Dear Progressive Rock Journal readers, we have the pleasure and honor of having a chat with two artists who over the years have established themselves at the top of the ratings of our beloved genre. We are here in the company of Randy McStine & Marco Minnemann, fresh from the release of their new album entitled “McStine & Minnemann” released on CD and Digital on July 3rd 2020.
– Hi guys how are you? First of all, congratulations on your new work, which was highly appreciated by our editorial staff.
– MM – Thank you very much, we’ve very pleased and happy that you like it and that it brought you joy.
– We can say that you are among the most gifted and committed artists of the modern Prog scene, boasting collaborations with major international artists. Where did your passion for this musical genre come from?
– MM – Strangely enough I don’t necessarily come from the typical prog scene, even though I of course appreciate the genre and work with prog artists. But my favorite bands are: Queen, Led Zeppelin, PIL, The Police, Frank Zappa, Kate Bush, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Prince, AC/DC, Kraftwerk, to name a few. But it’s a good thing to bring styles and passion together, basically combining them into something that is hopefully unique and exciting to the listeners.
– You are originally from Germany and the USA. How did the project come about, and what difficulties do you encounter, if there were any, due to distance?
– MM – I already live for 15 years in California. So the distance doesn’t matter that much. And actually these days distance in a working relationship is necessarily not an issue anyhow, due to the comfort of having home studios and a good internet connection. Therefore we can toss ideas forth and back and sooner than you’d think, there’s an album ready, haha.
– Since you started this musical project, have you decided to carry on any other collaborations anyway?
– MM – I have my other band The Aristocrats. But it’s really fun concentrating on not too many projects at the same time. Randy and I would like to let the world know that this is not just a side project. We’re dedicated to establish a following with this partnership and are already in the process of writing our second effort.
– In your debut album as McStine & Minnemann you have merged different genres together, Prog, Pop, Electronics, etc. In which of these do you find yourself more and feel more yours?
– MM – I’d say we embrace all of these genres and feel home in these areas. That was pretty much defined when we first met and talked about our record collections and found out that we’re totally pulling on the same strings here and share a lot of the same artistic views.
– As can be understood from the review published on our webzine, we liked the album and we shared our positive feelings with readers. How would you describe and present your album?
– RM – Between the artists that Marco cited above, and all of the genres you’ve highlighted in relation to the album, I think you’ve covered it! Expectations of an individual listener is something we have no control over, but given the audience of this interview, one should find quite a bit to enjoy in this music.
– You have composed, performed and mixed the album independently. How did you deal with the live sessions?
– RM – The entire record was written and recorded remotely in our home studios. With no time pressure or constraints it allowed us to really sit with the songs and get a sense of the bigger picture as we went along. Forrester Savell mixed the album at his place in Australia, and communication between all of us was efficient.
– Let’s talk about the near future. Do you have any dates scheduled to present your new work to fans? (Covid-19 permitting)
– RM – We have not technically booked any dates yet, but we’re definitely tossing a lot of ideas around on how to present our music in a live setting.
– The operational base of our newspaper is in Italy but the editorial line in English was intended to reach people all over the globe, but our readers and Italian Prog fans wonder: will we ever have the opportunity to listen to you live in our country?
– RM – Of course we are hoping to play there! There are so many moving parts to consider, and with Covid-19, the stakes have been raised considerably. Like everyone, we have to be patient and see how it all develops.
The editorial staff of Progressive Rock Journal thanks you for your availability and wishes you the best for your musical career. You have been kind and helpful, as well as always providing us with quality music.
– RM – Thank you for the conversation and support!