DPRP's Menno von Brucken Fock speaks with
Robert John Godfrey (The Enid)
on 14th April 2010 at The Lodge Studio in Northampton
The Enid are back! The 'best kept secret' in the UK has reformed and performed their first gig in Birmingham on April 16 with an orchestra and the use of the impressive Victorian pipe organ. There was a new album presented on that day as well and recently the 'official' release of a lost video of the Hammersmith concert from 1979 has been released. As an appetizer and point of renewed interest in The Enid, there was a release of the album Arise And Shine in 2009.
The Enid originally was formed in 1974 by Robert John Godfrey, Stephen Stewart and Francis Lickerish who knew each other from Finchden Manor, their high school. The first time the band broke up was back in 1980, but in 1983 Godfrey and Stewart re-launched the band and started to re-acquire the rights of their previous recordings. The album Something Wicked This Way Comes featured vocals for the first time and outsold its predecessors. Unfortunately the eighties weren't too favourable a period for progressive rock and related music and The Enid ceased to exist in 1988. In several incarnations however, The Enid tried to survive the nineties but due to ill health, Godfrey called it a day in 1999. At present, The Enid are back, supported by a group of devoted fans called the ENIDI, with Robert John Godfrey on the keyboards, Max Read on vocals, bass, guitar and keyboards, founder member Dave Storey on drums and newcomers Jason Ducker on guitar and Nicholas Willes on bass and percussion. On April 14 I've had the pleasure of having quite a long chat with Robert John Godfrey about the last decades, the upcoming gigs and the future plans of this 'cult band'.
MENNO: How’s your health these days: totally recovered from your illness in the late nineties?
ROBERT: Much better thank you. I don't think I've suffered from a mental health problem like Brian Wilson had, whom I regard as the greatest creative genius in post war popular music. Unlike John Lennon, he didn't have a George Martin to help him, Pet Sounds he did entirely on his own because his background was different from Lennon's: he had a thorough musical education. Brian Wilson produced an album where the answer to every puzzle is provided in terms of how to write a song. It comes across like a highly emotional stream on the very subjects I just mentioned but in fact it is very clever and sophisticated how he goes about writing these songs.
My mental health, my depression, was more like a combination of a writer's block and the fact I have been very unhappy with my emotional and sexual life. I had this marvellous working relationship with Steve Stewart and when we decided to call it a day I was left in a vacuum. I will not say too much about my relationship with him but although he didn't write any melodies his forte was to keep me focused instead of allowing me to agonize a considerable length of time about two bars of music. In those late nineties I even ran a café in the front of this building and I cooked seven days a week for about two years, didn't do anything music related at all, while Max was taking care of the studio in the back of the building! Physically I still have diabetes, which causes various skin related problems on my legs that diabetics tend to get.
MENNO: Well Robert, can a musician your age and with your experience be nervous about the forthcoming gig next Friday?
ROBERT: Oh yes, I'm absolutely terrified! All the things I have to worry about such as the orchestra and having to go straight to Portugal after this show, me and Dave by plane, the rest by truck because I'm too old to be travelling like that. And after that we will be playing some more shows and if I'm not mistaken our manager Ian is trying to get us a show in Holland as well. He's trying to tie it in with the show we play in Germany (Loreley September 4). Apart from this I am trying give some help to Francis Lickerish who was very important for the band in the seventies. The song Fand is our greatest collaboration because he essentially provided the ingredients and I baked the cake so to speak. The relationship I had with Francis could be compared to the relationship Winston Churchill had with Stalin: we just had to get on but fundamentally we see the world in different ways and we are both pig- headed. Looking back it's a miracle we managed to record four albums together! Then he left the Enid in 1980 and went on a different path and the same happened to me. We met recently and the years gone by changed us both and it's in our mutual interest to preserve this 'school of music', this unique way of writing music together.
Unlike other bands, the Enid has never been confined to a particular style, while other bands develop their writing skills within a specific genre such as blues or even prog. Nowadays prog-music tends to be no more than a tribute to those bands who 'invented' progressive music in the seventies. I don't play a guitar or a French horn but for me the melodic line and the harmonic content is most important. I hope to pass on these skills and this approach before I go and at the moment Max, being some twenty years younger than me, is well up to it and I'm going to devote all my attention to the younger generation and hope I can guide them to think outside the box! Therefore they would need some formal education, because they have to learn keyboard harmony. Otherwise they would end up playing generic pop music like most of the bands do.
MENNO: There's a huge amount of information available through the Enid website, a lot of it concerning your own history and background. Are there still lessons in life you didn't go over?
ROBERT: [Grins] Well I guess there a whole lot of information but still there are a lot of questions unanswered. I've done many things in my life I wish I never had done but I don't suffer from guilt. What I've learned over the years is that generosity really can get you everything out of life you need and it will prevent you from chasing things that are unrealistic. I don't think you can write lyrics from the heart if you don't take an interest in the great questions like the meaning of life. If you listen to the truly great popular songs from the twenties in the US you'll discover they all have great philosophical questions on human relationships. Take a look at the beautiful musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein and you will understand what I'm referring to.
MENNO: So you really listen to this kind of 'old' popular music as well?
ROBERT: Oh absolutely! Classical, pop, I guess there's not an area of music I don't listen to with the exception of country & western maybe and I'm not too fond of jazz music either. Although I admire the playing abilities of the musicians it is my feeling that most of times the audience is excluded and the players are just in a room, talking to themselves. You can have jazz musicians at stage who never played with each other before and still they can start to play and it will sound like jazz. The ambiguity of the harmony is usually centered around the piano and therefore the bass can do everything it likes as long as you stick to those ambiguous extended chords: the thirteen's, the eleventh's or ninth's. And it's always the framework of the American twelve bar blues. Composers like Gershwin or Ravel used these elements in their music although I didn't like learning the piano concerto for the left hand by Ravel: it was hard!
MENNO: What made you decide to reform the Enid? Was it important for you that bands from the same era like IQ, Marillion or Pendragon are still around?
ROBERT: That was Jason (Ducker). While I was running the café some young musicians regularly came in to the café and because they didn't have any money I fed them anyway. The I found out one of them was living in an old car, another was homeless and Jason too had major difficulties where he was living. So I invited them to live here. The band he was in was the severest punk: green hair, piercings, Mohican, you name it. The music was like terrible, guttersnipe rock... I made them all go the local college of music and Jason was the only one that stuck with that and he did quite well. We helped him to go to university In Brighton and he managed to stuck with that for about two years. Didn't finish the education but it proved to more than enough. He started to learn all the Enid music and he turned out to be the perfect fit. Max Read wasn't interested in the Enid, but he is now is and he is contributing big time to the whole thing! Other bands didn't play any role in the decision to reform The Enid. I'm not in least interested in Pendragon or Marillion, although IQ is a different matter. From the early days on when we gigged together, I have found there is something very special about the musical and writing abilities of that band and I've always admired them greatly. I wish they had a much higher profile than they have now, like Marillion who based their success on a business model I started in the eighties with The Stand. Furthermore I think what you call prog in fact is ultimately 'retro' and not progressive at all. The Enid however cannot be compared with either Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant or Focus and I'm convinced the Enid music will be around for a very long time!
MENNO: In the past year you set yourself several goals: two of them were to be able to play the piano as a concert pianist again and the second one to lose weight. Can you comment?
ROBERT: Well, I'm getting quite close and now I can handle almost any of the Chopin studies but I'll never be a concert pianist and I wasn't going to be one anyway. There are two reasons for that: firstly lack of confidence to play in front of an audience. I'm going to play The Lovers, a piano solo piece, because on a whim I made a promise to an American fan who will come to Birmingham next Friday and I'm absolutely terrified. It's like having to get an erection when you need one and it would not be a problem when there's just me but not in front of an audience: I'm occupied too much with what people might think of me, what kind of impression I 'm making than to be able to concentrate just on the music. The second reason is the repertoire: look at the amount of time a pianist has to spend alone with his piano. I'm very impressed by a young Italian pianist by the name of Alessandro Taverna, he will be one of the great names in the future. But realize someone like him has to know at least 4-5 piano concertos by head and numerous piano solo pieces and although I rather enjoy solitude today, when I was 15 or 16, there was no way I was willing to spend that much time alone with my piano: a man's best friend and worst enemy at the same time. At Finchden there were always people hanging round to watch me play and practice but in London when I was studying at the Royal College, I was alone. Before I knew it I filled the room with hippies and all sorts of people but I wasn't getting on with the piano. Then I met Norman Smith and through him I got involved in BJH, so that was the end of the 'to be concert pianist'. The weight loss -I still could do with less- was a necessity to make sure I wouldn't drop dead if I was going to do what I'm about to do.
MENNO: Recently there was a decision The Enid's former fan base THE STAND will be incorporated in the band's new formalized fan base called the ENIDI. Both Stephen Stewart and Francis Lickerish are involved?
ROBERT: Francis and most certainly Steve Stewart played a major role in The Enid and it makes perfect sense that The Enidi should be looking after the interests of all involved from the early days on. We are going to help Francis to record the second Secret Green album. On the other hand Steve is a very reclusive person with no profile on the internet but he is still working as an engineer, almost exclusively for the band that used to be Katrina & The Waves but without Katrina of course. They still own a studio near Cambridge. But both Francis and Steve decided to leave the band, I didn't throw them out although it might well have been because of my behaviour they decided to leave. At present we have to move on because it wouldn't be fair to people like Jason to invite either of them back in to the band. The good thing about the Enidi is, that it's a legally established body, a non-profit organization with trustees. Steve Stewart and Max Read are two of them and also the former chairperson of The Stand. All of the rules are being set by the people who were actually here a few months ago.
MENNO: Did you stay in contact with Lickerish for the past two decades and if yes, did you know about Francis' plans to start a band and if not what was his response once he found out about the idea?
ROBERT: Not on a continuous basis and not in the eighties, because he left the band not very amicably. One of the exceptions was the invitation to play with us on a concert in 1987 (Final Noise) and I'm still glad I did that. He didn't even own a guitar at that point! But yes, we have been in contact since then. He even lived with me for a while when I moved to this area and he was going through a very difficult period in his life. Once he got rid of his addiction, he became a counsellor to help people with the same kind of problems. On one of the Finchden Manor reunions he told me about his plans to start a band. I've always admired Francis and there is no hatred whatsoever between us; on the other hand all the area's I was interested in, were 'no go' subjects and this is why the second album was called Aerie Fairie Nonsense as a concession to Francis' way of thinking, his beliefs and his fantasies opposed to my search for scientific evidence, my interest in quantum mechanics and the search for answers. This is what Journey's End is all about: leaves of a tree. They are all individual leaves but they can never be more than part of that tree.
MENNO: How did it feel to contribute to one of the songs on Francis Lickerish's Secret Green album?
ROBERT: Well at first I didn't want my name on it because I've done so little: only a few organ chords. But somehow I think he felt it was important to put my there. I don't know whether I will be involved in the second album, other than providing him with the opportunity to record it. Because of his interest to write large scale compositions however, I am helping him by teaching him harmony. He has really taught himself how to orchestrate and has become quite good at it and that makes me a bit jealous even. What he hasn't got to the level he would like, is the ability to move around the tonal centre from one place to the other, to manipulate his musical ideas to prevent the listener from going on a journey where he walks up and down the same slope and never get the opportunity to explore a valley or a cave.
MENNO: What's your opinion about the Secret Green album?
ROBERT: I like it. It has this romantic Victorian feel with Celtic influences and he has that wonderful tone . He clearly has a vision of the world as it could have been and that wouldn't work for me. I don't believe that heaven can be found on some mystical island, I think it's beyond the gates of hell.
MENNO: What happened to Steve Stewart with whom you have been running the Lodge Studio for so many years?
ROBERT: After 1979, when Francis left (and also Willie Gilmour albeit for very different reasons), Steve and I really didn't have any thoughts of what we should do with the band, so we decided to move to Suffolk and focus on running a studio we then called "The Lodge". This studio turned out to be a rather successful 'business'. However, we actually lost the studio because our manager at that time, who was still with us, created a serious financial mess and embezzled a great deal of money from the studio accounts that we didn't know anything about. Once we discovered what was going on, we kicked the manager out but since you can't get feathers from a frog, all the money was gone and left us very vulnerable to a bank. So strangely enough these financial problems forced us to record Something Wicked This Way Comes and without Chris North and Martin Russell, already involved in other projects, there was basically only the two of us. Subsequently we had to sell the studio equipment and we went on the road to support the album (1983).
MENNO: So this is why the studio was closed for about 4 years?
ROBERT: Yes, bizarre as it may seem, fact is that if this manager hadn't done what he did we would probably never have had the Enid back together again and I wouldn't be sitting as I am right know, so if one door closes, only then another opens and leads to new creativity! Apart from that Steve blossomed after Francis left because he was always in the background as you can see on the Hammersmith Odeon DVD.
MENNO: You worked for nearly three years with Pink Floyd producer Norman Smith at Abbey Road in the late sixties and early seventies. Did he play a role in your abilities to record and produce bands?
ROBERT: Everything I came to understand about the basics of recording and producing I've learnt at the Abbey Road studios. I've done two albums and a handful of singles there with Barclay James Harvest as well as some other things that unfortunately never saw the light of day. In those years I also learnt to write orchestrations.
MENNO: But you weren't trained at all to write orchestrations, weren't you?
ROBERT: No, but one has to get on with it and I didn't have much choice. Basically I think that if you are musical and you listen carefully to composers like Elgar or Ravel, you can hear what they have been up to. It's all about hearing the individual instruments in your head. I'll never be an orchestrator like Ravel ore Richard Strauss but I'm quite comfortable to pile on the drama and emotions. Of course I use a computer these days because it's so much easier than writing it out by hand onto manuscript paper.
MENNO: Another thing you taught yourself was how to play a synth or an organ?
ROBERT: [Frowning] I believe we ordered our first synth in 1975. Our manager in those days, a relative of mine, funded them. At first I didn't have a clue whatsoever to do with them and it was a steep learning curve but eventually I learnt how to play them and use them to the full.
MENNO: Since 1992 you run the Lodge Studio with co-Enid member Max Read?
ROBERT: The story of Max is as follows. We first met socially. I was living in a house near here and Max was in a local band. The studio was moved to where it is right now and Max came in to record with his band. He wasn't in very good health and wasn't happy with his life. So I said to him: if you don't like your life, change it! So I offered him a job in the studio and told him that if he would prove he was loyal I would make him a partner and eventually leave him the studio and that's exactly what has happened. The studio is his now.
MENNO: Does the studio provide an income?
ROBERT: Usually yes, but with the Enid back on the road things have been slow this last year. We neglected the studio a bit and didn't promote it as much as we should have. All this because we have been very busy in spite of the two studios we have now: one traditional studio and a new hi-tec one, with two rooms. Then we also have Martin's Yard, a space in a warehouse, eventually meant for The Enid. I have to sort that out, because it's quite big but also run down... needs a lot of work!
MENNO: Next Friday (April 16) will be very special because the reformed Enid will play live with guests and an orchestra?
ROBERT: That's correct. The orchestra got the scores a while ago and rehearsed by themselves of course but we will be rehearsing together with the band only once at 5 PM!
MENNO: Will you be playing part of the show just the five of you?
ROBERT: Yes, we have Dave, Jason and myself with Nicholas Willes on stage to play bass and percussion, while Max is handling part of the keyboard duties; some of the music comes from a lap top and this has always been the case with our music since the eighties by the way. Although you may find yourself confined in one way, it doesn't restrict the band as much as would think. The lap top provides an anchor and allows you to do lots of other things: for instance our drummer never plays the same thing twice nor I. But it is true that you cannot change the structure nor the overall tempo, but when it stops it gives you the opportunity to improvise before it all starts again. The one pushing those buttons is Max, he controls the lap top we have these days. It may come as a surprise but we are no Apple users, not even for the Pro Tools we've got. If you want to develop or change anything the PC has proved to a better choice for us.
MENNO: Will there be upcoming show with Secret Green and given the fact that Willie Gilmour and Francis Lickerish are in Secret Green and Dave Storey is back with the Enid, if such a concert came about could it possibly be an Enid reunion or one or two songs together?
ROBERT: At some point it might be possible to play gigs together but what I will not do is hitch my destiny. I don't object to collaborations at all but I don't want to become dependent. So occasionally one or two songs yes, but I will stick to this band as The Enid!
MENNO: After parting ways with BJH, you recorded a solo album, The Fall of Hyperion, for Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma label. How do you look upon this work at present? Any plans of rerecording these composition?
ROBERT: [Grinning] It certainly showed that I could play the piano back then and I did use part of the music in The Sun on In The Region Of The Summer Stars, which was nicked from Mahler anyway. I have no plans nor interest to revisit that album at present.
MENNO: On the Enid's website it's stated that Live At Hammersmith is the only concert video from that era. However on the internet there's a DVD by the Enid from 1984 called Something Wicked This Way Comes (Live at The Claret Farm Hall and Stonehenge) which is not included in the discography; is this in fact a bootleg DVD?
ROBERT: We never owned the rights for that concert. I allowed someone to tape the show; we receive some royalties and that's it. It's not a bootleg but the recordings were semi-professional. The person who recorded the gig went dormant for a while but started working for Cherry Red Records and that's when the recordings sort of resurrected. It's a bit complicated but I honestly don't know why this DVD is not included in the discography.
MENNO: Talking about bootlegs: music by The Enid has been recorded, released, reworked, rerecorded and remastered with or without bonus tracks over the years. Can you advise which are the ultimate copies a music lover should buy?
ROBERT: We're in negotiations with EMI at the moment to get hold of the original hitherto unavailable recordings of the seventies including "In The Region", "Aerie Fairie Nonsense" and... "The Fall Of Hyperion" of which the rights are also owned by EMI. If we get those, then the Enidi will release those albums on their label Operation Seraphim. Those would be the definitive vintage performances of the early albums in the seventies.
In the eighties we had several re-recordings of those early Enid-albums and later several re-this's and re-that's because of the different labels our music had been licensed to over the years: Mantella and Inner Sanctum. Because I wasn't doing much anyway and had my head in 'depression-land' I didn't mind what Inner Sanctum was doing as long they were licensees. Now, the situation is different and we have to gain control over all our recordings again. My recommendation would be: do not worry about bonus tracks because you can download all these for free (FLAC, thus highest quality) through our website and most of them are demo's so of inferior sound quality anyway. It angers me what Inner Sanctum is doing at the moment: pretending that the albums have been remastered and they have not, there's no difference, it's fraudulent!
MENNO: Are there still plans to release remastered versions of all Enid albums in 5:1 surround sound?
ROBERT: Yes, there still are! They might be coming as a DVD in 5:1 surround sound but there's also another option in eight channel possibilities on CD-ROM. We're looking into this at the moment, but the problem is the lack of a clear 'standard'.
MENNO: Fairly recently the long struggle with BJH came to an end: would you like to comment?
ROBERT: I don't mind talking about BJH at all. In fact there are two BJH's now and they don't speak to each other. It was sad to learn Mel Pritchard died a while ago because he was a really nice guy. Although the judge decided I co-wrote a number of songs and that my name should be added as such, they didn't do so and in fact I lost this long lasting legal battle on a technicality. BJH could have avoided the whole ordeal if they would have been inclined to settle things with me early on. Anyway the main reason for my problems with BJH were the girlfriends. Especially Les Holroyd's girlfriend Christine, who was tragically killed in 2002 by one of her horses, as far as I'm concerned was a hateful women who created the most enormous amount of trouble behind the scenes and to some extent John Lees' wife went along with it.
All this was because I had a friendship with Christine's brother, whom I never laid a hand on but the ultimate solution was I was thrown out because she didn't like me. Woolly, who was my closest friend in the band, left shortly afterwards. The whole court case had a deep impact on Woolly which I did not intend at all, and therefore he is still very upset with me. He is a fantastic person and to me the one with the brains in the band. Melvin, I never had a problem with. John Lees I regard as a highly creative but not very well educated person with a mercurial character. Les Holroyd was the one who destroyed everything. Norman Smith, who was pretty angry with me for bringing the case to court, spoke to me on the phone once and stated that he thought that if I would have stayed in BJH, the band would have been as big as Pink Floyd... and I told him Norman, it wasn't me who wanted to leave! I really am not sorry for the mess they are in at all and you know, as The Enid maybe we will perform "Mockingbird" as an encore someday, because I wrote that song and they are still playing it while I don't get a penny for it!
MENNO: One legal battle is over and another is imminent?
ROBERT: I'm afraid so. I've allowed the manager of Inner Sanctum to take advantage of me and my vulnerability to people who pretend they love me. Now this man has become a personal nightmare and he is damaging the reputation of the Enid and we will have to take him to court because he is violating copyrights of both the EMI as well as ours. He is a trophy hunter. He doesn't care about the band but he just wants to own me. The contract he let me sign, I shouldn't have signed but the pressure he put on me was illegal. Apart from that he has taken steps well outside of our agreement.
MENNO: The albums from the eighties are more diverse: partly hanging on the old style, partly picking up New Wave influences: sincere interest to change or just indecisive?
ROBERT: Something Wicked was the first album with vocals, very experimental and very different from all the other albums. The Spell sort of reverted, it was more romantic and I'm still very fond of that album. Salome was originally planned as a film score but it was never to be. Lots of modern rhythms and it proves I'm much more in the 'camp' of artists like Peter Gabriel or Eno than bands like Pendragon, but truly progressive because I was experimenting with every style I could think of. I have much more in common with for instance Vangelis than with Marillion or Gentle Giant.
MENNO: Some of the themes throughout the years seem to pop up more than once. Any particular reason?
ROBERT: I guess it's part of my musical language and another reason might be that all these little private messages between myself and Steve Stewart are there through the eighties because of our common love for the music of Puccini. For instance in the chorus (is now humming the music) of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and parts of "The Seed And The Sower" were inspired by Puccini's opera Tosca! The music of The Enid for a big part has been influenced by the opera, the musical lines played by guitars. I think the first time it really shows is on "Hall Of Mirrors" on "Six Pieces".
MENNO: Mark Hughes states you refer to the nineties as 'midlife crisis': it seemed a very desperate measure and a sell out when you pulled together that 'dance' version of The Enid in 1990. What were you thinking about?
ROBERT: I really don't know. It was my period of madness, I was at sea without a rudder. I didn't have Steve anymore and a bunch of young guys found me (and not vice versa!) and before I knew it they were all living in my house and they were interested in this music. Still I'm glad I did it. I realise there were some people who tore their t-shirts but in all honesty I must say 'f... them!' I don't need to be told by my 'fans' what I should do or not because I am not their property. Let's not forget that this music which some of the fans are so opposed to, led to "Tripping The Light Fantastic" and "Dark Hydraulic" which we currently play as an encore and which pieces the audiences seems to enjoy very much!
MENNO: Did you abandon the work on the piano concerto? The introduction sent out to fans way back in 2001 was wonderful and held a lot of promise!
ROBERT: Yes it was abandoned: couldn't play! I can now.... I'm currently working on a thing called "Tales Of The Bottom Drawer", which was originally intended to be bits and pieces cobbled together to generate a bit of money in order to face the crisis that nearly led to the total disintegration of the band, thanks to Mr Palmer. But later I decided not to use all those bits & pieces but instead record a set of variations for the piano on an original theme which I'm doing at the moment. At the moment I rediscovered my technique to play the grand piano and I could play the concerto I intended but there a lot of things that have to be dealt with first. There's so much going on you know, because I've also begun to start writing for a new album, even now already! Furthermore I've been using quite a lot of the themes I had planned for the concerto. The opening theme is the theme I have picked to play the variations, there 's a piece of it on "White Goddess" and another theme ended up on "Journey's End".
MENNO: How was the response to Arise and Shine?
ROBERT: Good! A lot of people thought they'd never hear from the Enid again and that there would be no one to step into the shoes of Steve Stewart, and here he is, he's doing it and people like him although he's quite different from Steve. People will remember Steve as an androgynous type with all that hair but he looks quite different these days.
MENNO: After a year of 'hard labour' the new album "Journey's End" has come to completion. As you stated this was a joint effort. Does it mean a lot of composing and/or arranging has been done in the studio or in the rehearsal room?
ROBERT: No, nothing like that. Max Read contributed considerably to this album. He had a number of songs lying around and I had to find a way, a technique, an approach to unify these ingredients into a single style. What often happens with musicians who are musical but didn't have a formal musical education, most of the writing is started with the guitar, in the case of Max, the bass and he would probably sing and his guitarist friends would come up with whatever chords that came into their heads, chords I wouldn't ever have dreamt of using. So I had to find out how his head works and then I had to find a coherent form that led to all kinds of things we used on this album like the development of artificial scales. In the studio about nine tenths of the time we had, was used to find the right musical language to develop it. In the seventies there was Francis throwing in ingredients, ideas, while in the eighties almost the complete burden of writing music, making the arrangements and providing the lyrics was on my shoulders, in spite of the not to be underestimated input by Steve. Now I'm just part of the team because all members have their inputs and that's why we have to write another album right now because we have found a vehicle allowing us to write music forever.
MENNO: The concert in Birmingham is scheduled for DVD recording. Isn't that, Birmingham being the first concert after some time, an enormous pressure on you and the band?
ROBERT: Indeed it is, but this is how it has to be. We don't have a big record company paying for all this and we consider ourselves fortunate the Enidi play a big role in organizing the event. At the end of the day this show will cost us a great deal of money so there will be nothing left, even with a sold out show! The DVD will also be about my life and a few other things which already have been done, so it's not 'just the show'. There's a lot at stake because if this goes wrong we could lose this house you know! Most of the trouble however was caused by Gerald Palmer who forced us to use up some 20.000 pounds on legal fees only. I wrote a piece which I'm going to announce next Friday called "The Invicta Symphony", meaning 'undefeated'. I will have to ask the fans to make a donation but I wanted to give them something in return and this very orchestral piece of some twelve minutes is it!
MENNO: Thank you very much for this interview and I hope to see you live in Uden (September 3) or in Germany at the "Night Of The Prog" festival (September 4) !
Interview for DPRP by Menno von Brucken Fock