2009.04.15 – BLIND EGO – Kalle Wallner (interview)

Kalle Wallner, mastermind and founder of dream team – BLIND EGO. Their second album – „Numb” should be well known for the fans of rock music. Kalle agreed to answer some questions, and result of this is below…

Hi Kalle, your second album Blind Ego is already in the shops. Stylistically, as compared to „Mirror” this album does not feature any significant changes. One can say that Numb is a continuation of your ideas included on your debut album.

For me personally NUMB is a big step forward. You might say MIRROR had a bit the charakter of a sampler because the styles of the songs were so different. I wrote them in a time period of 6 to 7 years. So there were ballads, straight rock songs and prog songs. And last but not least I had 3 different singers (the VIOLET DISTRICT track included). So it was not easy to produce this and a leitmotif for this.
You also might say that the second album of any artist is always the most difficult one. I had to prove that my solo debut was not only fortuity. I wrote all the songs of NUMB within one year, so of course all songs are much closer and the guitar is much more in the focus. So more than on MIRROR I have the feeling to found my self in music.

Blind Ego is a real dream team. Musicians who took part in album recording sessions are all renown personalities. In fact,there is just one which may shock a bit some of the prog rock fans, namely Iggor Cavalera. How did you start cooperation?

From my very first beginning of making music I was into Rock and Metal. These are my roots. Much later I listened to so-called Prog bands like Rush, Yes, Genesis, etc. But I still prefer heavier bands like Metallica, Tool, Rage Against Tha Machine, etc. So of course I knew Sepultura very well. The story behind is simple, on of my collegue of Farmlands (our label, booking agency, etc.) booked Iggor with his project MixHell for a show in my hometown. On his day-off afterwards he visited us in our studio where we just worked on some BLIND EGO songs. He was very enthusiastic about this material and was willing to play one song. So we jammed along about some riffs of the song Change. So we did this special version. He’s a really nice guy and an awesome drummer!

What did the album recording process look like? It seems to me that it was impossible to get together all the people at one time in the studio, or maybe I’m wrong?

You’re right. I already produced concrete demos of all songs before we started the production. Drummer Michael Schwager was first and he did a brilliant job. After that we recorded the other instruments and the vocals before we mixed and masterend the album in December and January. All the musicians are quite busy so I decided to produce this way and put full concentration on the single instrument and the vocals.

Most vocals on Numb are made by Paul Wrightson and Yogi Lang. Why John Mitchel didn’t make any vocals this time?

Yogi Lang did only two short parts in the song GUILT. So Paul Wrightson is the only singer of NUMB which was not planned at the beginning. When we started the recording session with Paul I was not sure if he would be the only singer on NUMB. I planned to invite one or two other singers. But Paul’s performance was so brilliant that I decided to record the entire album with Paul. I love the emotions Paul is able to transport in his singing. And I like the contrast between the hard rhythm section and warm and emotional voice of Paul. So I’m very happy and I don’t miss any other singer.

This album has been received very enthusiastically. I suppose that you must be very proud of it? 🙂

Yes, I’m very happy about this. The great feedback is a wonderful confirmation for my work and so I’m really proud of this. Especially as I again wrote all the music and the lyrics alone. This is a great compliment.

All Blind Ego releases have interesting and intriguing cover artworks. What does the cover artwork on Numb present??

Thank you. Stefan Wittman, a very good friend of mine was responsible for this design. Every songs stands for a strong emotion which overflows your mind. There’s no more room for other feelings or thinkings, only this one emotion. This is also the reason for all these short song titles. The artwork connects the emotion of every song to the body and ends up in the title track NUMB which is – you might say – the conclusion: You just feel ‘NUMB’.

It seems to me that with this album, although the lineup is very prog rock, you try to shake a bit the „stigma” of prog rock band. Both Mirror and Numb along with prog rock elements include some modern rock sound

While I’m writing a song I never think about if it’s Rock, Prog or whatever. I just try to fix the idea of the song and work it out. But my roots are definitively more in Rock music. So no wonder that I’m a step nearby Prog even there are lots of Prog elements in BLIND EGO.

…and by the way…what is prog rock for you?

I really have no idea. There are so many different bands who are called Prog bands that I’m usually not using this term. As an artist it’s not my call to find topics for bands. I’m a musician I don’t care about this. This is a job for journalists. I like lots of bands with totally different styles. But they have something in common: they tangent me and they attract big emotions in my soul. Then I like it wherever their style is called.

You will visit Poland (Poznan) as a part of Numb promotion. Apart from this concert, are you planning to give any shows in Poland?

Yes, I’m really looking forward to came back to the wonderful Polish audience for thervery first time with my own project! By now this is the only date but maybe there’ll be a second part of the tour in autumn. Thumbs up!

You will play tribute concerts for Richard Wright together with RPWL. Is it confirmed and if yes what can we expect then?

I think it’s almost confirmed but I’m not up to date. Currently I’m too busy to prepare the BLIND EGO tour so it’s too early to chat about any details for this. But I hope it will happen!

Thank you very much for this interview and see you soon. Wish you all the best!

Thank you very much indeed!

Piotr Michalski

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