"The Impending Ice Age"

by Eric Harabadian
Sponsored In Part By
Try Me?

Hal Aponte (drums and percussion), Arron DiCesare (bass), Jimmy Pappas (guitars) and Josh Pincus (vocals and keyboards) are progressive rockers Ice Age. Named for a beloved track off their debut album The Great Divide, the band is avidly in the process of promoting their sophomore release Liberation.

“We signed with Magna Carta in ‘98 after my vocal coach Tony Harnell, of the band TNT, played some of my demos for label president Mike Varney,” explains Pincus. “Mike was very interested and signed us soon after.”

The band, raised on classic artists like Rush, Kansas, Deep Purple, Styx, Journey, Michael Schenker and Led Zeppelin, have attempted to apply lessons learned by their musical heroes with respect to their latest release. “Even though our songs are quite long, we generally concentrated on song structure,” says Josh. “It wasn’t just about playing for playing's sake. A lot of prog bands really emphasize the technicality of their playing, but having songs with memorable melodies is just as important. Our first album was a lot more free-flowing with parts coming in and out. Just from a song perspective, our current album seems to make a lot more sense.”

Liberation, which features dramatic, stellar vocals and awesome production and musicianship, is not a conceptual album in a strict narrative sense, yet many of its themes, involving various aspects of oppression, imprisonment, freedom and escape, tend to allude to the title. “The album title is a metaphor that refers to liberation from the base human instincts such as the choice between violence, which is often the easy road to take, and peaceful means of resolving conflict,” theorizes the pensive vocalist/keyboardist. “Also, the opening track ‘The Lhasa Road’ talks about the Chinese takeover of Tibet, which is a genocidal campaign that’s been going on for fifty years and is still going on. There are many such cases like this in history where an opposing army comes in saying we’re ‘liberating’ you when in reality they’re destroying your culture. That’s another aspect of liberation.”

Although they receive virtually no commercial radio airplay in the U.S., they do get a lot of support from European markets as well as sizable fan support, both home and abroad, via the Internet and at live events. When asked why European support has been so much stronger for the band Josh Pincus responds most assuredly: “I’ll have to give you the diplomatic answer and say I think the big record companies view music as a commodity like toothpaste or detergent these days. There’s very little consideration for artistic value at all. Especially in America, with kids today, they’re force-fed what they’re supposed to like and buy. They’re not really aware of the vast variety of music out there. I think if they heard a lot of the progressive stuff they’d really like it. But they don’t even know it exists. Overseas, for whatever reason, seems to be a little more open-minded still. I don’t know what that says about American culture, but I don’t think it’s too positive!”

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