Prog Me: Dave Pen

This month: Dave Pen, BirdPen/Archive


I’ve just got one of the latest Apple Mac laptops – it’s got something like 100MB RAM. Nothing ever stops – it just works. I get lost with all the choice so I ask my friends what the best thing I can get is!


The films of John Carpenter because he’s the best. I love his films, especially his early ones. I don’t think a day goes past when John Carpenter doesn’t enter my mind!


I have an Epiphone Sheraton guitar that I bought off a friend for about £200. It was under his bed for about 20 years and it’s still got a dent in it where his ex-girlfriend smacked it with a hammer because she didn’t like it! It’s got a lovely sound. I play it in drop C with a baritone string.


My favourite film is probably either The Thing or The Fog. If I had to pick one song, it would be Do You Realize?? by The Flaming Lips – it was the first dance at my wedding so it’s got quite a personal meaning. We’ve never played with them but I’d love to.


It’s just got to be Greek food – I love Greek salad, calamari, the little sardines… all that stuff. Served in a taverna with a nice glass of white wine in the sunshine – that’s heaven!

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.