Fourteen years ago Magic Pie released their critical acclaimed debut Motion Of Desire, and since then they have recorded three other albums. Now their fifth effort Fragments Of The 5th Element is close to been released. An album with a slightly more unpolished sound compared to other symphonic prog band, and a rough around the edges feel that gives it an added bite. From the genre-defying opener The Man Who Had It All, to the epic 23 minute closer The Hedonist, Magic Pie clearly demonstrate just why they have become a household name amongst many prog fans. The track P & C,
Magic Pie was established in late November 2001, in which Kim Stenberg invited Eirik Hanssen, John Kamphaug, Jan Torkild Johannessen (JT), Gilbert Marshall and eventually Allan Olsen to start a prog rock band.
The type of progressive rock presented by Stenberg in its musical form was a big challenge. Most of the time during the first years was put into experimenting musically to get under the skin of the progressive rock music style, as well as acquiring new musical skills required to master this segment. As this developed, they eventually got into the progressive mindset only focusing on creating and developing their own progressive rock songs. The music was and is based on a wide range of influences from the members’ different experiences. However, with an emphasis based on Stenberg’s progressive background and skills as a songwriter and producer.
Over the years they have developed their music to embrace a wide variety of styles, ranging from soft emotional parties to heavy metal riffs, often in the same song. Much of their musical inspiration is drawn from classic bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Deep Purple, Yes, Frank Zappa and Kansas, but also from newer progressive bands like Neal Morse, Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater and Transatlantic. Although inspirations certainly have its impact on their productions they think that they probably have developed and established their own unique signature.
Today Magic Pie consists of the founding member Stenberg, Johannessen and Erik Hanssen. In addition Eirikur Hauksson (Ken Hensley, Kerrs Pink) / lead vocals, Erling Henanger / keyboards, backing vocals, Lars Petter Holstad / bass, backing vocals have joined the band. Holstad since 2003, Hauksson since 2007, and Henanger since 2012. The so important continuity is well taken care of apparently.