An Interview with Brett Kull
The latest album, The End Is Beautiful, has been released and they are back from an excellent European tour. So what's better than to check with Brett Kull on the latest news regarding one of the finest prog acts of the nineties?
Igor Italiani: Hello Brett, let's start from the just finished European tour. Has everything gone well? How was the audience feedback?
Brett Kull: We could not be happier. The crowds were better than we expected. I can't thank everyone enough for coming to our performances.
II: Can you tell me something more about the show in Rome? Have you spent some time visiting our capital?
BK: The Rome crowd was one of the most enthusiastic of our tour. Very friendly and energetic. We could really feed off their energy. The son of the owner of the club took us on a quick tour of Rome the day after our gig. It was very kind of him to do so. We were blown away by the architecture. Rome has such a heavy vibe. It's a keystone in the world's history. I could feel it with every step I took.
II: Let's go to The End Is Beautiful , your latest opus. In my opinion the first and most important difference from Mei can be traced to the guest section. While on Mei you were surrounded by violins and cellos now there's a prominence of sax and trumpets. It's logical that the whole sound is affected by this difference, right?
BK: Yes of course. You are completely right. In fact the album on a whole is a bit more aggressive. The horns helped add to that heaviness. It's also much more dynamic and less melancholic than Mei.
II: You know, I think that The End Is Beautiful can be compared somewhat to As The World, your great masterpiece of some years ago. In fact there's also the return of Tom Hyatt from the old days. Am I right?
BK: I would agree with that. It has the same vibe for me as As The World. Lots of contrapuntal melodies and rhythms going on. Tom brought a nice element back into the band, too. Paul plays differently with Tom than he does with Ray.
II: Can you tell me something else lyrics-wise about "Georgia Pine"? Is it a sad song?
BK: "Georgia Pine" is a sad song, you are right once again. It's a song of wishes that never come true, a song of accepting our human condition and knowing that we are mortal ? sometimes life does not deal you a happy ending.
II: But the album is not a concept like Mei, right?
BK: No, but all of our albums have a cohesiveness brought on by the time period they were written. Mei is our only true conceptual piece, but I know all our albums have a certain flow because of what we are going through in life.
II: Let's return to the horn arrangements. Why, in your opinion, do so few progressive bands try out these solutions? While I think it's one hell of a plus sound wise (like the old Chicago, for example).
BK: I'm a huge fan of Chicago's first 8 records. They were a great band. Terry Kath is a monster of a guitar player. I know that most progressive bands do the same routine over and over again. The same chords with the same bad words and the same keyboard solos. I hate that! The only thing that keeps me going is the adventure of newness in music. Most progressive bands play to the crowd as do any band in any genre. I'd rather be like Chicago or Led Zeppelin or the Beatles, each album exploring new territory.
II: Brett, your last few albums were released through Velveteen Records. Can you compare your actual situation to the one you were in when Sony picked you up? Are you working on distribution licenses for Europe and Asia as well?
BK: We sell everything ourselves with the help of many distributors throughout the world. I like it like that. It's more work but more rewarding at the end of the day.
II: After more than ten years as Echolyn are you able to live without a "day job" or not?
BK: I know we could if we gave the band the time it needed but we are very happy with where our lives are and guard that. Being the "Biggest Progressive Band" means nothing to us. We don't have the time or patience to promote ourselves like we should. We did all that for 5 long years in the early 90s and it left us unhappy and empty. We all have so many other things going on that fulfill our lives.
II: Brett, now a personal question. I've seen on your website that you cover a lot of cultural ground, as Echolyn is just a part of your production. Can you tell us something more about other projects as well?
BK: I like working with artists that I find interesting and different. People that are adventurous with their music. I really dig producing and engineering. My company is also involved with many other things. We are currently working on an animated DVD for children to help them deal with stress and bullying. I like writing kids' music. I'd like to release a CD of children's songs my brother Greg and I have written.
II: OK, Brett. That's all. Thank you very much for your time and I hope to see the band in Italy for an encore in the future, as the first time unfortunately I missed out.
BK: Hopefully we will be back sooner or later! But if we don't, you missed a good one? However thank you for the questions and have a nice day. Hello Igor and ciao ProgressiveWorld.
Suffocating The Bloom (1992)
...And Every Blossom (1993)
As The World (1995)
When The Sweet Turns Sour (1996)
Cowboy Poems Free (2000)
As The World (2005 expanded reissue)
The End Is Beautiful (2005)
Stars And Gardens Vol 4. (2004) (DVD)