WITH KARMAKANIC, reply Jonas Reingold (italian
by Giancarlo Bolther
Hi Jonas, can you tell us about the songs from new album?
I think that the album covers a variety of different influences and styles. I use to say that this album is like the best of from my record collection. It has singer/songwriter style, progressive rock, Jazz and fusion and classic rock.
Both the title and the cover artwork are very nice, what’s the concept behind?
The picture is actually a collage that Thomas Ewerhard put together. When I was about to choose the title for the album I chose from Who´s the boss and Send a message from the heart. I think “Who´s the boss in the factory” is a more original name rather then Send a message from the heart. And I also think the options for a nice layout is better with the Boss title.
The idea of the song itself came from a well known case in the U.S there was this black guy that was sentenced to death because of murder he did in his youth. Several years later he was really a different person and was kind of rehabilitated. The Governor could pardon him but didn’t. So me and Inger got the Idea to write a story about “The boss in the factory” It doesn’t matter if you right it doesn’t matter if you wrong. The only thing that matters is “who´s the boss in the factory”
Think of this, you have the power to pardon a man from a death sentence buy just signing a paper .But you don’t take that opportunity. The boss in the factory is the guy with the pen.
Where do you find inspiration for writing the lyrics of the new album and how do you go about the process of composing songs?
I think inspiration is word for the lazy ones. I work kind of 9 to 5 like a normal worker. I try to compose even though I don’t feel for doing it. If 30 good seconds comes out from a un inspired day it´s better than nothing. Normally I start with a simple melody, for example a 20 min epic song like Send a message from the heart started out with the first verse. I think that section is typical singer/songwriter style. After that the big work starts. I try to compose a suitable intro that has elements from this first theme and so on. I put a lot of focus to the composition. It´s important to me that the song has a natural flow and is logical and easy to follow. A lot of prog bands tend to put in too many melodically ideas in their music. I work with a small amount of melodic ideas. I tend to do a lot of little rather than the opposite.
How much tradition and how much modernity there are into this new record?
I try to have one foot in the tradition but I also trying to be modern. I believe the Jazzy flavour that Karmakanic has in parts is unique and therefore have its place in the world of progressive rock.
Your first two cds were published with another label, why did you changed it?
Simply because I think Inside Out is the dominating record company for this kind of music. They have been around for a long time and know the market really well. I was obligated to make two records on Regain Records, but I think they did a good job due to the fact that they are mainly a metal label.
Some of the musicians involved in your new album are the same of a lot of projects and bands you’ve played before, does it became a great family or there are other reasons?
Yes I think it works like that. I think you pick people to collaborate with by they skills but also if you like them as persons. To be in a band for example is not only about the music it´s also about the chemistry between the persons. You can´t play good music together if you hate each other as persons.
In your opinion, which are the main differencies between your three studio records?
I think they have a natural development. I think that Entering the spectra and Wheel of life has its good moments but I think Who´s the boss is better crafted and more mature as a whole cd.
How much are you changed as man and as musician since the realisation of UNIVERSE?
Oh man a lot, I got married and got two kids. Life is really different nowadays. You have to be the provider of the family and it means that you have to make money. I don’t have time nowadays to just fool around and don’t make anything out of the day.
Goran Edman is with you since then, what does it mean for you to work with him?
Goran is a really humble and pleasant person to be around. He is really devoted to Karmakanic and is really professional when we´re working. He has all the points that I value the most and therefore we still work together.
I think that your albums are very interesting, why such a good music wasn’t realised under the name of your main band (tFK)?
Thanks, I think that it is to every single person to judge what is good or not. Some people will always claim that Karmakanic is just an offshoot band under the Flower Kings umbrella, while others say Karmakanic is the best. We never compete we try to help each other.
Can you describe to us your meeting with the Flower Kings? How much as your life changed since then?
Before I started to play with the Flower Kings I didn’t realize that this music was still alive. I thought that it died like all the other progbands did around 76-77, when the punk came in to the world. I was really lost musically before TFK, it helped me to get back to my musical roots.
You have collaborated with a lot of artists, what is that it pushes you to work with so many different musicians?
I´m just trying to reach what is inside my head. If I believe it should be a certain sound on that section I try to seek up the player that could fit the song or the section.
Did yours bandmates look with favour to your many projects outside the band?
We are all professional musicians, it is a part of our job to play with many different musicians and bands. All the members in Karmakanic are playing a lot everywhere you go to do it to be able to survive. Not everybody is that lucky from a financial angle to be in U2 or Metallica.
Don’t you believe that this may cause a loss for your main band in time and energies?
No, it is a must to be able to survive.
If you could have the possibility, which are the artists you would like to play with and why?
I would like to work with Joni Mitchell simply because I think she is one of the best lyricists we have in the world. A couple of others that I have on my list are.
Vinnie Colauita, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Keith Jarret, Jackson Brown, Pat Metheny. The list could be really long there are so many interesting musicians and composers out there, I could go on forever.
Which are the differences between working with your main band and Karmakanic?
In Karmakanic I produce and write the material and I´m managing the band also. So I basically have the same role as Roine Stolt have in TFK.
You did a lot of studio projects. What is the difference to play in studio and to play live for you?
The biggest difference is that live you get a direct response from the audience. When working in the studio you have to wait for months before you get your verdict from the fans.
People who likes seventies prog artists usually says that today prog music must be called "regressive" music, because they lack of innovation and creativity and they don't look to the future but they look to the past... what’s your opinion about and what do you think about the actual progressive scene?
I believe that it is the audience and media that create the labels. As a musician I don’t thinking in terms of what is prog what is Retro etc. I just trying to do honest and soulful music and if it´s retro prog or whatever it doesn’t really matters to me as long the music is pure and really expressing something.
According to you what developments will be for progressive music in the next few years?
I think bands like Porcupine tree and Opeth is bands that are leading the way how progressive rock will sound in the future. But who knows? The future is not written yet.
Sweden nowadays has got an impressive prog scene. Which are the countries were the prog music is most vivid both for bands and audiences?
I think it is different for different bands. TFK has the best scene in Holland for example.
Which is the greatest satisfaction happened to you in your musical career?
Hopefully it has not happened yet. I always try to do a better CD every time I making a new one. I always try to sound better up on stage. I always try to improve my bass sound. The satisfaction lays in the journey not the result.
How much important is the family in your musical carreer?
The family is my foundation in life. The music is my foundation in life. I could never compare them neither separate them. It´s like yin or yang, you need them both.
Reviews (only in italian): Entering the Spectra; Wheel of Life; Who's the Boss in the Factory; In A Perfect World
Related artists: Flower Kings, Tangent