The Bitters sound like 'Zappa meets Slayer'

They're progressive, with punch. And no, they don't sound anything like Symphony X. In other words, you'll want to check out The Bitters. So read on and get to it.

What do The Bitters sound like?

"Prog-core. (It's easier than saying 'instrumental progressive hardcore.') We like to say we sound like Frank Zappa meets Slayer, but that's not really accurate. We got reviewed once as 'jazz metal,' which combines two of my least favorite terms, hence the coining of 'prog-core' (patent pending)."

Progressive rock has become a pretty nebulous term, encompassing everything from Opeth to the Mothers of Invention to Porcupine Tree to … And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. How would you define prog these days?

" 'Progressive' is a word that's been thrown around for more than 30 years. It's like 'alternative': It really doesn't indicate anything specific (other than 'not like AC/DC or the Ramones'). We'd like to think we're breaking new musical ground, which is what 'progressive' is supposed to mean."

Since you're all pretty good players, tell us some of the best albums to play a) air guitar to b) play air drums to c) play air bass to.

"Best air guitar would be Steve Vai's first solo LP, 'Flex-Able,' particularly 'The Attitude Song.' For drums, definitely latter-day Def Leppard (so you can air drum while driving) and for bass, let's go with the hands-free approach of that guy from Dethklok ('Metalocalypse' fans know what we're getting at)."

Finally, what are you dudes so bitter about? Mike Portnoy leaving Dream Theater?

"We're bitter about how stagnant most music has become, which stems from the ubiquitous complacency and acceptance of a power structure hellbent on taking away your right to do anything that doesn't conform to its master plan. If ignorance is bliss, then most people are living in paradise -- and there's no reversing it at this point."

Check out The Bitters at

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at or 702-383-0476.


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