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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Niclas Flinck of Carptree from 2017
Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?

Carl and I actually first met in a band together when we were 14 - me coming from a series of bands from age 10 and with no musical education but life and Carl with piano in his background. Pretty soon we were a progressive act and kept on for some years before splitting up. When enough years passed, with Carl in a wide range of music constellations and me just poking around in my own head, we kind of just decided to try something out just the two of us. I think it just felt that way, and that became Carptree. Carl keeps on with other bands and solo stuff, but for me Carptree has been the only thing for many years.

If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Creative processes of some kind I guess. And  I would probably wonder what to do with all the music that keeps generating in my head.

How did the name of the group originate?
We needed an abstraction and we like fish and trees.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
For me the earliest real influences would be Led Zeppelin, Genesis and Yes.  But there has been so much good music to listen to, and I have an eclectic taste. I wouldn’t want to be without classical music, and I have a real weak spot for baroque music, especially Bach. I wonder if that is possible to trace in Carptree?
What's ahead for you?

 Of course we are excited about Emerger and this has sparked lots of ideas… The main thing though is the joy of getting it out there.

I know many artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
I would say progressive and with a discernable heritage.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play in the future?
I think I would say, "yes," but I have never really thought that much about it. To write music with Carl and to have all the wonderful people of The No Future Orchestra is truly the thing for me.
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
I guess both. The real question is what it is to whom?
In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?
I think there is a difference in the question of why they do it as well as there is a question of quality. In a way they make it possible for those who weren’t there to experience it, and perhaps it might serve as an interesting historical reference in the future. As always nothing compares to the real thing.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
That’s a good question considering the Carptree album/song "Superhero" (read lyrics)… I think my enemy would be Dr Universal competence generic taste.
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 really miss Chris Squire. He would be in it.
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?
Oh that would be a disaster, I think…  I would try to get all my favorites in, dead and alive, and it would be a mess.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Without any names. Latest listens have been all golden oldies because there is so much amazing music from the 70s
Have you read any good books lately?
Yes indeed. The Hand, Frank R Wilson
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

Choral music from the baroque era.

MSJ: Do you remember your first concert?
Thin Lizzy!
MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?
No. Well, Carl Leslie is great!
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Yes, but I’m not telling….
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?
Author of The Master and His Emissary, Ian McGilchrist and author of Sapien, Yuval Noah Harari would be interesting. Bach would be there just for me to be close to greatness.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

I’m so happy to release a new album with Carptree!



MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
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