The first ever Progfest is almost upon us. This brand new mini-festival, which features a massive lineup and an extremely broad interpretation of the term prog (which is exactly the way it should be), hits The Espy this coming Saturday. Following their recent triumphant appearance on the Periphery and Tesseract tour, eclectic four piece Twelve Foot Ninja headline Progfest alongside much-loved Melbourne boys Sydonia.

Twelve Foot Ninja, whose ridiculously varied and distinctive, but highly convincing take on metal, rock, ska, reggae, pop and more has made a major dent in the Aussie alternative scene in the past few years are wrapt to be involved: "It's a great lineup, and we're starting to see another sub-scene developing with the likes of Anna Salen, Ennis Tola, Xenograft," says guitarist Steve Mckay. "They've got their own scene within the scene. It's interesting for any open minded punter to go and watch those bands, they're always going to provide something different and exciting to check out. It's good, man, it's right in the middle of working on our album. It's a bit of a mental shift from recording. It's good to get away from recording for a tic."


Steve agrees the musical variety in Progfest is vital to the success of a festival, as opposed to having a bunch of sound-a-like bands playing together on the one bill, though he's not sure whether he cares for genre labels.


"My opinion of the whole genre thing is that it's got to the point where it's become meaningless," he states. "Prog is short for 'progressive', meaning moving towards a certain point, like a resolution, so all music is progressive. I think that at one point in time progressive probably had a different meaning to what it does now. It's just a label I guess but I think in the spirit of the initial meaning of the word the selection of bands reflects that as closely as anything else could."


After two highly well received EPs, the boys from Twelve Foot Ninja are well into the recording process for their debut album, which should see the light of day sometime in early to mid 2012. "We do things really weirdly," he explains. "The engineer's just about had a nervous breakdown from the way we actually do things. We put it together like pieces of a puzzle, as opposed to all being together. That way everyone's responsible for delivering a part that's up to standard. With the kind of music we're trying to do, playing together in a room as a band in the recording process, it doesn't lend itself to being able to hone in on every little intricate detail. To give you an idea of where we're at now, we're on track to release next year, so we're right in the thick of it. If you look at my progress chart, it's looking more like a quilt than an empty canvas, so that's a good sign."

Progfest explodes at The Espy in St Kilda this Saturday September 3, featuring Sydonia, Twleve Foot Ninja, Geamala, Branch Arterial, Xenograft and more.