YeBaDong interview
proceeded by Byungwook 'brave' An
(YeBaDong : Korean Artrock Club)

1. Some Korean proggers remember you as Arrakeen's leader than solo artist(carreer) so far. Your powerful and melodic guitar sounds and Maiko's dynamic and delicate voice made Arrakeen so specilal among the tons of the other neo-bands.. If you don't mind, could you say why is Arrakeen broken up and what is Maiko doing now ?

Arrakeen split up for different reasons, one of it was Maiko getting difficult to work with because of ego problems, but the main reason is because some members of the band were disappointed of the lack of response from the music business in France, and preferred to stop. Maiko and Eric Bonnardel( Keyboards) feared they would not manage to make a living out of Arrakeen after all, and decided to give up making music. When it happened I was rather upset and decided to live England for a while. : I was myself quite pissed off with the music business in france. Maiko is now working as a specialised nurse in Psychology. As far as I know, she doesn't sing anymore and completely stopped making music.

2. I have your all cds except "Mosaic".Especially I like all-star project album CASINO(s/t). I think this album is masterpiece in early 90 neo-prog scene. Yeap...It is regretful that we can't hear no more Geoff Mann's voice. I guess if Geoff Mann is alive, he seems to be good rival with Fish in current prog scene. In CASINO, especially middle and ending part of last track 'Beyond that door' have been killed me whenever listen.. Did you solo playing this track.? right ? Could you tell me how can you make great melody like this? also, where do your main influences came from ? (musician, group, anything)

That's right, it is me playing there.....Thank you for this compliment ! It is difficult for me to answer that question because the truth is: it's all about inspiration: Whether a piece of music inspires me or not and whether I feel inspired at the moment I play that piece of music. I suppose there is also a bit of "know how" and experience. But, truly, the main thing is inspiration. And who knows where it comes from ? As for my influences, well I started with the piano. I played classical piano for a long time from when I was a child; So I've got classical influences with composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Ravel, Satie etc. In Rock music I 've been influenced by various bands or artists from The Beatles to Genesis, from Pink Floyd to The Police, Peter Gabriel, early Dire Straits. As for pure lead guitar playing I would say David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Ian Crighton (of Saga), some hard rock players such as Van Halen..I am probably forgetting some people here..

3. Well, I used to listen NEO like Marillion, IQ and YOU.. But I have to admit some of progheads hate neo-progish sound. ;-( What do you think NEO-progresive's definition and how do you feel to hear that Sylvain is neo prog artist...?

I must admit I am not very good for definitions; especially when it comes to my own music...However I like the word 'neo' applied to it, I find it flattering....I am not trying to stick to a given style of music I am only trying to express myself, to communicate. I feel that music is good when it's inspired (which is rare) and well done (ditto), when it expresses something or communicates something that somehow makes you feel in tune with all things. And I believe you can find great works of music under many different styles or aspects. Personally, I like all kind of stuff, I like 'new' stuff and I like 'old' stuff. I feel it doesn't necessarily matters if it 'sounds' new: I learned to be cautious about the way music is marketed: sometimes some bright and apparently expensive sound or packaging (sleeve, etc.) can hide a lack of inspiration or honesty But, of course, that'S only Rock'n Roll..

4. Wow, IRIS project featuring Pete and Ian is really fantastic.. Ian and Pete's rythm part seems to be more aggressive and powerful than Marillion's. Do you familiar with marillion members ? If you so, I envy wth you..^^ Have you any plan to work with marillion's members in near future ? I wanna listen your twin solo playing with Steve 'Heavy' Rothery again..^^

Yes, I am quite familiar with Marillion members. Or at least used to be during my time in England. We still speak to each other on the phone from time to time or meet when they are touring. Pete was interested in playing on the next IRIS album but that was before his accident. So I don't know if I will work again with any of them in the future. It's not planned for the moment being...

5. In 'Crossing the desert' you were charge of all melodic part.(key, guitar) As you know, there are some artists like multiple player like you...Roine Stolt(TFK), Gary Chandler(JADIS), Nick Barret(PENDRAGON), Steve Wilson(Porcupine Tree) Did you listen The Flower King's sound.? and How do you think about Roine Stolt ?

Yeah, I like it very much. I play the album 'Stardust we are' from time to times and enjoy it. I also like very much some of the Porcupine Tree's work.

6. BTW, I can see the same mascot in IRIS and Arrakeen's cover design.. Could you explain what is this animal(right?) or What does this mean ?

This animal is a French heroic fantasy comic character called: 'Le Fourreux' it's got special magical powers and is very mysterious...It has been created by Regis Loisel (a comic artist). It was indeed ARRAKEEN's mascot. On the Iris sleeve It's an allegoric reference to my past in Arrakeen...

7. I heard from jay that You're recoding for IRIS 2nd album and playing for some gigs.. Could you tell me current status of your next album ? (Concept, theme, member, release date, anything is ok) Also, I am very curious about your voice.. ^^ Do you have any plan to include your voice in next projet ? or How about inviting guest F I S H ? or rejoining MAIKO..? Frankly to speak, You don't need any voice because your melody is very abundant.

Thank you for this remark. The thing is: I also have written some vocal material and I would love to see it released on the next IRIS album. So this album will be a mixture between some vocals and some new instrumental pieces. As for the voice I quite enjoy singing my own songs, and it will be a new and exiting challenge for me to record that on an album. I haven't thought yet of any guest singers but that is always a possibility if I feel a song needs it.... All of the material is already written and demoed. I had to postpone the recording a few times because I am also working as a producer on a different project. So hopefully the next IRIS album will be recorded and released sometimes in 2000.

8. With whom do you want play ? Let me know your best line-up (dream band).. (Default guitar player is you..sylvain) Guitar : Sylvain Voice : Key : Drum : Bass : Any other instrument?

Guitar : Sylvain Voice : Peter Gabriel, Freddie Mercury, Jon Anderson, Sting, PaulMcCartney Key : Tony Banks, Alain Antonelli Drum : Stewart Coppeland, Vinnie Colaiuta, Simon Philips, Ian Mosley Bass : Pete Trewavas, Chris Squire, Sting Any other instrument : Guitar: David Gilmour

9 Thanks for interview, Sylvain.. Don't forget there are some of your fans in KOREA..Please Keep up the great work. Last, Would you say "HELLO" to korean proggers, especially Korean Art Rock Club, YEBADONG.?
I hope to see your gig in SEOUL in near future

Yeah I'd love to. Hello to all of you music lovers of YEBADONG. I hope to see you one day in concert in Korea ! In the meantime keep on listening to IRIS....

Byungwook 'brave' An - 1999

| Band | Disco | News | Live | Shop | Press | Interview | Sessions | Links