“Since we are now a band based in Germany, Scotland and Ireland, a lot of travel is involved in live gigs and it feels like a long distance relationship. So the title reflects that, but it also reflects about how we feel about the new band members. ”
The history of knowing this band came from a conversation I had with my friend Tim. He gave me the link to the track called Rain. The name of the album is Long Distance Love. There’s something about the track and the title of the album that made me look for the band online and learn more. They struck a personal chord inside. I think they did the same to countless listeners out there who might have found something to connect. Be it the personal messages of the songs or the well researched s background of each track that makes you take the band seriously. A week ago, Jimmy gave me a copy of their album In Colour (their debut album) . Now I have two Cara albums. One I got from the band courtesy of band member/bodhran player Rolf Wagels. He was teaching bodhran over the weekend when he got my interview.
1. How did Cara came to be? What made you guys sit down and form a band?
Rolf: We had been friends for years, and met through sessions and festivals in Germany. We always said: We should do something together, but it took until 2003 until it happened. After Claus and Sandra had left due to family commitments, we looked for two new members. I knew Ryan Murphy from a festival in Ireland, that I attend to teach Bodhran and Cara had played a gig there as well, so the other members knew him too. So we asked him and he was delighted. Jeana we found through another band we are friends with: Beoga! It was difficult to find somebody that plays piano, a melody instrument and is a strong singer, so we are glad Beoga recommended Jeana.
2. I love the liner notes because there are song commentaries . There’s also a bit of history lesson there. Do you guys make it a point to describe the origin of each song?
Rolf: Yes, the liner notes are important to us. Every song, every tune has a story and we all like to explore the story behind it and then share it with our audience. Also in live shows, we often tell the stories behind the songs and tunes and the audience seems to like that as well.
3.The mood of the whole album is uplifting…even the saddest songs like Rain makes you smile. Are you guys into upbeat tracks or it’s a concept exclusive to Long Distance Love.
Rolf: Well, we are all upbeat people for a start, but we also like sad songs, and songs with murder and tragic. If you look at Sweet Williams Ghost, it’s all about a ghost and the tragedy behind it, and an previous recordings we had songs like “Sailor Boy” where the main character dies as well. But we are not depressive and like the craic
4.Why the title Long Distance Love?
Rolf: Since we are now a band based in Germany, Scotland and Ireland, a lot of travel is involved in live gigs and it feels like a long distance relationship. So the title reflects that, but it also reflects about how we feel about the new band members.
5. How do you gather materials for recording? Do you research and gather materials before bringing the experiences inside the recording studio or is everything random?
Rolf: Yes, everything is researched and tested before we go into the studio. We try to play a few sets live, to see how they feel, but sometimes things just happen in the studio and if we like that, we keep it. Since we are all so far away from each other, the recording time is precious and you need to be prepared. On the other hand, Juergen Treyz, our guitar player, owns the studio and he does the producing.
6. How do you guys record your songs? What’s the recording studio like, the atmosphere of the place and also the recording gear you use. I can’t help but notice the great deal of sound engineering you do in your works…there must be something there that we , your listeners would be interested knowing about.
Rolf: Juergen Treyz, our guitar player, also has his own studio, the artes recording studio. This is where it’s all happening, Juergen is a well known producer for acoustic music in Germany and he has a lot of experience. If you want to know more details about the equipment used, let me know, I will forward your email to Juergen.
7.What brought Irish/Scottish music into your life?
Rolf: Well, everybody has her/his own story. Gudrun came to the music through her brother who played Irish music, I was on a school orchestra trip to Ireland when I first got in touch with Irish music. Juergen studied guitar, and played Breton music before playing Irish music. Ryan grew up with the music in his homeland Ireland and won 7 all Ireland titles on the pipes. Jeana grew up on the Orkney Islands and studied for a BA (Hons) in Scottish Music at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2008 with her singing partner Siobhan Miller.
8.What are the things that await the band this 2012?
Rolf: We are gathering material for a new album, but I can’t give you an exact date for a release, we are touring a lot, including gigs in Germany, Holland and Italy, and hopefully head to the States and Canada in the second half of the year.
So stay tuned
P.S. Thanks to Nancie who decided to drop the CD of Long Distance Love inside a bag of a friend as a Christmas gift…and found its way to me. The joy of sharing through music. May the long distance friendship that we share grow into a closer one through the years.