Twyzzlers for Everyone Forever presents: Interviews

by Donald McEwan

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Interviews with famous progressive rock artists of the past and present.

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released March 17, 2010

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Twyzzlers for Everyone Forever Oberlin

A series of radio shows hosted by Ben Ferber and Donald McEwan. Very few socks, lots of inappropriately-placed Subway restaurants, fake (and real!) celebrities galore, and lots of prog rock.

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Track Name: Roine Stolt - Roine Stolt (6.06.10)
1. Tell me about the formation of The Flower Kings

2a. How do The Flower Kings work as a songwriting unit? I know from the liner notes from your albums that you do the bulk of the composition, but how much does the task of arranging fall to other band members?
2b. When you are writing music how do you determine whether melodic material should be presented with a voice or with an instrument?
2c. The music you write varies wildly in length. Why is it that some songs you write are 45 seconds long and some are 27 minutes? Is a song's length ever important to the musical/lyrical message to you?
2d. Your music often uses strange chord progressions (ex. 1:42 in Minor Giant Steps). What is the reason for you integrating chord progressions rarely heard outside of classical music or jazz into rock music?

3. Does the body of your work have any overarching themes? I notice lyrical focus on flight, space travel, dreams, and escape in many songs on almost all of your albums. Is this intentional, or is just a coincidence of inspiration?
3b. Additionally, I notice that many of your musical lines point in an upward direction (ex. the Stardust We Are theme). Is this intentional and tied in with the previous question, or it just the way music comes to you?

4a. Where does your lyrical inspiration come from? Do you have a message you are trying to relay whenever you write a song, or do you write things as they come to you?
4b. Additionally, I notice that on your website, you have Swedish translations for the albums before Space Revolver. Do you ever conceive of lyrics in Swedish first and then translate them into English?
4c. I notice that in your lyrical writing, the sounds of the words are important in how the lyrics relate to the vocal/instrumental lines. Is this something you go for intentionally and if so, how do you work the sounds of the words so seamlessly into your music?

5. Albums. For each album question, tell me some about the inspiration behind each album. I also have a question or two about most of the albums.
a. The Flower King
aa. What is the meaning behind the song "The Flower King"? Also, why did this become the name of the album and ultimately your band?
b. Back in the World of Adventures
c. Retropolis
cc. What is the concept behind this album, if there is one?
d. Stardust We Are
dd. What is the concept behind this album, if there is one?
ddd. The "Stardust We Are" theme is interwoven thoughout the entire album. Was this a planned part of the album's concept or was it something that happened during the album's writing/arranging?
dddd. Tell me about the song Stardust We Are.
e. Flower Power
ee. What is the concept behind the Garden of Dreams suite?
f. Space Revolver
ff. The writing on this album seems to be more jazz-oriented than your other albums. Was there a reason for the change of style?
g. The Rainmaker
gg. What is the lyrical inspiration for Elaine?
h. Unfold the Future
i. Adam and Eve
ii. What was the inspiration for Starlight Man?
j. Paradox Hotel
jj. What is the story behind Bavarian Skies? Is it an homage to Frank Zappa or Tom Waits?
jjj. What is the concept behind this album, if there is one?
jjjj. Are any of the songs intended to flow seamlessly (such as the End on a High Note and Minor Giant Steps) or was it conceived musically as more of a collection of songs?
k. Sum of No Evil

6. Are there any albums you would slim down or any that you'd add more material to? Do you have unused material that you wish you'd spent more time on? Does unused or unfinished material get carried over from one album's sessions to another?

7. How did you start working with Transatlantic?

8. Albums. For each album question, tell me some about the inspiration behind each album. I also have a question about each album.
a. SMPT:e
aa. What was the cause for you making your own mix of this album?
b. Bridge Across Forever
bb. In this album, it seems to me that Transatlantic was able to mix the contributions of each musician into a sound that was unlike the bands each member is from. How did the writing process change from SMPT:e to make this possible?
c. The Whirlwind
cc. When you were contributing material for this album, to what extent did you tailor your music and lyrics to the concept Mr. Morse had in mind? What do you feel this album (and more importantly, the lyrics and music you wrote) is about?

9. How do you approach your performance as a singer and a guitarist differently with Transatlantic than you do with The Flower Kings?

10a. What are your feelings on live performance?
10b. Greg Lake once described studio albums as being like a banker's check, in that they are a promise to pay later in the form of live performance. Given your live peforming policy, would you say that your approach to live performance is similar to this mindset?

11. What is your opinion on the genre of progressive rock?