INTERVIEW WITH KLAUS-PETER MATZIOL BASS PLAYER FROM PROG ROCK BAND ELOY
Hello Klaus-Peter Matziol, bassist of the excellent band Eloy.
First I would like to thank you for your presence at our ProgSky, secondly, I would like to congratulate you on the excellent work. You are great.
Eric De Rosa – To start, I would like you to tell a little about your story before joining Eloy and how it was your journey to joining the group.
Klaus-Peter Matziol – I started my musical career first as a guitar player in various amateur bands. It was common at that time to replay well-known songs. In 1968 I got to know Jürgen Rosenthal and founded a band with him. We had a quite good keyboard player with a Hammond organ in the band and were now able to include songs from “THE NICE” like “Rondo” or “Karelia Suite” in our program. At the beginning of the 70s, I founded a new formation together with the keyboarder. The instrumentation of the band was a bit strange with organ, guitar, saxophone, and drums.
Already during the first rehearsals, we noticed that the whole thing did not work without bass. I, therefore, switched to the bass, it was fun and I stuck with it. Hurray!
A few years later in 1976, I met Frank, who was looking for a bass player for ELOY. So, the long, exciting journey with Eloy began for me.
Eric De Rosa – What are your biggest musical influences, how did you become interested in bass, and what was the biggest secret to becoming virtuous?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – There is a wide spectrum of music that has always impressed me and certainly influenced me musically. I would like to start with the BEATLES and then continue with CREAM, GENESIS, YES, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL but also QUEEN, ZAPPA, KING CRIMSON, LED ZEPPELIN, PETER GABRIEL, DAVID BOWIE and many many more.
Eric De Rosa – How do you define Eloy’s music and how does the group’s composition process work? What is the technique used for the bass to be so prominent in the songs you compose?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – Eloy grew up in the 70s, a time when music from Pink Floyd, Yes, or Genesis belonged to the mainstream. On the part of the record industry there were hardly any constraints so that we had time to be creative and to continue to develop, and finally to find our own sound. At that time, compositional work took place both in smaller groups and with the whole band in our rehearsal room, not the easiest way, but probably the most creative. This has changed over the years. Meanwhile, the individual band members live in different places and some of them have additional jobs. Since the mid-1980s, the musical and also the thematic topics have mainly come from Frank. The other musicians then follow this and contribute their part. Nowadays, before the studio work starts, the musical dialogue also takes place by sending data files.
As far as my playing technique is concerned, I mostly play with the plectrum. I believe that this often makes the bass lines appear more transparent and powerful. Probably it is also a relic from my time as a guitar player.
Eric De Rosa – What is the importance of the themes and lyrics in the composition of the songs?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – Content and lyrics have always played an important role for ELOY.
In most cases, the theme of the albums is already set as a guideline before the music is finished and thus has a great influence on the compositional work.
Eric De Rosa – What is Eloy’s formula for so much genius in composing, mixing virtuosity with very high musicality?
Klaus-Peter Matziol– There is no formula. But there is already the ambition to do it well and having fun at the same time.
Eric De Rosa – In your view, how is the progressive music scene in Germany in general? A country that has a great tradition in rock and also excellent progressive rock bands.
Klaus-Peter Matziol– Germany still has a good offer for fans of progressive rock music with a few good summer festivals, music magazines (“Eclipsed”) and above all some great new bands.
However, as probably everywhere else, the progressive rock here is more of a commercial niche topic and therefore hardly present in the big media.
Eric De Rosa – How does it feel to know that your work has a global reach? Particularly, here in Brazil, Eloy is a very loved band, extremely admired and with loyal fans.
Klaus-Peter Matziol – It is a great feeling and a strong motivation to know that in many countries of the world, with all the cultural differences, there are people who care about our music. We appreciate this very much.
Eric De Rosa – I would like to know if there are more projects for the future and if you have any parallel or solo work that you would like to record.
Klaus-Peter Matziol – After the second part of Eloy’s “The Vision, The Sword and The Pyre” was released on CD about a year ago, Frank is currently working on a third, final part.
In the meantime, I played the bass on 2 new songs of the band “Syrinx Call” as a guest.
At the moment there are no further plans for parallel or solo work.
Eric De Rosa – In your opinion, what is the album that you like the most about Eloy? All are great, but do you have any favorites?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – That is difficult to say. I associate each album with my own memories during the recordings or the tours that go with it. If you don’t nail me down on that, I would say “Planets & Time to Turn”, perhaps.
Eric De Rosa – What song did you have the most work on writing? In view of its complexity.
Klaus-Peter Matziol – We always worked on the songs for a long time. Even in the studio parts have often been changed. Every album had at least one song that demanded more attention than the others. Examples are from my point of view e.g. “Decay of Logos”, “Escape To The Heights” or “Shadow And Lights”. But I guess each of us will probably see it differently.
Eric De Rosa – The beautiful story built by Eloy in the world of music is already eternal. We fans will always support you unconditionally. Thousands of people, day by day, are impacted by music, in an indescribable way. Given these facts, when did the band and you, specifically, become aware of this?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – The influence of music on people was clear to me from early on, at least since I started making music myself. When you compose and play music, you feel very directly what music is doing to you, and you try to capture this feeling and pass it on to your fans.
Eric De Rosa – This year (2020) is being difficult for the world due to the pandemic. With regard to Eloy, what was the biggest impact in terms of projects and the future?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – In terms of tours and concerts, the pandemic really is a catastrophe that has taken away the work of musicians, roadies, hall operators, promoters, and many many more. Now it looks in such a way that the situation will only become normal again if sufficiently many people are vaccinated and above all again took courage to go into concerts. This will probably require some more patience.
As far as ELOY is concerned, I don’t think there are any direct consequences, since we are not planning to play live at the moment. Everything else is somehow possible.
Eric De Rosa – For many, Eloy is the biggest reference when it comes to progressive rock and specifically German progressive rock. How have you been able to deal with this situation over the years? Did you face it as an extra responsibility?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – To be honest, we are not aware of this. Actually, we have always done our own thing, even against the stream. Being a reference for progressive rock in Germany is flattering of course. But there are a few other bands that come to my mind.
Eric De Rosa – Looking to the future, how would you like Eloy’s legacy to be seen, remembered, and appreciated by future generations?
Klaus-Peter Matziol – I would rather be modest. In such fast-moving times, it would be an honor to be part of a beautiful memory.
Eric De Rosa – I want to thank you immensely for your illustrious presence at ProgSky and leave the space open for future participation. We ask you to leave a message for the various Brazilian fans who dream of someday being able to see Eloy live.
Klaus-Peter Matziol – The sad thing first: Live in Brazil, that would be great, but honestly, I don’t think we’ll get the chance to perform at your place. Besides, we don’t have any plans to play live again at the moment.
However, I would like to thank our fans in Brazil for the great interest in our work. The greetings and reactions we receive from you is always something special for us. I wish you all strength and courage to get through these (in many ways) difficult times. Stay safe and healthy!!!