Soniq Theater: A Keyboard Wizard from Germany

DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean


DURP Interview with Alfred Müller, who had released a demo as "SONIQ THEATER" some months ago. So you love instrumental keyboard prog, you will love his music and you should read this interview.

Please tell me something about the history of the SONIQ THEATER!

I am the Ex-Keyboard-Player for the German Progband "Rachsl's Birthday". After having left Rachel's in 1997, I started working on my own Prog-solo-project called SONIQ THEATER.

What about the name of the project?

SONIQ THEATER means: I am playing the keyboards produced by Ensoniq and I also did play some theater-acts. The name is thought to express some of the dramatic and theatralic aspects of music by using many different sounds.

Are there earlier releases? What about the label, the success?

There is only one CD-Release: "an invitation to" with Rachel's Birthday in 1996.

How would you describe your music?

I'd like to describe it as a keyboardbased, melodic and symphonic Progressive Rock-Music.

What about the influence of other artists to you?

I actually can't deny being influenced by the leading progbands of the 70's, there are also some influences of the neo-prog and progmetal of the 90's, so I feel ispired by thirty years of progressive rock, but also classical music,
electronic music, even jazz and worldmusic.

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

Most of them react in a positive manner, some of them don't care about it.

Will you present the new material on stage?

No, not really, because SONIQ THEATER is a pure studioproject, so live-gigs are not planned.

How would you like to develop in the future? Do you think about changing your style?

My style is defined with this album, so I'll keep on developping like that.

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

The best thing is, that you can reach an international audience.The worst one: earning disappointing results with record-labels.

Is there a most important event in your history as an artist?

Yes, there are three of them: First, we won the Rock-Contest "HEADLINER" with Rachel's Birthday as the winning band out of 38 bands. Second, the CD-release with Rachel's. Third, I myself have received an award 1st class of the Preston University for my earlier Compositions of Prog-Music.

What do you think about the situation of your musical genre in the presence and what will change in the future?

I think, since there is the internet, the situation of the progressive rock will improve continiously.

Are you satisfied with your career so far?

Yes I am, quite well, although things always could run better.

What kind of compromises would you make to push your career?

SONIQ THEATER is a project in which I can develop as free as never before, I like it as it is now, without feeling to prostitute myself musically.

Can you tell me something of the process of creating the new record? Were there any problems or went everything well?

I' ve been producing this record all alone, I have been able to work on it whenever I had time and fun for doing it, there weren't any problems at all.

Can you give me some liner notes to the songs of your record?

The titles of the songs are supposed to be the key to understand what the music is about. So associate your mind to the titles, here is the list of tracks:1. Rondeo 2. Unicorn 3. Pandora's Box 4. Minka e rano 5. Excalibur 6. Jurassic Classic 7. The Power and the Glory 8. Tsunami 9. Palace of glass 10. Laughing through my tears 11. Leftoverture 12. Hydra 13. Crying Sky 14. The Riders ofRohan 15. Cinemagic 16. Dans les nuages.

Where did you get your inspiration?

I have received my inspiration from all sorts of good music, I'm a musicfan, and I'm liswtening to a lot of different music.

How would you describe your relation to new media as internet, virtual reality, mp3...

The internet has opened the doors to the world for me.

What is the reason that progressive rock in the seventies went so well and now we have only a small scene without attention of most of the media?

I guess it's the spirit of time, unfortunately prog became unfashioned for most of the people after the years of the 70's.

So you could make a choice, with which band would you like to play live on stage, for example as support?

I would have liked to play for KANSAS after Kerry Livgren had left the band. The same with YES and Rick Wakeman, but that's only a world of fancy.

Progfans are ignorant and narrow-minded. They live in the past and don't care about the meaning of the word progress.

Certainly some of them do - but I hope most of them do NOT -. Me, I don't like any clichees like those and I don't identify with them.

So you could have the possibility to make this record again. Would you change anything?

No, not really, maybe only a few things, but it's okay as it is.


Was it your intention to handle all the production, distribution and management things self or is it because you couldn't get an record deal?

I have been managing the album all by myself up to now, anyway I hope to find a label having honest and cooperative people I can collaborate with. And maybe this is hard to find, it's much easier to get bad record-deals ..

What about the fact that a lot of people mean a good prog song must be an long track?

I think that's a clichee as well, most of my songs are quite short, the audience may judge that, if they like them nevertheless.

Is it more difficult to write an 15 minute epic than an three minute radio hit?

If you're trying to write a radiohit, you have to hit the nerve of the time, this is not easy, but anyway it's hard to write a good longsong, which is not boring.

What happened in the time between this record and the record before...

During the time between the Rachel's Birthday album and the SONIQ THEATER album, there was an attempt to produce a solo album with some additional musicians, but this failed, because the label I had wasn't able to afford the costs for the production.Finally there was also a lot of songwriting, some songs are on the SONIQ THEATER
album, other ones have to wait until they are mature for being published.Thanks for you interest reading all this.

© 01/2002 Renald Mienert
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean