Swedish progressive rock band Kaipa DaCapo has just released a fresh - but true to their roots- collection of songs entitled "Dårskapens Monotoni". Founding member Roine Stolt explains "I think we strike a nice balance between the old and the new. I tried to write my songs as if it was 1976 again". It has been almost 40 years since the very popular Swedish band entered the music scene and the magic is still there. Kaipa Dacapo paid its dues by touring extensively in the 70's. After the band decided to take a break, guitarist/bassist Roine Stolt had many successful endeavors by forming the enormously popular bands: The Flower Kings, Transatlantic and Agents of Mercy. He was also asked to lay down the bottom by playing bass in prog giant Steve Hacket's touring band. But it was on a progressive rock cruise when Roine's band shared the trip with the legendary Yes singer Jon Anderson. Jon wound up sitting in with the band, singing classic Yes songs for one of the first times after being ill. This led to an album collaboration by Anderson/Stolt called "Invention of Knowledge". This album is now in consideration for Grammy categories for 2016. I recently corresponded with Roine about these exciting new projects.
R.V.B - Congratulations on your recent musical achievements and the release of the new album "Dårskapens Monotoni". I understand it's been quite a while since the group Kaipa DaCapo had released one. How did it feel to get back to creating new music?
ROINE: Funny, it really didn’t feel like a long time, coming back playing with the guys, But in reality is 40 years, almost. We were touring heavily in the 70’s, releasing albums, doing radio & TV here in Sweden - and I realize it was the same time as bands like Genesis released “Wind & Wuthering”, Yes did “Going for the one” and ELP did “Works”, Weather Report did “Heavy Weather” - a time that was awesomely creative but in a way seems very distant. For me personally it is quite easy to go back playing the old tunes ‘cause I know them well in the back of my head, but also the new songs on the new album comes very natural and is fun.
R.V.B. - Do you feel that you captured the feel of the original 70's music?
ROINE: Yes, I think we strike a nice balance between the old and the new. I tried to write my songs as if it was 1976 again - not overly complicated and also try put in a bit of Swedish folklore, just like we did back then. Then it was our idea to try use less of modern technique or editing and focus on real instruments, so the hammond organ sounds, pipe organ, grand piano, accordion, etc. that you hear are all real instruments recorded without digital editing or fixes. (Very rare these days)
R.V.B - I understand that you went into the studio as a band to record this album and not doing it by sending files over the internet. Did this help during the writing process as far as creative input?
ROINE: Well, we did demos at home, but once we had decided what songs we wanted to record - we went into a real studio and just rehearsed and recorded the material “live” takes as a band , then we did some additional overdubbing of some synth, acoustic guitars, vocal, percussion etc. I mixed the album at my studio - aiming for a sound that was a mix between 1976 and 2016 - modern & retro.
R.V.B. - During the 70's, Kaipa did a lot of touring. Do you have any magical gig memories that stand out? Things that may have went perfect... or wrong?
ROINE: Well, too may too mention, I suppose - I remember us doing quite a few “direct on air” radio live shows on Swedish national radio. All of these went very well, probably because we were extremely well rehearsed and also did well over 100 shows a year. So we were a tight little unit, where every gig reached a pretty high standard of performance. We also did some of the bigger outdoor festivals - and we always went in and played flawless - but I remember two times where the power came from a diesel power generator - and the power currency did NOT deliver a stable 220 volt currency - that resulted in the Hammond organ did not work - it was totally out of tune - so we had to soldier on with just a Wurlitzer piano and a synth - Very odd for a band that based the music around the sound of Hammond Organ….
R.V.B. - You have switched back and forth playing the bass and the guitar. Is this an easy transition for you? Which one did you start with and how did you get your start in music?
ROINE: I started with guitar of course at age 12 - but once we had started the first band I switched to bass - because we needed a bass player (me!) - then at 17 years old I switched to electric guitar - got the gig with Kaipa and then I have played guitar for most of my professional career - however occasionally switching back to bass on recording - generally some of the early Flower Kings I played bass on a few songs - I played all bass on my “solo” albums “Hydrophonia” and “Wall Street Voodoo” - But it wasn’t until Steve Hackett asked me that I got to play bass live onstage again in 2015 & 2016.
R.V.B. - How did you enjoy working with and being a member of Steve Hackett's band?
ROINE: Steve and his wife Jo are wonderful people - I really enjoyed playing with Steve and of course my friend Nad Sylvan and the fabulous wind player Rob Townsend. Playing the old Genesis songs was a blast - and also the “Voyage of the Acolyte” songs was totally great. Steve is a gentleman, someone who wants the best for everyone - and someone who genuinely care for his fans.
R.V.B. - You've had some successful projects in the 90's and 2000's. Did you take the same musical approach with The Flower Kings and Transatlantic as far as staying true to the prog genre?
ROINE: I think I’ve just tried to do my best each and every time - sometimes I’ve been more successful - Both Flower Kings & Transatlantic have been fantastic and a great time touring the world and selling all these albums, meeting all the fans. I’m still amazed. The basic elements are all the same - I always try do my best - play the finest gig I can - money comes second - it helps - but it’s not the reason I do it.
R.V.B. - The creativity never stops. Anderson/Stolt... how did this project come about?
ROINE: We played on the same cruise in 2013 I think - between USA and the Bahamas - and we were asked to play a set with Jon - playing old Yes songs - it was a success !
I think it was his first real “band “ show after his illness back then. We all enjoyed the Yes set and even got to play “The Revealing” from Topographic Oceans - I guess I did a pretty good job on all these complicated Steve Howe things and what followed was that our record boss asked Jon if he wanted to do and album with me - because I was the ‘right person’ to realize a new prog album - the first full band thing Jon did after leaving Yes - We set out working in the Yes tradition, but also adding new stuff, symphonic and world music etc. and so the project started. Working with Jon has been great - he’s an even greater perfectionist than myself, sometimes. He is a never ending source of new ideas - and I understand much better why all Yes music turned out like it did. Jon has been my main writing partner for about 1,5 years and it’s been rewarding in many ways, and also a bit bizarre calling him not only collaborator but also a friend - he’s such a sweet person and so is his wife Jane.
R.V.B. - "Invention of Knowledge" is up for Grammy consideration in a few categories. When you completed this album did you think it had this potential?
ROINE: Well, it wasn’t the first thing that entered my mind. I’m glad we get that chance. However it is a wonderful album - and the most rewarding thing for me is knowing it did put Jon back in the spotlight with a “full band” album release after all the turbulence leaving Yes, illness etc. Showing what a force of music and ideas that Jon is - and perhaps even showing how much impact Jon had on their most loved albums like “Relayer” , “Topographic Oceans” and “Close To The Edge” - Here we are in 2016 - releasing a somewhat progressive successor to the 70’s adventurous albums he did with Yes & solo.(Olias of Sunhillow)
R.V.B. - What are you proud of in your accomplishments in music?
ROINE: It’s a battle each day, each album - I’m never 100% happy - but I think I can say that The last 20 years has been the best and most true to what I personally wanted with music - many great moments with The Flower Kings (Stardust We Are, Unfold The Future) - with Transatlantic (The Whirlwind ) - and with Agents Of Mercy (Black Forest) - and now of course Kaipa DaCapo (Dårskapens Monotoni) - I’ve been rewarded in a few guitar magazines - and recognized as one of the great prog guitarists of our time - I’m amazed.
R.V.B. - Any touring plans?
ROINE: Yes in fact we start a a tour in Europe with Kaipa DaCapo in February - playing the new songs - but also most of the loved songs from the KAIPA 70’s albums. It will be great fun, there arrested tickets on sale.
Here are the tourdates:
06.02.2017 SW - LUND - INTO MUSIC
07.02.2017 DE - HAMBURG - MARKTHALLE
08.02.2017 DE - OBERHAUSEN - ZENTR. ALTENBERG
09.02.2017 DE - KÖLN - YARD CLUB
10.02.2017 NL - ZWOLLE - HEDON
11.02.2017 NL - UDEN - DE PUL
13.02.2017 DE - BREMEN - MEISENFREI
14.02.2017 DE - FüRTH - KOFFERFABRIK
15.02.2017 DE - MANNHEIM - 7 ER CLUB
16.02.2017 DE - RüSSELSHEIM - DAS RIND
17.02.2017 DE - BERLIN - MUSIK & FRIEDEN
19.02.2017 DK - HVIDOVRE - MEDBORGARSAL
25.02.2017 SW - STOCKHOLM -BRYGGARSALEN
01.04.2017 SW - UPPSALA - KATALIN
Thanks for considering answering these questions.
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
This interview may not be reproduced in any part or form without permission from this site.