ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
With: Ryszard Kramarski
ALBUM REVIEW HERE
Philippe André - November 2022
Profilprog (PP): Hello Ryszard thank you for giving us your time to answer our questions
R. KRAMARSKI: Hello back, I will always devote my time so gladly to discussions about music. It is my passion! And, of course, I will be very happy to answer your questions.
PP: You founded your label in 1998, for what purpose?
R.K.: At the beginning, I only wanted to start a recording studio, but right after my winning the Yamaha Instruments competition for the best home-recorded track, I decided to grow my little business into a record label, so that I could possibly release on it my band FRAMAURO's amateur debut album called "Etermedia". I was just curious what was going to happen and if that album would sell? :) It did, and most of its copies were bought by MUSEA in France, and the rest of them by some music companies in Japan.
PP: Why the name "Lynx»? Reference to the feline?
R.K.: Yes, let me explain the reference! :) Lynx is the Latin word for a bobcat, and because my Polish first name is Ryszard, its popular diminutive form is Ryś (pronounced "rish"), which also means "lynx" or "bobcat" in Polish - therefore, Lynx Music can be interpreted as Music of Ryś! :) There is also the Lynx Constellation in the firmament. So... a little bit of the cosmos and a little bit of the cat! :)
PP: After Lynx and Framauro, creation of Millenium, at first for fun or with the intention of going further?
R.K.: Well, around that time, Framauro was nothing but a bit of fun for three cousins (meaning: me and my two cousins), yet I quickly started to think more seriously about music - and, in August 1999, we entered the studio as Framauro, but during the recording session, I changed the band's name, and so we eventually left the studio as Millenium. That is how the history of Millenium began, although that first album was still a work of Framauro, as a matter of fact. Quite complicated! :) As for me and the rest of the band, the very real Millenium is born along with our second album "Vocanda", released in the year 2000.
PP: Second album out of seventeen without Lukasz Gall, why?
R.K.: Yes, that is correct! It all came down to the same problem, as ever. Lukasz was not at all interested to participate in live concerts, to come to rehearsals and to get really involved with all we did. To him, the recording of albums was perfectly enough. And we wanted to play live because that was also what our fans expected.
PP: Have you kept in good contact with him? Has he stopped the music?
R.K.: Yes, we are in good relationship with each other. We meet up for beer and pizza, every now and then. We parted the best of friends. Lukasz is rather not interested in music, anymore, but I guess that I can sometimes convince him into being a small part of my various projects. :)
PP: Why did you create the RKP in the 2010's? To make different music or out of passion?
R.K.: For both reasons. Yeah, it was my passion as well as my desire to constantly compose new songs. And I did not want everything to be released only under the name of Millenium. I wished to create a formation that would resemble the style of The Alan Parsons Project - by collaborating with some other musicians and vocalists, by introducing more of melodious pop - yet in progressive environment and arrangements.
PP: Can you tell us more about Karolina Leszko and Dawid Lewandowski the new vocalist of Millenium? Regarding Dawid, does Fizbers always exist?
R.K.: To make tRKproject really different from Millenium, I had to invent that special something, the music of which could be easily distinguished from Millenium and its very essence. I needed a female voice. Guitarist Marcin Kruczek introduced me to Karolina, and so our collaboration began. Karolina is now a well-known singer in Poland, especially after that moment in her career, when by pure chance she happened to sing together with Michael Bubble, during his concert. I strongly recommend that you should check it out on YouTube (Michael Bubble & Karolina Leszko) :) Many fans,however, are not particularly fond of female vocals in prog-rock (including myself :) ) and that is why, later on, I chose to invite Dawid of Fizbers to my project. I had been watching him develop his vocal skills in the passing years, and at some point, I knew that he was totally ready to join Millenium. I do not know whether Fizbers still exist; but most certainly, Dawid is not their singer. Dawid will not be present, either, on tRK project's new albums. He is now the voice of Millenium.
PP: How did you meet Piotr Plonka, one of the very best guitarists in the progressive world? What are these influences?
R.K.: When I finished writing the material for the "Vocanda" album in 2000, I felt the need to hire a new guitarist for our band, and it was just then that the drummer suggested Piotr should do it. After the very first rehearsal with him, I knew that we were on the same wavelength. If you ask Piotr who he is most inspired by, he always replies in the following order of names: Lukather, Knopfler, Gilmour, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Joe Bonamasa, Neal Schon, Clapton, Hendrix.
PP: The new album is conceptual, what is the main subject? The cinema but again?
R.K.: Yes, it is a concept album and a return to "Vocanda" - because the main character here is the son of Daniel, who we know from the "Vocanda" album. Each film presented on this new album is a different story, revealing some messages to us, such as ecology, war, struggle with depression, love, digital espionage (Pegasus software). All these filmic stories, collected together, contribute to one more life story: that of young actor David.
PP: Is Krakow the most influential city in the country when it comes to music?
R.K.: So, they say. That Krakow is Poland's capital and home of prog rock. The fact is that lots of progressive bands come from Krakow, plus there are three big labels here: Lynx Music, Rock Serwis and Mystic.
PP: Do you know the group Fren from Krakow who just released a new album?
R.K.: Yes, I know Fren, and I know its musicians. I appreciate what they do, but it is not the kind of music that I am personally keen on. :)
PP: How many bands do you have on Lynx Music today? Which are the most promising?
R.K.: Even I don't really know, now - around 200 perhaps? :)
All these bands I release are very promising, yet not all of them have so much perseverance and determination as Millenium.
They give up as soon as after recording just one or two albums, and then they split. Undoubtedly, the leading bands at Lynx are Millenium, tRKproject, Albion, Moonrise, Hipgnosis and Loonypark. Right now, Framauro is back, too.
Our biggest hopes once focused on the following bands: State Urge, Grendel, Mindfields, Ananke, Openspace, Thrilos and many others.
But there are some new hopes right now, such as: Strange Pop, Wave, Atan, The Adekaem, Abysal...
PP: Apart from Millenium and the label, do you have time to listen to other people's music?
R.K.: I listen to music when I am in my car, when I'm stuck in Cracovian traffic jams :) and also when I have to deal with bureaucratic paperwork and all that boring stuff, while sitting in front of my computer. Frequently, in the evening, I watch Blu-ray concerts on the big screen, using my special projector. :) I used to listen to music from vinyls, but now it is only CD's. I have no time for vinyls.
PP: Your plans for the coming months?
R.K.: The year 2023 will see the 25th anniversary of Lynx Music, which means that I really must release a few interesting things. There are some good plans ahead. As to my projects, Millenium will offer a small surprise-gift plus the vinyl version of "Tales from Imaginary Movies". Probably, trkproject will let a new album out, and maybe so will Framauro? :) Quite a lot of Millenium's gigs are to be played then.
PP: Another hobby outside music? Marathon (laughter)?
R.K.: Oh, hell yeah! Sports (swimming, biking, gym). I am a graduate of the University of Physical Education, and sport has always been very important to me. I used to teach PE for years, I was also a swimming instructor and a lifeguard. My other passion is films and movie series, hence Millenium's album "Tales from Imaginary Movies». :)
PP: Thank you for your collaboration and all the best for MILLENIUM & LYNX
R.K.: Thank you and best regards to ProfilProg!