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Richard Hawey - février 2016

Profil - LEAP DAY a été fondé en 2008 et est constitué de musiciens Néerlandais bien connus du monde du rock progressif. Chaque musicien nous arrive de groupes comme Flamborough Head, King Eider, Nice Beaver et Trion. En 2008, ils sortent une démo contenant trois chansons, dont « Awaking the Muse » qui est le titre de leur premier album studio complet en 2009 chez OSKAR Productions. Leur deuxième album, « Skylge’s Lair », est publié en Février 2011. Après une courte visite en Pologne en 2011 et de nombreux concerts en Hollande, ils ont commencé à écrire et enregistrer leur 3ème album studio. En Octobre 2013, ils sortent « From the Days of Deucalion, Chapter 1 ». Le second chapitre est sorti en Novembre à 2015. C’est le motif principal de cette entrevue réalisée avec Eddie MULDER.

PR- First of all, a special thanks to accept to answer our questions.

Eddie – Thank you, it’s my pleasure!

PR - 'From the Days of Deucalion' the first chapter and the second "The Days of Deucalion" were inspired by the controversial book of Immanuel Velikovsky "World In Collision". What are the elements which you have drawn or inspired in this work?

Eddie – About 5 years ago I read this book. As it is so “cinematic” my imagination took a flight and the first concept got shaped. At first I proposed it to Trion but we never got to do something with this concept. Some years later, around 2011, I proposed this same concept to Gert van Engelenburg and Derk Evert Waalkens of Leap Day, who immediately got enthusiastic about its possibilities. The two of them, in corporation with me, took the concept to another level. So when it came to the actual production, it soon became clear that it had to be a double album. We, all of the band, then decided to split it all in two parts, to be released separately: we didn’t want to work 4 years on a double album with no release in between. But, to come back to your question, a lot of the initial titles came from my hand, later to be changed and chopped around by Gert and Derk Evert, and all of the band too, which is all right! Of course, being the book that it is, it’s not too difficult to come with dramatic titles and subjects. We did try, though, to add elements of positivity too and, perhaps, try to make a link to present times. The subject of the book then, is about interplanetary collisions in ancient times. Velikovsky came up with some theories about this subject.

PR - Tell us briefly about this second chapter "The Days of Deucalion"?

Eddie – Of course it’s very much the same “issue” as with Chapter 1. There are musical variations on themes shared both on Ch.1 and 2. I have to say, both Gert van Engelenburg and Derk Evert Waalkens did an excellent job enhancing on the original concept. Without their compositional and productional skills it would have been a total other picture overall, but that’s of course what you get when people can interact creatively, as is true with all of the band.

PR - Is there a tour scheduled for the promotion of 'The Days of Deucalion'? If so it will be limited to Europe?

Eddie: Well, nothing’s scheduled yet, we do some gigs overhere, there’s some interest from abroad and we’d like to gig anywhere if possible…

PR - We know that the Netherlands is a very fertile land with regard to progressive music, according to you what are the points which make that Leap Day stands out from other groups?

Eddie: When we’re tight by gigging a lot, I guess we stand out as a good live band. We were so in 2011 when we did several gigs overhere in Holland and did a short tour in Poland. After that we started to get busy with Deucalion which took so much time. But we are lucky to have several good composers in the band too. Along with that, the way Derk Evert Waalkens has produced these last albums are a major boost in quality to the band too. I don’t know if we’d like to compare ourselves to other bands that much. We’re pretty much focused on our own ways of expression, I guess.

PR - The cover of the new album is again the work of Rafal Paluszek, it becomes more and more popular with the progressive community. He designed several pouches with those of your solo album "Dreamcatcher", Flamborough Head, Walfad, Leap Day, and many others. That is what attracted your attention in this artist?

Eddie : I guess it’s pure justice to Rafal’s qualities : he’s a guy who needs to breed a bit on ideas ( given to him or coming from his own imagination ) and then suddenly he strikes the right note and everything comes together nicely. Also it’s nice communicating with him as he seems to feel what kind of direction we’d like to go to.

PR - Speaking of "Dreamcatcher", you have done your first solo album recently, what you thought there for a long time?

Eddie: Actually it came together within a year or so, so around 2014. I started to write more and more just on the guitar resulting in a growing setlist of my own.

PR - Did you feel pressure at the time of the release of the album?

Eddie: Yes I did, because of it being my first solo effort ever. I’ve been a band’s man all my life so it’s exciting to see where this might bring me. Me performing on my own is a role in which I’m growing steadily and successfully.

PR - Are you satisfied with the reactions of the public until now?

Eddie: Yes I am very much! My wife, who is also my manager, books me regularly on nice occasions and people’s reactions are very satisfying and encouraging. It’s all growing bit by bit.

PR - Is it true that you are the new bassist/guitarist of Flamborough Head following the departure of Marcel Derix?

Eddie: That’s true: I’ve always stayed in touch with FH after my departure from the band at the end of 2007, filling in, when necessary, on guitar and bass. And there’s of course my work with Edo Spanninga too (also of Trion). And we just remained good friends as well. When Marcel left the band, I jumped on it, because I like to play bass too, not only on studio efforts with Trion, but also in a live band.

PR - All we know that progressive music is not easy, have you ever had the idea to let everything go and do something else than music?

Eddie: The thing is, I’m a professional musician since the 80’s, I’ve played so many different situations and styles and, after 2000, the possibility to play progressive symphonic music came around in the form of Flamborough Head and Trion and Leap Day too, I mean, music is such a huge part of my life.. I could never let go music, I think. On the other other passion is everything green: gardening! It’s not very rock ‘n roll, I know, but it’s me too! And between those two passions it’s been kinda difficult at times, but these days I’m able to do both, so no moaning from me!

PR - There are more and more groups traveling towards the progressive music, do you believe that this style of music market is saturated or that on the contrary it is good for all?

Eddie: The good thing about that seems to me, that perhaps prog music is recognized as more worthwhile these days, being that it can give this certain musical freedom and satisfying possibilities that you can’t find that easy in other genres. Jazz can, but you’ve got to be a jazzer, then.

PR - As regards Eddie Mulder and Leap Day, what are the plans in the short term? No visit to America planned?

Eddie: For me, right now I’m making preparations for my second solo album, hopefully to be released later in 2016. In January, the actual recordings start. Several solo concerts planned too. Leap Day has already started writing new music, there’s not a timetable yet for the next album. As I said before, we’re doing some gigs in Holland and possibly abroad. Flamborough Head has started writing and rehearsing new stuff. The goal is the next studio album. Trion’s present on the next Colossus production with a track. Lots of action going on! There’s no visit to America planned, yet..! It’s a huge undertaking for a band. For me, as a solo artist…who knows! I’m available all day and night J !

PR - You have the final word...

Eddie: On behalf of all the bands I’m involved with and me as a solo artist I like to make clear that it’s very satisfying to know that there are people out there ( be it Quebec or wherever on the globe) who are interested in our activities overhere and like to listen to our music! To us it sometimes feels like living in a kind of “prog-enclave” overhere in the north of The Netherlands ( that is Leap Day, Flamborough Head, Trion, the festivals Progfarm (( 1997-2012)) and NPF festival (( from 2013 on))

PR - Hope to see you and listen to you in Quebec City a day.

Eddie: We sure do hope so too! Thanks for your invitation and attention!

PR - Thank you for participating in this interview.

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