Interview with Jonas Reingold - Karmakanic, July 2011

New album coming out, tell us – what kind of feelings do that bring up in you?
Karmakanic –  I'm always a bit nervous when I read the first reviews that is coming out. I mean, you work like hell for a year, putting all you got into the CD, and then somebody comes and just dismiss the whole thing like that. I think no one wants to experience that. But we've been quite lucky over the years, people seems to give our outputs quite good reviews.

If you had to pick one song off the album that represent the essence of Karmakanic, which one would you pick and why? I would probably pick the opening epic: “1969”.

Karmakanic –  Yeah, me too. I believe that has all the elements that sum up Karmakanic. You got bombast, lighter sections, and furious solos, groove and in the same time a strong presence of Classic progressive rock.

If you should look back at your four albums, which songs do you feel are important to mention and why?

Karmakanic –  Somehow that shows in the live set we do. The current set list would probably be. 1969, Where earth meets the sky, Do u tango, Eternally, Send a message from the heart. The world is caving in. I think all those tracks are good and represent Karmakanic. I'm a sucker for a good melody and a great groove and I think those songs will stand the test of time. It's easier to be objective of things if you wait 10 years and ask yourself if you could consider playing the song live.

Do you find it important to be classified as a prog rock band and/or do you see yourself as a prog rock band? Please elaborate.

Karmakanic – Ones side of me just sees the things we do as music, the other side sees it as a business. It's easier to sell a product if everybody know where to sell it. If you are in the progressive rock domain it's quite easy to reach the market you aiming for at least for me as I been a member of The Flower Kings for 12 years and probably talked to every Progressive Rock Journalist out there. So from that perspective it's good to be labeled as ”A Progressive Rock Band From Sweden” But if you want to expand the market it's probably a bad thing, you'll get rejected by many bigger Radio stations magazines etc. But if you call it Indie Pop it's all great for those magazines but covering that but not for the ones covering Progressive Rock.

What comes first in your writing process, the music or the lyrics?

Karmakanic –  Some songs starting off with a melodic idea and some from a story that I want to tell. When fear Came to Town is a good example when the story came first. I saw the suicide bomb attack that happened here in Sweden in Dec 2010 on the news and knew immediately that I had to write something about it. 1969 on the other hand started off with the theme that opens the track.

Could you give a brief introduction to the lyrically ideas behind “In a Perfect World”?

Karmakanic –  "1969" is a look back in time starting off with a snapshot from the Woodstock festival. Then we move onwards in time asking questions maybe it was better back in the old days, at least from a artistic and musical point of view. Imagine, songs like ”In the Revealing Science of God” from Tales from a topographic ocean sold millions, that would never happen today. ”Turn it up” Is about the stock exchange how it goes up and down, but is there an actual value? ”The World is Caving in” is a sum up of my life. I've lived 42 years so far and hopefully will experience another 42.
”Can't take it with you” Is about our constant hunt to posses’ things and money. In the end it doesn't matter because where we go when we end this life ”We can't take it with us” ”There's nothing wrong with the world” is a cynical, black humoristic story about the world and the condition it is in. In ”Bite the Grit” I'm working with opposites, and idioms that a believe is interesting, no story there just an underlying vibe of something nasty. ”When Fear came to Town” Is about the suicide attack we witnessed here in Sweden last Christmas.

“Can’t take it with you” is possible your most adventurous song ever, where did the inspiration to write this song come from. Mixing polyrhythmic patterns with Latin influences isn’t something you hear everyday…

Karmakanic –  I got tired of myself. Sometimes you feel that you writing the same song over and over again. You get stuck in the same formula. So I decided to write something that I've never been writing before, what about if a take a Cuban Latin Groove put in 7/8 and put a heavy guitar riff on top of that, how would it sound? It felt fresh so I decided to keep it on the record.

Tell us a bit about the artwork and do you find cover artwork important?
Karmakanic –  Yes it's important, it's the first contact with the customer. I think a cover needs to be a little bit daring and in the same time describe the musical and lyrical content. An old friend of mine made this artwork. I just send him the titles and he started to work with a few ideas later on we decided to go with the vintage bomb thing because we thought it stood out a bit.

Karmakanic is a project – did you feel it was necessary to have a project running at the same time as The Flower Kings? Sort of a musical outlet for the music that didn’t fit TFK…

Karmakanic –  The Flower Kings has a great writer in Roine Stolt so in the beginning of my time in the band I didn't see a need for me writing songs for the band. But I will try to come up with a few songs next time TFK is entering the studio. Also, it's a great learning process to be in charge of a production. You learn how other people function and how you as producer function, when to let an idea go and when to push it forward. It's like being a soccer coach, you must push the people around you to perform the best they can, but sometimes you also have to change the line up.

If you had the chance to pick your touring partners, who would it be and why?

Karmakanic –  I would probably pick a band like Porcupine Tree or something similar, it's a good band that also have a young audience and that's what we need. We need younger people to come to the shows to be able to keep the scene healthy and vital.

What going on in the The Flower Kings camp at the moment; you all seem to be occupied with projects (Agents of Mercy, Kaipa, Karmakanic etc.) rather than TFK?

Karmakanic –  We've put TFK on ice for a while simply because we did to many tours and too many records under a very short time span. We kinda loading the batteries. I think TFK is an important band and it's good for both the audience and the band to rest from it for a while, but we will come back, that's for sure.

Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?

Karmakanic – Support the scene, go to the concerts and buy the music so we can continue doing what we do.

Karmakanic - In a Perfect World

Label: InsideOut Music



Göran Edman - Vocals
Krister Jonsson - Guitars
Jonas Reingold - Bass
Zoltan Csörsz - Drums
Lalle Larsson - Keyboards

In a Perfect World (2011)
Who's the Boss in the Factory (2008)
Wheel of Life (2004)
Entering the Spectra (2002)


Interviewed by Kenn Jensen