Katzen Kapells musik
är virtuos, sentimental och humoristisk.
Infallsrikt och kraftfullt leds du in i doften
av variéténs skådenummer, filmens våld och sentimentalitet,
rockens och jazzens oförenliga blandning och tangons galenskap.

De egna kompositionerna skildrar såväl förortstristess
som orientalisk romantik eller en handlös färd genom
ett nattligt Bukarest... Allt som du inte trodde
gick att förena spelar kapellet upp för dig med mycket
humor och svärta.

KATZEN KAPELL Interview 2008

Japanese Magazine Publisher / CD distribution company, Marquee Inc.

1. Please tell us how two of you started to play music. Please also refer to major influences (artists, works, etc.)

We had a piano at home when I was a kid, and I used to fool around with it and compose short pieces. I was 6 or 7. I also used to sing out loud in my bed before going to sleep. Then I started to take lessons on flute and that became my main instrument for 10 years. After high school I wanted to improvise and learn more about jazz. When I was 13 I bought my first LP with my own money. It was Frank Zappa – Overnite Sensation. I loved the music and from then on I started to listen to records in a different way. Before this it was the usual kid stuff – The Djunglebook, The Beatles, Mozart, but also Deep Purple (Made in Japan of course) and Nina Simone. But after discovering Zappa there was Miles Davis, Mahavishnu, Weather Report, Keith Jarrett , Jan Garbarek and so on. Around 20 I also got interested in Stravinsky, Bartok and Varese. Other influences are surrealism and dadaism, my family, Nino Rota, Egberto Gismonti, Burt Bacharach, Bernard Hermann, Hermeto Pascoal to name a few.

I started to play the piano when I was six years old, enjoying to perform the music of Beethoven, Bach and Bartok. The need to explore my own ideas of music led me into improvisation and jazz. Led Zeppelin, Thelonius Monk, Astor Piazolla, Nino Rota, Gustaf Mahler, swedish folk music-especially the music of violinist Gössa-Anders and folk singer Lena Willemark, contemporary composer György Ligeti, oriental and north african dance music and Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn is a few of many strong influences on my music through the years.

2.Catharina now mainly plays the accordion, but I've heard that when you started playing the instrument, you didn't like it very much. How did you start to concentrate upon the accordion?

My first professional job as composer and musician was with swedish variety group Variété Vauduvill. Touring around sweden in a small circus tent with snake charmers, magicians and fire eaters I was responsible for the music to the show. But there was one major condition; I had to be able to play the accordion to get the job. I wasn´t very fond of the instrument at that time, and didn´t like traditional swedish accordion music at all. But I bought an old instrument and started to practice. At the same time I heard the music of Astor Piazolla for the first time and realized that there is so much beautiful accordion music in the world. And so the accordion became my voice in a way that the piano never did. But I still prefere the old ones, that often have a more bandoneon-like sound. The one that I use now is almost eighty years old.

3.How did Catharina and Magnus meet? Please also tell us how you two came to form KATZEN KAPELL.

In 1982 we met at Skurups Folkhögskola, a school in the south of Sweden that had a unique two-year jazzprogram. (It still has a good reputation.)During this period we also met and played with guitarist Lutte Berg and bassist Peter Adolfsson. Back in Stockholm in 1985-86, the four of us and different drummers used to rehearse on a regular basis. We also worked at various theatres as musicians and composers. Catharina had written some tango stuff because she just picked up the accordion. She also played electric piano and myself mostly on flute. As Catharina moved over more and more to her new instrument, I took over the piano. Drummer Lasse Lundbom joined us and in the fall of 1986 we formed Katzen Kapell. About a year later, Lutte Berg moved to Italy so we continued as a quartet for three years.

4.Why did you choose this bandname?

We wanted to call the band Katzenjammer Kids, like the old american cartoon with the same name. (Katzenjammer is a yiddisch/american word and can mean noise or hangover or even anxiety! The german word Katze also means cat in english.) We soon found out that the name was occupied by a Danish group. So we said `well…hm…let´s call the band Katzen Kapell instead!

And Kapell in swedish means a small band/orchestra. Our bandname often leads to a misunderstanding that we only play klezmer!

5.Early members of KATZEN KAPELL were Eva Lindal from classical scene, Kjell Norderson with the jazz background, and Gustaf Hielm who had been a member of a shash metal band, MESHUGGAH, in addition to you. And they seem to be quite diverse. How did you come to know them and choose them as members of the band?

In the late eighties we, especially Peter, talked about expanding the quartet. We didn´t want the guitar back, but maybe cello, violin and percussion. Peter had seen violinist Eva Lindal at a performance where she both played classical and improvised. She liked our music and immediately connected to Catharinas way of playing. She has been in the band since 1990.

In 1992 we had known Kjell Nordeson for some years. I had recorded and played with him in Agamon (see question 8). We shared the same rehearsal room and we knew he liked our music. It was a natural step to rearrange the songs for marimba and vibraphone. He also brought along a lot of percussion. As you may know Kjell is otherwise mostly hired as a jazzdrummer.

In the year 2000 Peter Adolfsson left the band. Just to keep the band going, we rehearsed for a while without bass. Eventually we had an audition with four bassists in 2002.They were all very good but Gustaf was (of course) special. The chemistry with the band was right. He was still a member of Meshuggah at the time so rehearsals were sparse the first year.

6.I think the music of KATZEN KAPELL is very unique, as having such diverse elements as jazz, classical, folk music (tango) and even Frank Zappa. What kind of music does the band really want to create?

I don´t know…What comes out comes out… Our sound is definitely unique. Combinations with accordion,violin,marimba and organ and having two composers in the same band is not that common. I think music should be personal. For example, it´s no challenge for us to play ordinary jazz or let´s say a cover of a Piazzolla tune. We like the unexpected. To work with small details in the arrangements. To be serious but also have comedy.To use old clicheés, like a cheap chord or a silly rythm or a walking bass. Now, walking bass is really the jazz cliché, so why don´t use it and have fun with it? Maybe add a timpani? It´s like taking things out of its context. You can be inspired by Burt Bacharach and Bach in the same song. That´s why we mix different genres. For us it creates freedom. It´s also important to have a natural flow in the music, we don´t want to get academic. We really want to reach the audience. And the band contributes a great deal to the arrangements even though most of the parts is written out.

7.Tell us about behind-the-scene stories about the production of your debut album. How was domestic and international responses to the album?

We signed 1993 for independent label Twin Music, but recorded and produced the album ourselves. Former bassist, composer and co-founder of the group Peter Adolfsson, had his studio in an old hospital in Stockholm, called Roslagstull. We started to do the recordings in the summer of 1994, one of the hottest in Sweden that decade. Peter had two small rooms well isolated and custom made into a professional sound studio, but there was no room big enough where the whole group could play together. The solution was to use different kinds of rooms in the hospital to the different instruments which gave an interesting sound all together. The technique of recording digitally direct into hard drive was quite new at that time. Peter had some pretty good microphones and a nice vision of how the band could sound. Eva Lindal was unfortunately ill at the time, suffering from an aching arm and couldn´t make it for the recording. Another classical violinist -Nils Erik Sparf- was hired for the job . He came to the studio with his Stradivarius and put the violin part in place in one day! Lots of additional and new arrangements were written during the sessions, and we experimented a lot with the sound. The response of the album was very good. It went directly up to number six on the World Music Chart. The reviews in swedish papers were overwhelmingly positive and the album was played a lot in France, Finland, Spain and Sweden (and in Japan as well, though we didn´t know about it!). A curious detail; famous for it´s sound quality the Katzen Kapell album has been used a lot as reference listening among hi-fi professionals.

8.Between the first and second, "Alla Hatar Min Man," there was four years interval, then between the second and the third, Si Tu Veux," nine years, which are rather long. How did you decide the timings for producing these albums? Please also tell us about your side projects, other activities, and album participations that we should listen to.

Ok, let´s start with our second album which is out of print. It was recorded in the spring 1997 but preproduction and budget was ready in the fall 1996. So it was pretty close to the first album. Anyway, I think we did a big mistake about that recording. Every single note is overdubbed! It took a long time. And we didn´t use clicktrack either….Then the mix was delayed almost a year and when Peter finally started he worked for months. This long process took the energy out from the band.( The record is good though.)

A couple of years later Twin Music terminated as an active record label, meaning we didn´t have a record company behind us. And no bassplayer… ( see question 5) When Gustaf joined we got the energy back. We still wanted to play! And all the time we composed new songs.Drummer Lasse left the band in 2004 for living in New Zealand so Erik came in. This was sort of a comeback for Katzen Kapell because finally we felt like a band again. We decided to start our own label Ragadang Records in 2006 so the music could be released.

Side projects/Other activities:
Catharina studied composition for 7 years between 1993-2000. Since she graduated , she already composed three operas for children, chamber music, music for big bands and small bands , choir and for orchestra. Today she has a comission from the Royal Opera in Stockholm for a 2-hour opera (about 40 musicians and 6 singers).

I work mainly as a sound designer and mixing engineer for films and once in a while I write filmmusic. I also record occasionally under the name Agamon. We released an album in 1993 called ” Open up your eyes” on the Mellotronen label. It features musicians from Katzen Kapell, Mats & Morgan, a stringquartet and some other people. The music is inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Zappa. It´s available on iTunes.

9.With the third album, "Si Tu Veux," the band sound seemed to change from aggressive performance to more silent, atmospheric one. I think it was a sort of turning point, but was such change in style more or less intentional?

The change between the albums was not so much intentional as it was a fruit of the circumstances: a couple of new musicians and some new songs. Jazz bassist Peter Jansons sound and way of playing the double bass made a big change to the music on the latest recordings. New drummer Erik Hammarström with his more fluently, jazzy way of playing also contributed to the change.

The earlier albums had three composers, now it´s two so the result is more coherent. Also you develop over ten years, both as musicians, composers and humans.

10.The rhythm section was changed to Peter Janson and Erik Hammarstrom. Please tell us how they joined the band.

I´ve known Erik for ten years now and we played together before. (Actually it was Morgan Ågren that introduced me to him.) Kjell had played with him in Bolon X and Gustaf was an old schoolmate. So it felt naturally to have him in the band. He´s excellent. His playing is very dynamic and sensitive. And now after touring with Flower Kings, I can hear even more confidence in his drumming. Unfortunately Gustaf got sick ( occupational fatigue) just before the Atlantis recording sessions in 2006. Kjell had played with Peter Janson in Aaly Trio and we thought that acoustic bass could be nice for a change. We rehearsed with him for 4-5 days and he was great! Actually he´s one of the leading bassplayers in Scandinavia and been around the jazzscene for 25 years.

11.In contrast with the long intervals for the past albums, the interval between the third and the fourth albums was just a year. What is the reason why the fourth album, "maximalism," was released at such a fast pace? As the recording dates of these two albums are the same, I think there were ideas enough for two albums, but why did you divide them into two albums? This is very interesting.

In the beginning of the CD-era, everyone thought that it was a great idea to load each CD with the 75 or 80 minutes that there is space for. To the contrary, we started to feel that many records are in fact too long. There is so much going on in every single Katzen Kapell tune that 40 minutes is just a perfect amount of time to spend with our music. And it´s always a good feeling to want more!

12.For the third and fourth albums, are there any individual background stories/concepts? If yes, please explain.

(See question 13)

13.Please tell us about interesting stories about production of these two albums (difficulties, how you pinched out ideas, fond memories, etc.)

The concept (if we have any) for Si Tu Veux and Maximalism is that it should sound like a band playing live. And we did play together in the studio. There are a few overdubs, only organ, vocals and some accordion. I mixed it in Pro Tools and in many songs there are lots of editing. We didn´t have clicktrack so if you listen carefully you can hear the tempo shifting a little bit when different takes are used. When we started recording we had no idea that it actually was 2 albums. We just wanted to capture all the new songs and then pick and choose for an album.

14.Among the tracks on the album, please pick up a few that you think especially important and give us your comments on them.

Almost all songs with lyrics is important to me. The last one that I made; `När du insåg´ from the `Si Tu Veux´album is about when you suddenly realize that all the things you should have said and done is now too late and there is nothing in the world you can do to change it.

Bukarest (without the melody) was originally written to a documentary about the town. I think the piece contains some typically Katzen ingredients. The harmonic progression with a driving marimba, the accordion-solo , the easteuropean touch and the grand finale.

Bellatores reminds me of medival times with knights, horses and princesses. Almost a tribute to Robin Hood! Some of the melodies were actually written for a childrens film. The bass-solo in the middle was never intended to be a solo. I just asked Peter to play more than usual in this sequence. A little editing in the mix and voila!

15.The illustration with a fox for the third album, and a gigantic flower above the skyscrapers for the fourth album. These artworks give a very strong impression. How did you come to create such cover art with a strong impact?

It is former Katzen Kapell drummer Lasse Lundbom who created the artwork for the albums. He works in a collage technique, often picking things referring to the song titles and uses them as details in a larger picture. The fox that you mentioned is from the song title `Rävspel´. `Räv´means fox in swedish. For me his illustrations show the `landscape´which Katzen Kapell is formed in and a part of: the big city with it´s special architechture, where people and traditions from all over the world meet and melt together.

16.The current drummer, Erik, is recognized as the so-called "progressive rock" musician as he has played with BRIGHTEYE BRISON and THE FLOWER KINGS. Do you know or have you heard their music? If yes, what kind of impression do you have on the progressive rock music? (KATZEN KAPELL is often categorized into the prog rock.) Is there any musician, band or artist you are in touch with or you want to play with? If yes, please explain.

I´m not familiar with The Flower Kings or that kind of community.( just heard one song on myspace – great guitar!) But I´m happy for Erik, getting to play concerts in the US and in Moscow. Categories and genres are used to sell products. Doesn´t matter what we call Katzen Kapell, people still think it´s Klezmer because of the accordion and violin! We tried to categorize ”Si Tu Veux” as jazz but the journalists and record stores called it world anyway. Prog rock for me is Bo Hansson or perhaps early Zappa and Yes. I like Dungen but that´s neoprog uh? Ok, prog rock is often instrumental,symphonic, with odd time signatures, long compositions that never ends…Maybe it´s a good description of us? Talking about Dungen, it would be great to work with the guitarist Reine Fiske! (Actually, I know him.)

17.Please tell us about gigs of KATZEN KAPELL. Do you play live frequently? In what formation? Is there any live material (video/audio) available for future release?

Nowadays we´re always six persons on stage.There have been occasions in the past when we played as a trio and quartet (without drums and bass). We have also performed with magicians / jugglers and vaudeville artists. Catharina is the front person and sometimes she introduces a song with a little story,often improvised. I always try to record the concerts and maybe there´s material for a live album in the future. There´s also lots of unreleased studiowork. It would be wonderful to release a Live concert DVD some day!

18. What impression do you have on Japan? If you know any Japanese musician or music, please pick up a few and give us your comment on them.

I have the impression that all music in the world exists at the same time in Japan. There are extraordinary skillfull and talented musicians and composers in almost all genres there is. Japanese culture, especially popular culture has had a great influence on the western countries in the past 20 years. Except for the very well known and highly appreciated classical composer Toru Takemitsu, there is one japanese band that I like very much. They are called Salle Gaveau and have some things in common with Katzen Kapell. I heard about them just a month ago and enjoyed listening to them a lot!

Japan, for me, is so many fantastic things : Kurosawa movies, samurai, fascinating history, sushi, koto, sumo, hi-tech, tasteful design and also kitsch. I think Japan is one of the most interesting countries in the world. I really want to go there! I´m familiar with some of the jazzmusicians , Tiger Okoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino and Ryo Kawasaki. And there´s beautiful soundtracks to Kurosawa films.

19.Please tell us about your future schedule. If you have any idea about the next album, please describe.

Next album will perhaps be more vocal oriented. We have a couple of old songs with lyrics that could be rearranged. And we definitely going to compose new things.

20.The albums of KATZEN KAPELL have been distributed in Japan, and the band's unique musical approach has highly been appreciated. Last but not the least, please give your devoted fans who are interested in and shows respect to your music a message.

Catharina and Magnus:
We think it is wonderful to know that we have friends in Japan that share our interest in and need for music beyond genres and traditions. We are very happy about it and deeply greatful to all of you. Our dream is that Katzen Kapell could perform live in your country, to meet you all and say hello!

November 2008

San Francisco Chronicle
Katzen Kapell Squeeze box is front and center in diverse Swedish band whose experimental sound is inspired by Piazzolla, Zappa and Stravinsky

Derk Richardson
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Catharina Backman has a great excuse for playing the accordion. "They forced me to," says the founder and leader of the eclectic Swedish band Katzen Kapell. "I played the piano but was touring with a small circus, and they said, 'You won't have this job unless you learn the accordion.' "

In 1986, after a couple of seasons with Varieté Vauduvill, Backman got together in Stockholm with a few former fellow music students and formed Katzen Kapell. (The name was inspired by the Katzenjammer Kids comics but also derives from the Swedish words for cat and ensemble.)

By then, Backman had changed her tune about the squeeze box. "I didn't even like the instrument," she said in a recent midnight telephone conversation from Sweden, "until I heard the bandoneon player from Argentina, Astor Piazzolla." Upon listening to the master of tango nuevo in 1984, Backman recalled, "I just thought, 'I'm in heaven.' The music was so beautiful, so tender, so aggressive, so humoristic, so rhythmic. It really appealed to me. I couldn't copy it, but I'm really inspired by it."

In Katzen Kapell, Backman's passion for Piazzolla plays against keyboardist-composer Magnus Andersson Lagerqvist's fascination with Frank Zappa and Igor Stravinsky. Add a classical violinist (Eva Lindal), acoustic double bassist (Gustaf Hielm), rock-influenced drummer (Erik Hammarström), and jazz-inspired vibraphonist and percussionist (Kjell Nordeson) and you have a band that Backman says appeals to "mixed audiences, from teenagers to very old people."

In an e-mail exchange, vibist Nordeson, who divides his time between Stockholm and San Francisco, noted that Katzen Kapell plays "all kinds of venues - jazz clubs, art venues, contemporary music series, concert halls, rock clubs. I have the impression that audiences can easily relate to our music in many ways." Nordeson joined the group in 1991. He has his own ambivalence about the instrument he plays. "I have some kind of love-hate relationship with the vibraphone," he said. "I love its potential for creating melody and harmony, but am often frustrated by its unchangeable pitch. That feeds a need to override the instrument and avoid its idiomatic cliches."

Katzen Kapell has proved a perfect vehicle for such experimentation. "The band manages to stay away from too academic an approach, and nourishes a closeness to an alternative prog-punk tradition," Nordeson said, "despite the fact that Catharina has gone through seven years of university studies in classical composition."

With three CDs to its credit, including the new "Si Tu Veux," Katzen Kapell is only now making its U.S. debut - four shows in the Bay Area pivoting around an invitation from Other Words, the fifth annual San Francisco International Poetry Festival. At the Swedish American Hall Sunday - and Wednesday at Stanford University's Wallenberg Hall - the band will accompany actress Sara Lindh reciting lyrics by Swedish poet Bodil Malmsten.

Katzen Kapell's compositions and improvisations now draw on dance hybrids from North Africa, the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent, as well as European folk music and modern film scores. The sound should play well in San Francisco, birthplace of groups like Tin Hat and Tango No. 9, because, as Backman said, "the music fits in everywhere and nowhere."

- Derk Richardson,

Katzen Kapell Interview

Agarta - The Prog music dimension

We have the opportunity to speak with this scandinavian band, surely one of the most original of the last years.

1.Could you please tell us a brief history of Katzen Kapell (the influences, the beginning, how did the musicians meet, the common musical ideas?

The members of the very first version of the group Katzen Kapell studied jazzmusic together for a few years in the south of Sweden.This was between 1982-85.Back in Stockholm we played with drummer Lasse Lundbom and formed the group in 1986. Guitarist Luciano Scalercio(now Lutte Berg) left the band to move to Italy after a year. In 1990-91 , the group extended to six members with violinplayer Eva Lindal and percussionist Kjell Nordeson. Bassist Peter Adolfsson quit 2002 and was replaced by Gustaf Hielm (from Meshuggah). In the beginning, the sound was a mixture of different influences from the composers:
A. Circusmusic and Piazolla-inspired tango-(Catharina Backman).
B. Frank Zappa, Nino Rota and Stravinsky -(Magnus Andersson).
C. Peter Adolfsson´s interest in flamenco,tango and filmmusic.
D. Also,we often wanted to add some bizarre humor to the music.
Lasse Lundbom contributed with his extended rock/punk/funk drumming combined with classical percussion and have now started to write material for the group.
Eva Lindal added her virtuosity from her work in the classical and contemporary music scene. Her improvisations on the violin is intense and innovative in the aspect of sound.
Kjell Nordeson is a skillful improviser on his main instrument in Katzen Kapell: the vibraphone. As a percussionist he often uses instruments like finger cymbals or guiro which give the music an oriental or latin american touch.

2.I think that your music could be described as a strange mix of folk, rock,chamber music, jazz, tango, and progressive (a la Samla Mammas Manna and Zappa);do you agree with this (obviously simplified) definition?

Yes, of course there are traces of other kinds of music as well but those are the more obvious ones.
I agree and want to add oriental and rock influences as well.
I agree, I really find that KK:s music is a beautiful mix of Argentinian tango, Zappa, jazz,"classical chamber music" and improvisation.

3.Which aspect of your music do you think are really innovative elements? and which ones are taken from the tradition or comparable to other artists works?

I don't know about "innovative or not" really, but the fact that regardless of what kind of music we draw inspiration from it still sounds like Katzen kapell and not a showcase of different styles is in my opinion one of our greatest fortes.
What I think is innovative are the compositions themselves; music from three different band-members, strong and very personal.Three different temperaments. Sometimes I hear some Piazzolla or Zappa in the music, but still, it`s not......
It´s hard to point out one single element.What I think is special for Katzen Kapell is the way we work as a group with the musical material.It is often very structured and well notated by the composer.But there is an improvised part in almost all songs.We try to eliminate the difference between the written and the improvised.When everyone in the group knows the material well,we play around quite freely with all the musical components. The result is a music formed not only by the composer but by the entire group.The innovative elements (if there are any) are products of that way of working.
We have one unique thing and that´s Catharina Backman herself. Her solos on the accordeon,her compositions,her lyrics,her singing with the accordeon is 100% personal.Also ,the sound of a melody played by Eva and Catharina in unison!They create a new instrument.

4.Do you think that today it's still possible to do something new in the musical scene?

Absolutely. Contrary to popular belief it wasn't any easier to create something new before. New music is music never heard. There's a lot of music left never heard.
It is always possible.
We´ve been doing it for the last 15 years,but no one knows about it. I think it´s a question of combinations and visions. You can still make a scandal if you play a certain music in a wrong room.Or if you are lucky,you can make billions of dollars,like Andre 3000,sing greasy lovesongs in combination with Coltrane,and do it as a hiphop artist.That is not expected and I think it´s great.

5.Which kind of public do you think you could reach with your music?

Everybody with an open mind. What has surprised me is that a lot of people with little or no exposure of music outside the top40 finds it very accesible.
The music works quite well to all kinds of audiences.Our problem is that the musical scene in Sweden is small and very dependent of genre.The jazz clubs claim that Katzen Kapell is not jazz.World music scenes say that it´s not folk music and so on. But performing in front of an audience works always great either it is in a rock festival or a jazz club.
Everybody that likes music.Our concerts is very visual with a lot of instruments on stage and we´re all dressed up like we´re playing in a nightclub in Las Vegas.Catharina often introduces the songs with crazy stories so that the audience can get a picture of what the song could be about.When we play, people laugh and sometimes they cry. Our dream is to tour in Europe and Japan,but we don´t have any manager!

6.What do you think about the current musical scene? Which artists do you prefer?

We live in such a golden age of music. As long as you ignore the music industry mainstream and are willing to look elsewhere I can't think of a better time for music enthusiasts than now.
At the moment I actually listen to mostly baroque, jazz and improvised music.The artists I like just now are Stefano Scoda- nibbio when he plays his own solopieces for doublebass; that`s just like improvised music.To get fire and power into my making music on the violin I listen to Cecilia Bartoli singing baroque music. Also, I listen a lot to Per-Henrik Wallin, the swedish jazzpianist.
I prefer live acts to recorded music.The last thing that really touched me was a performance by Zingaro,cirque d’équestre in Paris.It was not even focused on the music.The show was called Loungta,cheveaux de vent.The orchestra consisted of ten monks from Dalai Lamas monastery in Tibet singing,blowing in horns and playing percussion!Before that I enjoyed mandoline players Mike Marshall and Chris Thile playing “newgrass” in Boulder,USA.Equilibristic and beautiful.
I´m not really familiar with the current scene.I have no idea what is happening in the “progressive” scene.But it seems that world music continues to grow.I like rumanian cimbalon, Mali singer Dimi Mint Abba and Kora player Diabate.In the popular field I like Outkast,Ben Folds and D´Angelo.The voice of Mary J. Blige is fantastic but the production is dead and so is MTV. Nothing seems to happen in the jazz world.Maybe some musicians use samplers and drum machines….I´m waiting for the next revolution. For the last 2 months I´ve been listening to Hermeto Pascoal. He´s a true genius. When you´re into his music everything else sound boring and pretentious.In the classical field I enjoy John Adams and Arvo Pärt.I have my listening periods.Sometimes it´s only Miles.

7.What about the future (Katzen Kapell projects, solo projects.)?

We have to do a new CD, there are so many new tunes to record. Before that we should play more often; festivals, touring. Europe.
Katzen Kapell wants to play outside Sweden in clubs and festivals all around Europe.There are plans for a third CD which I think can be released during 2005. We are about to be involved in a film project writing music for the screen for the first time as a group. As a solo project I am looking forward to compose my third opera.To stretch out in time and space with a large symphony orchestra,mixed choir,soloists and dancers.I am just waiting for a comission…
We have to do more concerts to try out the new compositions. Then,maybe after a year we can record them. I don´t know if we´re going in to the studio or record live. Maybe we start our own record label. We are about to update our website and keep it updated. For myself,I want to write some stuff for orchestra.I´ve done some filmscores and hoping to get a comission for a feature film this year.Anyhow,I will work on a documentary on Einstein.

8.Do you want to add something?

The new way of downloading music from the internet instead of buying expensive CD:s will increase the need of live performances on stage and on DVD.The visual live act is important again,that is good for Katzen Kapell!

9.Thank you very much for your kindness.

Katzen kapell:
Thank you.Our pleasure.

Ruggero Formenti - Agartha Team