With the release of Who's The Boss In The Factory? the third album from the band Karmakanic, they have established themselves as heavyweights in the Prog Rock world. Bandleader and bassist Jonas Reingold, well known as the bass player in another very popular band The Flower Kings, now has full creative control with his own group. In the interest of fans and music lovers Sea of Tranquility staff writer Christian Bernier had a small Q&A with Jonas. Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into one very well respected musician. Christian would like thank Jonas for taking the time to do this interview, it is very much appreciated. If you still have not heard this band, all their CDs are good, but the latest would be an excellent place to start- you won't be disappointed!
SoT: Why did you start the band Karmakanic when you were already in The Flower Kings?
Jonas: I think I have too much music in my head, music that has to come out. Roine Stolt is the main writer in TFK and he's good at it so there's actually no need for anyone else to write for TFK. But I have and will continue to write for TFK in the future, you know you can do both so I don't see any conflict in doing that. I also write commercial stuff as well for established artists last year, I got a double platinum award and 2 gold discs.
SoT: What are the main goals of the band and do you feel you are reaching
Jonas: The main goal will and has been to develop as a band. Karmakanic is still in the cradle. I see a lot of potential in the band and we are good musicians but maybe needs to get better as an ensemble. But that goes for every band I'm in. Development and having fun while doing it.
Sot: How are the songs created in the two bands and what parts do you enjoy the most? What role do the other band members of Karmakanic have in the song writing?
Jonas: We have tried different variations in TFK. In the beginning he had the songs finished and we just came as studio musicians and played over the demos. But from Paradox Hotel we met up in the studio and started from scratch on a couple of the tunes. Paradox and The sum of no evil is recorded without a click track and was cut live in the studio with ofc overdubs afterwards. I almost write all of the songs in Karmakanic. Eternally pt: 2 are written by Lalle Larsson. But I let the musicians play what they want as long as I like it (laughs).
SoT: What do enjoy more making an album or playing live?
Jonas: Both worlds are needed. The gig part can be the most wonderful thing in the world and also the most frustrating. I kinda like being on the road, it's a state of freedom. But it can also be very tiring. Crazy schedules, time zones, bad food etc.
SoT: Is Karmakanic that well known in Sweden and do you play many live show there? Do you go out to watch other bands? What concerts have you seen lately that you liked.
Jonas: I think Karmakanic is quite well known within the progressive community but not if we looking at it from a national perspective. So far we only did like 10 shows so far simply because our time schedules has not allowed us to do more but we are trying to do more in the future to come. I rarely have time to go to concerts myself but if a big hero of mine is coming to town I try to go.
SoT: In my opinion you are one of the better bass players in music. I was wondering how much do you practice and if there are any essential things you would recommend young musicians to practice?
Jonas: Try to visualize what you want to achieve, how you want to sound. When you know what you want do a plan how to get there. Play a lot with different musicians and try to play with musicians that are better than you are. Ask a lot of questions and try to listen to good players both verbally and musically. Have an open mind and enjoy the journey.
SoT: Are the members of the band full-time musicians or do they have day jobs? Are they in any other bands?
Jonas: We are all full time musicians. In fact I never have done anything else.
SoT: In the song "Who's the Boss in the Factory" there is a very familiar sounding classical piano piece played at about the nine minute mark. What is it? Do you listen to much classical music?
Jonas: That's just a small melody I wrote that has a strong Swedish folk tone to it. I have listened to classical music a lot. I like Richard Strauss, Gustav Holst, Stravinskij, and Bach.
SoT: What are your current favorite CDs?
Jonas: I loved Joni Mitchells Travelogue album
SoT: Since you have been making music do you think your style of music is creating more or less fans over the years? (is progressive rock more or less popular in 2008 than when you started out)
Jonas: I don't know, according to the record company TFK is staying on the same level sales wise. And that's probably good because the general sales in the music world is dropping.
SoT: What are the plans for 2009 for the band?
Jonas: We have a couple of offers from festivals and clubs that I'm looking in to right now. Hopefully we can do a trip in the autumn of 2009. But just to go out and play in front of 50 people is not an option for us. Touring is an expensive thing so unless you know that there will be good publicity or something else that is good for the band I'm not willing to lose any money.
(Click here to read our review of Whose the Boss in the Factory)