A Few More Words With...Roine Stolt

Just days before hitting the road with the Tangent and breathing on the 2004 elections here in the USA, I grabbed a quick update to the previous interview I had done with the Flower King himself: Roine Stolt. As ever he is thoughtful, dryly witty, and engaging! Enjoy!

PS: Let's start by asking: what was the last song you played on guitar before reading these interview questions?

RS: It was "The Truth will set you Free" as an encore at the final gig of tour, in Capitol,Paderborn Germany . Or maybe Speed King by Deep Purple .....can't remember .

PS: As I write this you are about to embark on a short tour in support of the 2nd Tangent album. What does the Tangent offer you as a musician that is different from your role in the Flower Kings?

RS: Oh, I really can't tell,I just do it because Andy is such a nice guy and I wanna help him . The music isn't too bad either, but kinda similar to what we do in FKs - prog rock .

PS: The Tangent is another collaborative ensemble of musicians drawn from various bands. How do the writing & recording experiences differ from the work you did as a member of TransAtlantic?

RS: In Transatlantic I was one of the writing members and much of a designer for both sonics and artworx, in Tangent on the other hand I just play,sing and give good advice to Andy as far as production goes. Well I did some mixing of drums too...........

PS: The latest album from the Flower Kings is "Adam & Eve." Is there a concept or theme behind the album, or just a random collection of songs?

RS: Not really , it is probably only in the "Big Concept" of all our CD's . Well ,different shades of love would be something that run thru the CD trax .....well ,"Vampire's View" isn't really......"Timelines" ..hmmmm. It's probably just a bunch of songs ,that happen to have a few common threads.

PS: I'd like to have you share your thoughts behind the lyrics to a few Flower Kings songs. We'll start with a song from Adam & Eve: "Love Supreme."

  RS: Love supreme is a gospel about love that goes beyond love between man and woman, or our loved ones. Love for everything that surrounds us , a universal or cosmic love if you will. A state of being in harmony with all there is . A state of understanding. I guess it has both Bhuddist and Native Indian leanings........

  PS: "The Flower King."

  RS: A fictional figure: "The Flower King" symbolizes the element of goodness and all that is colorful & joyful and all that grows and expands, the healing powers of love and forgiveness. Also it is about faith and the power of faith.

PS: "The Chicken Farmer Song."

  RS: Oh ,it's a simple silly song about taking a break and getting away ... doing nothing really. Watching the chick run ....... lazy days .

PS: "Genie In A Bottle."

RS: It is about what impact drinking has on some peoples lives. I've never had that problem myself but unfortunately seen it destroy a few of my friends. When alcohol get it's grip on a person with low selfesteem it is disastrous. Well it could include other heavy drugs as well.......a song about addiction and low self esteem.

PS: And finishing up with: "The Truth Will Set You Free."

  RS: Another gospel about evolution and the revolution of industrialism and modern man and modern philosophy, finding his place and connecting to both the new times and the timeless values.The Truth is what lies beyond McDonald's, Nasdaq, abc, TIME, Rolling Stone, Opec, Jerry Springer, Britney Spears, NASA, www., MTV, George Bush, Elvis and all that media pseudo.........

PS: You have a very gifted singing partner in Hasse Froberg. How do you decide who sings what on each piece?

  RS: I just try figure out what songs fit his range and his style of singing. When writing I often hear his voice fitting the piece I'm working with .

PS: While juggling the many projects you are involved in, have you given any thought to recording another solo album?

  RS: I certainly have and not only one, I have many interesting projects going on in my head, it is simply a matter of time to get it started. And the budget perhaps. Guitar album, blues record,symphonic stuff, acoustic album ,pretty songs ..............

PS: Has the book closed on TransAtlantic, or are there plans at any point for a 3rd studio album?

  RS: Aren't Neal and Mike doing it already ??...... no, just joking. Honestly I couldn't tell. If you ask me I always felt there was a great 3rd album waiting to be done, but God had other plans.

  PS: I have heard through the grapevine that you have a project coming up with Jethro Tull drummer Doane Perry - can you tell me a bit of what to expect from that & who else is involved?

  RS: We've tried to find time to start that recording for a while, but I think mostly Doane's schedule is VERY hectic, Jethro Tull still tour A LOT!!! Eventually we will start beginning of next year. Besides me on guitars & Doane on Drums there is Vince DiCola on Keyboards and Ellis Hall on Bass and lead vocal. All are writing and we think the music would be symphonic rock but with a soul touch ...spiritual music with orchestration and a steady good groove.

PS: Did the events of 9/11/01 in any way effect your experiences here in the US?

  RS: Well I was in NYC just a few days before the strike .....can I be uneffected???? It was VERY unreal !!! Terror effects us all, it is scary. I think a much bigger problem is that you are all about to vote for a VERY dangerous man :GWB..... Anyone who takes the time to investigate the Bush family will find that there is a VERY shady path. Grandpa did banking business with Adolf Hitler while his son was in US army fighting the Japanese ...!!! The Bush family have done business with Arab countries and the Saudis and ....Bin Laden family for some time !!!! (Did you know that the only airplane that left US on 9/12 was the one that flew Bin Laden family to Saudi Arabia after a business meeting in Washington on 9/11? ......scary isn't it ?)
Besides, George W Bush has people that run the weapon & missile industry in his own staff.....so a war means they will make money ......scratch your back you'll scratch mine ...I guess. A fear is all about money and unfortunately the Bush clan has all the support from ALL (right wing)Texas oil companies and the right wing US Christian fundamentalists. They'll do anything for money ...a deal with terrorists, Mafia or Satan if needed.
Young American men die each week in Iraq, to protect what??? The American majority? I don't think so ....no, unfortunately just the minority at the top, the ones that make and have always made money walking over dead bodies .
So if your question is: Do I fear the Arab terrorists? ....Well I do in a way , but I'm much more scared of the American business legion terror that is silent and elegant. I encourage anyone to investigate what CIA have achieved over the years : Vietnam,Patrice Lumumba, Chile, etc.

  PS: Can we look forward to the Flower Kings returning to the States any time soon?

  RS: I certainly hope so , and let it be said that I have NOTHING against the average American. I love America as a continent and there are so many wonderful people there. They just deserve a honest leader. The greatest country has to be great again AND honest and true to their own people .

  PS: What 6 CDs are you listening to most in recent days?

  RS: In no particular order:
Beach Boys - Smiley Smile
Miles Davis & Gil Evans - Porgy & Bess
Joni Mitchell -Travelogue
Steely Dan - 2 Against Nature
Pain Of Salvation - Be
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now


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