Inside Out Interviews Episode 04 : Roland Appel



1.How did it all start? Did you choose music or did music choose you?

I would say music chose me…. It was always there in my life with great importance for me. I was always fascinated with bands and records and instruments. Drums were my big love. I started quite early but not with a drum-set, I had this huge (drum??)-set made out of everything I could find in my house; a lot of kitchen pots were involved….that was my first drum-set, I played it every day till my mum bought me a real one, because we argued the whole time about the stuff she needed in the kitchen and I needed desperately for my drum-set….

The next big step was the day when our neighbor asked us if we want to go to a music studio. There was a friend of a friend and his mum that took care of some production stuff in a real studio and they were looking for young kids for a background choir on a pop song…

Of course all the kids from the hood were interested, as a result a few weeks later it was my first time in a real studio. That was the day when I wanted nothing more than spending my life in such an environment…(I was still a kid, but this dream never left me…). Afterwards, during my teenage years, music was always around. I played in bands, started my record collection, performed djing sets and time by time I had a gig in a recording studio. However, after school I entered the university and started studying, but nothing relevant to music. Throughout my student years, I met Christian Prommer, an old friend of mine, after a long time. We were the 2 drummers from the same hood…We knew each other since we were kids. He told me that he was setting his own studio and that he was able to record music in the computer, thus we decided to do some music together…that was the start of fauna flash, our first project, from that point and on music was the main part of my life…


2.Hearing your sound evolve through the years looks like an odyssey… Drum n’ bass, electronica, deep house, tech house… Is the sound you are on today your final destination? Or just another stop along the way?

I came from a generation that was not that strict about different genres. Most of the genres (like drum and bass) weren´t even there when we started to experiment with that kind of music…For me it was always just music….in different tempi or moods…

My background is jazz, soul and funk music, those are the roots that one can discriminate in my music. Music is always changing a bit, you could never know to which direction.

I don´t have a plan to make a certain style of music.


3. You play keys and drums right? Being a musician who has been involved with different projects and groups, how important do you think music education is for a producer? Does the computer suffice to deliver music with soul? Is education still essential?

In the long run, it´s absolutely important that one has music education. It´s a huge difference making a few tunes with Ableton or making music for a movie-soundtrack, recording real instruments and so on… 

For me, computer is only able to deliver something one gives to it…

If the music isn´t soulful, it´s not the fault of the computer.


 4. Being an established producer for more than a decade, you were fortunate to watch evolution in the music scene. Which change struck you the most?

Piracy, the change from vinyl / dat to cd/usb, the Internet in general


5. Is there anyone out there that you haven’t worked in the studio with, but you would really like to?

Bobby konders during his house aera….


6. An unfortunate fact is that drugs are intimately related to electronic music. What is your opinion on the matter? Is there an advise you would like to give to younger people?

Before that, drugs were related to rock-music or to the hippie culture and even before that to jazz music; art in general…

But I don´t think that the fact that so many people take drugs has to do with electronic music…

As an advice to young people, I would say that one should be sure that he/she feels comfortable with everything he/she does…As soon as you realize that it affects you in a negative way you should listen to your inner voice.


7. A bit more personal. Something that happened backstage that you would always remember and hopefully laugh… What is the first one that comes to mind? 

Oh, that´s a hard question after so many years on the road… It´s just too many things that happened…can´t really tell…


8. Where do you see Roland Appel in ten years from now?

On a table, writing, because I´m a famous writer since a few years….

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