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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 09 2011 at 08:14


Kaipa from Sweden does not really need an introduction. They are among the best symphonic prog bands on this planet. They have been around since the early 1970s, but with a long break in the 1980's & the 90s.

They released their new album In The Wake Of Evolution some months ago and I caught up with Hans Lundin for an interview.

Before the interview; here is a history lesson from Hans Lundin:

History

Before Kaipa started 1973 I played in my first band S:t Michael Sect 1964-1969 and in the later version of the same band San Michael’s 1970-1972.

In 1970 San Michael’s was a trio – Hans Lundin (Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet & vocal), Tomas Eriksson (bass & vocal) and Gunnar Westbergh (drums & vocal). In 1972 Nane Kvillsäter (guitar & vocal) joined us. We played a lot of own material with Swedish lyrics but like one of our heroes “Vanilla Fudge” we rearranged cover songs to become moodier and heavier. We also jammed a lot on stage.

We recorded two albums with only original material. The first one was recorded and released 1971 and the second one “Nattåg” was recorded 1972 but it was never released. Not until 2009 when Japanese record company Marquee released the album for the first time after 37 years. This album is also released in an European version 2009 by Transubstans records/Record Heaven.
I think the first 7 years were, except having a lot of fun, like an education learning the basic rules of playing in a band. 1970 I had grown as a musician and I started to write own songs. I think San Michael’s in a way is the basic roots of Kaipa.

San Michael’s disbanded early 1972 and for one year I worked as a backing musician behind other artists. During this year I realized that I wanted to form a new band (Kaipa) where I could develop my musical ideas. In 1973 I asked Tomas Eriksson and Thomas Sjöberg to join me. Sadly, Thomas Sjöberg was hit by cancer and couldn't rehearse regularly any more. He was forced to leave the band early 1974, and was replaced by Ingemar Bergman. During the spring of 1974 we felt that the trio format was too limited to express all the dimensions in our compositions. So we started to look around for a guitarist and during the summer of 1974 Roine Stolt joined us.


 
Kaipa interview

Our Kaipa biography is quite extensive so let's bypass the formalities. But why did you choose that name and which bands were you influenced by ?

The name of the band was originally URA KAIPA. It referred to a Swedish Stone Age chieftain and came from the book "Svenskarna och deras hövdingar" by Werner von Heidenstam. In 1975 the name was shortened to KAIPA.

In the 60’s I was of course impressed by Beatles but also bands like Steppenwolf and Spencer Davies Group with Steve Winwood. They were using Hammond organ with a dirty and distorted sound that I really liked. In 1967 I bought my own Hammond organ. In the early 70’s I remember I was impressed by the band Ekseption and their heavy versions of classical music on Hammond organ and also Swedish organ player Merit Hemmingsson who showed how to play Swedish folk music on the organ.

How did the members of Kaipa spend this Christmas holiday ?

I can only speak for myself and it was as usual with my family but I also spent a few hours in my studio working with a new song.

This is an archive based interview also intended for the fans you get well after both you and I have passed away so let's go straight to your albums. Please give us your long or brief views on your albums, starting with.......



Kaipa from 1975

I think our debut album contains some really great compositions and beautiful melodies but I wish it would’ve been recorded with a better sound, especially the drums..



Inget Nytt Under Solen from 1976

In my opinion this is our best album from the first period. This was the first time we created a really long song “Skenet bedrar” (21:41). It was a challenge but I think we succeeded. The song had several different faces and went through many changes before we found the final version that we recorded for the album. There are several other great songs on this album. I can mention “Korståg” which is considered to be a classic Kaipa song.

We recorded and produced the album together with Leif Mases who also recorded the San Michael’s albums (1971 & 1972). Leif managed to reproduce the sound we wanted, as close as possible to that of our live gigs with less reverb and more punch to the drum parts.



Solo from 1978

On the two first album I wrote most of the songs and was the lead singer. On this album Roine Stolt was the main composer and we were now a five peace band with a new singer Mats Löfgren. I’m not sure we really knew what direction we should choose. But it ended up with shorter and sometimes simpler songs.



Händer from 1980

On this album we wanted to continue our musical journey, not playing the same style over and over again. I think the album reflects what happened in music business generally these years. Many other famous progressive bands went in the same direction and symphonic rock was just not in fashion during these years.



Nattdjurstid from 1982

This album is one more step away from the progressive rock. This time we were trying to find new inspiration from artists like David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Talking Heads. I still wrote some more symphonic songs but I saved them for my first solo album “Tales” that was released 1984.

“Nattdjurstid” was recorded very simple on an eight track tape recorder and it was a situation far away from the famous Polar studio where we recorded the previous album. In a way I think we were progressive anyway, we were looking for new challenges, even if it’s the albums from the 70’s that are remembered both regarding Kaipa and other contemporary bands.



Stockholm Symphonie from 1993

This is not a studio album from 1993, it’s a Japanese bootleg, released 1993 containing live recordings from 1974 and 1976.



Notes From The Past from 2002

The album “Notes from the past” started as solo project. I asked Roine Stolt if he would like to play guitar on the album and help me to get back into the recording process again after my long hiatus. I didn’t have any intention to release it under the name Kaipa. Per Nordin who made the artwork for the album told me when he heard the music: “this is exactly how Kaipa should sound today so why don’t you use the old band name?” I asked Roine if he thought it was a good idea. He said yes and suddenly Kaipa was reborn. With “Notes from the past” I wanted to record an album with brand new music but with a lot of inspiration in the song writing and sound structures from my own history. If you listen carefully to the last minutes of the album you can hear fragments of several melodies from the old 70’s Kaipa albums.
I still enjoy listening to this album, it contains many great songs.



Keyholder from 2003

A deeper collaboration with Roine, more complex and this time with more vocal from Aleena Gibson who is now a real member of the group.



Mindrevolutions from 2005

Many beautiful melodies and lots of great playing and singing but also the beginning of the end of the collaboration with Roine.



Angling Feelings from 2007

This was the first time I could develop my ideas all the way together with the other musicians into the final result. More folk music influences but also lots of complex parts and great melodies.



In The Wake Of Evolution from 2010

After recording “Angling feelings” I didn’t think I could manage to do a better album and I was afraid that I should only reproduce myself. But somehow it seems we managed to take the music one step further. Even more folk influences, a really great album with no weak songs.



How is the current availability of all your albums ?

All the five 2000 albums are available The three first 70’s albums were included in the 5 CD-box “The Decca years 1975-1978”. The box was released in a limited edition 2005 and is not available anymore but the three albums are planned to be released separately by InsideOut.



Just some questions about Kaipa and your career. When Kaipa started up in the 1970s, the Swedish scene was sharply divided into two camps; the progg movement around Michael Wiehe/MNW and the Abba/folkpark movement. What was your views on this and which of those two camps did you feel most comfortable with ?

We were definitely a part of the prog movement but we played at all types of places. We recorded our albums on a “commercial” record company, Decca, and that was not accepted by some people in the “Wiehe/MNW camp”. This lead to some strange situations and we were refused to play at some venues

There has been a twenty years long gap in Kaipa's career. Why did you split up and came back again ?

In 1982 there was no interest in “progressive rock”, at that time people were listening to punk. We split up because it was impossible to continue, we didn’t have any choice and I thought the last chapter in the book of Kaipa was written. As I mentioned before “Notes from the past” started as a solo project but ended as a new Kaipa album.



You lost Roine Stolt before Angling Feelings, but you still had a triumphant return with that album and in particular In The Wake Of Evolution which is riding high on our best album of 2010 chart. What did this split with Roine Stolt mean to Kaipa ?

The unique sound of Kaipa is the sum of the original compositions and the personality and high quality of the individual musicians playing in the band. Roine was one of them and he was important but now Per Nilsson is playing guitar. I first met Per when we both played in the group “Hagen” in the late 90’s. I immediately realized that he is a very diverse and gifted musician able to play any styles in his own personal way. I actually asked him already in 2002 if he wanted to be the guitar player in Kaipa some time in the future. I had a feeling that the collaboration with Roine Stolt shouldn’t last forever.

Both Roine and Per are great musicians but they have different styles and starting points. When I formed Kaipa in 1973, Per wasn’t even born. So he grew up in a totally different musical environment.


Listening to your albums, which is always a pleasure, I think it is fair to claim that Kaipa music wise is up there with the best ever progressive bands on this planet, but you have never got the recognition you so richly deserve. In your view; why did you and do you never get the recognition your music deserve ?

I wish I knew but maybe it’s because Kaipa is not a traditional “progressive rock band”. I use to describe our music as “progressive fusion folk rock”. Sometimes the music is very simple and melodic, the melodies live their own life and they don’t need to be underlined by an odd time signature or strange arrangements. Sometimes the music is very complex and it’s taking a totally different direction. When I write the songs I never decide in advance what shall happen but mostly it ends up as a very joyful and positive music with just a few dark corners. If you like this odd mix you’ll probably like Kaipa, but if you expect to find the usual traditional parts and sounds of progressive rock taken directly from the guide book you’ll probably be disappointed.



In your view; which is the best album Kaipa has ever released ?

There are two chapters in the history of Kaipa and I don’t like to compare what we did 1975 with what we do today that’s not fair.

I think “Inget nytt under solen” is the best album from the first chapter and
“In the wake of evolution” the best from the second chapter. But after all every album is like a separate story and they all have their highlights.

What is your plans for 2011 and beyond ?

I’m working with some new songs I’ve written the last year. Maybe there will be another album, time will tell.



Thank you to Hans Lundin for this interview

Their PA profile is here and homepage is here
   


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Merlin27 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merlin27 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2011 at 08:46
Grate Kaipa text
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Anthony H. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anthony H. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2011 at 10:50
Absolutely wonderful interview!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2011 at 18:56
Excellent interview!!!

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrea Cortese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2011 at 16:22
In The Wake of Evolution is really great... I have to agree. It's something of a big improvement to Angling Feelings.

I enjoyed the interview very much!! Congrats Torodd!!Clap



Edited by Andrea Cortese - January 17 2011 at 16:06
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lazland View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2011 at 08:36
That's another fantastic interview, ToroddClap


In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ProgHardRocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 17 2011 at 23:36
I love Kaipa! It's a wonderful band, I like their vocal duet and I think that Kaipa have a really personal sound.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrea Cortese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2011 at 16:41
^^^

Same here.Clap

I re-listened to In The Wake of Evolution today... it's undubitably great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimClark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2011 at 12:56
Kaipa's 1975 self titled album is what I play most (and really enjoy accompanying with my bass guitar) and is my "find" of 2010. So "sorry" that their style changed so quickly, but this is the story of prog rock"ness". Either one off masterpieces albums or evolutionary sounds.

Question is. Is there a site where I can find Kaipa's 1975 album Lyrics? I need to know what is being sung...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2011 at 13:26
I totally enjoy Kaipa......after discovering In the Wake of Evolution and diving into other albums, I find their music so complex but very listenable, easy on the ears.
I doubt they will ever come around to the Seattle area....maybe one day I will have the pleasure.
 
Torodd....as usual another great interview.
Clap x 100


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