ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
With: Christoph Tiber
ALBUM REVIEW HERE
Philippe André - November 2023
Profilprog (PP): Hello Christoph thank you for giving us your time to answer our questions.
CHANDELIER (CT): Hi Philippe and thanks for your interest in the band and our music!
PP: Chandelier returns twenty-six years after the album TIMECODE, is it very surprising for fans of progressive music? What are the reasons?
CHANDELIER (CT): Well, as you might know we re-released our old albums in 2018/19 and this led to us being invited for a one-off reunion concert at the famous ‘’Night of the Pro’’ festival. The concert went surprisingly well and was eventually released as a CD/DVD appropriately called ‘’Live at Lorele’’. But we also found out that we enjoyed making music together again, so we decided to continue and to write new songs for what now turned out to be our new album WE CAN FLY.
PP: TIMECODE greatly disappointed your audience at the time, do you now know why? I know you didn't participate in this album...
CHANDELIER (CT): Indeed, I was not part of the TIMECODE line-up, so I can only speculate. Personally, I feel that TIMECODE has very strong songs but that the production didn’t show that. Guitars and keyboards are rather low in the mix, the drums sound artificial, the whole albums sound very dry. We would have loved to remix the album for the re-release, but we couldn’t get hold of the original tracks.
PP: I suppose you know Grobschnitt well since Eroc remastered your albums and Toni Moff Mollo regularly appears on vocals on certain tracks?
CHANDELIER (CT): We know Toni quite well since he comes to rehearsals regularly and will sing on our upcoming concerts. Eroc we only met once, but he did fantastic job remastering our old material, really breathing new life into it. The guy is quite unique and a spectacular mastering engineer.
PP: Are Grobschnitt an example and a reference for you?
CHANDELIER (CT): Yes! Maybe not so much musically, but their DIY attitude and the mix of serious music and very silly banter in concert… we quite liked that.
PP: All in all, Toni Moff Mollo sings almost as much as Martin on the album? For which reason?
CHANDELIER (CT): When we decided to re-start the group in 2019, Martin really wanted a second voice in the band, a bit of a shouting voice to complement his rather pastoral voice. And since we had Toni singing on 1-2 tracks anyway, we asked him if he wanted to take over that role.
PP: How will you do on stage to sing the songs that are performed by Toni on record?
CHANDELIER (CT): For the upcoming concerts, Toni will join us and sing with Martin. If we’d happen to play without him, we will probably leave off those songs that are really meant to be sung together, like for example the track ‘’LIGHT’’.
PP: Martin has a very good pronunciation of the English language; does he have origins in that area?
CHANDELIER (CT): No, he just grew up listening to mostly English music, from Cat Stevens to Genesis, Yes, etc.
PP: Udo is a guitarist with great lyricism, does he have any particular influences or at least admiration for some?
CHANDELIER (CT): I believe that Steve Hackett and Richie Blackmore were two of the more important influences when Udo started playing guitar. But in general, my impression is that Udo doesn’t listen to other music or musicians too much. He is always very busy writing and recording his own music, so there are not too many external influences on his music these days.
PP: Still no news from Tobias Budnowski?
CHANDELIER (CT): We are loosely in touch with Tobias, he is just not making music anymore. He might come to see us in concert next month, though.
PP: How did you meet Armin? He was part of a group ELLEVEN which is much more metal and less progressive than Chandelier from what I have listened to......
CHANDELIER (CT): When CHANDELIER dissolved in 1998, the guys who had played drums and bass on TIMECODE hooked up with Armin and the singer/guitar player Julia Graf to form ELLEVEN. Later Herry, our original drummer, joined them as well, so there was always a bit of CHANDELIER DNA in ELLEVEN, just a different musical approach. And when we reformed CHANDELIER in 2019 and Tobias wasn’t available, asking Armin was kind of the logical thing to do.
PP: Does this group still exist?
CHANDELIER (CT): Yes, they are working on a new album right now.
PP: In the last century (!) Udo composed most of the material, is this still the case today?
CHANDELIER (CT): In the old days the music came mostly from Udo, Tobias, and Martin with me throwing in some bits & pieces as well. The music on our new album has been solely written by Udo and Martin. Udo normally gives us complete songs to which Martin adds lyrics and a vocal melody. Martin’s songs are, in contrast, normally a melody and some basic piano chords and then we start to flesh out and arrange those rather bare bone ideas.
PP: On Loreley's videos, Peter Nicholls can be seen behind the stage, is he one of your friends or just a professional acquaintance?
CHANDELIER (CT): It’s more a professional acquaintance, though we have always been on friendly terms with them. I have organized a couple of IQ shows in the past, so at some point I was a bit closer to them, mostly to Mike anyway. But they are a great band and set a good example as to how to do your own thing without bothering running after record labels etc.
PP: Who had the idea for the cover? A flying seal is not common!
CHANDELIER (CT): Indeed, flying seals are rather uncommon in general ;-). Martin saw the image on Bing one day and saved the copyright info as he liked it a lot. I wasn’t too sure if that image would really be suitable for a cover but once we had the album title (We can fly) it started to make sense. Now it’s also a reference to the bumble bee of our 1992 album FACING GRAVITY, which many people still rate as our best album.
PP: If "We Can Fly" is well received, are you planning to do concerts for 2024? Loreley again?
CHANDELIER (CT): We play a handful of shows in late 2023 and early 2024, plus maybe a few dates around a festival in France where we are booked in October 2024. We haven’t been asked to play at Loreley again and I doubt it would be as special for us and the fans if we played there again. Maybe we just keep the great memory from our 2019 concert there and let other bands have their great moment on that wonderful stage instead.
PP: Other hobbies outside music for you and the other members of the band?
CHANDELIER (CT): Besides jobs and families, music is really the main hobby for all of us. Udo is an avid surfer and Armin likes to do weekend trips on his motorbike, but I guess for the rest of us it’s just soaking up life, travelling, filling our hearts and minds with whatever books, films, or music we come across.
PP: Thank you for your collaboration and all the best for CHANDELIER
CHANDELIER (CT): Merci à toi Philippe et bonne continuation avec Profilprog.com!