Brainstorm: Damon Fox from Bigelf

Q1 Bigelf’s 1995 EP Closer To Doom was produced by Sylvia Massy. Which prog metal band’s debut did she also produce, and what was it called?

DAMON FOX: That should be Tool. I never followed them – was it self-titled?

A: It was Undertow, from 1993.

Q**2 **What was Duffy Snowhill’s first ever studio recording as the bassist in Bigelf?

DF: He played on our cover of Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation for a tribute album called The Spirit Of The Black Rose.

A: In 2001 – correct.

Q**3 **‘You think that your touch turns things to gold/But it’s more like stale bread turning to mould.’ Those are lyrics from which song?

DF: That’s a no-brainer – that’s Ironheel.

A: It is.

Q**4 ****Can you name the conductor of The Counting Sheep Orchestra, who appeared on Bigelf’s 2008 album Cheat The Gallows? **

DF: Good question. Christopher… it was a double-barrelled surname. No, no way.

A: Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli.

Q**5 **You played the High Voltage Festival in July 2010. Where was it, and can you name any two other acts who played the Prog Stage that year?

DF: Can’t remember the London park, but two of my favourite bands played – Focus and Argent. I collapsed with dehydration that day – got taken to hospital in an ambulance.

A: Nasty! It was Victoria Park.

Q**6 **What was your last festival show before the band’s hiatus in that same year?

*DF: *I think it was Summer Sonic in Tokyo. Dream Theater and Slash were there too.

A: Along with Jay-Z, Pixies, The Smashing Pumpkins and many more.

Q**7 ****Two-part question: John Wesley currently plays guitar with the ’Elf. What’s the title of his current solo album, and what’s his real name? **

_*DF: *_Disconnect – it’s my prog album of the year. And his real name’s John Wesley Dearth. A fine gentleman, one of the best I’ve ever met.

A: All good!

Q**8 ****Hex came out in 2003. What’s the longest song on the album? **

DF: I think it’s Bats In The Belfry.

A: Yes, at seven minutes and 43 seconds.

Q**9 ****Your current album is Into The Maelstrom. That’s also the name of a module for which role-playing game? **

DF: Dungeons & Dragons. It’s actually where I got the title from! I played it as a teenager and loved it. That’s a great question!

A: Correct.

Q1**0 **Your Mellotron Mk.II Music Console used to belong to which cult musician?

DF: Martin Kitcat from Gracious. I was such a huge fan. I met him and played him our stuff, and he called us “post-nuclear Beatles” – isn’t that great?

A: Really is.

General Prog

Q1**1 **Besides Robert Fripp, who also plays guitar in the current incarnation of King Crimson?

DF: I love their earlier music but stopped caring after Starless. I have no idea.

A: Jakko Jakszyk.

Q1**2 ****Starless And Bible Black takes its name from a line in a play for voices by which British poet? **

DF: I’d be guessing…

A: Welsh. Enjoyed a drink…

DF: Don’t know.

A: Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood.

Q1**3 ****Who produced Gentle Giant’s self‑titled 1970 debut album? **

DF: I’m gonna say Tony Visconti. I know he did Acquiring The Taste.

A: Quite right.

Q1**4 **Sticking with Gentle Giant, the band recently reissued 1974’s The Power And The Glory. Which star remixed the album?

DF: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Steven Wilson.

A: He did!

DF: Did he? That was a total guess! He’s a lucky bloke. I’m gonna check that out.

Q1**5 **Which keyboard did Rick Wakeman use on Journey To The Centre Of The Earth?

DF: I’ll say a Hammond C3.

A: It was a B3.

DF: Gah! You know, the B and the C are the same except for the cabinet.

Q1**6 **Which manufacturer made the keyboard that was an early ancestor of the Mellotron?

DF: It could only be Chamberlin.

A: Correct.

Q1**7 **The Beatles experimented with Moog synths on one of their albums. Which one?

DF: Abbey Road. It was a Moog Modular IIIP. The last time all four Beatles were ever in the same room together was when John Lennon was adding Moog to I Want You (She’s So Heavy).

A: Good Fabs trivia there!

Q1**8 ****Which member of Styx formed the band Damn Yankees with Ted Nugent in 1989? **

DF: Tommy Shaw.

A: Correct.

Q1**9 ****One of Black Sabbath’s proggiest tunes is Spiral Architect. Which of their albums does it close? **

DF: I’m having a blank… oh, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

A: Correct.

Q2**0 ****Can you name all four members of Transatlantic? **

DF: Boom! Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Roine Stolt and Dave LaRue… no, no! Pete from Marillion.

A: Pete Trewavas, yep.


“My brain has turned to ash after the tour but you went easy on me, so thanks Prog! Has Mikael Åkerfeldt done this yet? He should – he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of prog!”

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.