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. with the multi-instrumentalist Julie Geyser from Belgian Progressive Rock Band NO U-TURN
.                                   by Sergio Motta, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Sergio Motta - I would like to begin this interview by speaking about the band GHOST, which was found by you in 1973 where you actuated like a bass player. Was that change from the bass into the keyboards something optional?

Julie Geyser: My first instrument was the bass. I played it from 73 to about 75-76. I really take great pleasure to play bass but at that time in Belgium it was very difficult to find a keyboard player which has synthesizers. The band I played with tried to find a good one but doesn’t. It was not with Ghost where we turned to folk at that time. It was with another band named Geyser if I remember (I didn’t decide for that band name…). So I decided to try playing synthesizer and I bought one. The first year was very difficult because I never played keyboard before….
According to you, the GHOST’s musical direction was changed from Rock to an
Electro-acoustic music. Did you feel influenced by any other band, which was performing
that sort of music that occasion?
Julie Geyser: We took our influences from many different bands. At that time, we liked Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, ELP. The change in Ghost came with a line-up change. The first guitarist-singer left us. His influences were more Jimy Hendrix, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath all things I loves too especially Black Sabbath. The new member led us to play more different things, more progressive, more folk. As I like Dylan and folk music it was good for me, not for our drummer who left us. And then they were two… We began to work with two acoustic guitars, I played 12 string and the other guy played 6 string guitars, flute and vocals. As, from this time, I ever have two bands at a time, when I bought my first synthesizer we also added it as a part of our music and it became more electro-acoustic with influences from Yes, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream.
I heard that you have been for long supporting a lot of bands in your country to initiate
their musical career, what kind of support do you generally take as being of vital
importance for a recently-formed band?
Julie Geyser: If you speak about my job as a manager of some bands, it was before  playing in a band. I’ve been a manager for some bands like Creative Craniums or Ablaze. That job I’ve continued to do it for all the bands I played with but not for others. If you speak about the musical newspaper I managed between 72 and 75, it was a monthly local newspaper in the french part of Belgium. We reviewed new albums and concerts and organized many buss transport to concerts. I’ve also organized concerts and little festivals in and around the city of Charleroi (Belgium).
You have formerly supported bands like NEGATIVE EARTH and HOBO BLUES. Did you
help them by giving them technical support, or did you also actuate like a musician?
Julie Geyser: Negative Earth!  I played in the two bands. For Negative Earth, the first guitarist of Ghost came back to me and asked me to play again together. While continuing Ghost, I took this challenge and we quickly put a show on to play more hard-rock. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep were our influences. But as it happened to Ghost Charlie (the guitarist-singer) decided to leave the band to do other things. I liked to play with him. It was great. But he was too “instable” to stay more than six month somewhere!
Hobo Blues came just after. I had a concert firstly signed to play at Golf Drouot (Paris, France) with Negative Earth but suddenly I had no band. Some other guys worked nearby us and played blues-rock. As I liked what they did and they also wanted me to play with them, I said “ok if you could come with me to Paris this day fortnight!”. They thought I was mad. But we worked hard and we did it with a great success in Paris where people recall us. What was strange in that band is that we were two bass guitars. As I had many pedal effects on my bass, I played a more strange and psycho bass sound.
As far as I can see the guitar player Frank Formica has been following you since you 
both actuated together in bands like ARTISAN and ON TIPTOE.  When and how did
that partnership begin?
Julie Geyser: I met Frank when I played with Negative Earth. He played with Hobo Blues. So you can understand the following. Some changes in the Hobo Blues line-up, a new name Artisan and a new music with influences from Ange, Genesis and Camel. I can say it was really my first progressive band. We played together from 76 to 79. Many concerts, especially (like for Ghost) in Belgian universities where both bands had great success. During all that time, Ghost continued to work and regularly play in Belgium, sometimes in France. Frank was not part of On Tip Toe. It was his brother, Massimo, also a great guitar player. We’ve done a single together in 79. At that time I played in 3 bands at a time!
Speaking about the bands ARTISAN and HOBO BLUES. Are these bands just one more
experience on your fruitful musical run, or did you get in fact to accomplish some 
factual projects?
Julie Geyser: Artisan was the successor of Hobo Blues project with some new members and many new influences like I said. But it was more creative than ever, because Ghost, we created our personal songs and style. The most important change for me was that with Hobo Blues I played bass but with Artisan I played keyboards. I remember playing with up to 10 different synthesizers on stage, both with Artisan and Ghost. You can see one of them at the Internet on the Ghost’s page.
NO U-TURN is lately your new band, which has had its first album released in 1997. By
the way, is that work a fruit of new ideas, or does a lot of thing come from old
experiences matured along the years?
Julie Geyser: Well, in the beginning of the 80s, everybody went everywhere! One part of Ghost, the only band I kept, went to South of France and also to the US to work there. So it was difficult for me to continue alone. I had also a new job at that time, which took me more time. But I created some new material alone. I’ve many old analog-recording with many strange things I’ve done alone. Then my work took all my time since 92 and some family changes. I began to compose new material with my 12 stringed guitar and in 94 I bought a new synthesizer. Then new ideas came very quickly and I began to write what you can ear on the No U-Turn album. When everything was ready, I formed a band around me to put that work alive.
According to you, NO U-TURN’s concept is to share their music with their audience so
that both melt with each other in sound and light. Have you been able to reach that aim?
Julie Geyser: Yes and no. Yes, because we did what we wanted, the CD. It was the goal of the project. No, because I think we could have accomplished more  concerts. But we didn’t do it because I had to leave Belgium for my work.
I have seen some references towards your band’s music, where bands like Genesis,
Camel, Pink Floyd, James Barclay Harvest and Marillion are mentioned. Seen that most
of them have already written their stories  along the years, I would then like to hear your
view towards the present of progressive rock music. What bands do you like most
nowadays? And how have you lately seen the current progressive musical scene
in Belgium?
Julie Geyser: My favorite albums for year 2000 and 2001 are Mostly Autumn ‘’Last bright light’’ with whom I made a little jam as bass player when they came late April in Belgium, Pendragon ‘’Not of this world’’, Shakary ‘’Alya’’, RPWL ‘’God has failed’’, Marillion ‘’Anoraknophobia’’, Parallel or 90 degrees ‘’Unbranded’’, IQ ‘’Seventh House’’ and last but not least the new Fish ‘’Fellini Days’’. I like also bands like Dream Theater, The Flower Kings, Twin Age, Landmarq, Janison Edge,… In Belgium, we have some great bands too like my favorite Ken Novel’s but also Deus, K’s Choice, Ghinzu ‘’more noisy’’.
As to those who have had the chance of listening to NO U-TURN’s music and appreciated 
it obviously, may they be optimistic towards another work of your band in times to come?
Julie Geyser: I don’t know if it will be with No U-Turn or not. Maybe… Now I really work hard with my bass and I plan to come back with that instrument instead of keyboards. I like to live on stage because the bass gives me more liberty than the keyboards as you can understand.
Would you like to speak something more to our readers?
Julie Geyser: Big question! All I wish for everybody is that the progressive movement can come back with many more bands and great albums like we had in the 70s, but more up to date for sure! and my best wishes are that the majors will wake up and listen to that to promote it as it has to be.
And last but not least,… maybe Julie Geyser in Brazil in a few years. I never travelled to South America, so maybe sometime.
Sergio Motta
is a friend and partiner from the Progressive Rock And Progressive Metal Site

Julie Geyser - keyboards, bass, drums, percussion
Peter Chap - vocals
Phil De Val  - guitar
Frank Formica - guitar 

No U-Turn - Same 

No U-Turn Home Page

No U-Turn's concept is to share their music with their audience, so that band and audience melt with each other in sound and light.

No U-Turn's lyrics are a must to No U-Turn's synthesizers, and vice-versa. And when the two guitars enter No U-Turn's musical realm, they do not only bring along their solos and atmospheres but they give the band its real dimension, the fifth dimension, that of a Rock nurtured on rich melodies and grand atmospheres, accompanied with slightly hard vocals on an endless sea of synthesizers.

1997 is already a great year for No U-Turn. His first CD is now available.

Julie Geyser
While studying in Information Technology and insurance, Julie Geyser is chief editor of a monthly magazine, called Beurk, which specialises in Rock music and is distributed till late 1974. In 1973, he founds his first band called Ghost, where he first plays the bass guitar, then followed by the 12-string guitar and eventually the keyboards. Ghost's initial musical influence is Rock but it turns later on to electro-acoustic music with surrealist texts and fascinating melodies that find their greatest success in universities.

Between 1974 and 1980 and while playing in Ghost, Julie Geyser starts and helps the career of several other bands, such as Negative Earth (Hard Rock), Hobo Blues, later called Hobo (progressive Blues Rock), Artisan (Eurock) and On Tiptoe (Rock), with which Julie will issue a record.

After graduation, Julie starts his career as an insurance broker. The advent of Information Technology and of the Personal Computers gives Julie Geyser innovative ideas, among which Sarah, an accounting best seller package that Julie writes, is only one example. He also contributes to magazines with articles and books.

In 1992 Julie grabs his 12-string guitar and gives music a second start with one of his long-time friends, Frank Formica. But his main musical activity remains the keyboards, which eventually leads to the creation of No U-Turn at the end of 1994.

Peter Chap
As a teenager, Peter Chap found Black Sabbath and Deep Purple's Heavy Metal fascinating, which he still does. And, in a way, he still is a teenager. Peter used to raid the London markets in search of «Vynil» bargains : the Petticoat Lane Market shop-keepers still remember that chap. On such markets, albums used to be half the price they were in shops. Good Times they were!

After secondary school, Peter graduates at university to become a language teacher. That is very useful when it comes to write his songs' lyrics and those of No U-Turn.

Peter buys his first acoustic guitar when he is 15 and performs his first riffs on an electric guitar, to which he later adds a Wah pedal : he's fond of all kinds of sound effects.

One day, Peter discovers that his voice doesn't sound that bad. He attends a few music lessons and combines them to a lot of improvisation and feeling, and there he is, singing songs with his guitar. His repertoire is varied but he is particularly interested in Rock and Pop Music, that is, the genuine Pop of the 70's, together with more recent Rock, such as Grunge, that he sings in some live performances.

And then, he meets with No U-Turn.

Peter Chap originally found grand atmospheres fascinating, like those created by Yes and Genesis. No U-Turn offers him a whole set of synthesizers, effects, choruses that carry his lyrics and melodies beyond all expectations.

Phil De Val
Phil came to music through his classical guitar studies, which he completed with a first prize in Conservatoire and through the part he took as a bass guitar player in a Rock band called On Tiptoe.

He then plays the bass guitar in Close, a Dance band and Release (Yes-like progressive Rock) and later founds True Blue, a Rock band, where he holds the lead and rhythm guitar and for which he writes both music and lyrics.

As a teacher of classical guitar, Phil De Val founds in 1992 a classical guitar quartet that performs in concerts abroad.

At the end of 1994, No U-Turn calls Phil for his lead and rhythm guitar talents. The sounds he creates with his Fender Stratocaster Plus find an immediate counterpart in Frank Formica's Gibson Les Paul.

Frank Formica
From 1974 till 1979, Frank Formica acts a lot as co-creator of several bands, such as Hobo Blues, Hobo and Artisan. These bands offer a progressive Blues-Rock and Eurock approach to music.

After that he gives Ghost and On Tiptoe his lead and rhythm guitar feeling as well as his talent as a sound engineer. At the same time he attends a music school for classical guitar and gradually switches to the Jazz-Rock side of music.

Information Technology then draws his attention in the CAD-CAM field where he works as an industrial designer.

At the end of 1992, he takes his guitar again and works with Julie Geyser (No U-Turn's founder) for the band. Phil De Val, his long time friend, is only a phone call away and the trio then start arranging songs. After a short while, Peter Chap joins the band as an author and singer and the whole thing is started.

No U-Turn is a Progressive Rock band. Their influences are Genesis, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Camel, Barclay James Harvest, Tangerine Dream, Marillion, and so on.

© Copyright Progressive Rock & Progressive Metal  (2001)
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