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Progressive Rock Interviews

Morglbl

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Christophe Godin of Morglbl from 2009
MSJ: Can you give people a run down of your musical history?
Mörglbl started about eleven years ago after I was selected to perform on a compilation of French guitarists named “guitare attitude”. I wrote several instrumentals, and needed a rhythm section. I proposed to Ivan Rougny (bass) and Jean-Pierre Frelézeau (drums) to form a band, and that was the starting point of the whole story. We recorded two albums: Ze Mörglbl Trio !! and Bienvenue à Mörglbl Land. We played all around France and Europe during six years, and made a break in 2002. In 2005, we started to work together again, and released Grötesk in 2007. Jean-Pierre left the band two years ago and was replaced by Aurélien Ouzoulias. We have toured quite a lot with Aurel and released Jazz For The Deaf (Laser's Edge) last June, and we are back to the US now!
MSJ: What is the origin of the name of the band? 
It has no meaning at all. For some unknown reason, that's the first group of letters that came to my mind when I was asked for a band's name! I particularly like and am very proud of the umlaut on the “O”. 
MSJ: Who do you see as musical influences - both personally and as a group? 
Well, I'd say that if Pantera, Alan Holdsworth, and Primus would form a band, that would sound a bit like Mörglbl! I'm personally influenced by Zappa, The Beatles, Joe Jackson, Kansas, and so many more! As a guitarist, my hero is Jeff Beck, as well as Scott Henderson. 
MSJ: What's ahead for you? 
We will tour the US for the second time this year thanks to our fine management, Blue Mouth Promotions LLC (BMP), to promote Jazz for the Deaf. We also plan the release of a live DVD later this year. We already started to collect ideas for a new Mörglbl, and we have quite a lot of shows booked in Europe. It's going to be another very busy year! 
MSJ: Are there any musicians out there with whom you'd like to work?
I definitely hope to tour at least once with my good friend Mattias Eklundh as well as with Ron Bumblefoot Thal. These are the most interesting guitarists in the rock field at the moment, and they are generous and cool people to hang out with. I think that would be a cool cheap G3. Another dream would be to play with people like drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, or bassist Gary Willis. There are so many fantastic players I'd love to jam with at least! 
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree? 
Well, as an unfamous musician, I think that the downloading of my tunes is a good way for me to get a little more exposure. The problem is the major labels missed that turn in technology at some point and lost a lot of money because they were not prepared to that big change. So now, they are looking for the various ways to have control on that business, and it starts with a very violent struggle against free downloading which they are scared of! For a band like Mörglbl, and the kind of music we play, fans will download for free to get aware of what we do, and then, if they like it, they will buy the CD, or downloaded the album legally because they know we are everything but a commercial band. Music fans are loyal.
MSJ: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them? 
I think this is cool. And that forces us to be good wherever and whenever we play. No problem for me with this. 
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why? 
Mmmmmmm, that's a tough question! I have a guitar duet with guitarist extraordinaire Olivier-Roman Garcia. We grew up listening to the same kind of music, but took radically opposite directions. He is a real acoustic guitarist, using his fingers and some flamenco rhythm tricks, and I'm an electric guitarist, using a pick, with bass oriented ways of comping. We are both emulated by each other, because I guess we are both jealous and full of admiration when listening to the other's playing. 
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it? 
Vinnie Colaiuta:drums Les Claypool: bass and vocals Jeff Beck: lead guitar Derek Sherinian: keyboards Ronnie James Dio: lead vocals Can I be in the band to play rhythm guitar?
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view, who would be playing? 
Another tough one - Joe Jackson Messhugah Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Brian Setzer Orchestra Jeff Beck Heaven and Hell AC/DC Van Halen, Mörglbl (hey, I want to hit the same stage as those guys!) 
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately? 
Toy Matinee Toy Matinee and I've been listening to it almost everyday. I'm a little mono maniac when it comes to listening to stuff I appreciate. 
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment? 
Joe Jackson last July - a wonderful moment of music, and nostalgia. 
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment? 
We played in Georgia for... one person! But we did a complete show of more than two hours, and in the end, that was a cool experience, a great moment of fun, and a good lesson for your ego! We shared some beers with the guy who was delighted to have band performing just for himself.
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
First of all, thank you for your interest, and your support. I am always blown away I have the chance to be a musician and to get the opportunity to play all over the world. That's a privilege, and a fantastic experience. We owe that to fans and the people we are working with, but also to people like you who give us a chance to express ourselves, and get some exposure! Thank you!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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