“I met a gorgeous Steven Wilson fan. I then introduced her to my girlfriend… the story is told in my song Beautiful Night”: Franck Carducci’s life in prog

 Franck Carducci.
Franck Carducci.
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Where’s home?
I live in Lyon, France.

What’s your earliest prog memory?
When I was about 13 my cousin introduced me to Trespass by Genesis, and that changed my life. I already knew them because I Can’t Dance was all over the radio at the time, and the video was very funny.

What’s the first prog album that you bought?
Selling England By The Pound in the early 90s. But Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here was already in my dad’s vinyl box...

And the last?
I was in the US recently and bought Hounds Of Love by Kate Bush on vinyl.

Your first proggy gig?
I attended two Pink Floyd shows in Lyon in September ’94. On the second one they played the whole of The Dark Side Of The Moon – an unforgettable experience!

And the most recent?
We played A New Day Festival in Kent back in August, and saw the headline show by The Zombies. It’s amazing how much those guys can still rock.

The best prog gig you ever saw in your life?
Roger Waters playing Dark Side in an outdoor park in the Netherlands, in 2011. It was so good that the real full Moon rose behind the stage during the show. A lot of people were crying at that moment, including me.

Your latest prog discovery?
I recently discovered Solstice. I saw them live and they were amazing. I loved them.

Any guilty musical pleasures?
I love Grease (both the movie and the soundtrack), and I also went to see Madonna live a few years back and really enjoyed it. Pleasures like these are probably partly why there’s so much glitter, glam and fun in my own shows.

Your specialist subject on Mastermind?
I’m a big fan of the Tour de France (I used to cycle a lot but it’s just too hard for me now). It would be that or classic Hollywood movies of the 50s to the 70s, which are much less tiring than cycling...

Your favourite prog venue?
The Boerderij. I used to live in the Netherlands and went to so many gigs there. It was there in 2010 that Steve Hackett told me, “You should record an album with your songs.” And the rest is history.

Who’s your prog hero?
Paul McCartney, because of everything he brought to rock music, including prog. I simply wouldn’t be the same me without Paul.

Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing?
Cooking, especially Italian food. According to my band members I do it quite well.

Ever had a prog-related date?
A few years back I met a gorgeous, die-hard Steven Wilson fan. I then introduced her to my girlfriend, and the rest of the story is told in my song Beautiful Night!

The most important piece of prog music is...
Supper’s Ready by Genesis. It contains everything that defines the genre: Mellotron, 12-strings, weird time signatures, an epic finale, mythological references, complex imagery, and humour.

What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It’s heavy but so, so good – a bit like a good prog song, I suppose.

The prog musician you’d most like to work with?
I’d love to collaborate with Peter Gabriel, although I’m not sure he considers himself a ‘prog musician’...

Which proggy album gets you in a good mood?
Any classic album by Supertramp really, like Crime Of The Century or Crisis, What Crisis?

Your favourite prog album cover?
It’s the cover of my favourite album: Animals by Pink Floyd. It’s framed on my kitchen wall.

And what are you up to at the moment?
I toured the UK for a week in August and I’ve already booked the next one there – two weeks next March. Meanwhile, I’m trying to record some new tracks.