We catch-up with Jonas Reingold of Karmakanic who have just released their new album ‘Dot’ via Inside Out…
What have you got planned for the next few months music wise? e.g. tour plans, recording etc.
I’ve always have a lot of things going on, my record company, additional studio work for other clients, writing new material etc etc. For Karmakanic I´ll do a lot of interviews and promotion right now and we´re looking into different possibilities to play some shows at the end of the year, we´re already confirmed to headline the Sweden Prog Fest in November.
Could you take us through the songs on ‘Dot’ e.g. songwriting process etc.
The song I worked the most at before recording was obviously God The Universe And Everything Else No One Really Cares About. I think I messed around with that song about a year before we actually started to record it. I wrote the opening piano line that opens up the song and I instantly new that this could be a theme that could carry a longer piece of music.
After that follows hard work, I always work around the main theme for a while, trying to re-harmonize it, put it in different mters and tonalities and if it works great in all kinds of shape you know that you are on something. Then the job starts to find other working themes, GTUAEENORCA basically has 2, the major theme that opens and closing the piece and the minor theme that has a bit folky feel to it.
The main concept on ‘Dot’ is perspective, how small we are on planet earth based on the universe as a whole and you have based it on writings by Carl Sagan. What first interested you in the writings of Carl Sagan?
I always been interested in astronomy every since my father once took me outdoors and explained that the moon and the stars are images that are old. He explained that the image of the moon is about 5 sec old and that the images of the stars can be several million years old. I was only 5 year when he told me that and those words haunted me for years. I got into every magazine and book there is about the space, stars, timetravel etc. Etc. When the movie Star Wars had premiere in 1977 I probably saw it 10 times in a row. This subject has stayed with me throughout my life and when I ran into Carl Sagans text about this pale blue dot I knew that this will be a great theme for a big epic song.
When playing live do you and the band find it difficult at times to replicate the studio sound in a live environment? Do you prefer playing live as it can give the band more freedom to explore musical ideas and expand on them?
Of course if a arrangement on the record is very dense and has a lot of details it can be tricky to sort out what´s really important for the section when you are limited down to 6 guys in a live setting. So nowadays I try to think of this during the production phase not to put in too much details and overdubs. I try to focus on the big things like getting the riff or the melody really really good, if you succeed with that you don´t have to cover up your shitty ideas with a lot of nonsense in the back.
Andy Tillison guests on the album on the title track. Did you write the music for his parts or do the two of you improvise the music as you recorded together?
I spend a great deal of time producing a workable demo. The demo will showcase the arrangement and the feel of the song. We normally keep working on the Demo and reform it into the final product. So the parts given to Andy where pretty much carved in stone. Also, we had the opportunity to actually play the epic on a tour we did 2014 before we actually went into the studio and did it for real. So Andy was really familiar with the piece.
The special edition comes with a live show, band interviews etc. How important are these extras now in helping sell an album?
I think it´s very important to treat the fans as they treat us. Of course the new music presented on a new disc will always be the centre of it all but by providing extras for no extra cost the whole value of purchasing a CD from us will be greater. And who doesn’t want 2 hours and 20 min extra from your favorite band?
Which three albums that you love would you recommend your fans listen to and why?
1. Joni Mitchell “Shadows and Light” Fantastic lyrics, fantastic songs, ultra fantastic musicianship, Jaco, Metheny, Lyle Mays, Brecker, Don Alias, need I say more?
2. Weather Report “8:30″ A band caught live at it´s very peak, the bassplaying is out of this world
3. Richard Strauss “Also Sprach Zarathustra” the first true progger, the whole suite is just awesome, the orchestration is creme de la creme, the way he writes for strings is simply amazing
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