One of the big surprises in 2005 was the release of the awesome debut CD of the band STRIDE, which perfectly blended AOR melodies with melodic Progressive Metal, kinda like a mix between JOURNEY and DREAM THEATER while not forgetting to write material a la SHADOW GALLERY. We did a short interview with the band to get to know the people behind STRIDE…

First off, congratulations for releasing an amazing album!
Thanks, we are very happy with the album. We had a great time recording it.

Then let’s go back in time, what were the first music experiences of the members of STRIDE?
For me,(Mike Martin) It was locking myself in a room when I was 14 trying to learn how to play Rush songs. 8 months after I picked up the bass, I played my first show. I was so scared to play in front of people at that time.

For Rick "I got my first keyboard in high school for a rap/breakdance group I was in. Some guy approached me and ask if it was true I just got a keyboard, I told him yes. He asked if I would play in his rock band, they had a gig in two weeks and I said OK. He handed me a set list of 12 songs and 2 weeks later played my first gig. I immediately dropped rap and started listening and playing rock music"

For Joel "when i was 3 yrs old, i colored my dad's piano with crayons so i could remember the notes as i played "raindrops keep falling on my head" that's why they started me on piano when i was 5 or 6"

For Matt "My first music experience (if you mean playing , not attending a show) would be playing a drum solo for my elementary school talent show in 1979... I won! I actually played in school band before that but this was the first cool thing"

For Gary "I came from a musical family. Both of my parents were very professional pianists as was my brother, he also has a fantastic singing voice. My first performing experience was in the 6th grade at military school. My choir teacher had me do a talent show performance in which I sang "Joy to the world" (Jeremiah was a bullfrog). I had several girls doing the doo, doo doo's in the background, it was a great memory and fulfilled my love for singing for people.

Through the years you must have developed into the sound as it is today, which bands influenced you?
The infuences came from different places for each member. Matt and Joel's influences were bands like Kansas, yes, Boston and Rush. Gary has heavy influences from The Beatles, Rick has many influences from 80's rock bands. My influences started with Iron Maiden and early Metallica then went into Dream Theater.

Just recently you found yourself a singer, gotta admit he is one of the best lead singer I heard lately, please tell me more about him?
Gary is a great guy. Free spirited. Strong convictions and verbal about how he feels. He is not a prog guy. He doesnt even know many progressive bands. He is really into 70's bands and enjoys spending time with his family.

Your music is classified as melodic progressive metal, with AOR influences as well. How would you describe the music yourself?
I would say something along those lines.

Your debut was an instrumental release, but the new one features the awesome vocalwork, when did you decide to go for vocals?
We decided to go for vocals when the band started. We just didn’t have any luck with the right voice for the band. It took until now to get it. Patience I guess pays off.

Can you tell us about the songs (and stories) on the CD?
Imagine: is about letting go of doubt or disbelief in your hopes and dreams. To go for it. Alive: describes a person traveling alone on a roadtrip thinking about life and all the positive in it. How Far: Is about a long road of trials and tribulations leading to a good place in life. Role Model: is self explanitory. The Waiting: is about 2 soulmates seperated and 1 is waiting for the other. Face The Day: Is about the advirsity's we are up against daily but to face them and STRIDE forward. Time: Is about our life and using the time we have wisely.

What more can we expect from STRIDE in the future, touring plans and continue writing songs I suppose?
We are hoping to get on Tour soon and we are working on songs for a new album as we speak.

Thanks for answering the questions and success with your band!
Thank you so much. We appreciate the support and kind words. We hope to see everyone soon. Visit our website at and chat with us on the forum. Thanks.

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