Gentle Giant were a British progressive rock group, active between 1970 and 1980. They were known for their experimental, complex and multi-instrumental sound. In contrast with many other progressive rock bands their classical influence went further than simply the Romantic era. They also drew inspiration for their lyrics from philosophy and the works of François Rabelais and R.D. Laing.
Appreciation of Zappa
Guitarist Gary Green and especially John Weathers are Zappa fans. In an interview with Vintage Guitar Magazine bass player Ray Shulman said: "From my point of view, the only contemporary artist who had any influence would have been Frank Zappa." Singer and multi-instrumentalist Derek Shulman is also a Zappa fan:
Louis Mastropasqua: "A lot of bands do that now. They say, "Let's get a band together and sound like Yes." But that's not progressive."
Derek Shulman: "That certainly wasn't the case when we started. I think that began to be true in the mid-'70s. There were a bunch of copy bands, like Kansas. I liked what they did and I'm glad they were successful but they didn't sound like the real thing. They weren't original. That's not derogatory to what they did. They got the formula down and they Americanized it, homogenized it, which is fine but I didn't get off on Kansas' music. I did get off on Frank Zappa's music, that was a real inspiration to me. The original Zappa, Hot Rats and that stuff. But Kansas will never be an influence. (...) There was no direction, there was no set "Let's sound like this." I mean, we loved some bands. As I said, I think Frank Zappa was a real influence, and some of the jazzier people." 
Quote by Zappa
Street: "Are there any major rock n' roll bands aside from yourself that you do listen to?"
Frank Zappa: "I like Queen. I like Gentle Giant."
(Quoted from Phi Zappa Crappa Interview:, 1978.)