enthusiast whose passion for the music brought him to SoT in late 1999. Starting with his purchase of Kiss-Destroyer back in 1976, Pete grew up on the sounds of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Boston, Kansas, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rainbow, E.L.O., Wings, Whitesnake, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, and Led Zeppelin. His current favorites run from Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth, Todd Rundgren, Saga, Gentle Giant, In Flames, Renaissance, Spock's Beard, PFM, Atomic Rooster, Return to Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Black Label Society, Nektar, Arch Enemy, Strapping Young Lad, Dark Tranquility, Meshuggah, Hypocrisy, Nile, and the Moody Blues, to almost anything prog, fusion or metal, underground or mainstream. Other interests includes weightlifting and fitness, cooking, movies, guitars, the NY Mets, and reading. Pete also is a former contributor to ProgNet, and the Gibralter Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock.
Michael Popke - Michael's friends and colleagues call him an oxymoron. By day, he's the mild-mannered, khakis-wearing managing editor of Athletic Business magazine, a business-to-business publication targeting athletic, recreation and fitness professionals. By night, he bangs his head and writes about heavy metal, hard rock and prog for Sea of Tranquility, as well as Goldmine, a magazine for music collectors; Progression, a quarterly journal of progressive music; Powerplay, a rock and metal monthly published in the United Kingdom; and Shepherd Express, Milwaukee's alternative weekly newspaper, where Popke is affectionately known as "the metal guy." Making his home in Wisconsin, Popke has covered the music scene for 15 years. The first album he bought that he's proud to admit was Cheap Trick At Budokan (on eight-track), and his favorite current artists include Spock's Beard, Axel Rudi Pell and Shadow Gallery.
Duncan Glenday - Duncan grew up in the golden era of prog, the 1970s. As a teenager he studied classical piano for 5 years, played guitar, and took classical guitar lessons. Later he had a small cover band and taught guitar to beginners for beer money. In the 1980s he gave up active music in favor of career and family, and his participation in the music world was relegated to observer-status. He is now a family man, and a partner in a systems and management consulting firm. (Very "establishment"!) Duncan's musical tastes range from classical music through the best of the '70s-era symphonic-prog, through to modern genres - including symphonic, third-wave, and even some of the better neo-prog; to the more intelligent genres of metal - I.e. progressive, avant garde MIO (Metal In Opposition), and the more melodic forms of dark metal. Duncan was raised in the British commonwealth, so he talks funny, but he currently resides with his family in Maryland.
Greg Stewart - SoT's talented webmaster, technical guru, and photographer, was born in South Carolina, and luckily raised in a suburb just north of NYC, Greg was rescued from "Barry Mannilow Hell" (his father's obsession) back in the seventh grade when he began dubbing his friends' vinyl collections. This leap into a wonderland of everything from Rush, Queen and Yes, to the Cocteau Twins and Siouxie And The Banshees left him with a bizarrely eclectic taste for music. Now he finds himself breaking computers by day and photographing mountain trails in his off-time, while listening to a strange musical mix including bands and artists like The Wolfe Tones, Clannad, Van Morrison, Queen, Journey, Rush, Def Leppard, The Eagles, Boston, Porcupine Tree, Candlebox, Goats Don't Shave, Jewel, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, and more...
Butch Jones - Grew up & still lives in the Upstate,Poughkeepsie NY area. An only child and a true Metal head since the age of 8 or 9 years old, Butch's Metal/Hard Rock teeth were helped cut by some of the "big kids" of his neighborhood. Shown at an early age the likes of Thin Lizzy,Yes, Deep Purple,Aerosmith, KISS, Black Sabbath, Angel, Robin Trower, Judas Priest & AC/DC, ELP, Star Castle, Rush and Jean Luc Ponty among others. But his life would change forever after visiting the NYC department store, Korvettes, at the age of 12 years old. On this day Butch's Mom would buy him the 2 albums that would change his Rock development. UFO's live masterpiece, "Strangers In The Night" and Van Halen's guitar text book Van Halen II. This was 1979! The guitar bug had bitten him very badly. And guitar lessons were now MANDATORY! After this the NWOBHM would take over the Metal world and would introduce him to bands like Motorhead, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden,Accept ( I know their German..but close enough!) Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Raven. After this, bands like Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, Anvil, Savatage, Overkill, King Diamond/ Mercyful Fate, Riot, Metal Church, Armored Saint, WASP and Loudness would become staples on cassettes in the car. Over the past few years, Butch has been into bands like Meshuggah, Soilwork, Clawfinger, Tad Morose, Sevendust, Fear Factory, Skrape, Memento Mori, In Flames, King's X, Injected, BLS, God Forbid, Symphony X, Big Wreck and Cold. And being a guitar player himself lists Edward Van Halen, Gary Moore, John Norum,Pat Travers,Dimebag Darrell, Steve Stevens, Ronni LeTekro, Akira Takasaki, Michael Romeo, Steve Vai, John Sykes, Zakk Wylde, Michael Schenker, Mike Wead among his all time favorites. Butch owns and operates the eBay Metal Memorabilia/Clothing store Butchco: http://stores.ebay.com/Butch-Co
Ryan Sparks - A true Canuck born on the West Coast of Canada in 1968, his family moved to the Montreal area in 1975 where he has lived ever since. American Dog bassist Michael Hannon has recently given him the rather prestigious "Rock Pig of The North" tag which suits Ryan just fine. The gates to his musical universe were opened rather dramatically at the tender age of 8 when he saw Kiss perform on T.V. for Paul Lynde's Halloween Special in 1976. He quickly found other uses for his tennis racket as mock Kiss concerts were soon acted out on a regular basis with his childhood friends. The dream of seeing the band live was fulfilled in 1979 when his Mother took him to see the Dynasty tour, one of the last tours with the original band. A veteran of many concerts, his musical tastes are all over the map but his true love is Classic/ Progressive/ Heavy rock. His first writing assignment was for the now defunct Metal site Electric Basement, after which he moved to the Classic Rock Revisited website where he has been a regular contributor for the past 2 years. Enjoys dreaming of all things music related and spending time with his wife and 2 young children.
Jon Neudorf - Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, Jon has lived in
Saskatoon for most of his life. He is married and has two children – a 20 year
old daughter and 2 year old son (yup, you read that right!) He holds a Bachelor
of Science degree in Biology and when he decided to do something with his life
he earned an education degree and became a science teacher. His musical roots
have been greatly influenced by the seventies (and his older brothers) and grew
up listening to the likes of E.L.O., Pink Floyd, Queen, Supertramp, Alan Parsons
Project, The Who, Sweet, Bowie, Deep Purple, Genesis, Yes, The Beatles, Jethro
Tull, Neil Young, Toto, Led Zeppelin, Manfred Mann, Boston, Chicago, Styx,
Foreigner, City Boy, Camel, Rush, Steely Dan and many others too numerous to
mention. His current exploration of progressive rock includes: Shadow Gallery,
I.Q., Pallas, Pendragon, Spock's Beard, The Flower Kings, Circus Maximus,
Moongarden, Threshold, Wolverine, Frogg Café, Porcupine Tree, Enchant,
Andromeda, Arena, Nightwish, Epica, Opeth, and lots more. One of his favorite
pastimes is searching for that rare find in his favorite record store. He also
writes CD reviews for the websites progressiveears and prog4you.
Steven Reid - Friday nights, that's where it began. Hours spent
sitting hushed in my older brother's room hanging on the every word of the
sorely missed legend Tommy Vance. His Radio 1 "Friday Rock Show" introduced me
to every aspect of rock and metal under the sun, from Metallica and Magnum one
week to Marillion and Spider the next. Live sessions from Dio, Kiss and Venom,
interviews with Slayer, Motorhead or Saxon, Friday nights had it all. AC/DC's
"For Those About To Rock" was the first slab of vinyl I bought, closely followed
by anything and everything by Status Quo, before "Lick It Up" introduced me to
Kiss and a lifelong dedication was born. Other bands that influenced my early
years were UFO, Scorpions, Whitesnake (pre 1987), Y&T, Magnum, Dokken, Dio, Iron
Maiden and Saxon along with many more. Then along came Rush and Marillion and a
whole world of prog was opened up to me along with the inspiration to pick up a
pair of drum sticks. Dio were the first band I saw live and even with Denzel The
Dragon making an appearance I was completely hooked on gig going and try to
attend at least 15 concerts a year. I enjoy the huge production values of say a
Kiss gig, but get more of a kick out of seeing a band like It Bites in a tiny
club with another 70 or so punters. As the years have passed my musical taste
has evolved and grown, however I still regularly listen to the music that
inspired me when I was young and have merely added to it. Favourite bands still
include many of the bands from my childhood, however I would also now site
Porcupine Tree (and anything Steven Wilson is involved with), Opeth, The
Wildhearts (and Ginger's many side projects), Kamelot, Thunder, Also Eden,
Arena, The Pineapple Thief, Clutch, Muse, The Feeling, Kip Winger, Bruce
Springsteen, and IQ, along with a bit of 80's rock like Little Angels,
Skin/Jagged Edge, Terrorvision, Bang Tango and so on and will freely admit to
loving AOR and melodic rock. I suppose the main constants through this journey
have been Kiss, Rush and Marillion, both eras along with Fish's solo career.
Recently I have also started contributing at metalperspective.com, however
outside of music my free time is taken up spending time with my family, watching
classic episodes of the best show ever to hit TV screens, Babylon 5, supporting
Dundee Football Club, and unusually for someone from the UK following baseball,
especially the Red Sox. I also was inaugural champion of the UK Dynasty fantasy
baseball league. I read a lot, a good mix of fiction and facts based books and
also enjoy the odd movie.
Dean Pedley - had his first review published in Kerrang! magazine in
1982 when he was twelve years old and over the years has also appeared in the
pages of Record Collector, Classic Rock and Raw. Based in Birmingham, England he
has spent considerable time researching the musical heritage of the area from
the "Brum Beat" bands of the 1960's through the Heavy Metal acts of the 70's and
beyond and is always interested to hear and work with local bands. His first
album purchase was Queen Live Killers and Queen were also the first band he saw
live, subsequent to which he has attended more than 500 gigs. Prior to joining
the team at SoT the majority of his online reviews and interviews appeared at
www.hardrockhouse.com. His favourite
aspect of music journalism is the opportunity to interview musicians and those
involved in the creative process and he feels fortunate to have spoken with
Fish, Danny Vaughn, Bob Catley, Ian Mosley, Ken Hensley, Bernie Torme, Martin
Turner, Les Holroyd, Jeff Glixman, Rodney Matthews, Keith Olsen, Nick Mason,
Biff Byford, Luke Morley and many others. His favourite band of the last twenty
years is Dream Theater and his favourite live act of all time is Bruce
Springsteen and the E Street Band. Happily married to Jenny since 1992 they have
two sons who main interests are Fall Out Boy and WWE and have so far rejected
his determined efforts to introduce them to the delights of Magnum. Desert
Island Discs include Sheer Heart Attack, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, On A
Storyteller's Night, Afraid Of Sunlight and Scenes From A Memory
Simon Bray- hails from the North West of England where he teaches Film and Media in a large FE College. He first got into music in the late 1970s and his initial favourites were the Stranglers, the Undertones and Blondie (bands he still loves to this day.) From there he was introduced to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Southern Rock which is his ultimate passion/obsession. Simon has two children, one of whom shares his passion for metal especially of the power variety. His other son is a dead ringer for Udo Dirkschneider.He wrote for HardRockHouse before joining SoT.
Carl Sederholm--Carl grew up in Long Beach, California and currently lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah. By day, he works as a professor and teaches a variety of classes, including one on American Horror literature and film. He has been a fan of heavy metal music since 1984 when he first heard Def Leppard, Ozzy Osbourne, and Iron Maiden. He discovered Metallica when a record store clerk encouraged him to buy Ride the Lightning instead of Motorhead's No Remorse--he's never been the same. His other favorite bands include Megadeth, Testament, Armored Saint, Dio, Black Sabbath, and Mastodon. He loves all styles of metal, but has a special love for thrash, sludge, and anything influenced by Sabbath. Despite his California roots, he doesn't like glam, so don't ask. He plays the guitar, bass, and the banjo. He is married and has one son.
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