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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Ed Bernard of Druckfarben from 2014

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

I've been playing music since I was nine years old. I started on guitar and eventually started dabbling with other instruments in high school. Druckfarben had our first official rehearsal in March of 2008. We released our debut in 2011 followed by a live DVD in 2013. As you know our second album Second Sound was just released in March of 2014.
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

I'm interested in philosophy and ancient texts so I'd probably have gone to university to study those things. "Do you want fries with that?"

MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?
“Druckfarben” was stenciled on these mysterious barrels in the hallway of a very dilapidated old building that drummer Troy Feener and I used to rehearse in. We used to try and guess what could possibly be in those scary barrels.  For a joke, I started labeling the rehearsal tapes Druckfarben. Years later we brought it up as a possible name for our shiny new band. The others thought we were out of our minds, but it stuck.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
I was a huge Rush fan as a kid. That led me to Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant and the Dixie Dregs. Along the way I certainly absorbed as much Allan Holdsworth as a person can absorb.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
We'll be spending the majority of the year promoting our new record. I'm already thinking of what direction our third record might take, but we want to enjoy this one for a few months at least first. We're definitely hoping to do all or some of the remaining prog festivals, and ideally, a tour of Europe. I have definite plans for a solo record in the coming months, as well.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
I think our music is obviously very influenced by the classic prog sound of Yes, Genesis and Gentle Giant and a few others. Hopefully we're giving it a modernized spin. We all have a wide variety of non prog music that we love, too, and I think that pokes its head out in a few spots.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
I'd love to play with Marco Minneman and Geddy Lee. Chris Cornell is another musician I'd love to be fortunate enough to bounce ideas off of. Wish me luck!
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
It certainly is a hindrance. It’s a strange phenomenon, the Internet age. On one hand, it has literally opened up the entire world to anyone who makes music. The promotional possibilities, alone, are incredible. And the fact that musicians can send files back and forth to each other and make original music, this is a huge benefit. Unfortunately along with those positive aspects there is an entire culture of people who think music is free. And it can be. But listeners have to realize that it costs money to produce and it is our livelihood. I'd like to ask the free Internet advocates if they'd go to work and do a few months for free? I do have to say that ultimately it's a good thing in the sense that there are no longer record companies dictating the music that musicians are "allowed" to make. I don't think Druckfarben would ever have gotten a record deal under the old paradigm. I think it will become a cultural thing eventually where enough people will realize they can't take music for free if they want bands and artists to keep producing it.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
I have no problem with that. We used to get anxious about people at our shows filming us and then posting it on YouTube, for example. It makes it hard to work up new stuff onstage. And it's really unforgiving in the sense that if you have a bad night, there it is for everyone to see. It requires you to raise your game, which is a good thing.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Interesting question. I guess Steven Wilson and/or Guthrie Govan because I respect them both tremendously and wish I had their careers! (laughter)
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
I almost answered this above but I'll elaborate: Marco Minnemann on drums. Geddy Lee on bass. Chris Cornell on vocals and just to make it beyond reproach, Stevie Wonder on vocals and keyboards.
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?
Stevie Wonder, Chris Cornell, Iron Maiden, Rush and in the opening slot, at 8AM, a little Canadian prog band called “Druckfarben.”
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

I actually bought two Steve Hackett CDs: Spectral Mornings and Voyage of the Acolyte.

Between mixing our live DVD and working feverishly on Second Sound I don't get much time to listen to music for pure enjoyment. If I do get a few hours it's usually the bands I listed above.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
I think the last book I read was Bill Bruford's autobiography. It was very interesting.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
At the risk of being repetitive, Chris Cornell. It was amazing!
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
I love Cape Breton fiddle music and I... um... teach banjo...
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Hmmm... there's so many! I've shown up to a gig in Ohio only to realize I left my amp in Toronto.
MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Bach, Stevie Wonder and Sir Isaac Newton.

What would be on the menu?

I'd be having steak with sautéed mushrooms, roasted potatoes and vegetables…cheesecake for dessert.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

Firstly, thank you for the interview and the interest in our band! We're really excited about this record and the feedback has been great so far. Hopefully we can bring it to a wider audience. If you want to find out what we're like live you can check out our DVD Artifact as well.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at
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