Heart of Steel: Interviews

Jonas Reingold
Bassist for: Karmakanic and The Flower Kings 

Interview by Anders Sandvall
Pictures of Jonas by Anders Sandvall
Promo pictures provided by Jonas Reingold

Jonas Reingold is the band leader of the progressive/symphonic band Karmakanic. I met up with Mr. Reingold on his porch to ask him some questions about the new album "WHEEL OF LIFE" with Karmakanic and to clear up some questions regarding the album. Jonas was, just as the last time I interviewed him, a very nice person and we celebrated the release of the album with coffee on the porch. Jonas also plays bass in The Flower kings as well.

How did the debut with Karmakanic go? How did the fans / press receive it?

I’ve got some very positive reactions on the album. The company hadn’t thought it would sell so much as it did, about 10.000 copies were sold.

The fans received it very well indeed, the response amongst both The Flower King’s fans and among regular hard rockers was positive. We’ve got some negative reviews as well, but we mostly got some nice reactions on the debut.


Did you do any live gig on the debut? If so when and where did it take place?

We haven’t done any live shows on the debut because financial matters. I’ve got a lot of different offers to play but I wasn’t able to combine it financially so instead we waited to play live.

Have you written the music and lyrics on this album as well as on the debut?

I have written all the music and my wife has written all the lyrics with some help from me.



Are the lyrics about anything special? Last time it was a theme album, is it so this time to?

This album is not a theme one but the content in the songs has a main theme that runs through the songs, this time the songs is about life itself and how destiny can affect the choices we do, both the conscious choices and the sub conscious choices.



On the previous album you had a lot of different musicians along with you, on this one you have a steady line up, how come?

I was a bit confused on the debut. I have released one album before “Entering the spectra” called “Universe” and didn’t really knew how I wanted things to be in terms of the line-up. Now on this album I have worked with a steady line-up and I feel that we have a more “band feeling” and that is really nice.



How long did it take to write and record “Wheel of Life”?’

We started to write in December '02 until May '03. We recorded it from May '03 to December '03. The album was recorded and mixed in Reingold Studios in Malmö Sweden. It was mastered and finished the 6th of February this year.



I think that Karmakanic plays symphonic/progressive rock, a music style that can feel a bit hard-listened. On this album the music feels a bit easier to listen to, what is you comment on that?

I think that the production and the songs/melodies are stronger. It’s better than the debut and it sounds more like US prog than European prog.




Why did you chose Göran Edman to sing once again?

He’s simply the best.

What is so special about Görans voice?

He is great on carrying melodies and he is brilliant on instantly nailing a song. He’s also quite stubborn, in a good way, and it’s fun to work with him.



You have also chosen to put your Flower Kings colleague Zoltan behind the drums again, why so?

Because this time it wasn’t metal as on the debut this time the music is more jazz-fusion and that suits Zoltan’s way of playing.



Who is Krister Jonsson? Has he played with any known bands before?

He is a guitarist from Malmö who played with a lot of jazz musicians. He has a very good music sense. He hasn’t played with any world famous bands only local bands.


Who are the guests on “Wheel of life”?

Richard Andersson on keyboard, Roine Stolt on guitar, Tomas Bodin on Hammond organ, Hans Bruniusson on percussion, Sal Dibba on congas, Helge Albin on flute, Jakob Karlzon on piano and keyboard, Ola Hedén on piano, Inger Ohlén on vocals and Alex Reingold on speech.


Are you satisfied with the cover?

I think the cover on this album is more “back to the 70’s”. It was really fun to do it as well and it’s a simple cover that lets the music speak and not the cover.



When I interviewed you on the debut you said that Karmakanic was a band and not a project, is it still so?

It’s indeed still a band, the people on “The wheel of life” IS the band.



How would you describe the music on the album?

I think the music on this album is in a more singer/song writer tradition style compared to the debut. I also think that the music has a strong connection to the 70’s music style.



According to the info note with the CD, Karmakanic is going out on a big European tour this year, is that correct?

So far we have one confirmed show and that takes place in Gothenburg Sweden on the 21st of August. I really can’t tell how big the tour is going to be but it’s going to be at least 4 or 5 more shows besides the Gothenburg gig.



How do you comment the fraise that says in the info note “Karmakanic is here to stay, remember Karmakanic”?

I have put a lot of hard work into this band and my ambition is to record more albums under this name.



Are you happy with the album or do you think that you should have done anything different?

I’m very happy with the album but of course there are some minor things we ought to have done in a different way but I’m very pleased with the outcome of the album.


Why is it only 8 songs on the album?

Because there aren’t any room for more music, it’s almost 70 minutes of music and that all that fits on an album but we have one more song that’s going to be a bonus track on the US version. The best songs in my opinion are “Alex in paradise” because of the production and the best sound, “Wheel of life” are the best composition and I love the guitar riff on “Masterplan pt. 1” ‘cause it's a cocky start on the album.



If I say that I think that you are one of the best bass players in Sweden, what is your comment on that?

Thank you Anders, what more can you say… I’m really happy that people appreciate my bass playing. Without my bass I can’t do what I do today, if you like my bass play then you like what I do.

Have you got any date when the album is going to be released in Europe, U.S.A. and Asia?

The album is going to be released in Europe today (7/6). In the US at the end of June and import to Japan also at the end of June. The Japanese people aren’t into this kind of music and that’s why it’s only available on import.



How many interviews have you booked so far?

15 so far and I’m going to about 15 more. The interests are bigger on this album and a lot of the major magazines are waiting to do interviews with me.



Have you read any reviews on the album yet? What does the press think?

We’ve mostly had positive reviews and I’ve only read one negative so far. One magazine even gave us 9.5/10.



Your name is growing bigger and bigger within the progressive / symphonic genre how does that feel?

It feels very good of course. It’s very stimulating that my name is getting bigger. Maybe it’s so that the progg people are more open minded than the metal people, but however I like any kind of metal as well so I am not judgmental.



Are there any plans today on doing another album with Karmakanic?

Yes, I have already begun writing new material. I probably going to start writing seriously in July and we are probably going to record album no. 3 in autumn/winter.



How does the co-operation go with your company?

Regain did a good job with the debut and they do what they can to promote this one.



You and Zoltan have also joined the neo/classical band Time Requiem, how come that?

Richard needed some help when both Peter and Dick quitted and of course I helped him out.



Are you steady member of Time Requiem?

Yes I am. If Time Requiem is going to play live I’m up on stage with them. But I can’t answer for Zoltan, you have to ask him about that.



What is happening in The Flower Kings camp at the moment? I’ve read that you have recorded a new album, when is it going to be released?’

The new album is released in July and last week we did a mini tour through Sweden that went over my expectations.



What does the other members in The Flower Kings think of Karmakanic?

I have got some really new feedbacks by all of the members. I got an e-mail from Roine and he wrote that he think that all fans of The Flower Kings is obligated to buy a copy



What are your plans for the rest of '04?

I’m going to be a dad for the second time in June. The Flower Kings is going out on a major tour on about 15-17 shows so far and we are going to play on bigger venues than ever before. In November I have a tour coming up with The Tangent and of course Karmakanic is going out on tour. Richard Andersson is also going to record his second album with Space Odyssey in my studio and I’m going to produce a pop band in my studio as well. Me, Zoltan and Krister are going to record an album besides Karmakanic with jazz-fusion on it.

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?

I have to say like last time – Stay open minded to different music styles and be open minded to all kinds of music.

I would like to thank all the fans that bought the debut and thanks for all the support I get from my wonderful fans.



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you Anders.

Read our reviews of Karmakanic's releases.

More info on the band: www.reingoldmusic.com

Label: www.regainrecords.com