Interview with Chris Jonker
When I listened "Beyond Reality" I thought out I fell in love in this album. To be honest - the album is in my player from several months. What does cause, that your music is so exceptional?
Well, first of all thanks for your kind words. Good to hear that the cd is stuck in your cd-player for such a long time! ;-) I think it is because we write our music foremost from a emotional point of view instead of solely a technical one. Of course we’ve got some challenging technically oriented parts, but we always try to concentrate to the story of the music. We think a song has to tell a story and should not be a sequence of just some nice bits and pieces. The melody is also always very important to us.
So, how do you create songs which are so deep and full of emotions? For example - the ballads „Love & Beyond” and „Beyond Reality” are very emotional. I think you need to feel some emotions in your life to create so melancholic songs.
In fact this is exactly what I meant with our intention to place the emotional thing before the technical. Isn’t that the essence of music? To touch the listener’s emotions? I think so. We as a musicians want to hear exact the same emotions as you would like to hear as a listener. So listening to ourselves in a very critical way is also a key in that respect. We just are not satisfied very quickly. We start listening to ourselves over and over again and try to improve every little corner of our music.
Exactly! Your solos are really unearthly. When I listen the solos then I have impression of travelling in other dimension? Do you get some grass during creating of such melodies? Hahaha...
Wow! That’s great to hear. Well, I am impressed by Roland’s guitar solo’s as well... ;-) He is also a very emotional player. His guitar playing comes straight from the heart. And it’s good to hear you feel the same kind of excitement. Oh yeah, and there are some nice keyboard solo’s there as well... ;-)
Obviously, that I meant all solos. Generally the album "Beyond Reality" is very nostalgic and full of pathos. What did it inspire you to creation this album?
„Beyond Reality” holds the kind of music we always loved to play. Based on the inspiration of the big progressive rock bands with an litte retro touch from the seventies. We also love to experiment with that big palette of great sounds that makes the music even more interesting.
Well, have you got some musical patterns surely?
We’re most of all inspired by bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush. That kind of stuff. Music that has stood the test of time. But also our bass player is more into the heavy side like Billy Sheehan (Niacin etc.).
This is obvious that Progressive Rock in your style requires the great musical skills. And despite of this you play your compositions with such lightness and looseness…
Yes I think that’s because we simply love performing music. Not as a project or whatever, but just as a real band. In the old-fashioned way. We did many gigs together and we rehearse once a week almost every single week of the year. So playing together makes a better musician of each individual band member. People who attend our shows also hear and feel that: we often get kind words and compliments about the tightness of the band, which is great.
Is „Beyond Reality” concept-album?
It is not a real concept album like it’s predecessor „Facing The Sunset”. However, the songs refer all to the same kind of theme. It’s a bundle of observations of human behaviour when dealing with time and space related issues. It’s all about there and there, me and you, now and then...
Why did you place mirrored lyrics inside of the cover? Many men even will not come to read the lyrics (even from your website).
Since the mirror is some kind of window to a world beyond reality, we tried to emphasize the lyrical themes by printing the lyrics in mirror writing. The non-mirrored lyrics are available on our website.
Why this album cannot be played in a blue Ford Mondeo wagon? Hahaha...
Because our manager drives that car! ;-)
The cover-art of "Beyond Reality" fits ideally to reigning climate on the album… But the photo inside caused an consternation in me (You harass colleague by use a drill), hahaha… Anyway the axe in victim's palm and the hammer on the ground also are very meaningful symbols… Hahaha...
Well to be honest, it was just done to cause a shock-effect and provoke questions in interviews like this about it... ;-)
Did Mangrovian Music come into being on need of MANGROVE only?
Mangrovian Music started indeed as a small company in favour of the band Mangrove. So in fact we little by little professionalised this. Now it is in fact our own label. It represents the business side of the band in terms of productions, promotion and sales. But I do not exclude the fact that we can work for instance for other bands.
Unfortunately I do not know your previous albums. Are they well-kept in similar style?
I thinks so, but just buy the albums and judge for yourself! Ha ha... Well, „Beyond Reality” was a big step forward in terms of especially vocals and production. But in general I think our musical skills also have more chance to shine on „Beyond Reality”.
I know that you played shows in Poland some times ago. What were your sensations?
It was really great to be for the first time in your country. We loved it. The people from Poland express themselves very emotionally when it comes down to music. That’s great, because of the great feedback from them we even played better. That’s really great. (So we’re also influenced by our fans! ;-))
I also know that you have many fans in Poland. Even the label Oscar released your 3 materials. Do you know how they sell?
Yeah, it’s great to hear that there are many people in Poland who love our kind of music. I think Oscar sells many items for us, that’s great. I do not have the exact sales figures as they buy from a big dutch distributor.
Did you begin already preliminary conversations with Metal Mind (or others labels) about possible concerts in Poland?
Well, at least we are now in contact (thanks to you!), and I am very much convinced that we are able to get some great things done in Poland with their contribution. It’s a very professional working organisation. So, we’re looking forward to how this will develop...
So, what will be the rest of 2010 year for MANGROVE?
We have built a strong live reputation over the last few years and we just love it to perform live. Next May we will do some great gigs in The Netherlands and Germany (see gig list on the website). And we are very excited about doing our first headliner gig at „De Boerderij”, Zoetermeer (NL). This 750-capacity venue is well known for having presented many great progressive rock bands and artists from all over the world. We played quite some times there, but this time we are proud to see that we have reached a next step: doing our own show instead of doing a support act or double headliner. We are thinking about some special features like guest musicians, filming for a DVD etc. We have performed in different countries in Europe (Germany, Belgium, Poland, UK, Switzerland) and we would love it to come back more often there. Of course we would also like to let the people in Poland enjoy our performances. Nothing planned there yet. But as said, we hope Metal Mind can help us in that respect...
You are not already youngsters... You don't go to a school beyond playing on rehearsals, hahaha… So what do you do beyond playing music?
Thinking about music! ;-)
Great thanks for the interview! On the end I will ask… What is on the second side of a mirror?
The world Beyond Reality!