BEYOND MAN AND TIME: RPWL finest album so far…

RPWL was founded in Freising, Germany back in 1997. The band’s name comes from the first letters of the family names of the original members: Phil Paul Rissettio, Chris Postl, Kalle Wallner and Yogi Lang. In the year 2000 they released their debut album God Has Failed. Their previous album The RPWL Experience (2008) received raving reviews and now the band release their first concept album called Beyond Man And Time. This album is a musical journey through the world outside of Platon’s cave. The record was released as a regular version as well as a bonus edition which includes an audio book. The album already entered the German charts and most of the reviews were excellent and rather overwhelming for the band. So, it is time to have another talk with Yogi Lang about their new master piece and the upcoming tour.

Lots of people see RPWL as the German Pink Floyd, does that still bother you?

“Nice opening question, ha ha…No, in fact I see it as a compliment as Pink Floyd is the biggest band ever. I really liked them a lot and if people/reviewers compare my voice with the voice of David Gilmour, emotional wise that is, then I am really proud, so…”

I rather think that the guitar sound and solos of Kalle are rather typical Gilmourish or Floydish….

“Well, that is the first time that I hear this; I will tell Kalle about it. Actually he is in the first place a child of the eighties and he sees himself more as a Marillion type of guitar player.”

Congratulations with the amazing new album. Why a concept album and why now?

“In fact we never intended to make a concept album. I really wanted to combine the rational social criticism of our previous album and the spiritual part of The World Through My Eyes album. So I wrote down some thoughts which evolved into a story and as the story grew and grew it became very obvious that it was too much material for a single album with one central theme. So, you could say that the album wrote itself; the album wanted us to create it. In the story “our” protagonist is on a journey and meets various characters, which are partly adapted from Zarathustra as means towards new insight. The basic idea is a new way of thinking in this world beyond man and time. Our goal is to open eyes, look further, see more and see differently; the album is a plea for original thinking. It is important to seek the truth through thinking and this is what the characters on the album do. The album opens with a song called Transformed where “we” step out of Platon’s cave and start our journey. The second song We Are What We Are is the beginning of the change of the protagonist to a new kind of thinking. In the title track of the album he arrives in the new world and here he meets another character, namely the voluntary blind. The next song Unchain The Earth – the title comes form Nietzsche’s work The Gay Science – deals with the difference between wisdom and knowledge. As the protagonist moves on he meets the Ugliest Man In The World; a deformed man which stands for the unmasked human being. So, the protagonist meets several other characters until he meets the Fisherman – the epic song on the album – who could be seen as a sort of Jesus type and he fishes in the abyss of our human being…”

I really think that The Fisherman is the best RPWL song ever…

“Well, thank you. We really like that song as well, that one has something special. The figure in that song is very close to what people would call a messiah in religious terms. He has a leading part in the story, so…. It is an epic song with rather simple melodies which almost sound like soundtracks from a movie.”

What are the musical differences between the previous albums and this one?

“It is a complete album and the music has more melody, it is kind of – I do not know if there is an English word for it – malerisch; like a painting. The vocals are rather “simple” but this album is more than just another piece of music. It is an experience that you will not forget very quickly.”

What is special on the limited edition?

“I can tell you that the limited edition is already sold out!! It contained an audio book and a topographic map of the new world that is to be explored.”

When will the tour start and will you be playing the entire new album in one take?

“Yes, we will actually and that will be a very big challenge fir us and for the audience as well. We will start in Zoetermeer (The Netherlands) on the 14 April and in the fall we will do a second part of the tour in Spain and France.”

Yogi, thanks for your time again and see you on tour.

“Thank you again for the interest in RPWL!”

Interview for Rockunited by Martien Koolen
Photos from the band's website: