Dear readers we have the pleasure to offer you in this article an interview with a German Prog Rock band active since 1974, who released their 29th studio album on June 12, 2023. We welcome Dice.
Hi how are you?
“Thank you – I’m doing very well because I can hold my new DICE album in my hands as a finished CD. This is my highlight – year after year.“
The band was formed in 1974. What memories do you have of this magical time?
“Even when I was young, it was all about becoming a famous musician. I had taught my neighbor Andreas how to play the guitar and after a short time he was a much better guitarist than me, so I looked for a drummer with him and we had our own band together – which I called DICE (first really without a bass player). Since I had the opportunity to develop a logo with the Linotype machine during my training as a typesetter (now called a graphic designer), I also designed the DICE logo – the typeface that we still use today, almost 50 years later.”
You have defined your sound over the years as “Cosmic Prog”, how has it evolved from the 70’s to today?
“For me, not being an excellent instrumentalist, it was important to prove myself as a composer. And, since I never copied other music, I really wanted to develop my own, recognizable sound. I succeeded… and i´m a Science-Fiction-Fan…“
Your new album “Chronicles Of The Last Self Thinkers” was released on June 12, 2023, how would you describe this work?
“It was released digitally on June 12, 2023 (via amazon, i-Tunes, etc.) and will be available on CD on July 21. be for sale. It is the conclusion of the current trilogy.
(The Madhouse In Paradise + The Space In Free Isolation + Chronicles Of The Last Self Thinkers). A trilogy in which I, along with our american lyricist Dennis Lee Small, think about our world, which has gotten out of joint.“
There is a good presence of vocals on the album, what themes do the lyrics deal with?
“With DICE, the focus has always been the music and in the lyrics we philosophized about fantasy and science fiction topics. In this trilogy, after the Corona pandemic, we philosophized about earthly topics for the first time. I’m a free thinker and it really bothered me how politicians and the media were and are creating a mood against those who think differently (than they want to…). I want at least to be free in my thoughts.“
Your music is characterized by long tracks, how does the creative and compositional process work?
“Fortunately, as a composer, I have a never-ending creativity. Fortunately, my copywriter Dennis has an extremely large pool of texts at my disposal. If, while browsing through his lyrics, I find a text that I want to process, I sing the melodies that come to mind onto a dictaphone. Then I start to develop the groove for it and record the song bit by bit. And of course more and more ideas will be added in the next few sessions. And so forth…“
Many people wonder if there will be a chance to hear your music live. Do you have any plans in this regard?
“One of our two DVDs are Live from a festival in munic – excellent recorded with 4 cameras. And there are 4 live CDs from our concerts. The oldest is from 1983 from our years in Frankfurt – the other 3 are from our years in Leipzig. In 2008 I decided to stop giving live concerts.“
What advice would you give to young artists approaching music with Prog sounds?
“Don’t doubt yourself – just keep going.“
Music and prog are constantly evolving, how do you see the genre in the future?
“On the one hand there will always be clones – those who want to sound like their role stars. And fortunately there will always be musicians who want to go their own way. The fact that the CD medium will eventually only be of interest in the future to collectors is the natural course of things…“
Yours is a long career that has spanned several decades, is there any particular anecdote or memory you would like to tell us?
“When I wanted to release my first self-produced LP in 1979, I naturally first offered the finished music to the big record companies. The only one who showed great interest in our music was the producer of the band Nektar, Peter Hauke. At that time he was a big player with 2 big studios in Frankfurt/Main and Los Angeles.
After I was with him several times, he suddenly just wanted to re-produce my finished title “I Lost My Heart In Frankfurt” from the LP. I agreed verbally with him that I would release the first DICE LP without this “hit” on my own newly founded label Scene Records. When the LP came out of the pressing plant, Peter Hauke suddenly didn’t want to sign a contract with me anymore. 2 years later I released the LP again with a different colored cover and with “I Lost My Heart In Frankfurt.”
Do you have any other activities or artistic passions outside of music?
“As a teenager I tried my hand at photography seriously. So today I have a large pool of interesting photos for our DICE covers…
Otherwise, I’m only concentrating on DICE today.“
I thank the band Dice for the interview, wishing them all the best for the continuation of their artistic career.
Read our review of their new album here: [Review] Dice – Chronicles Of The Last Self Thinkers