INTERVIEW WITH ERWIN BOERENKAMPS
DPRP: You have won the award for "Best Newcomer" at the Classic Rock Society. Was that a big surprise? And what do you think was the key point for the jury?
It was a complete surprise ! It was the first time we presented ourselves in the UK and we got instant
recognition for our music.
The British audience listened breathlessly to us and despite the fact that we had some nerves when on the podium,
we noticed that our interpretation of progrock was refreshing for the British audience. I think that is was most
important factor for the competition: an unknown name that maturely puts down a prog sound with identity.
After the gig, the audience streamed to the merchandise-stand and to our little persons: we felt like real
prog-hero's! We are invited back by the CRS for October 18, 2002.
DPRP: Did this recognition influence the creation of the new album?
The ideas for the recording of Cathedral were there before we went to the UK. After the trip to the UK, we purely
focussed on getting ready for the studio-recording. The recognition by the CRS did lead to the fact that we
realized that many people were waiting for a full-length CD by Ricocher. Where the first album was purely for
ourselves and for PR (trying to get our name known, trying to get gigs), this album is intended to establish our
name at a bigger prog audience. So in that sense, the recognition at the CRS awards underlined our goal of
delivering a super-album!
DPRP: Could you tell us something about the theme of the album?
Erwin: Although this is no concept album, and thus there is no concrete lyrical thread throughout the
album, John's lyrics are filled with emotions, often negative emotions. Actually, the lyrics are related to the
ones on Quest for
the Heartland: people searching for themselves, while the outside world constantly puts pressure on the
"being" of these persons.
DPRP: You seem to be very influenced by the symphonic rock of the early nineties (Pendragon, Landmarq,
Egdon Heath etc). Are those bands your "idols" or do you get your inspiration from somewhere else?
Erwin: Every band member has his own musical background and takes that with him in his own way into our
musical style. This background, however, varies from blues to rock classics. It is definitely not true that we
have idols on which we base our music, it is more the reverse: because our music is being qualified as "sympho",
we got in touch with the musical style of other sympho-bands, so now we can compare our music more easily with
more well-known bands ourselves. Here too, there is a big difference in preferences within the band, varying from
Dream Theater/Threshold to Arena/Jadis/Pendragon. Our music is music in which
we, as five different individuals, feel comfortable. It is only coincidental that our music is very accessible
prog rock, also for non-prog lovers.
DPRP: The artwork has been done by Mattias Norén. How did you get in touch with him?
Erwin: Through the possibilities of the Internet, John contacted Mattias. We had seen his work, and were
very impressed by his style. Since a CD cover and booklet have to be the eye-opener and provide a first
impression of the style and quality to the potential buyer, we thought it is important to get this aspect perfect
(which also created the pressure to make the music of the same level). It should come as no surprise that we are
extremely satisfied with Mattias' work: in reviews Mattias gets a lot of credits. We too are very satisfied with
Cathedral, where it is very nice to read reviews which conclude that with this CD we really have conquered
our place in the sympho-world.
What will be the next steps (many live performances or rather more focus on studio work?)
Erwin: After the intense months of recording, mixing and our CD presentation of May 31, as well as the performance on ProgSud of June 1, we have settled back a little. Our first new song is in the process of being created however, since creating new songs is a challenge to us and keeps things interesting.
The idea is to have some nice gigs this fall and next year; we wrote a business plan as a lead to get us to a higher level and to have those things we want to focus on black on white.
We do intend to produce another CD: we are however completely dependent on good song material and of the possibility of financing our new CD; so far we financed everything ourselves. But we are very confident and still very enthusiastic.
DPRP: Your album has been financed partly by a whole group of people who had bought the album before it was released and whose names are mentioned in the booklet. Is this a tactic which you intend to use in the future as well?
Erwin:The initiative indeed paid off: people who like our music think it's nice to be mentioned in the booklet. For us it is comfortable to have a partial pre-finance on the large budget of recording a cd and it gives us some insight into the amount of people interested in Ricocher. This initiative will probably not go unnoticed and will be picked up by other bands. We run the risk that next time our fans' money has run out, but we do not exclude that we will do a similar action again.
DPRP: Thank you Erwin for your time, and good luck with the album!