DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean


You released two DoCD and a solorecord in a very short time. Do you think this can possible end with a lower quality of the music?
If it should lower the quality ,we would reconcider and make it a single instead !!! We make a double because we have all these ideas that doesn't fit in the 60 minute format .And we of course like what we do , we think it's exciting music and hope others like it too.

Do you think a DoCD is a kind of commercial risk? What about your experiences with "Stardust we are"?
It is a commercial risk !! everyone tells me , but the fact is that our doubles is our bestsellers!!! I cannot tell if Stardust would have sold even more as a single CD.

Since your comeback in the prog scene you becam one of the "kings" of the scene. As you startet with "The Flower King" did you expected such success?
Maybe not , but on the other hand I was a bit dissapointed with all the present Prog groups of the 80:ies and 90:ies and the old ones seemed to be caught in the hit machinery .....!!! or have run dry on ideas .
So there was always a possibility for a new group of skilled musicians that included the best writing elements of the 60:ies and 70:ies to have a certain success....

I sometime read about "dark forces" that tried to do an kind of sabotage to delay the production of your records. For me it sounds a little bit like the x files....
Well ,all I can tell is that it happens , I really don't know if there is any substance to it . I hope not . On the other hand It feels like The FlowerKings travel with a guardian Angel or as if we were blessed by a Good Fairy or something . I've been doing music since the 70:ies but I can tell there are strong forces involved in this project .

What about the other former members of Kaipa? Are you still in touch? Do you sometime think of an reunion?
We tried some years ago ,but The Chemistry is gone , They does not respect each other. Still we did backing tracks for 10 new songs .They've been put on the shelf .I cannot make music under such conditions.

How much your music is influenced by your religion?
I'm not heavily into religion , I just try to live a good life , and I will serve the good forces. It is probably reflected in my music . The lyrics deal with matters that interest me . Spiritual matters do . Mystery does .

Was it your your plan to bring a sixtie minute epic to the new record or was this a thing that just developed by a kind of self dynamic?
It started as a 8 minute song and developed into a 59 minutes song within 4 weeks , because we had all these ideas popping up .As long as it develops into something new we keep on writing.

Is the band now more involved in the songwriting process than on the earlier releases?
It happened this time that I asked the members to contribute songs . I think it added a more different touch to the total concept .I still do most of the production and cordinate all the stuff , because it's me carrying the vision , the others just enjoy being in a group like this , but they have other more important things in their lives .

What about the reasons to bring a second lead singer in the band (I think this happend at the Stardust... CD)
He's been there on and off since the first FLOWER KING CD from 94 . I think he add a nice hi- pitch voicing plus he's a more than able rhythm guitarist and percussionist .I like the idea of 2 lead singers or more (like the Beatles or the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac or ABBA )

Some german prog label (Inside Out, Angular) work together with a big distribution company (SPV). I think one of the results of this is that a band like Spock's Beard became wellknown over the scene borders. Your releases are"only" available via mail order/internet. Do you think about changing this, or do you think as it works now it's enough?
We have some really nice people that handle our stuff at some Mail orders . But we really want to ,and need to expand , and I have been in contact with these guys at Inside Out ,and we may do a license deal with them for next CD .

I am a great fan of your music, but although I had something to critisize. I miss such songs with "hit charakter" on your last releases ("The Flower King" may be an example for a song with this "hit charakter")
Sorry if you do , but we make music , and occasionally we make a good "hit" refrain but we don't puch it, we wait and see what comes out naturally .On the other hand there are things with a hit approach on our last records as well . I believe songs like "Ghost Of the Red Cloud " and "Different People" , "Kingdom Of Lies" , "Cosmic Lover" , "Stupid Girl" , " Corruption" , "Silent Sorrow", "Stardust We Are" part 3 are well in the " hit Character" field .

Some parts sounds like you are copying yourself....
Who aren't ??
That's what is called to create a distinct profile I guess, isn't it ?
On the other hand , Name one group that comes up with new albums with more news or variations than the FlowerKings ????

Sometime the vocal lines sounds "replaceable" and not individual enough (I hope you understand what I mean) I hope you now don't think about stop making music, your music is everytime much more better than average....
I wouldn't stop making music because someone think our vocals are "Replaceable" as in my opinion the vocal melodies are far better than the average prog group . It seems more like a matter of taste. Everyone cannot love us .

"First impression is the right impression" people say. "You had to listen to progressive rock a lot of times to realize the "complex beauty" people say too. What do you say?
I'd say I cannot worry about these things , If people prefer The Manic Street Preachers, or Take That or Spice Girls or Pulp or Arena or Björk or Alanis Morisette or whatever , they must be happy with that . I'd prefer something else , and maybe I ask for more excitement and more complex stuff , I always have . And I'd rather spend some time to get into the more complex stuff than miss the chance of a great experience .

Why the Best Of ("Scanning ....") was not released via Foxtrot?
An American record label asked us to do the Compilation , so we did .

Someting about the future plans....
European tour in April and July .
A Live record in October.

© Renald Mienert
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean