DPRP's Gert Hulshof speaks with Jurgen "Yogi" Lang and Kalle Wallner from RPWL
This interview took place shortly after the concert at The Blues Café in Apeldoorn and celebrating the 10th anniversary tour of RPWL. First of all thanks to Kalle and Yogi for doing the interview.
GERT: Ten years of RPWL, seems like ages or funny how time flies?
KALLE: We are having so much fun so is it ten years already; it is more like we started yesterday because we are doing what we like best.
GERT: Tenth anniversary tour and now your own record label. Why an own record label after 10 years?
KALLE: We have been thinking about starting out our own label for a long time already. After our publisher went bankrupt we did not have a publishing company anymore. It became more a logical solution to start our own. Also we cannot say we were dissatisfied with the distribution Inside Out were doing. Just seemed more or less the right choice for us to do at the moment. As it turned out close to our tenth anniversary. We know we are on our own now. Still we think it is the right thing to do.
GERT: Naming the record label “The Gentle Art of Music”?
YOGI: We have a special thing with the song "Gentle Art of Swimming". When it came out we were congratulated in making our first prog song.
KALLE: The song "Gentle Art Of Swimming" had something special for us, already from the day we released it. It is just special so it made perfect sense to change it into
"The Gentle Art Of Music" for the label. After all it is the music where it’s about.
GERT: Apropos Prog. Yogi made a remark about prog in the concert and you did a “progmedley” of some sort during the concert. Would you consider RPWL prog or…?
YOGI: What is prog, this is such a diverse subject? We have done a lot of Pink Floyd, and they are not considered prog are they?
GERT: Sometimes they are / sometimes they’re not.
YOGI: There you go, what can you call prog? I don’t know.
KALLE: I don’t think it matters how you call or name the music - you can always find a spot for everything. To me it is all about music, loving to play music making music,
doing what I like the most making the music. Makes no difference where the music goes or which drawer or box you put it in. As long as I like what I do, I will continue doing so.
GERT: The new album is a combination of RPWL through the years and re-recordings. Is there a reason for revisiting the older songs?
KALLE: For our tenth anniversary we wanted to bring something that was RPWL through the years - this is the compilation CD, which brings two songs off all studio albums. We also thought of doing to some of the songs because we felt they could be done in a different manner - so we picked the songs we thought were suited for the purpose and asked a bunch of artists to collaborate. It worked out.
GERT: You are using violin on Revisited, does this mean it is more classical music now?
YOGI & KALLE: (laughing): Like Prog it is just what you call it, it is a name, classical music. But "Revisited" is by far classical, it is a more acoustic approach to the songs.
GERT: There are 9 older songs and 2 completely new ones?
KALLE: Yes we wanted some new material on the album as well.
GERT: Will the two songs appear on a new studio album in the future?
YOGI: No, I don’t think so, they are for this record.
KALLE: We have no plans to include them, so no, probably not.
GERT: After the tour are there plans for a new studio or live album?
KALLE: Yes there are, we will start working on and recording the album from coming summer. A release can be expected sometime January, February or latest March 2011. So about a year from now.
GERT: Of the two new songs, especially “Cake” has a more commercial feel. Was that the intention?
KALLE: Like I have said before we make music, this can be a lengthy song with solo’s and improvisations and some might well be shorter and more poppy. It is how we feel the song should be.
GERT: Coming to the side projects of RPWL. I have not seen any solo efforts from you Yogi. Can we expect it or?
YOGI: Yes the album will be due out in the fall of 2010; it will be different than the harder material from Blind Ego (Kalle Wallner), or the songs on Parzival’s Eye (Chris Postl). More like the singer/songwriter type of songs. This will be the last of the trilogy, meaning with Blind Ego, Parzival’s Eye and my solo effort you have RPWL combined but then the solo works.
GERT: Will you use a nickname as well like the other guys?
YOGI: I haven’t thought of that yet, no, maybe, maybe not. I honestly do not know right now.
GERT: And Blind Ego, Kalle, can we expect new work from you solo?
KALLE: First of all I would have to write the new material for my solo project, and of course we now have the tour, after this the new RPWL album, so after that I can work on my solo efforts.
GERT: So new work by 2012?
KALLE: No sooner than that, but I cannot say when.
GERT: RPWL has made a name for itself but knowing what RPWL stands for, this is no longer the case The R is no longer present and there was a time P was also not performing with you. Has a change in the name ever been considered?
KALLE: There have always been changes in the line-up. But going back further when we started out we really didn’t know that anyone would like to listen to our music. If we had known back then we probably would have thought again before we came up with the name. But changing it - no - out of the question.
GERT: I saw a vinyl album of Violent District at the merchandising stand. Will this be released on CD or are there no plans?
YOGI: It has always been available on CD. But isn’t anymore.
KALLE: Right, always was available on CD, not anymore and we have no plans to release it on CD once again.
YOGI: And above all the album has been produced for vinyl, so releasing it on vinyl again made sense.
GERT: There will be readers who are not that familiar with, or haven’t even heard of, Violent District. Tell our readers a bit more about Violent District.
KALLE: "Violent District" was my band before RPWL started out, with a different singer. Yogi produced the album and in that way we got together. One thing led to the other. The musical style of Violent District would be NEO Prog if you were to go for a box. You must know the album is rather “old” from the early nineties.
GERT: What need I think of in terms of comparing the musical style of Violent District? Should I think of IQ or more ELOY?
YOGI: Neither I would say more like Marillion, post Fish era. ’80s like neo prog.
GERT: Anything to add for our readers?
KALLE: In ten years RPWL have released ten albums, three solo albums and a fourth up and coming - wouldn’t you say we have been busy?
GERT: I agree you haven’t given yourselves much time to rest. Anyway - thanks guys for this interview, and for the marvellous performance earlier tonight.
Interview for DPRP by Gert Hulshof
Photographs by Peter Vroon
RPWL Official Website
RPWL MySpace Page
DPRP Review of RPWL - The Gentle Art Of Music
DPRP Review of RPWL - The RWPL Experience
DPRP Review of RPWL - World Through My Eyes
DPRP Concert Review of RPWL Live in The Netherlands - 2010
DPRP Interview with Yogi Lang - 2008