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Progressive Rock Interviews

RPWL

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Yogi Lang of RPWL From 2003


MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.


Where did the name for the band originate?
These were the initial letters of the four members that founded the band: Phil Paul Rissettio, Chris Postl, Kalle Wallner, Yogi Lang! We met for some jams over old Pink Floyd songs, having fun, public rehearsals, playing at parties and all that stuff! But somehow it grew to something very special. There was a certain spirit when we played, and so we decided to have songwriting-sessions as well. And over the years the name became some kind of a symbol for that spirit! That was the reason to keep the name.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences, both as a band and individually?
Hmm, thats not easy. Of course jamming over early days Floydian song or ideas was somehow the start for the band and so it was a big influence! But the individuals in the band are so different. I think playing PF was the only chance to play together for us - maybe the only musical connection! Phil with his British underground electro stuff and hates YES music, Stephan being into all this hard stuff, and me, I´m not into this prog thing anyway.... My musical influence are the seventies! That is the reason why our music is more sensual than the 80's based prog metal. And when you add our prog-metal guitar player, maybe that´s the sound of RPWL... maybe!
MSJ: Are there any musicians with whom you would like to work?
Every musician that works with you gives you new ideas and a new view of your song. That is something I like very much! And to be honest: Manfred Mann playing some keyboards would be so awesome.... but also a producing help would be very interesting! So maybe one time I'll meet Roger (laughs)
MSJ: Any plans to make your way to the US for a tour?
For a European band the costs to come to the US are enormous! Though we´d really like to come to the States we have to wait for the right time. Maybe some concerts together with a festival... we're looking forward...
MSJ: What else is ahead for the band?
After having a little break with the STOCK album we'll start working again on the new album. STOCK gave us the opportunity to test a lot of new things for the band, such as having a synced light and video show! STOCK also goes with a DVD in 5.1 surround. This was a great experience! Of course our music is perfect to be played in surround but it was a lot of work and a different kind of thinking when you produce the album. So we are prepared very well for the next album...
MSJ: How do you feel your sound has grown over the years?
We have grown to a band over the years. That is what we really feel at the moment, and this is the reason why the sound of the band changed over the years. That is the main difference between our first album GOD HAS FAILED and the second TRYING TO KISS THE SUN. GOD HAS FAILED is very straight produced, having a strong hand on the music. When we did the sessions to TRYING TO KISS THE SUN we felt much more free in what we did! It was very experimental for us because you'll never know if the ideas will really fit to the music at the end! But the spirit became so strong at this time that nothing seemed to be impossible. Then we decided to do the unreleased stuff with STOCK! The band is still so together that it was a pleasure to see how the whole thing developed into much more than a simple compilation!
MSJ: How is the prog/art rock scene in Europe?
I really don't know. But as far as I can see it's a very small scene. And it seems to me that most of the fans are musicians! But in our case it is fine to see that with every concert we make we convince more and more people to listen to our music! That is a thing that makes us very proud and keeps the band alive...
MSJ: For those who have not had the chance to see you, can you describe an RPWL show
We always try to focus the song idea. Not only in the production of an album, but also in our live performance! Every tour is a little bit different. The concerts are played in quadraphonic, surrounding the audience with music and sound effects. The song arrangements are not quite the same as they are on the studio recordings because most of the songs are fixed before we go into the studio. So it happens that we keep the former live version though we did another version for CD. The STOCK tour was the first tour using a synced video and live show. We try to give people two hours of entertainment and help them to understand the songs and the band.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Oh, let me think... The last CD was a DVD, the greatest hits album of BJÖRK. In my car I had a lot of fun with my old MANFRED MANNS EARTH BAND albums, especially with the "SOLAR FIRE". I love this version of the dylan song "FATHER OF NIGHT, FATHER OF DAY"!
MSJ: Is there anything you would like to add?
Thanks to all our fans in the US! Hope we can make our way to the states during the next tour!
 
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