Stolt, Roine (Kaipa, The Tangent, Transatlantic) (September 2004, pt 2)


Roine Stolt - In His Own Words: Part 2 - The Tangent And Other Tangents

In this second part of our interview with Roine Stolt, he talks about The Tangent, Kaipa, Transatlantic and much more.

The Flower Kings at NEARFest 2003 (photo: Stephanie Sollow)JT: Ok, we've focused on The Flower Kings, but you're also part of another really great group that's coming out with another album right now called The Tangent. Can you tell me what we can expect from this next Tangent album?

The Tangent - The World That We Drive ThroughRS: Um, I think people who like the first album will like this one. That's at least how I see it, um, the music is, um, is similar. There's no real changes except the fact that, uh, David Jackson couldn't play on this album, because he had other commitments, but we have, uh, Theo Travis, another saxophonist and, and, a wind player, um, uh, he has his own jazz group in, in England and, uh, I think he plays sometime with, uh, I know he plays with Gong, too, and he plays, uh, sometimes with Porcupine Tree, at least on the recordings, um, so he, he's a great sax player, uh, too, um, doesn't sound quite like David Jackson. David Jackson had a very, very specific and distinct way of, style of playing, you know, um, but, I mean, apart from that, it's the same line-up and, uh, the music is, is written by Andy Tillison this time, too and, uh, it's quite similar. There's no, no real big changes I think, uh, the minor changes I can see is that the music is probably more dynamic. It seems to be, where there used to be stacks of keyboards, it's, um, sort of more scaled down and dynamic in that sense. I think a more mature album.

JT: That says quite a bit, because the debut album was album of the year last year.

RS: Yeah.

JT: So, to think that this would be a more mature album really says quite a bit.

RS: Yeah, but again, that's, that's, uh, coming from me, you know, and I could be wrong. If I was right, I, I wouldn't be sitting here. [I laugh] I'd be somewhere in, in Malibu and counting the money. [we laugh] So, uh, I may be wrong, you know. When I think something is fantastic, people think it's filler, so stinking, whatever, you know, it's lousy, um, so who knows, maybe people think this album is not as good as the previous one, but I think it's, it's a stronger album. I think its more mature and I think, um, it has a feel that it's, um, more work put into this album I think and I know it's more work put into this album, but I mean, it could be, you know, like a, a freshness also that you could hear, uh, in the first album and that's something, the energy. I think the energy is still here, but it's probably as I say, it's a more mature album and for some people mature means boring. [he laughs] Oh, it's, uh, yeah, it's all a matter of taste, you know. You know, if you, if you just put down your hand and you play four chords and it sounds great to some people and to others it sounds not quite, you know, right, you need to maybe, you know, try some more and find some more interesting things, you know and I think that's probably what Andy tried and I mean Andy and myself together, because I was also involved from the beginning, listening to the songs and picking what songs we should record and [he inhales] giving all sorts of advice out to edit songs and what to cut out and what to develop, you know, and, uh, to what, what to extend, and, um, so in that sense I never, I never did, I didn't write anything for this album, but I, I sort of was sort of in the background anyway and sort of manipulating whatever Andy was writing, you know, so if that's a good or bad thing, uh, I mean, time will tell, you know. Maybe I, I destroyed the album. [we laugh] We'll see the final verdict is disgusting, the first one was great. This is just boring. [I laugh]

JT: I'm seeing with The Tangent that they got asked to play at the Rites of Spring Music festival next year. I want to say congratulations on that spot. I think you guys deserve it. I think you guys are a perfect choice for a headliner, but I'm also hearing that since you're involved in so many projects, you may not even make that event. Is that true? What's the chances of you playing that event?

RS: Yeah, the problem here is that, uh, we got that offer if I remember right, we got it, uh, must have been like almost two months ago, uh, or even more, I don't know, maybe the beginning of the summer or something like that and, uh, the problem is that, um, neither Jonas or Zoltan or myself, we cannot commit to doing the shows, uh, in America with The Tangent, before we know the schedule for The Flower Kings for recordings and for touring and, uh, whatever, you know. It's the main project. It's the main thing, um, so before we know any of that, you know, uh, we couldn't commit to 100% to doing that and I think the situation is, uh, somewhat different for Andy and Sam, because they never played in America before, so they'd probably kill to play in America. [he laughs]

JT: Sure.

RS: Uh, I mean, they, yeah, you know, and I can understand that, you know. It's, um, it's, uh, you know, it's a great thing. It's a fantastic thing to go over the Atlantic to play for the first time, you know, in America and I understand they, they really want to do that, so what I said was okay, uh, here's the deal, um, as you know, because Andy and I, we had been talking about this and I'm sort of telling him that don't count on, on uh, having Roine Stolt in, in your band forever, because that's not going to happen, you know, There will be a time when you have to, you know, you know, find someone else, uh, and, you know, spread your wings and, [he laughs] you know, so, and he's perfectly okay with that. He understands and everything and, and I couldn't speak for Zoltan and Jonas, but I, I guess the situation is pretty much the same, you know. They, they cannot commit to touring with The Tangent in the future and cannot commit to recording forever with The Tangent, uh, we take it from day to day and, um, this is what we told them, um, if you really want to play in America and play ROSfest, I think you should do that. There's nothing, you should just tell them that yeah, you want to play, and, and, uh, go ahead and do that, and, and, write a contract if you want, but, uh, you cannot include Roine Stolt in that. You have to be, you have to be prepared that I can't do it and then you, you need to take in someone else, you know, and make sure that, that's okay with the festival, so it's not like the festival is sort of announcing The Tangent with, uh, three guys from Flower Kings, because that wouldn't be fair, you know, and I mean as long as that is clear with everyone, I don't think it's a problem. I think they can book , book The Tangent, because what's going to be played is The Tangent.

JT: Sure.

RS: Playing music probably with another guitar player and, uh, I don't know, maybe there is a chance there will be another bass player or another drummer, too, who knows, but it's still going to be The Tangent and the same music and, um, and as long as everyone knows that this is the deal then, then it's no problem really. So, uh, yeah, that's, that's the situation right now and, and, uh, we had offers from other people too, you know, to play other places like Jim Robinson's show, you know, and a couple other people are offering gigs to The Tangent, uh, and I think, I think that, um, I think they should, uh, consider doing that and, uh, regardless if I'm playing or not, because, uh, I mean, the wheel will keep on turning even if I'm not playing with The Tangent, you know. There will be someone else playing. There's lots of good players out there and, uh, I'm sure The Tangent is, you know, is going to continue, um, whatever way it's going to be, you know.

Kaipa - KeyholderJT: Just to cover some of the other projects that you're in, Keyholder was another great album last year.

RS: Yeah

JT: Is there any chance of another Kaipa album? Is that something to look forward to in the future?

RS: Yeah, we've been listening to songs and I actually this, this afternoon I was listening to some final demos and I was, you know, making my notes and, uh, and I was going to call Hans [Lundin] tonight, but I think now it's probably too late, [he laughs] but anyway, um, yeah, we sort of, you know, trying to, to map how to, how to record the album and what songs to record, and, and to find out also what my involvement should be, because it's pretty much the same here, I, I couldn't commit to being too involved, you know, and I think it's balance between how much you can commit being there, you know, and, and, uh, actually, uh, it may sound harsh, but it's like also about the money, because if I'm working full-time with a project and then I make no money, it's, uh, um, you know, it simply doesn't work that way for me anymore.

It's like when you were a kid, you know, and you just loved to be in a band, and, and recording and playing and, uh, money wasn't really an issue then, you know, it was different times. Now I have a family. I have a company. I have sort of, um, a responsibility towards my family and my company and myself, you know, uh, so, so in, in the case of, of Kaipa, it's more like we're now trying to find, um, uh, just a way of, of, you know, putting this album together, uh, and, uh, in a way that, uh, is, uh, you know, Roine Stolt with Hans Lundin (photo: courtesy InsideOut)good for both Hans and myself and the other band members, you know, and also have ideas about how to involve rest of the members, you know, more than they have been before, because they have been more like studio musicians, you know, coming in and Jonas just playing the bass and Morgan [?gren] just laying down the drums and not much more, you know, and I think there's so much talent in the band, I mean, just listen to Jonas' Karmakanic album and you can see this guy can write songs, you know, and, uh, the same with Morgan, even if his songs are, you know, not, uh, I wouldn't say the top 40 stuff really, [he laughs] not anyway.

It's like, uh, and Patrik [Lundström] who is, uh, usually the singer with Ritual, another great band from Sweden and, uh, he writes songs too, you know, and he plays guitar. He's a good guitar player and, uh, you know, they all have ideas and even Aleena [Lundin], who is the female singer, she's writing songs, you know, releasing her own albums now and she's writing songs for [he inhales] more like pop, uh, pop-oriented stuff, but, uh, it's, it's always interesting, you know, getting people together and see what all these influences can bring, you know, to a concept and now it's been like mostly Hans' stuff and, um, I've been writing just, you know, putting in some ideas in Keyholder and, and doing, you know, uh, most of the lyrics and, um, I think by opening up and letting Jonas and Morgan and, uh, Patrik and Aleena also contributing in one way or another, I think, uh, we can probably define a style, you know, that is more unique I think, so that's what we are also looking into and, uh, it's more, we are now in a stage where, where we are talking, you know, uh, talking a lot to find, you know, sort of a framework to work within and, uh, once we're, you know, set, we're very clear about how to do this album then, then I think we just, you know, start and go on recording and, uh, because there's, there's good music. I've been listening to this afternoon and, and there's lots of music, but, I mean can sort of, you know, detect what could be great songs and I can hear the way Patrik could sing them and when Jonas at his bass and his specific style and the drumming of Morgan, you know, I can sort of hear the music taking form, you know, in my head and so it's, um?

But I think it's a good thing. I, I mean I really wouldn't want to rush into something, uh, because I don't want to end up in a situation where you're, you know, you're stuck with songs that you need to, you know, sort of, I don't know, try to save the songs, you know, by doing whatever needs to be done, you know, adding layers or adding production tricks, you know, to make them interesting. I think if the songs are good, it's gonna be easy work, you know, uh, I think it should. Everything come very natural and, uh, I think that's the way it's going to be done and, uh, I'd rather wait a couple of weeks or a couple of months if needed, uh, until we know exactly how we're gonna work with this one and when we know, I think just push the button and then it's going to be great. [I laugh] I'm gonna come up with a new, new good album, I'm sure, that's the way it's going to be.

Transatlantic (photo: courtesy InsideOut)JT: I have to ask, because a lot of people talk about this. Do you foresee any possibility of a Transatlantic reunion in the future?

RS: Uh, phew, um, I'm, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. [we laugh] I, I think I was from day one or, or I, I would say from the day that we played last time and that was the last gig in Milan I think, uh, on the European tour, that was the last time we played together, um, in the studio or live or, you know, at all. I think I was the person who was asking the question when's gonna be the next recording and, uh, then I got the answer. I was a little bit surprised, because I got the answer, well, uh, uh, we don't think there's gonna be a new recording for some time now and this was, you know, way before Neal [Morse] announced that he was leaving Spock's and Transatlantic, so we didn't know anything about that at the time, but, uh, but I was thinking that okay, here we have a good band, um, creative , uh, we released one album that was a smash hit and then we released another album, smash hit, and, uh, we released two live albums and a DVD and we did, uh, a tour in America and we did a tour in Europe that was very successful and so it seems like everything was going right [he laughs] with the band and I mean normally that is a sign that you should probably continue doing it.

JT: Right.

Transatlantic - SMPT (2000)RS: This, this was sort of, I didn't understand, because from where I, I'm coming, you know, it's like if you have success with something that means that people are enjoying what you do and that means that's a good thing, you know, people enjoy your music and that's, I mean when you set out to do music it's like that, that, that must be the reason why you play music in the public, you know. You release albums. You, you want to reach out, you know, and you want to, you want people to hear your music, uh, what you recorded, so that's, uh, I mean that's the foundation I think for everything, you know, being a professional musician.

In the case of Transatlantic, it seems like everything worked out perfectly and, uh, it worked out probably, uh, better than any one of us had, um, could have imagined I think from the start. It, it sort of just started like a fun project, something that, you know, Mike Portnoy wanted to play with Neal Morse and then they had the idea of putting together a band, picking members from different progressive bands and so they asked, they asked myself and Pete Trewawas and, uh, we formed Transatlantic and we recorded those albums and, uh, and it was like sort of instant success [he laughs] and, um, and I, I really didn't understand why we shouldn't record a third album, uh, as soon as everyone had the time to do that, so it was sort of, uh, you know, it just stopped and then it was, you know, it was put on ice and then, okay, I said, okay, okay, if that's the way they want to do it, okay, let's wait, maybe, maybe, you know, two years from now we can record something again or, you know, whatever, and, uh, which was fine, no problem, but then, uh, came the announcement that Neal Morse left Spock's Beard and that was sort of a shock and, uh, [he inhales] as he explained, that also meant that he was leaving Transatlantic and I realized, okay, there will be no more Transatlantic and, um, I think from, from that day, it's, it's very unsure if there'll ever be, I mean, it seems like people are talking about, okay, there's probably going to be another Transatlantic sometime, you know, [he laughs] but, um, I don't know, I don't know really.

Pete Trewavas (photo: courtesy Marillion)I mean, I talked to Pete Trewawas and he said the same thing as, as me now when I talked to him a couple of months ago when we were talking about, you know, anything and, and, you know, just came up and, and, I said that, um, it's, uh, sort of a shame that we never did a third album, because I felt that, that album could really be a, a good one. There was still, you know, ideas. Ask Neal Morse, because, because I think it's, uh, pretty much up to Neal now if there's going to be another Transatlantic album, uh, I think Mike will be there. If, if there's going to be another one, Mike is going to be there, you know, but I don't think any one of us want to do it without Neal, because he's sort of, uh, you know, key figure in the band, you know, he, his voice, you know, his writing, and, and his keyboards I think, especially his voice and his writing. I think we couldn't do without that, you know, because then, then there will be a completely different band, so I think there, if there is going to be a Transatlantic, I think we need each and every member, you know, because that, that's what's special, that's what's Transatlantic, and that's the way it's gonna be, you know, because there, there's are always people on the Internet coming up with all, all those, you know, great ideas, you know, why don't you bring in Eddie Jobson and then you can have Daniel .[we laugh] I say, okay, it's, um, I, I think, thanks a lot, but I don't think that will be Transatlantic, that, that will be a completely different band, you know, and then I think that's, um, that we'd rather go back and start from scratch as something else, you know.

[In 2009, the band did get back together and released The Whirldwind -ed.]

JT: We've talked about projects that you've been involved in, but I've also heard about a project that's called The Thread. Is that true? Is there a project out there that's in the works by that name?

RS: I wouldn't say, not in the works, I would say, it's, um, it's something that's been talked about from some time and I think the main problem with that project is that, um, it, it consists of, of, uh, Doane Perry, who is the drummer for Jethro Tull and Vince Dicola, who is, uh, sort of, uh, you know, writes music for films, uh, lives in Los Angeles, both of them and, uh, then there's Ellis Hall, who is, uh, bass player and singer and he has sort of a, you know, his own thing going with more, um, more of a, I would say rhythm and blues or soul thing, you know, um, but that's quite interesting, um, because the three of them, they have recorded an album some ten years ago I think, um, something that wasn't released on a major label, so I think not many people know of this record, but it's still a good record and, uh, and then Doane and Vince, they have been writing music and, you know, and they are doing projects on and off and they're working with, you know, lots of different people. They've been working with another, [he inhales] uh sort of a, I don't know, a project thing with, um, uh, the guy who played with David Bowie, uh, Reeves Gabrel I think his name is and, um, also, uh, you know, with, uh, other, uh, other people, um, like, uh, Bobby Kimball from Toto and Glenn Hughes and, uh, also the bass player from Don Henley's band and they're, you know, doing, doing, um, sessions and, uh, and, uh, project things and some of, of these things are never released, you know, and I don't know for what reason, but, but, you know, they're writing music and they have ideas and they, they're, you know, trying to realize it.

And it seems now that, I mean, we've been talking. I've been talking to Doane for almost two years now I think and, um, I mean, the other thing is that we're trying to, you know, get a record deal and, uh, sort of a, a decent advance to, you know, to, to get started, you know, with the recordings and everything, so we have sort of mapped it out, but we haven't quite, you know, we haven't quite got there yet, uh, and I think most of it is down to I would say to the hectic schedule of, of Doane, because he's playing with Jethro Tull all the time and they're sort of, they, they don't rest, you know, [he laughs] they're working all the time. They're playing in the, they're playing the Eastern European countries. They're playing Europe, um, um, one or two times a year and they're playing America once a year at least. They're, they did play South America just recently and they're going to Japan and Australia, so they're playing all over the globe, you know, and, uh, they're doing recordings too and, uh, so he's kind of a busy man, you know, and, and every time he gets home, he sort of, you know, calls me up and, and we talk about this and, uh, we're trying to find, find the time and, and if he for some reason have free time then I'm off, you know, with Flower Kings on tour and, or Vince is, you know, going from Los Angeles to New York to work on whatever film score he is doing at the time, you know, so it seems like, feels like we're, you know, having a problem, you know, getting together and, and start working and I, I wish?

We were actually supposed to work June this year, but I think something happened, you know, there was Jethro Tull gigs. He had to go away, you know, again, [he laughs] so it's, uh, it's sort of, I don't know, it's, um, it's one of those projects that I talked about, but, but we haven't actually played one note yet and that's, um, that's, you know, there's always been something, you know, there's someone who couldn't make it at, at the time and I don't know, I don't really, it's, um, I just, um, I just hope I, I know for sure that I'm, I'm going to be busy now for, for a couple of months, and then, I don't know, I was looking into, to Doane's touring schedule and he seems to be quite busy too, you know, so there's, you know, probably, sort of, you know, a window of time of say two weeks when we could possibly record, but then it has to be decided, you know, uh, you know, can't just say, okay, let's record next week, you know, we need to book a studio and, you know, to, uh, book the flights in my case, because we're probably recording in America, so there's some preparation that goes into it, you know, I don't know if I, I may need some sort of a, a work permit too that takes time nowadays, you know.

[The Thread have released one album, Thread from 1995, 1996 -ed.]

JT: Yeah.

RS: Even to get into America it's like to get to the East side takes six weeks or even more I think, so, it's, uh, it's a bit tricky, but I, I'm sure were gonna, you know, get there and record something hopefully in the near future, but I, I really couldn't tell. It's like there's, there's so much going on at the time and I as I mentioned before, I have my little solo project, you know, that I, I want to do and, uh, try to find the time in between whatever we are doing with Flower Kings.

JT: As for as that solo album that you are talking about, what is that going to be like? What's that project about?

Roine Stolt - HydrophoniaRS: Well, I, I, I really couldn't tell. It's, uh, it's, I, I'm trying to, to decide. I, I mean, what I set out to do is, I wanted to do something that is very much focused on the guitar, because I've done other albums, I mean, The Flower King, the first one, was sort of a solo album, uh, that turned into The Flower Kings of course, but it was solo album at the time. It was, you know, focused on composing and I was playing the bass guitar and I was playing the keyboards and I was playing lots of guitars, too and then I made Hydrophonia in, um, could have been '98 I think and, uh, it was also very much focused on composing and I was playing the bass guitar again and the keyboards, uh, I mean, it really doesn't matter to me if I play keyboards or, or guitar or I sing. It's, it's the music that's, you know, most important, you know, uh, but it seems like I never ever done an album where I played the guitar and really play to make some space for the guitar and, and to use whatever different textures of guitar that can be used instead of keyboards and, uh, because I never looked at myself as a guitar player in that sense, but, I mean, it's, it's still fun, you know.

And I, I realize there's all sorts of, you know, interesting sounds you can get from a guitar, you know, you can even go back to the very basics and, and I still love the electric guitar and I love the acoustic guitar too and, I, I mean, I simply love the instrument, [he chuckles] um, so, so that's something I, I probably wanted to and, I mean, another reason for doing that is that if I just go for the guitar then that, that would be something that hopefully sounds different than the Flower Kings, because Flower Kings is based around guitars and keyboards and bass guitar, of course, in a way, but, but, um, I think, uh, most people consider Flower Kings to be sort of a keyboard, keyboard-heavy band I would say. There's lots of keyboard textures and, uh, you know, what Tomas Bodin does is, uh, is, you know, important, you know. [he inhales]

So, um, yeah, I mean, in that sense I think that, uh, if I did an album and it was, it was based more on, on, uh, my guitar playing then whatever keyboards I could come up with then, then I think that would be, uh, a different album coming from Roine Stolt and, uh, so, uh, yeah, I find that interesting, you know, but then again, I mean, there's the songwriting and, uh, and I have some acoustic stuff that I really like, very nice melodic things and, uh, then I have the more heavy stuff and I, I don't think it's necessarily a good thing to mix everything up on an album, because you get, um, you know, uh, some people, you know, have a, a very diverse taste and, and some people don't, so if I make an album that is sometimes heavy, sometimes very nice and easy and, uh, acoustic and light then, uh, it could be, you know, sort of a clash between the two and, uh, that's, that's what I'm sort of trying to figure out now. How do go about this and, uh, and, uh, yeah, [he laughs] it's not easy really. It's not. I mean, there is lot's of music lying around and it's just a question of deciding what should it be like, all instrumental, should it be like more like a vocal album with, uh, with a guitar dominating or, you know.

So that's, uh, I think it's pretty much like the Kaipa. It's like, you know, I mean there are people who just write a bunch of songs and then, then they go in and, and record it and they don't care what is on the album or it really doesn't matter. Is it good music? Okay, let's record it. Nothing more to it, you know, but, um, I don't know, I come to the point where I find it important and interesting to, you know, really plan a, you know, plan how the album is gonna be put together and how I want to record it, you know, what musicians I want to use, and, uh, I guess it just seems, um, more important that it's, uh, it really feels right and, uh, feels like a, you know, like a whole and, um, consistent album, you know. Not just a bunch of songs put together just for the sake of releasing something, so, um, I guess, uh, it's really too early to tell really now if you ask me, but we're getting closer to Christmas maybe I can, I can say more about that album.

JT: I've actually read in a lot of places that, just to speak of other people's music, you've been promoting the Joni Mitchell album quite a bit?

RS: Yeah.

JT: I'm wondering why you like that album so much?

RS: I mean again, it's like, um, again it's like, uh, music that's, that just fantastic to my ears, maybe something that is, you know, I try to recommend that album to, to a couple of people and some people just love it when they discover the music and, and say oh I've heard the other Joni Mitchell album, but this is something very special, you know, and it is, I think it is. I mean, I also, I like the other Joni Mitchell albums, but I think this one is something, uh, I don't know, very emotional album I think. The way she sings it. The way it's orchestrated, uh, the way, you know, people play, um, the lyrics. Everything sounds very up-to-date, uh, I mean, even the songs she wrote, uh, in the seventies and in the eighties, they sound very fresh and, uh, like they were written yesterday, you know.

So, I think to understand what I'm saying, ha, you actually need to hear the album, and, and, uh, don't give it two listens and say this is, this is, you know, I, I don't find what's interesting in this or, or this is too much. It's orchestrated and some people seem to have a problem with that, because it's just like big, so I would say most it is big orchestra arrangements, but the way it's done is, uh, it doesn't sound like, you know, like the, it has similarities to the big Hollywood orchestra things, but, uh, I think it's very cleverly done. It's very, it's very classy. I think you can hear the, um, you can hear the details in the arrangement and the orchestration it's like, uh, you know, it's like people are talking about the pixie dust in The Flower Kings music and I would say that's probably something you could mention when you are talking about, uh, the arrangement, uh, or the orchestration, eh, for this album too and I think it goes perfectly well together with, you know, her voice, the way she's singing and, uh, the musicians like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, you know, those people who are adding their flavor to the music. The mix between the folk, the jazz, and the orchestra thing and, uh, I, uh, I never get tired of that album I think it's just fantastic. Some of the songs still grow, so, I mean, uh, it's been, uh, quite awhile since I got the album. I, I'm giving away copies of it [he laughs] to, to people, you know, at birthdays and, you know, I, I try to turn people onto that album, because I think it's, uh, I think more people should hear it, you know. It's, it's, um, it's, um, it's music for grown up people I would say.

[Mitchell's two latest releases are retrospectives, The Beginning Of Survival and Dreamland (due out Sept 14, 2004)... -ed.]

JT: Just to add some personal interest questions, a lot of people think Roine Stolt, with all the things he comes out with, doesn't have any spare time. I don't know how you find all the time to do all the projects that you do. It's overwhelming. It's amazing, the output that you put out all the time, but I just want to add some personal interest questions. People are probably interested in Roine Stolt, the person. So, just a couple favorites to end on. Like what would you say would be some of your favorite bands?

RS: Favorite bands?

JT: Yeah.

RS: Oh, uh, I mean I, I usually don't have favorite bands, because it's, it's sort of, you know, differs all the time. I, there's so much music out there. It's so, I mean, of course I could mention a couple of bands. I mean, I really like Pat Metheny. It's something that I come back to, uh, I listen to Pat Metheny's music both on CD and DVD. He's done a couple of DVDs now and, uh, I like to listen to that and I like to watch him play and I, I've seen him play live and, and that's music. It's a, um, it's, it's jazz, but it's still not jazz. It's sort of, sort of something easy listening, but I, it's still not, you know, it's very high class and sophisticated music, you know, and he's, uh, he's a great musician and they have Lyle Mays playing the keyboards and he's one of the absolute best keyboard players around today I think and, I mean, both when it comes to playing the piano, I mean, just traditional jazz piano is so extremely tasteful playing and, and also all the work he does, you know, with synthesizers. It's great I think and there's a good sense of rhythm in the band cause they're using lots of percussion and they're using the, the human voice as an instrument, so there's, you know, sort of a unique sound. So, I think the music is groovy and it's, um, you know, very lush and the, I would say almost poetic sometimes, you know, and I mean there's lots of great guitar solos and stuff, [he inhales] um, so, that's something I, I seem to come back to.

And, um, of course The Beatles is another thing that, that I seem to come back to and, um, as mentioned before, Joni Mitchell at the time. I'm sort of, you know, jumping between the albums, you know, the older albums and, and listening to Travelogue [(2002)] or, or Both Sides Now [(2000)]. That is sort of a jazz-standard album that she released also with a big orchestration, orchestration thing, um, so that is, um, favorite music at the moment, but then it's like I try to listen to so many different things, you know, it's um, I mean lately I've been listening to Vangelis, are you familiar with Vangelis, the keyboard player?

JT: Uh huh.

RS: Uh, I mean, it's, it's, uh, it's very nice music. He, he does music for films, uh, music made, made on synthesizers mostly, but there are acoustic instruments, too. It's a nice blend and it's very, you know, relaxing music to listen to and I think it's very simple, but it's still, it's like, you know, it's very classy too I think, um, the way he can use very simple elements and still make it sound great. So, I've been listening to that and I, I what else? Well, I mentioned the Moonbabies album by Planet X before and I think it's something I, I, you know, come back to. This, I mean sometimes I listen to those fusion groups and I listen to three times and I just put it aside, [I laugh] but, but this one is, uh, it's quite complex and it's, uh, there's not lots of melodies in there, but it's like very cleverly put together and, and, you know, it sounds very natural and there's lots of energy, you know, in there and they're good players, all of them, so, I, I tend to come back to that one too and, and, uh, I mean apart from that, I can always go back and listen to, you know, most of the classic King Crimson albums and the classic Yes and Genesis of course, um, progressive rock albums.

JT: Is there any particular album that just sticks out there as you all-time favorite?

RS: No, no, not really. It's, it's, uh, no, not really. It's like, uh, I try. I think it's, um, I think I need to listen to many different albums, uh, I mean I would hate it just sitting, sitting around and listening to the same album, I mean as much as I love Joni Mitchell's Travelogue, I can't listen to that album alone. [he laughs] That's, um, I, I need more influences, you know, and, um, if I, if I listen to and old Fleetwood Mac album or, you know, the blues band from, from the sixties, that's something completely different or if I pick out the Cream album or, you know, things like that, um, I just got an album that I had back in the seventies, The Allman Brothers Live At The Fillmore East. It's a very simple blues album. It's not, uh, it's not perfect in any sense. It's just, uh, you know, a good vibe to that. A great singer, Greg Allman, and, uh, and, uh, yeah, great slide playing by Duane Allman and good rhythm section, so it's, uh, you know, kind of a cool album. I, I used to like Allman Brothers, you know, in the seventies and, and I haven't listened to that since then, you know, and I just recently picked it up and, you know.

I, I, um, I listen to Sting a lot. It's, um, I don't know, I just like the way he writes music and the way he sing, you know, the way he takes care of all the details in the arrangement and, uh, the groove and the rhythm, and, you know, just have a great feel to the music I think, so it's, uh, I'm not really the person who say I like, um, you know, blues or I like prog metal or I like, uh, um, you know, symphonic music or, I, I really don't care. If it's like a trio playing boogie rock and it's guitar, bass, and drums, fine, you know, instrumental, no problem and if it's like big arrangements, you know, very complex stuff or even like the Planet X, that's fine too and, uh, and, uh, if I like a Simply Red song, yeah, fine, no problem, I'm not a snob. [I laugh] It's, uh, just an acoustic guitar and a good voice is fine, too.

There's, I, I think there's so much good out there and I, I really hate to be just, you know, just prog. I mean, that's what I do right now and, uh, because I, I know that I sort of learned to do it well, you know and I, it gives to me much freedom to express myself within this frame of music, so prog is a choice, you know. It's something that I've chosen, because, so the fact that, you know, I can write the music , uh, this way, you know, and no one complains. At, at least not many people complain, [we laugh] but anyways, it's like, you know, it's, it's freedom, um, if I was playing in a blues band it would be different because there's certain limitations. You can't go on, you know, doing very extreme things, you know, within that frame. If I was in a top 40 band, there, there are even more limitations, but still I enjoy, uh, simple music, good music, uh, music with a good hook, um, you know, as much as a completely free-form jam too, um, and I, I can see, and I can see how that could be a problem liking both types of music. It's, uh, or all types of music. I think it's, uh, too much good music out there, you know, just to ignore because of it's, it's not, you know, within a certain style, so that's, that's probably what I'd like to say to people, "Just open up your minds and, and, and just enjoy the music," you know. "Don't be snobbish," you know, and don't, uh, "don't close your door too early," you know, because there may be something out there, you, you think opera sounds weird or, you know, it's "I don't understand opera", they're just gelling, you know, and that's what people normally say, because they haven't heard opera, uh, enough to appreciate it. I mean, to really hear the beauty, you know, within the music.

JT: Out of all your material, is there any song or album that you are more proud of than the others? Do you have a favorite song or a favorite album out of your own material?

The Flower Kings - Back In The World Of AdventuresRS: No, not really. I mean, I mean, from a production point of view, I think probably, um, this last one, Adam & Eve is probably, you know, the one that we are most happy with production-wise and, uh, I mean, at the moment of course it's like, it feels like, uh, you know, good thing to, to rehearse these songs and play them live, you know, because it's fresh, you know, but I mean, I, I could equally feel that playing any, just about any song from, you know, Space Revolver or Back In The World Of Adverntures or Stardust We Are. Songs that we haven't played before, that's, that's interesting, too and I see it very much as, you know, coming from the same source really. It's just different ways of recording and, uh, you know, they are sort of okay, it's like it's been ten years almost since the first album now eh, but it really doesn't feel, to me it really doesn't feel that way, because if I, if I put on something from Retropolis or Back In The World Of Adventures, it still sounds like, you know, quite contemporary music to me. It could have been with the same production values as Adam & Eve, I think just about any song could have been on this album, um, I mean in ten years time and I mean if you listen to The Beatles and if you listen to what they did on Abbey Road, I don't think that a song from With The Beatles would have sounded right on that one, because so much changed over the years. Their music changed so much, you know, [he inhales].

Uh, so I think, uh, it would sound very strange and I think if you're looking at a group like U2, it's probably the same with U2, taking one of their songs from their first album and putting, putting it on a, a new U2 album. It would sound out of place, you know, but with Flower Kings it feels like the idea and, uh, the, the yeah, the concept of what the music should be about was sort of already there, you know from day one. So, in that sense it feels like I, I don't feel there is a big difference really between the songs. In, in that sense, I don't feel I could really say this is, uh, this, this song is greater than the other. It's, uh, of course, I mean, of course there are songs that I like more, but it's not like one favorite piece of music. It's, uh, I think it's, uh, most of it is good music.

JT: I promise that we're coming to the end, but just to continue on this personal interest thread ... just to add some non-music-related questions so people can identify with the artist, I'm wondering, what would you say is your favorite movie or could you just name a few just to kind of give us an idea?

RS: Favorite movie, that's, uh, oh, phew, um, I think I, I mean couldn't remember each and every one of them now. There's so many of them and there's so many different styles, you know, of movies, so, I mean, I wouldn't compare them, you know. I, I couldn't really compare one to the other, um, I just recently saw, um, the lastest I think, uh, Roman Polanski film that's called The Pianist. I don't know if you've seen that one.

JT: I've seen that one, yeah.

RS: Yeah, I think it was just amazing. I was, yeah, I was really, um, I was really moved I think, uh, seeing, that film, um, maybe because also I'm living in Sweden and, uh, what happened in, in Europe some fifty years ago seems, you know, close even if Sweden wasn't, you know, involved in the, the World War. We were sort of just, we were almost drawn into the war, you know, so this could have been, it's something that could have been Sweden, you know, and, uh, I think it's, um, it's an amazing film really and I mean I like most of the Roman Polanski films, but I think this, this one is, you know, quite different and I think the guy who is, um, the, who is the main character of the film [Adrien Brody] is just, just amazing., very, very convincing, very convincing, uh, so that's, that's one of the later ones that I really like, but then I, I mean, I have, I have favorites out of, I mean, out of all the Steven Spielberg films of course. I like Minority Report, uh, it's a very clever film and I, I kind of like, uh, Artificial Intelligence, too, um, well then of course I, I probably as most people I enjoyed Lord Of The Rings, all three of them. I mean, we went with the family of course [I laugh] and the kids like it, um, but, um, I mean, we've seen, like The Matrix, all three of them, too, but I didn't like The Matrix. I, I was kind of bored and I think I fell asleep when maybe seeing two of them, [I laugh].

Um, you know, uh, I like the Harry Potters, because the children liked them and I think they're like, you know, kind of weird, but, you know, funny, sort of good, good fantasy stuff. It's not really one of my favorites, but its, um, it's good entertainment I think, um, I, um, and, you know, there's a movie called The City Of The Lost Children [(1995)]. I don't know if that, that one ever reached America.

JT: I don't think it has.

[It did make a limited run at selected theaters in late 1995 through early 1996. The film, by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro, is on DVD; see www.amazon.com -ed.

RS: No, um, this guy did another one called Delicatessen [(1991)]. Never heard of that one?

JT: I don't think so, no.

RS: No, or Amelie From Montmartre [(2001)]?

[The film, by Jeunet, was released as Amelie in the US via Miramax; also available at Amazon.com on DVD -intrusive ed.]

JT: I think I've heard of that one, yeah.

RS: Yeah, I think that's probably the only one that he [Jeunet] did. He actually did Alien, I think, the third one or the fourth one or something like that. [Alien Resurrection (1997) -ed again.] He did one of the Alien films, but I, I think they weren't, I think actually he did just after doing the City Of The Lost Children, because that's an amazing film. It's something that is, uh, I don't think you've ever seen a film like that. It's just fantastic. It's, it's, it's, um, it's done in, in France. This guy comes from France and, uh, it's very serialistic and, um, very moody and very strange, [he laughs] um, a great film, absolutely great and I think after he did that one, um, he was probably discovered by Hollywood and, uh, they wanted him to do the Alien, uh, movie, which he did and saw that when it was, I mean, nothing, nothing special really, it's nothing. It's like, I kind of liked the first Alien, but that's a long time ago now. Much has happened since then, so, um, I don't know.

I tend to sometimes like, um, the more, you know, the fantasy stuff like Lord Of The Rings. The big epic movies. That type of thing, you know, but I, I'm sort of getting bored with all the technicalities, you know, the, um, the morphing stuff, you know, whatever you can see like in Matrix. That type of stuff. I, I don't know. It just seems to bore me. It's more like I, I kind of go for the drama. I'd rather go for the drama, you know, um, I don't know. Now it's like living in Sweden, you never know exactly the American titles of the films, you know, but it's like, um, I tend to like films like this one, I would guess it is probably named, uh, um, oh Jesus, what's this one, this is, this is one with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson I think. It's sort of, you know, a butler, uh, in a, um, never mind. [I laugh] I don't remember that movie. [I think this is The Remains Of The Day -JT] [Yes, it is; a fave of mine -ed. yet again]. What could it be called in English, um, but you know, that type of, um, not the big scale big effect movie. It's like, I mean, I could sit through a James Bond movie, but I, I sort of forget it one hour after the film is gone, you know. I, I rather, you know, go for the more, I don't know, the drama and, uh, I think it's absolutely important, uh, that you have sort of at least the main characters that are really good actors, you know, even a good, a good, lots of good scripts with, with just those faces, you know.

You, it seems nowadays when you're doing a film, you need a couple of names to sell tickets, you know. That's what you do, you know, so you, you bring in Brad Pitt and you bring in, you know, whoever, and, and, uh, for me it simply doesn't do it, you know. It's not enough, you know. It's like if there is a good idea then you need, uh, you need good actors and so the film is actually convincing, you know, so you can feel that it's, it's for real, you know, it's not just a play, you know, um, so that's probably what I could say about films. I mean, I could go on, you know, [I laugh] naming ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five films, you know.

JT: Yeah.

RS: But, um, I think that the bottom line is probably that I, I could sit through a good, uh, you know, action movie if it's well done, uh, with lots of effects and stuff, but that's not really what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a good story, you know, and good actors.

JT: Okay.

RS: So, I mean anything I could see with Al Pacino or, you know, Robert De Niro or, you know, Anthony Hopkins or, you know, those type of actors then okay, uh, that, that would be interesting, you know, and anything that has Keanu Reeves, I'd say, okay, I hate that one please. [we laugh]

JT: That's funny.

RS: Yeah.

JT: Just along the same lines, what can you tell me about the books that you've read. What your favorites would be in terms of that.

RS: Sorry.

JT: Like the books, the books that you've read. Your favorites in terms of books.

RS: I, I have to be absolutely honest with you. I, I seem to never read books anymore. No, because it, it seems like you sort of, you know, it's sort of a, you know, the world is spinning so fast, so it's like if I sit down and read a book it takes so much time, you know, and it feels like by the time I, I finish with a book I have sort of written two albums.

JT: Yeah.

RS: If I spend the same time.

JT: Right.

RS: It's not that I'm a really slow reader. It's more like if I pick up a book I, I don't want to read fast. I want to read and I want to understand and I really want to get into it, you know, so, I mean, absorbed by the book and that's not really what I do. I don't find the time to do it, you know, and sometimes I bring a book, you know, on tour or I bring a book, uh, when going away on vacation with the family, but I, there's always something. It seems to be something all the time, you know, and I, being on the beach, it's too sunny. You can't read the book, because, it, you know, hurts your eyes, you know, reading a book being in the sun, you know and, um, and then we you sort of, you know, get in the shade, it's, it's like there's something. You are going to go to the restaurant or you, you're gonna go swimming or, you know, there's something, you know. There's something with the kids. You need to spend time with them and, and, uh, cannot, you know, find myself being in, uh, just absorbed in a book at the time or there's something I need to work on, lyrics or, you know, so unfortunately I, I have no answer when it comes to books.

JT: Okay. That's fine. At this point, I've pretty much exhausted all the things I want to ask you and if I can get a chance to talk to Jonas or Tomas or Daniel, I'm sure I'll have a whole bunch of unique questions for them as well.

RS: Yeah.

JT: But, to end on, is there anything you'd like to say to your fans at this time?

RS: Oh, um, I don't know, I, I'd probably say there's, there's is too much really I wanted to say, so if I go on saying something that is some sort of significance than probably I go on for another two and a half hours [I laugh quite a bit at this comment, he chuckles] and that's not possible, because I'm hopefully going to bed an hour from now or something like that [he's seven hours ahead and it is closing in on midnight].

JT: Yeah.

RS: Uh, yeah, but, I mean, it's, it's like, um, I think it just comes out wrong if I say something, you know, something, because this is a question I, I usually get and they're or I'm in, in an interview on a radio program or something and I and they say okay, say something to your fans. I mean, I mean, what possibly could I say, you know, okay, go out buy our record. [we laugh] Watch, you know, make me rich and famous or, you know, or be kind to each other, you know, whatever. It's like, um, there's probably, you know, I would say, okay, if, if, you know, want to know something about Roine Stolt then, then go to the music, you know. Listen to the music and read the lyrics, you know, and make up your own mind what you think it is, uh, and uh, hopefully there will be a time when I, I find the time to write a book, huh, and people will no more about myself and, and, uh, my thoughts, you know, and about, uh, things other than music, you know. I'm sure there will be a time, but I, I don't think the time is, is right now, so I think, you know, I just, um, stay from, uh, sort of answer that question right now. [he laughs]

JT: Okay. Yeah, that's fine and the thing is I consider you a very special individual. You're very creative. You've always got lots of ideas and you're just a pleasure to interview. You've always got a lot to say for anything that's asked to you.

RS: Yeah, I mean, you don't have to drag the answers out of me I guess. [I laugh]

JT: Exactly.

RS: I'm not that type. [he laughs]

JT: So, I just want to say great job on the latest album. Your guitar parts are very innovative. They are just wonderful on that album. I think you just put out a great album as is everything that you put out is great and I looking very forward to hearing from the Trans...em>[Freudian Slip] from The Tangent album.

RS: Yeah.

JT: As well as some of the other projects that you're working on. So, just congratulations on the latest album and good luck in the future and thanks a lot for taking this time to talk with me.

RS: You're welcome, Josh.

JT: Okay.

RS: Okay.

JT: And have a good night.

RS: Yeah, same to you. Well, it's not, uh, really bedtime for you. It's like, where are you actually?

JT: I'm in the Midwest of the United States, so I'm actually seven hours behind you. To a degree, I started my day by talking with you.

RS: Have you dinner soon?

JT: It's even before then.

RS: It's even before then?

JT: Yeah. I started my day by talking to you.

RS: Okay, you did, okay.

JT: Well, I actually went out for a thirteen mile run and then I got kind of prepared and then started my day off talking to you, so I'm not in the same predicament as you are.

RS: Okay. Have a nice Sunday then.

JT: So, hopefully I didn't interfere too much with your conversation with Hans or anything.

RS: No. It's okay. There was just this one interview tonight, so it's okay.

JT: Okay.

RS: Yup, thanks.

JT: Well, thank you, too.

RS: Bye.

JT: Bye.

The Tangent album, The World That We Drive Through is set for release October 4, 2004 in Europe (via InsideOut and on October 12 in North America via InsideOut Music.

Part One


Discography:
Kaipa:
Kaipa (1975)
Inget Nytt Under Solen (1978)
Solo (1978)
Händer (1980)
Nattdjustid (1982)
Notes From The Past (2002)
Keyholder (2003)
Mindrevolution (2005)
The Decca Years 1975-1978 (2005)

The Flower Kings:
Roine Stolt - The Flower King (1994/2001/2004)
Back In The World Of Adventures (1995)
Retropolis (1996)
Stardust We Are (1997/2000)
Scanning The Greenhouse (comp) (1998)
Edition Limit?e Quebec (1998) (only 700 copies!)
Flower Power (1999)
TFK fanclub disc (2000) (free CD exclusive to fanclub members only)
Alive On Planet Earth (2000)
Space Revolver (2000)
Space Revolver Special Edition (2CD set) (2000)
The Rainmaker (2001)
The Rainmaker - Special Edition (2001)
Unfold The Future (2002)
Live In New York: Official Bootleg (2002)
Fan Club CD 2002 (2002)
Fan Club CD 2004 (2004)
Adam & Eve (2004)
BetchaWannaDanceStoopid (2004)
Harvest (fan club CD) (2005)
Paradox Hotel (2006)
The Road Back Home (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (2007)
The Sum Of No Evil (Special Edition) (2007)
Tour Kaputt (2011)
Banks Of Eden (2012)
Desolation Rose (2013)

Meet The Flower Kings - Live Recording (DVD) (2003)
Instant Delivery (DVD) (2006)
Instant Delivery - Limited Edition (2CD/2DVD) (2006)
Tour Kaputt (DVD) (2011)

The Tangent:
The Music That Died Alone (2003)
The World We Drive Through (2004)

Transatlantic:
SMPTe (2000)
Live In America (2001)
Bridge Across Forever (2001)
Bridge Across Forever - Special Edition (2001)
Live In Europe (2003)
The Whirldwind (2009)
More Is Never Enough (2011)
Kaleidoscope (2014)
KaLIVEoscope (CD +DVD) (2014)

Live In America (DVD) (2001)
Live In Europe (DVD) (2003)
Building The Bridge Across Forever/Live In America (DVD) (2006)
Whirld Tour 2010 - Live From Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (2010)
KaLIVEoscope (DVD/BR) (2014)

Added: September 19th 2004
Interviewer: Joshua "Prawg Dawg" Turner

Artist website: www.flowerkings.se
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Language: english
  

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