If you don’t know Megan Vessi you soon will, because she’s about to be the new name and face of the Brisbane prog-rock scene.
Megan is not only the frontwoman and pianist for local prog-rock outfit Interalia, she’s also a fledgling promoter spearheading Prog Valley, which she hopes will help bolster the Brisbane progressive music scene. “I’m trying to create a movement here,” Megan says, “because progressive music needs more, it needs a name and a face.
“Essentially when Prog Valley came in, it was Brisbane’s answer to Progfest until the scene can grow, cultivate itself and give more opportunities for this kind of genre and this type of music and musicians.”
Prog Valley will be staged at New Globe Theatre mid-June and will feature a yet-to-be-announced line-up of bands Megan says represents the core of progressive music in Brisbane. “It is a lot of the staple bands of the scene that have been around for a while; they have a following and are all quality,” she says.
“They all put on a really good show. I’d say that if you like one or two of them, you’re definitely going to like the other ones. We’re putting them on in a strategic way, so that the relevant ones are playing around each other, and I think it will be a really good night.
"I hope it creates a good atmosphere; it’s going to be quite social and bring in a lot of the people who enjoy this music.”
Megan will also be performing with Interalia at Prog Valley. The band released their EP ‘Amongst Other Things’ in 2015 and have recently been working on new music, which they plan to premiere at Prog Valley. “We fit the demographic as well and we thought ‘why not?’” she says.
“For the past couple of months it’s basically been behind-the-scenes stuff; we’ve been working on a single and it’s been about juggling time all around our day jobs, because we intend to get it out before we play.
“Prog Valley will be our first show of the year, so we’re really warming to that. We’re sending things around by word of mouth and continuously developing our sound.”
Prog Valley audiences will have a chance to hear the new sound Interalia have been developing, which strays from the composition and instrumentation of their debut material as the band experiment with their sound and style. “The guys have been quite keen to move on from that instrumentation, not entirely, but they’ve been experimenting with different pedals and other influences,” Megan says.
“More of the post-rock that doesn’t have lyrics. You’ll find it’s already moved a long way and we’re really excited about it.”
With new music in the works, a showcase event and the will to bring Brisbane's prog music to the forefront, Megan is securing a leading role in the local scene and has high hopes for its future. “It will definitely have a strong step forward because we’ve been building our interest at all kinds of events, mainly music of course.
“Having this opportunity where I get to put this kind of thing on, give other people an opportunity and playing with musicians I know and respect has been really good.”
Prog Valley takes place at New Globe Theatre (Brisbane) 17 June.