Interview with Kalle Wallner & Yogi Lang

By Janke Rijpkema, photo's by Miranda Bril.
De Boerderij April 2010.


New: tour dates:

  • 10-sep de nieuwe Nor Heerlen
  • 11-sep de Kade Zaandam
  • 12-sep Poppodium W2 Den Bosch

  • More live pictures; April 2010 from Bluescafe Apeldoorn & The Spirit of 66 Verviers.


    Pictures from Miranda Bril
    @ the Boerderij Zoetermeer

    To celebrate their 10th anniversary, RPWL came to de Boerderij, on April 10th, 2010. Ten certainly was the magic number that day and it turned out to be a magical show as well. But first I got to do an interview with two members of the band, Yogi Lang (vocals & keyboard) and Kalle Wallner (guitar). I’m a big fan of them and was very honoured that I’d been given this opportunity.

    First off, I asked them how their current tour had been going. They started off in Germany, then went to Poland and ended up in Spain, at the Finisterrae Festival, together with some big names in the Prog-scene. Yogi told me that all went well. “In Poland they sang ‘happy birthday’ to us, and they offered us a cake.” So far there were no problems, apart from a delay at the airport. They arrived in Spain one day later than planned. “It wasn’t really a problem, we could still play, but there was no time for a rest,” Yogi said. The big difference between this tour and former ones, according to Yogi, is that usually the tour revolves around a theme – an album. This tour is just a celebration, which is special. Both Kalle and Yogi are looking forward to the rest of the tour.

    Gentle music
    In addition to the tour, RPWL released a new double-album “The Gentle Art of Music”. The first disc is a compilation, the second disc contains acoustic versions of old songs and two new tunes. I asked how they chose the songs. Kalle and Yogi agreed that it was very hard. Yogi: “I didn’t know we wrote so many songs! Finally we decided to use two or three songs from every album and keeping the historical line intact. For the acoustic version, we looked at what we could do with some songs. For some we had great ideas to do it in a different way, with guest players, different instruments and female vocals.” I had already heard the album and I must say, it is beautiful…

    Tom Norris
    One of the guest players is Tom Norris, originally a classical musician who played in the London Symphony Orchestra. I asked them how this all happened. Kalle told me that he knew him because he played on his solo album. “He is a very nice guy, very open-minded, which is not typical for classical musicians. Most of them are very critical when it comes to pop songs. We had a nice time, it was very interesting to do and he did a great job.”

    One new song on the album, ‘Cake’, is indeed quite poppy. According to Yogi, the lyrics have no deeper meaning either. They just tried not to be serious, for once. “It’s a funny description of how to say ‘sorry’. Just for fun we did this video, which you can see on our website. Note that it is a real cake!” Together with ‘Watching the World’ these songs are not pointing out a new musical direction for RPWL. They just seemed to fit with the rest of the songs, Yogi explained. They did write some new material however, for an upcoming RPWL album. But that’s all they could say about that, for now.

    The missing link
    Yogi is currently working on a solo album. “I’m the last member of the band, coming up with a solo album, “ he said. In autumn, the album will be ready. There will be some guest players on it, Guy Pratt amongst others, who used to play bass with Pink Floyd. A friend of Yogi, a musician from Berlin, is also playing the guitar. “It will be very interesting and a big surprise for the progfamily,” Yogi promised. “It actually is the missing link. After Blind Ego (side project of Kalle Wallner) and Parzival’s Eye (side project of Chis Postl), this is the third part of what RPWL is all about. Musicwise the style will be in the direction of singer/songwriter. “
    Kalle told me that there are no plans for Blind Ego, for a while. He is taking a break because he is now touring with RPWL, and is very busy with his new studio, Red Farm records, where he does the recordings for other bands as well, as a producer and arranger. In September RPWL is touring again, and maybe after that he is going to work on another Blind Ego album.

    The past, present and the future
    Kalle and Yogi are both making a living off their music. They started making music at a very young age. Kalle first went to special music lessons, something like a musical kindergarten, when he was 5. Then he learned to play the flute at 7 and finally guitar at the age of 8. Yogi started off with playing organ in church. Since the age 21, after finishing school, he has been a full-time musician. He told me that luckily his parents supported him in this choice. For both of them music is their lives and it’s what they always wanted to do.

    In another ten years they hope to be still together and doing another interview at de Boerderij. They say that they don’t know where all this is taking them. Yogi goes on: “In the beginning nobody knew where the whole thing was leading to. Now, standing here, after 10 years, doing what you really feel like doing, is so nice and special!” Kalle adds that having their own label was an important step. “Ten years ago we were doing demos and playing in garages. Of course we have goals, but the moment is the most important thing. Enjoying this tour NOW, that’s what counts.”

    When I ask them if they still have something they want to say, they hesitate. It was freezing outside. But then Yogi declared that this anniversary tour was actually their way of saying ‘Thank You’ to their fans. In all the years they have been touring, the fourth or fifth time in Zoetermeer, they’ve seen a lot of the same faces. He thinks that’s a good feeling.

    Not only was the concert later on their way of saying ‘thank you’ to their fans, but the fans reciprocated by giving roses to Yogi & Kalle during their song ‘Roses’. It was a memorable moment. So RPWL, THANK YOU! ?



    Interview by Janke Rijpkema.
    Pictures from Miranda Bril.

    And a thank you to Meriam & John Vis
    De Boerderij, fans
    and for the Roses!

    Of course...



    New: tour dates:

  • 10-sep de nieuwe Nor Heerlen
  • 11-sep de Kade Zaandam
  • 12-sep Poppodium W2 Den Bosch

  • More live pictures; April 2010 from Bluescafe Apeldoorn & The Spirit of 66 Verviers.




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    Updated April 2010 by Nick Gielkens
    from the lovely South of the Netherlands, at