Even if the Flower Kings, one of the most important retro-prog bands of the nineties, no longer exist: Creative head Roine Stolt is as active as ever. Under the somewhat unwieldy project name Roine Stolt's The Flower King, the Swede has drummed together several (ex-)flower kings as well as colleagues from other groups for "Manifesto Of An Alchemist". With them he has recorded an album that is as varied as ever, the lyrics of which often reflect the world situation.

At the time of the interview, Roine Stolt is in the middle of preparing for the tour rehearsals that will take place in his hometown of Uppsala. The 62-year-old talks relaxed about the current album, but also about why the Flower Kings have reached a dead end. "Manifesto Of An Alchemist" can therefore also be understood as an artistic statement with which Stolt wants to revive the virtues of the original flower kings.

eclipsed: Last time I spoke to you was in June at The Sea Within. Only a few weeks later you recorded "Manifesto Of An Alchemist"..

Roine Stolt: What really pushed me was the fact that Marco Minnemann had flown in from America especially for the "Night Of The Prog" gig. That's why I wanted to find something else for him, like: I'm also working on an album! (laughs)

eclipsed: The alchemist in the album title is obviously you yourself, but what's with the manifesto that you want to announce?

Stolt: The alchemist could actually be me, but in this case it's someone with a lot more power and influence. Someone like Donald Trump who knows how to make gold. An alchemist is all about creating something out of nothing, for which he naturally needs certain goals. In my case this means that I try to have fun and that I am friendly to other people.

eclipsed: "Manifesto Of An Alchimist" is almost a family album featuring musicians from the Flower Kings, The Sea Within, Agents Of Mercy and Kaipa Da Capo.

Stolt: Yeah, and there's Rob Townsend from the Steve Hackett Band. Of course I could have recorded the bass myself, but it's always nice when Jonas [Reingold] or Michael [Stolt] is there. The same goes for the keyboard parts, for which I got Zach Kamins. He is young and enthusiastic about the music of the Flower Kings.

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