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The Prog Report: USA

Roie Avin introduces Riddle House,a young prog rock trio from Chicago

An album can often be a combination of inspiration and chance...

Such is the case with Nature Of The Story by Riddle House, an instrumental prog trio from Chicago.

The 3 song EP came about following a series of surprising events over a couple of years. Musically, the EP is a mix of 80’s era Pink Floyd with a hint of the melodic side of Steve Vai and the result is the feeling of sailing on the ocean with the wind behind you, The concept was inspired by the death of the grandfather of brothers Ben and Rob Lerner. Their grandfather Larry had left behind tapes of himself telling stories and talking about his life. It is these tapes that are scattered throughout the music as a bit of narration.

Brothers Ben and Pete got their start at a young age, inspired by The Beatles before diving into prog with Dream Theater, Rush and Yes getting their attention by the age of 16. The brothers then started the band following Ben’s first year in college. Following the release of their first album in 2012, the pair found themselves at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, which is where they would meet their current bassist Pete Fenech. As Ben tells it, “Turns out he lives about 20 minutes from us but it took us going out to California to actually meet.”

Another twist of fate happened on that trip. “2 days after I met Pete, I was walking through the Anaheim Convention Center and recognized Dug Pinnick (King’s X). I wasn’t very familiar with him or King’s X but I recognized him from bass and guitar magazines growing up. We started talking and ended up staying in touch. He really liked our first album and a month later he invited me to meet him and the King’s X guys for the Prog Nation at Sea Cruise. I was there as his guest bass tech.”

Following the experiences of NAMM and the Prog Cruise, the band flew home and came up with the concept of their Nature Of The Story EP. “I wrote it in a few months and Rob started tracking drums for it in June of 2014. Since Dug was a fan of our first album, I asked him if he would want to play bass on one of our new songs and he said sure. So in March of this year I flew out to LA and we tracked his bass part at his home studio.”

The band plan to work on another EP or full-length and hope to tour to support their latest effort over the summer.

The band’s EP was released on April 30th and is currently available on their Bandcamp site. http://riddlehouse.bandcamp.com/

Roie Avin is the Editor of The Prog Report website.

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