“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” says Norbert Krüler and settles back.
The internationally known musician has obviously taken this wisdom (for the last 30 years) to survive with Shamall in the fiercely contested and fast-moving music market for three decades.
Editor: “The music production has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. There has been a rapid technical development. Did the things become easier for you?”
Norbert Krüler: “When I started 30 years ago, it was much easier.”
Norbert Krüler: “Because I had to manage with less. The less you have, the more you have to force your mental activity. In the past I built certain sounds in my head. But the technical capabilites were limited. So I needed several days to realize a sound like that one in my head by combining the output of different synthesizers.
Today I power on a box and press a key. Then there are so many sounds that superimpose the whole thing, that I don’t know how many sounds I have to mute, to get the output I want… ”
Editor: “So you spend a lot of time by limiting and muting sounds?”
Norbert Krüler: “Yes, I am more concerned with turning off than with turning on. Because I would also like to leave more room for other instruments. I find it rather disturbing, when I press just one key and get a whole orchestra including arpeggios, timpani, brass and strings….all that stuff, you know..?.”
Editor: “How would you describe your own music style? Is it Neo-Prog rock with a touch of space rock? ”
Norbert Krüler: “Music magazines always like to pigeonhole music to give their readers an understanding of new artists and unheard music. My inspiring example still is and remains Pink Floyd. This is the kind of music I create, but with a personal note. The music of Pink Floyd is a pretty good inspiration and foundation for my own work. I think it’s a good idea to keep their music alive in modern way, because the band does no longer exist in their original line-up.”
Editor: “What do you do to make your music more popular?”
Norbert Krüler: “Progressive music has a very special fanfare. Most of them are true collectors of discs and vinyl with lavish artwork and packaging, because they simply perceive progressive music as a kind of art. They don’t own illegal downloads or pirate copies, because they want to support their bands.
When you have a new recording, you will post some news or maybe a trailer in forums with music enthusiasts, spread the word within the social media, then the music will go it’s way – assuming that the music on the record is good. Shamall is lucky to be more known after 30 years. Retrospectively, it was a good decision to change the musical style different times.”
Editor: “Who do you make music for?”
Norbert Krüler: “First and foremost for myself. When I make music, I do not think of money, not even a second. When you put pressure on yourself, you won’t produce any creative output. Rather you can expect, that your music will get better if you break free from these constraints. You should be less concerned with the daily grind and just take care of making music. When I get goose bumps from my own playing, then I know, that I have done everything right.
Sometimes I leave the studio and go to bed with goose bumps of my new composition, but sometimes I am annoyed with my daily work. But always I know, another “goosebumps day” will come – and this is my personal motivation for making music. My creative work should be authentic. 90 percent of those who listen to Shamall, listen to the complete works and their main concern is that the music should be authentic.”
Editor: “Have you ever thought of remastering your old tracks completely?”
Norbert Krüler: “No, because my earlier works are at a different technical level, if I would remaster them, they would loose their original retro charm. The fans of these old tracks have special memories with the titles in their original sound. Most of them are simply fused with the original. With remastering “their” tracks, I would take something away from people instead of giving them something. Because those songs reflect their youth.”
Editor: “In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Shamall, the 5 CD-Box “History Book” has been published a few weeks ago. Did you have to edit your older tracks a little bit?”
Norbert Krüler: “That’s right. I did some very subtle modifications on the tracks because I didn’t want to destroy the “zeitgeist”. I was focussed on a balanced volume, because the albums from the nineties were recorded with different volumes. But in a compilation this issue would be fatal for the listener. He constantly has to change the volume.”
Editor: “A total of 18 albums has been released in 30 years. From your point of view – how much time may pass between the releases?”
Norbert Krüler: “Each album needs a certain time to develop. If you make a record every year, one could say quickly, that’s assembly line work, that’s too commercial. But the time-lag between two releases must not be too big – otherwise you run the risk to be forgotten. I think I’ve done everything right so far with Shamall.
I published the 5 CD-Box “History Book” to say a big “Thank You” for the longtime loyalty of my fans. The fifth CD “Continuation” contains new tracks combined with unpublished material of the 2013 album “Turn off”. “Continuation” is also available as a single CD.”
Norbert Krüler: “I had corresponded to the request of some fans. They had written to me that they had already collected all other Shamall albums and that the new album “Continuation” would be the only one, that would be missing. That’s why “Continuation” is also available as a single CD.”
Editor: “When will you publish the next new Shamall album?”
Norbert Krüler: “The next CD is scheduled for the end of next year. Because after finishing an album it’s always before the next album to come….and Rome wasn’t built in a day.”