Reed, Alan (Pallas) (December 2005)

Dream A Little Dream With Alan Reed

Pallas' Alan Reed at NEARfest 2004 (photo: Stephanie Sollow)After four long years Pallas are back in the prog world with another great album, The Dreams Of Men. So let's check with their polite singer Alan Reed to see how these dreams came true for the band and when they will be available for the listeners as well.

Igor Italiani: Hello boys, how are you doin'? I would like to start the interview speaking about a quote I read on the last Inside Out press release. Graeme told that you spent so much time on the release of The Dreams Of Men because you raised the bar so high with The Cross And The Crucible that it was really hard to follow it up with another great record. In fact I really share the phrase, as I consider The Cross... a real masterpiece of neo-prog. So how important was that album for you four years after its release?

Alan Reed: It's still an important album. I think we felt that with The Cross And The Crucible we finally managed to get a DEFINITIVE Pallas album! It sounded the way we'd always thought the band sounded in our heads. That made the prospect of trying to come up with a new one a very daunting one. So that's why we waited four long years to release the new opus.

II: However, on this new record you focused on a particular aspect of a man's life, his dreams. Who had the idea of doing this? Maybe it came up ... in a dream?

Pallas - The Dreams Of MenAR: I think the idea originated with Graeme. We'd been discussing various ideas to find a theme that would link music and lyrics together. It worked well on The Cross And The Crucible, and we felt it would help create an identity for the album if we started with some cohesive idea in mind. The first one that really started to stick was "the dreams of men," and it really grew out of the track "The Bringer Of Dreams." It sets up the rest of the album as a series of individual vignettes covering different elements of the hopes and fears that drive human beings.

II: Speaking about the songs, I think that an interesting one is "Ghostdancers." I think it mixes up the rarefied Celtic/folk atmospheres with the Native Americans rituals in an exquisite way. Do you agree?

AR: It kind of plays with Scottish and American folk myths. The idea that people left our shores to make a better life for themselves is a common theme in Scottish folk music. We kind of turn it on its head by saying that perhaps they did it by destroying someone else's way of life. It's an attack on the American Dream.

II: Another song that I really love is "Mr. Wolfe." Can you tell me what type of dream you try to portray with this song?

AR: It's about a man who only loves money and the power it brings him. The rest of us are just sheep for him to slaughter. It reminds me of one or two multi-media moguls in particular - possibly one quite close to home for you Italians :-).

II: You also end the album with some lyrics in Italian. This was a total surprise for me. What about that, even if I already viewed the video that you published on your website!

AR: I'd like to say there's a deep and meaningful reason for why we decided to do that, but I'm not too sure how it came about, other than that Pandy (the Opera singer who sings on the record) felt that it would make better sense to do an Operatic vocal in the language of Opera (Italian). English sounds a bit clumsy in that style.

II: Speaking of dreams, what are the most recurring dreams of Pallas' members?

AR: You can't really print mine on a family website :-) Let's just say that it includes a large bottle of tequila, two Thai air hostesses and the "Complete works" of William Shakespeare.

II: Has a dream of the past become reality for one of you? I mean aside from "being a musician," which I guess should be a recurring answer in this case? :)

AR: Well the one about being "unbelievably famous and internationally rich" didn't happen, so I'll guess I'll settle for still being alive. I always wanted to travel to exotic and interesting places, and I've managed to do quite a bit of that. So I guess I'm happy.

II: Returning for a moment to The Dreams Of Men, there will be a limited edition of the album. Can you tell us something more about the bonus CD Rapid Eye Movements?

AR: Yes, sure. It's a mixture of re-mixes (some quite radical), extra songs, works-in-progress and even a different version of a song from a different album. It's to give you an idea of how we reached The Dreams Of Men. We didn't get there in a straight line, there were lots of diverging paths on the way. This shows you some of them. I think it's quite interesting for our fan base to explore some of these paths.

Pallas - The Blinding DarknessII: Let's turn to the live environment. I really loved the The Blinding Darkness record. You think you'll duplicate this great effort real soon, as so many other bands are doing right now, or you will wait the right moment to do it once again?

AR: At the moment we have no plans to do another "official" full-budget live album like The Blinding Darkness. We might do some sort of live recording aimed at the fan club, but I think it'll be a while before we're ready to do another proper release. We need to get another studio album or two under our belts first.

II: Speaking about the upcoming tour, I love the thing that you will play with another great band like Proto-Kaw. Is there a possibility of a prog jam-session amongst the musicians?

AR: Well, if we manage to drink enough beer and they know the chords to "Smoke On The Water" then just try and stop us!!!

II: Why did you leave off Italy from the tour itinerary? Unfortunately it's a question I start to ask too much in the past few months.

AR: I think it's a question of what was available during the "window" of time we'd set aside for the tour. We're not managing to fit in any dates in France or the UK this time either, so Italy shouldn't feel singled out. We're planning to do some short bursts of dates later in the year, so it's quite possible we'll turn up in Italy at some point.

II: Thank you very much. I think that's all Alan. You can say whatever you want to end the interview.

AR: Thank you very much for the great questions Igor. Let's hope that a new Pallas concert in your great country turns from dream to reality real soon. Hello to the readers of ProgressiveWorld and have a nice day. All of you.

In addition to their tour with Proto-Kaw, which takes them through Germany, Holland and Switzerland at the end of January, they'll be playing at RoSFest on April 30.

[Reed left Pallas ... or Pallas left Alan... in either case, they parted ways, Reed to pursue a solo career, the rest of the band to continue on with a new vocalist. -ed.]

Pallas - The Knightmoves EP (1985)
Pallas - The Wedge (1986/2000)
Pallas - Knightmoves To Wedge (combo reissue)
Pallas - Beat The Drum (1999)
Pallas - Live Our Lives (2000)
Pallas - The Cross And The Crucible (2001)
Pallas - Mythopoeia (2002)
Pallas - Blinding Darkness (2003)
Pallas - The Dreams Of Men (2005)
Pallas - The River Sessions 1 (2005)
Pallas - The River Sessions 2 (2005)
Pallas - Live From London 1985 (2005)
Pallas - Official Bootleg 27/01/06 (2006)
Pallas - Moment to Moment (2008)
Alan Reed - Dancing With Ghosts (2011)
Alan Reed - First In A Field Of One (2012)
Alan Reed - Live In Liverpool (2013)

Pallas - Blinding Darkness (DVD) (2003)
Pallas - Live From London (DVD) (2008)
Pallas - Moment To Moment (DVD) (2008)

Added: December 18th 2005
Interviewer: Igor Italiani

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Language: english

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