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An Interview with Dewey Syntax: Progressive Rock meets Jazz Fusion


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The death of progressive rock has been greatly exaggerated. While it's true that prog has long been extinct from the public eye for decades now, the genre remains a living and breathing entity, kept alive by its pioneers and followers in an underground network of the faithful. Among them is Denver, Colorado-based guitarist Eric Dewey, who has dubbed his project Dewey Syntax.

The latest album from Dewey, the consistently mesmerizing Lark the Ivy On, is quite unlike those from his peers in that he has no qualms about stepping beyond stylistic boundaries. Dewey is equally influenced by jazz fusion as he is by classic rock. It's a hybrid that actually rejuvenates both genres, wiping away the dust of years passed. Dewey took time from his busy schedule to discuss the creation of his art.

Q: So what was the first instrument that you played and how old were you?

A: I started to play the violin at the age of six as I was curious about music as my family played a lot of Irish classics when I was growing up. One of my friends had an electric guitar, and I was curious about chord structures. My parents bought me a guitar for Christmas when I was 11, and I've been stuck with it ever since.

Q: When did you decide that being a musician was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?

A: When I was 15. I met my first real guitar teacher, Michael Turner from Woburn, MA, who helped mentor me into the musical field.

Q: Not only does music constantly change, but our feelings about it can as well. How have your thoughts about music evolved since you began?

A: I feel great that in recent years musicians now have the affordable tools to build professional-sounding studios to help get their music to the people. There are a number of independent sites online now that help indie artists promote their music.

Q: What are your goals as a musician?

A: I love to challenge myself musically and have the ability to allow the music to still be fresh and have others enjoy it in the jazz rock community

Q: What about the business side of music?

A: I am at the stage where I can build out my studio called OPC Studios here in Denver and broaden out a clientele list under my publishing rights Kokopelli Syntax Sounds. I would love to sell my music to the people so I can take my wife on lots of vacations.

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