|.||with Thomas Kohls, the drummer of German Progressive Rock Band INQUIRE|
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Motta - Before forming the band Inquire, two members played with the
Thomas Kohls: All the members of Inquire have been playing progressive rock for more than 20 years in a lot of different bands. Trespass and Kampai were two bands with a small success in the local scene. At that time we were more oriented towards Genesis and Yes music. With Inquire we are more trying to find our own identity.Most of german progressive rock bands on the 70’s were formed in Hannover. Today
Cologne seems to reveal a lot of interesting bands, would you say today the youths of
this city are more interested in playing Progressive Rock music than it happened in the
Thomas Kohls: We don’t have contact to the progressive rock scene in Cologne or Hannover. We aren’t even been aware of a scene in these cities. You are right, there were a lot of progressive rock bands from Hannover in the 70’s. for exemple, Eloy, Ramses, Jane and the early Scorpions. Nowadays it is very difficult to get people attention for sophisticated music. Young people are more interested in Rap and Pop and just want to have fun. There is no room for progressive music or art anymore.According to an information, the latest Inquire’s album whose title is ‘’The Neck Pillow’’
was inspired upon a movie called ‘’Die Bettewurst’’. Does this interest of you in
accomplishing such a project is somewhat new, or does it come from a long time?
Thomas Kohls: As we started Inquire some years ago, it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to write a concept piece. Searching for a concept of our second Cd we discovered the movie ‘’Die Bettwurst’’, a German creation of 1970. This film is one of the most anarchical ones of the German movies and it reflects the social changes during this time in a very satirical way. Psychoanalysis and subversion, petit bourgeois nature and anti-imperialism are exactly the contradictions we tried to realize musically. We are of the opinion that social topics and progressive rock fit very well together. All of this, together with a pinch of absurd craziness; this is Inquire. For us the music is cheap alternative to psychoanalysis. Movie like ‘’Die Bettwurst’’ is a good therapy against today’s mass hysteria.As far as I have lately seen, only The german bands Inquire and Sammelsurium use to
sing some of their songs in their mother tongue, for which other reason besides wishing
to disclose better the band’s works abroad, do the german bands prefer to sing in english?
Thomas Kohls: We can only speak for ourselves here. First of all it is easier for us to sing in German. However, our compositions are mainly instrumental and we use the lyrics only to enhance the music. To use different languages is also part of our concept. We guess a reason for many German bands to sing in English has a commercial background or the German language simply sounds too rough.I have heard that most of the band’s members go in for soccer, where such a sporting
modality changes itself many times into the main band’s inspiration source. What kind
of inspiration is possible to obtain through the soccer to introduce it into the Inquire’s
Thomas Kohls: Yes that’s right, we are all avis soccer fans and we meet each other every weekend in one of our ‘’Bundesliga’’ stadiums to talk about this and that. Many ideas for our music have been created in this relaxed and unaffected natural atmosphere. It might sound somewhat strange but to watch a soccer game for us, is after a hard working week a place where you can find peace and silence. And therefore it is a good place for inspiration.Upon watching the front cover of the first Inquire’s album ‘’Within’’, it really drew my
attention towards its picture for looking like too familiar to me whereas its words are
written in Portuguese language. Was that picture taken in any Portuguese speaking
Thomas Kohls: The cover picture has been taken by a friend of ours on a trip to Portugal. We all liked the picture and it fits well to the music.Although you have just released a new album, according to an information you are
working by now upon another project. May I know something about it beforehand?
Thomas Kohls: At the moment we are working on our new album. the composition work is already finished. It is a 60 minutes concept piece based on Jean Paul Sartre’s novel ‘’Nausea’’ and the Cd will be entitled ‘’Melancholia’’. We are releasing likewise a live bootleg; the sound quality isn’t that good but the Cd has some funny tracks on it and a wonderful cover.‘Reading a review on Inquire’s latest album, which was entirely written in German language, I was not however able to understand most of its content, but something
was written around an application for WM 2006 in Germany, which would be supported
by your band. What does it mean in fact?
Thomas Kohls: This is actually a joke, but who knows one day our dream might become reality. A twenty-five minute hymn for a soccer world championship composed by one of the great prog bands.Just to close this interview, how have you seen the current progressive scene in Germany,
and also in the world?
Thomas Kohls: Besides our own band we are very much interested in the progressive scene. We listen to a lot of progressive stuff and read all the magazines. It is a shame that this huge movement of progressive rock only exist in the underground. To the scene here in Germany we do not have any contact. We’d like to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to present Inquire in this interview. Good luck and our kindest regards to the progressive lovers in Brazil.
Cromen - Guitar
Kohls - Drums and Percussion
Mückenheim - Bass
was founded in late 96, but all members played Progressive Rock in other
bands before Inquire. Robert Köhler was keyboarder with Kampai and
participated in two CD recordings. All other members were members of Trespass,
a band which existed from 1984 to 1993. Trespass released one CD and a
video which could be seen on German Television.
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