AC/DC the members go out: The rhythm guitarist suffers from dementia, the drummer has been arrested by the New Zealand police - the Australian megastars have certainly imagined their fortieth anniversary of service differently. But despite the adverse circumstances: Mastermind Angus Young does not think of an end to the hard rock institution. AC/DC will go on a world tour in 2015 with their new album "Rock Or Bust".
Crime scene Düsseldorf: Angus Young resides in a suite of the luxurious Breidenbacher Hof, which seems almost oversized for its physical dimensions. The 59-year-old Australian with Scottish roots, a second home in the Dutch town of Aalten and a terrible down-under accent is known to be a small, slender man who is now almost bald and has an extremely unhealthy greyish pale complexion.
Where Neil Young's story with his new album "Storytone" will fit into, we can't say yet. One thing is certain for now: the reactions to the record once again oscillate between astonishment, head shaking, amazement and respect. With large orchestral arrangements this work could be one of the most beautiful records of his long and not exactly poor career in terms of releases, but with his fragile and meanwhile amazingly limited voice the old bard makes sure that a feeling of relaxed grace never arises.
For prog fans who appreciate music with unusual instrumentation, Univers Zéro is very popular. In 2014, the frequently reshuffled band, which was influenced by modern classical and medieval music, celebrates its 40th anniversary - an admirable achievement, as their early albums in particular present a real challenge to the untrained ear. Time for a look back at a group that belongs to the Kammerprog or the Prog subgenre Rock In Opposition (RIO), but in later years also struck more minimalist notes.
He wanders between two worlds, two hearts beating in his chest. This becomes clear when Mariusz Duda answers the phone: "Hello, here is Mariusz from... ah... Lunatic Soul or Riverside". Short confusion on the Polish side of the line, followed by a short laugh on both sides. It's about Lunatic Soul this time - and about the new album, which presents itself with dark, trance-like art rock.
eclipsed: "Walking On A Flashlight Beam" is the first Lunatic-Soul album with a colored cover and a real title. Does that symbolize that you've opened a new chapter?
Mariusz Duda: I hope so. On the one hand I wanted to keep my characteristic style, on the other hand I wanted to enter new terrain. Nevertheless, the album is connected to its two predecessors. The content is something like the prehistory of the first album. It's the story of a man before his birth.
Pendragon belong since the middle of the eighties to the inventory of the neoprog scene. The formation, founded in 1978 as Zeus Pendragon, has presented itself stylistically broader and more modern with the albums "Believe", "Pure" and last but not least "Passion" in the last few years and has thus re-established itself as a relevant band. Guitarist, keyboarder and singer Nick Barrett, keyboarder Clive Nolan, bassist Peter Gee and the new drummer Craig Bundell record some of this freshness on "Men Who Climb Mountains", but at the same time they remind us more of earlier albums.
eclipsed: Nick, you are known to be a big Camel fan and as such especially love Andrew Latimer's guitar playing. Are there any songs or passages on the new album that you were buzzing around in the back of your mind while writing or recording Camel?
When a band from the Range U2s plays in front of an audience of electric market customers and private radio listeners and - exclusively - lets itself be looked over the shoulder by the tabloid press, then something is rotten in the state of Denmark, then rock'n'roll has lost its teeth and claws, and the artist makes himself the executive organ of institutions with which he should have nothing to do. And in the case of U2, it's already the second fat cell within two months.
First the Apple deal, which cost the telecommunications giant 100 million US dollars, and which ensured that the thirteenth U2 epic "Songs Of Innocence" was simply downloaded onto the mobile phones of 500 million customers - whether they wanted it or not. A campaign that triggered a true Shitstorm and went mad as a marketing campaign. Which Bono has now also realized.
The psychedelic clan Gong delivers a masterpiece with "I See You". With a completely new line-up it should be presented live in Germany in autumn. But Mastermind Daevid Allen fell seriously ill. The band still wanted to play, but some promoters waved away: Gong without Allen? No way! So the whole tour was cancelled - and "I See You" from a wonderful old work to a legacy. At least that's how Allen's statements can be interpreted. We spoke to the 76-year-old Australian before the start of his six-week radiation therapy, which, according to his own statement, offered him a "good chance of complete recovery".
eclipsed: Who's the "me" in the album title?
For Ian Anderson, "Warchild" is an important album despite all the prophecies of doom. As with its predecessors, Steven Wilson carried out the sound restoration work here. The recently hyperactive Tull leader is once again enthusiastic about his abilities as a studio tinkerer, but expects to soon have to look for a new remastering partner, as he reveals in a good mood.
eclipsed: Also "Warchild" now appears remixed and with numerous bonus tracks. An album, which, with all due respect, compared to "Thick As A Brick" or "A Passion Play", is clearly of a lower quality.
Ian Anderson: I don't see it that way. "Warchild" is a very good album with fantastic songs, and I stress the word songs. Unlike our predecessors, we had again recorded a record in which we lined up individual pieces that did not have a special concept. The conditions of creation may make the album appear as a by-product, but that's by no means what it is.