Inquire: Not Only Progressive

DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean


Please tell us something about the band history ...

Inquire has been established at the end of 1997 and meanwhile we published 2 CDs. We began as a Cover Band and in the course of time we had more and more own compositions. At the end of 1999 a new bass player joined the band. All members have been playing progressive rock since more than 20 years within the most different bands in the local scene.

How did it come to the name of the band?

The name has no particular meaning. We had a choice of 4 or 5 names and we made our selection according to the motto "the child needs a name".

What about the influence of other artists to you?

We grew up in the 70s, so that we could see all the great progressive bands live. This had of course a very huge influence on us. Furthermore we worked in our townís youth-house at that time and helped to organize a lot of concerts of the former German progressive bands. We are also interested in the subversive German cinema of the late 60s and for modern theatre.And not to forget soccer.Here we think of Albert Camus who said"All I learned in life,I learned from soccer".

How does the songwriting work in the band?

Normally the first steps are made at home at the computer which will then be worked out in the rehearsals room by the whole band. Improvisation is of no importance.

Was it your intention to handle all the production, distribution and management things self or is it because you couldn't get an record deal?

When we published the first CD we still were rather naive. We offered the CD to several record companies and all we got were rejections. We had no other chance than to sell the CD by ourselves. This ran better than we had expected and we were able to get into contact with a lot of people within the scene. When we published the second CD we did not try at all to find a record company.

How would you describe the development between the new record and the record before?

With our first CD we still were strongly oriented towards our role-models, whereas we found a little bit more our own style when publishing the second CD. Our compositions included since then more and more our preference for the absurd.

Can you tell me something of the process of creating the new record? Were there any problems or went everything well?

When the rehearsals were finished we tried to get a date with a studio and began with the recordings. Almost the whole first CD has been played live. When publishing the second CD we began to work more conventionally. On the whole we are very content with the result.

What about your experiences in playing live?

Here we cannot make any other statement than the other bands in the scene. First it is very difficult to get a "gig" at all, but it is almost impossible to motivate people to listen to progressive rock for three hours. In future we will only give a concert in our favourite pub once a year because more concerts donít pay. We will only concentrate on the production of CDs.

How do you see INQUIRE as part of the german prog scene?

We donít have any contacts to the progressive scene in Germany. Although we think of our band as of a progressive rock band, we mainly sold our CDs in Germany in the so called "Krautrock" scene.

Would you agree that "The Neck Pillow" is much more than an "normal" concept album?

Yes, we agree. We think that it is a good mixture of ELP and Wayneīs World. Admittedly it is progressive rock, but a progressive rock which is a bit different.

Please tell me something about the concept!

The "Bettwurst" is based on a film of the infamous director Rosa of Praunheim and has been made in 1970. It plays in the petit bourgeois natured world in a completely anachronistic way. It is the most subversive film that has ever been created. Actually it is nearly impossible to describe it. Anyway, we thought that the story would be an ideal base for a concept-album.

Why do you mix german and english in the lyrics?

In this respect we are completely up to date because it is "in" to integrate English words into German texts. Especially in interviews this method is used very often. The last sentence of an answer remains in the English original version instead of being translated. We like this very much and so we continue to use this method more and more for our texts - but conversely. In the future we will try to use other languages, too. Our guitarist speaks Japanese very well and thatís why we intend to use even a language which sounds exotically for European people.

What about the balance of music and lyrics? Sometime I think for this album, it's more like theater - the story is most important. But this is not the usual way in prog.....

The lyrics are not so very important. It is a retelling of the film, however with a great portion of irony, satire and absurdity. In the widest sense, it is even extremely critical. We think that progressive rock neednít always be connected with the same topics. Why not satire and social topics. We stand for extreme opinions and thatís why we often get a beating. In the past we came to our concerts in carnival costumes for several times and were disliked by the prog rock purists.

Prog with german lyrics - this could become an problem for the acceptance of the album?

We like it very much and thatís first of all the most important thing. If people donít like our music because we use the German language thatís o.k. We donít want to please anyone. In the foreign countries we are very successful with our music, even or exactly because we often use the German language.

Why the songs are either really long or really short? (apart Swidwin)

Thatís a coincidence. When we begin to work on an idea we donít know how long the song will become.

The last track is called "Die Berliner Bettwurst part one". Part Two will follow? Perhaps as a second concet album?

In this respect we totally think according to the tradition of progressive rock. We like to develop further a concept-idea. Surely there will be a continuation of the "Bettwurst" if the world demands it, at any time.

What about the cover artwork?

In order to do justice to the story of the "Bettwurst" we were not able to use a cliché-ridden cover. On the cover of "neck pillow" Dietmar Kracht can be seen, the protagonist of the film. A kind young man at the edge of the social abyss. Several magazines elected the cover the worst one of progressive rock. Thatís an award.

We put in very much effort in creating the covers and our booklets are very lavish and professional, considering that we are an underground band. We spare neither expense nor efforts.

How would you like to develop in the future? Do you think about changing your style?

Our next CD has already been composed. It is a concept song of 60 minutes, basing on the novel "Nausea" by Jean Paul Sartre. There will be no great changes in style. The CD will be recorded at the end of the year and published in spring 2002, we hope. In June 2001 we will publish our first live bootleg. Here you can hear among others a remix of Swidwin and other curiosities.

What about your success in different countries?

We got very good reviews everywhere. Especially in Spain, Canada,Brasil and France we have got fans in the meantime. Here we are accepted as progressive rock band from Germany. Some radio station broadcasted our piece "Die Bettwurst" completely. Next year we will be represented on a sampler in Greece and Canada. All this gives us the motivation to go on. We thank the producers of DURP for the friendly support.

© 07/2001 Renald Mienert
DURP - eZine from the progressive ocean