Magellan: Political lyrics and a bold historical person

DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean


Sorry, but I don’t know a lot of things about Magellan. I know your CD’s - and I like them, but that’s all I know. So at first a “standard questions”!

Magellan was the first band signed to Magna Carta records back in 1991.We finished a demo earlier that year which included "Union Jack" and the label liked it. Wayne and I had studied through our school years together.I continued on through college taking music theory and playing trombone.It was later (1985) that I began to compose and took up keyboards as a vehicle to write songs.

There was a long time between the second CD and “Test of wills”. So what have you done?

We spent a long time putting together our own recording studio.Our goal for future projects is to turn them out very quickly.

You released some songs for the Magna Carta tribute samplers. What do you think about such samplers?

I learned so much from the experience of rearranging other's music.I have a whole new level of respect for it.

What about the name of the band? What do you like in the historical person of Magellan?

The Metaphor is perfect for a band like Magellan.It suggests that there is always room for exploration and discovery.If you read about Magellan you will find that he was a very bold and interesting individual.

What about the line up changes? I think you are working now with a “human” drummer (why?) but without a bass player (again: why?). It seems as it must be difficult to get a complete human rhythm section!

Wayne played Bass this time.I think you will see Hal again on future albums.

You are using a trombone - sometime I think it’s not really a trombone, it’s a crazy keyboard. A trombone is not a typical instrument in progressive rock...

Trombone was my primary instrument of proficiency through school.I loved bands with horns like Chicago.

The flute solo must be a relict from the Jethro Tull tribute...

Actually Ian Anderson has agreed in principle to do a solo for us at some point.The flute solo represents one of the many styles I have learned to write in. Stan Johnson did the solo.He is the same person who played with us on the Jethro Tull tribute.

What about the influence of other artists to you? Do you care about the progressive scene of the presence? Are you in touch with other prog bands?

Actually,I have become very out of touch and am busy trying to improve our material.

How are the reactions of the people in your neighbourhood to your music?

The USA is a slow market but is beginning to warm up.Our best markets are Japan and certain parts of Europe.Magellan loves Germany!!!

Tell me something about the lyrics! On the second CD is a song about the military putch in Chile. I think you not agree with the things your government commanded? Are you a political band? (I hope you are!) Are there any political themes on the new CD also?

Our lyrics have had political overtones,but usually I just write what I feel, regardless of the direction. People should check out the albums several times over as there are many layers to the writing that can't be picked up in 1 or 2 listens.

Are you also a live band? Will you present the new material during a tour?

Magellan will perform live when it makes financial sense to do so.I hope your readers will pick up extra copies of the album! One for Mom! The same would apply for other marketing.

What is the best thing in musical business? And - on the other side - what is the worst thing?

The best thing is the occasional chance to get something right without money(or lack of it) getting in the way.The worst thing is facing the reality of trying to make a living in a marketplace so full of albums that yours is just one more heap on a huge pile of crap.

Is there a most important event in the history of the band?

Our current project with Terry Bozzio,Billy Sheehan and others... currently untitled as a special Magna Carta project.

How would you like to develop in the future? Do you think about changing your style? For example working with orchestra....

I fully intend on making each album different.We have to grow musically,otherwise it would get too boring!!!!! I recently picked up the Finale notation software....mmm how about those cellos?

© Renald Mienert
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean