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Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto joins The Flower Kings for tour
27th September 2007
The Flower Kings will tour most of Europe this november and have the now legendary drumming progrock icon Pat Mastelotto behind the drumkit.
Pat Mastelotto, an American that once had big US and worldwide hits with Mr. Mister and later on played on many pop albums including XTC,
The Rembrants etc. but since the early 90's is most know for his pioneering work with heavy beats and drum electronica, most significant
in King Crimson. Pat also keep busy with side projects together with stickmasters Trey Gunn and Marcus Reuter such as Tuner, Mastica, MP TU, KTU etc.
The Flower Kings will play most of the new album and most certainly some older fan favourites plus the odd jam that is made out of thin air,
different every night.
The Rest of the band is:
Hasse Froberg: Voice & guitars
Tomas Bodin: Keyboards
Jonas Reingold: Bass & voice
All led by Roine Stolt: leadguitar & voice
New Flower Kings album! - "The Sum Of No Evil"
28th August 2007
"The Sum Of No Evil"
Out in Europe on September 28th, 2007
Out in the USA on October 9th, 2007
First a brief note on the album title and its slightly unusual
history, because initially, the new Flower Kings opus was to be
entitled simply 'Love'. Main composer and producer Roine Stolt says. "I
intended to call the recording just 'Love' until I read with a surprise
that The Beatles were releasing a new album with that title, so I guess
the universe wasn't big for that much ´love` in one year. So by
twisting the idea a bit, I came up with the alternative title The Sum
Of No Evil, which sort of equals 'Love'. It also gave us a great
platform for using some of Ed Unitsky`s surreal art for the cover, that
´fish-bus` is funny and in tune with the hippie and flower power vibe
but yet a bit of surreal Monty Python style too. There are way too many
dark serious melodramatic bands out there, we wanted to be the
colourful, friendly alternative."
Their latest album, The Sum Of No Evil, is a perfect example of a
timeless prog rock release that easily lives up to classics such as
Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Yessongs. Stolt refers to the album as
"Flower Kings to the max", explaining: "We wanted to make a real
hardcore symphonic rock and prog album. We took away all the pop, the
jazz and the experimental or ambient stuff and concentrated on the pure
prog that we do best." An apt description of the almost 75 (!) minutes
of playing time and the six expansive tracks. "To make all this a real
trip for the prog rock fan we have worked in a studio that specializes
on 60's &70's vintage recording equipment, plus we used lots of real
vintage analogue keyboards, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer, Rhodes and grand
pianos plus lots of Mini Moog and old tube amplifiers for the guitars,"
"Any fan of early 70's prog up until the first UK album should love
this album," The Flower Kings mastermind reckons of the effective depth
of The Sum Of No Evil. "The trademarks are the melodies, the mix of
intricate, busy prog-fusion and grand symphonic pieces. The album has
some hints of Stardust We Are and Retropolis perhaps, but also has a
lot in common with the two Transatlantic studio albums." The
consistency with which The Flower Kings have translated their vision of
atmospheric and multi-faceted rock music is unmistakeable. More than
ever before, the musicians have relied on their self-imposed "purity
law", concentrating entirely on the symphonic and classic prog rock
ideas. "I suppose the way I write is the trademark," says Stolt.
"I mean, you cannot get away from yourself, I cannot change that much.
As usual I had way too much material. I also invited the rest of the band
to contribute their songs, but this time they didn't come up with much,
they just seemed all very happy working mainly on what I had written,
as it was sort of just what we were aiming for, it had all the elements
that take us to Flower Kings to the max."
Roine is referring to epic numbers such as the multi-layered 'One More
Time' or the accessible, atmospherically dense 'Trading My Soul'. At
the centre of the album is the almost 25-minute 'Love Is The Only
Answer', an eventful journey through the history of this musical genre,
with contemporary arrangements and topical themes with both Stolt and
Hasse Fröberg contributing vocals. "As always, my lyrics try to be
uplifting, but they also try to understand every angle of human
behaviour and portray us as we are: earthbound, yet divine." On the
other hand, there's the unusual 'Flight 999 Brimstone Air', an
instrumental track contributed by keyboardist Tomas Bodin. "It has
quite a weird middle section, where our drummer Zoltan really shines in
a sort of solo free-tempo thing, while bassist Jonas Reingold plays an
ostinato in a mean atonal kind of Zappa/Crimson style and percussionist
Hasse Bruniusson adds all his audio weirdness. Not easy to play, not
easy to dance to but we wanna keep the audience on their toes, because
that's the spirit of progressive rock."
The discussion about the pure doctrine of prog rock is as old as the
genre itself. Starting with King Crimson through Camel to Marillion, it
has always been debatable exactly how progressive prog rock should be
to deserve its name. For Roine Stolt, guitarist, vocalist and composer
with Swedish band, The Flower Kings, all these considerations are
unnecessary. Over the years, Stolt has developed his own, unmistakeable
songwriting style, a unique signature that leaves no doubt and has
found countless fans all over the world. Although the contemporary
scene may be developing into a tougher direction, the media demanding
innovation and new impulses, The Flower Kings are always at their best
when they don't give a damn about supposedly new trends but simply
continue to do what they do best, grand vintage style symphonic prog
rock and this album proves it, they indeed are the Kings of prog 2007,
by a good margin.
The Flower Kings - New Compilation CD out on Inside Out - June 26th.
6th May 2007
The double CD album will be released on June 26th in USA and probably around that date in Europe too.
The title of the album is "Road Back Home" and it contain 27 songs, spanning from 1995 to 2006.
It focus on the more melodic and groovy or shorter tracks, means less fusion and more melody and moody tracks.
All songs are transferred carefully to 24 bit digital, remixed, quite a few of them have different solos and
some added backingvocals and there's even a totally unreleased track, plus the full version of our take on
Genesis classic "Cinema Show"
It comes in a nice slipcase and there will be a 20 page booklet that have archive photos, comments on each song,
recording data and anekdotes by yours truely.
All remixed, re-arranged, remastered and I might add, with quite a nice result on most and even a stunning
sonic result on a few. Prepare with a good set of headphones and your favourite tea. (This one might even appeal
to your wife or mother in law or the guys at work)
Disc One (77:49)
- Cosmic Lover
- A Kings Prayer
- Stupid Girl
- Cosmic Circus
- Paradox Hotel
- World Without A Heart
- Church Of Your Heart
- Vox Humana
- What If God Is Alone
- Starlight Man
- Grand Old World
- The Road Back Home
- Cinema Show
Disc Two (75:59)
* unreleased track from Rainmaker sessions.
- Ghost Of The Red Cloud
- I Am The Sun (p2)
- Different People
- Little Deceiver*
- Chickenfarmer Song
- The Rhythm Of The Sea
- Touch My Heaven
- Life Will Kill You
- Monkey Business
- The Flower King
- Stardust We Are (end section)
Studio Report from Roine Stolt
6th May 2007
Flowerkings have started the recording of new album on March 26th, ol' time drummer Zoltan Csörsz have recorded with
the band and we are all very excited about the quality and the sheer committment that Zoltan have put into this recording.
The recording week have been a great experience for us all, we've been in a great studio facility that have tons of vintage
gear and we've had it 24/7 so we've lived there and we've worked with our trusted team of Petrus Königson as engineer
and we've had Per Nordin there videofilming the sessions, so we have hours and hours of filmed material.
The result is as far as we can see a great symphonic & progressive rock album that have more of the Retropolis/Stardust/Flower
Power vibe but perhaps a bit more "progressive" in the sense there are no short easy listening songs, however there
are very melodic and likewise catchy sections integrated in these epics.
A few of these songs were really difficult to play, the intricacy of time signatures had us on our toes, but it was great fun.
Yes there are similarities to songs like Stardust We Are or Garden Of Dreams but perhaps even as much to the Transatlantics epics.
The sound quality is head and shoulders above what we got from the Medley on Paradox Hotel, Petrus is a genius and the Varispeed
studio with it's 3 NEVE desks and old U 47 Telefunkens, old Neumans etc. is the coolest and the best studio I've ever recorded in,
the result is top notch and the vibe there was all late 60's and early 70's.
We had the pleasure to use lots of vintage keyboards, a custom modified ( by expert Brian Davenport) Hammond B 3 that sounded just
fabulous and along with that we will, or have used real Minimoogs, Wurlizer, Fender Rhodes pianos and a Grand Piano.
This means that this album will see more of the vintage keyboard sounds than on any other TFK record, I feel it goes well with the
songs that have great melodic and warm melodies that take me back to the glory days of Procol Harum, ELP, Genesis, Yes, Focus,
Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and The Beatles.
I have tried to remember the feeling of standing on stage when the band sound great and we really feel like we're moving air and
we're moving peoples hearts and I've tried to write from that perspective, perhaps with a less intellectual style and more
of a direct soulful vibe.
Now we are a few weeks into overdubbing vocals and percussion, extra guitars and keys and hopefully by mid June we have delivered
a steaming hot new CD album to Inside Out that we're proud of and that will take you back to the glory days of prog.
In my opinion TFK have never sounded better and never delivered such a compact collection of melodic symph/prog, what we do best,
I admit we took a few (interesting) detours but this is what defines the band, this is as close as it gets to what I set out to
do 12 years ago.