is Alan J. Bound and what kind of music does he make? Well
for one thing, in early 2014 the Germany based guitarist has released
Cosmologya stunning CD featuring twelve gigantic
sounding, guitar-centric instrumental tracks that, when taken as a
complete musical experience, conjures a dark, spellbinding, early
1970s Pink Floyd sort of prog rock sound, at least from back
in the day when Floyd used to record instrumentals. Adopting an English
sounding stage name, Bound coaxes some fine cosmic sounds from his
electric guitars, while keeping the beat strong and clear is the rock
solid drumming of German music legend Jaki Liebezeit. Also,
on the CD closing "Aldara" is the violin sound of Klaus
der Geiger. Fans of classic 1970s era Teutonic rock will
remember Jaki Liebezeit as the co-founding drummer of the group Can
and then drummer for Michael Rother. At 75 years young Jaki still
gets a mighty powerful drum sound and those sounds, together with
Bounds spacy Floydian influenced guitar sound, makes Cosmology
a most impressive sounding album. Adding to the cosmic experience,
Bound adds in some of his own cameo vocals for an even more spine-chilling
effect on several tracks. The instrumental, guitar-centric sound of
Alan J. Bound's Cosmology makes for a most enjoyable sonic
joy ride into the heart of deep space. www.AlanJBound.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
ALAN J. BOUND
How did the Alan J. Bound album Cosmology album come together,
where and when was the album written and recorded and how did you
come to work with legendary drummer Jaki Liebezeit, a legend of the
AJB: A girl friend of mine knows Jaki since the early 1970's.
She heard my music and suggested I record with Jaki as she was a Jaki
fan ever since. She knew where he played free concerts late at night.
It was in a basement of an art house which was occupied by artists
during the 1970s. I got in touch with him after the gig, showed him
some stuff and we agreed to make a record. By then nothing was written
and Jaki wanted a demo first. I made a stereo demo in my rehearsal
room with all the synth sounds like on the record. He was fine with
it and we had to find a studio. I tried Dieter Dierks, (Scorpions)
whose studio is in village where I live. He was not so much into it
so I made up my mind to find an alternative. I wanted a state of the
art studio. By surprise I found a nice one just a short walk from
Jakis session room where Bon Jovi once recorded. Jaki heard
about it and liked it very much because it was so handy.
Jaki often plays these drum patterns like melodies which reverberate.
It's very nice to listen to.
mwe3: How much of a German space-rock music influence is there
on the Cosmology album? I was going to mention the Pink Floyd
influence too but being all instrumental, would you say its
also more Tangerine Dream compared to Pink Floyd?
AJB: You cannot deny Pink Floyd having an impact on your music
if you go psychedelic. My second ever album was Wish You Were Here,
recommended by a girl school mate. I wanted an album to buy with all
good songs and she said thats it well she was right,
wasnt she? When it came to mixing the album I was asked how
I wanted it to sound and I said like Floyd which was appreciated.
Well, I do like German Space music; like 1970s Tangerine Dream,
Guru Guru or Agitation Free and I do love Hawkwind of all kinds and
Quintessence. There is also fantastic SF / West Coast-psychedelic
music using extended, thrilling psychedelic guitar parts.
mwe3: How did you become interested in playing guitars, when
did you start playing and what guitarists and bands influenced you
early on in your career? Also do you play other instruments?
AJB: I started on acoustic guitar at age 16. I did play the
songs of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Cat Stevens in these early days
of mine. One day during a school break a friend let me try his walkman
and said dig this. It was Jimi Hendrix with Burning Of The Midnight
Lamp. Then I knew it it must be an electric guitar. You
could say one gets electrified by this song. Later on I dabbled in
guitar-synth, too. As guitar strings naturally end ringing it is not
handy to do long atmospheric tones using guitar-synth. So, I started
on key-synth which is fine with me.
Can you tell us about your guitars and which guitars are you playing
on the Cosmology CD? How about what amps you use and what other
effects and what other sonic devices you use to get that cosmic guitar
sound on the new album?
AJB: I do have my one and only guitar named Vanilla which I
heard some owners call this guitar because of the smell of paint in
new condition. It is an American Fender Stratocaster plus just out
of the shelf. I recently heard it was the unofficial Jeff Beck signature
model at that time and today they only sell it as the Jeff Beck Stratocaster.
But then I did not know it. All the Alan J. Bound CDs are played using
Regarding amps I do have an ENGL Rack Head, all valve stuff. I do
have two 1912 Marshall cabinets. I use spring reverb and analogue
chorus. A bit special is a second spring reverb which I got to by
surprise. It is an Aria Loco Box AD-15 analogue delay. I bought it
with some other 1970s stuff. This spring reverb sounds kind of like
golden reverb in spite of silver spring reverb of ENGL. I use both
reverbs so, the sound is kind of gold and silver.
In fact this device was designed and manufactured in a small Japanese
garage workshop that you can find out on the internet. It was run
by two guys. They offered it to Aria and they bought the product and
labeled it Aria. One of the guys is still alive. Sadly, you will never
be able to get any spare parts as company closed. There is also a
video on youtube about a guy showcasing an AMEK mixing console using
a Roland synth and an Aria Loco box. Some like it and I would recommend
a Fender valve spring reverb which is 20 times more expensive.
mwe3: What other instruments are you using on the Cosmology
CD, including synths and how about electronic music samples and
the various computer programs you use to color your sound?
AJB: Cosmology was made with an intricate Yamaha EX5
synth work station without further electronic music samples and no
computer at all. For bass there is a Novation bass synth which is
actually kind of a Moog clone. Tone engineer was rather enthusiastic
about this one as it is analogue and the sound always changes a little
bit. Furthermore there is my Roland GR1 guitar synth this time triggered
by the EX5 instead of guitar.
Every synth is loaded with sounds designed by me though they sound
good right out of the box. I just wanted a more specific kind of atmospheric
and space strains.
What is the music scene like these days in Germany? Is Alan J. Bound
gaining more popularity in Germany and are you planning to make a
more worldwide impression with your music? I would think, being mainly
instrumental, the Cosmology album should do very well all over
AJB: I would appreciate that. There are some German jam rock
bands and some stoner rock bands which are alike. Most festival people
fancy hip-hop, punk / indie rock and a lot are into heavy metal. We
are featured in some music magazines in Germany and the UK which helps
us become known by a wider audience. We did a hall concert in February
which also featured guitar bands like Wishbone Ash and Johnny Winter
and it went down very well. There is another hall gig planned and
not confirmed so far. I would love it if we could be stronger worldwide.
mwe3: How did you come up with the title Cosmology and
can you tell us something about the artwork? Is that Stonehenge on
the cover? Are you into astrology and other supernatural phenomena
and do you believe in life on other planets and possibly other worlds
that man might find out about in the future?
AJB: It is a saga starting off with a starcraft launch traveling
through space and worlds and doing space adventures. A spacecraft
on its search for a miraculous, marvelous planet called Aldara which
it reaches at the end of the CD. Unfortunately, on their way they
tried a rather hostile planet with no hope for escape. And at the
very end of Deep Space you can hear the probe crew eluding,
just in the nick of time, with an emergency capsule of the mothership.
I am convinced there is life on other planets far. Even more as there
is the latest thesis of parallel universes which makes it even more
and more likely.
Well, there is Stonehenge and it is a symbol to a myth of communication
to superior or extraterrestrial origin. So it is fine for Cosmology
and it showcases the movement of earth around sun by indicating solstice
through aligning sun rays. In the event of being just some stones
somewhere kind of arranged, you must admit it is quite a big magnet
attracting people from all over the world. They all feel the special
place and being at Stonehenge might be more than just visiting some
ancient stones which at least makes an impression to most itself.
So, find out what it could or does mean to you and how you feel about
it. Get experienced about Stonehenge and its stones.
How would you compare the Cosmology album with your earlier
works with your other albums and are your earlier albums still in
print on CD or download? How has your music writing and guitar playing
changed or evolved over the years?
AJB: My earlier album Moonglider started with a feature
of a DVD-Sampler promised with high volume. This new album, together
with Jaki has the best sound quality available to make it strong for
radio and distribution. Moonglider was made step by step over
the years. Cosmology has also this miraculous jazzy way of
being recorded in two days, partly played by ear. One day for rhythm
and solo guitars and one day for drum parts. That is the Miles Davis
approach to do it in one day on a 3 track recording machine only.
Actually, I think it was and is, the lack of money which forced me
to concentrate on the moment and focus energy. Kind Of Blue is
very different music but our recording approach was just the same.
We just recorded more than 3 tracks due to the current technical possibilities
of today. Many songs were just first cuts. One of the songs failed
3 times for some reason. The engineer liked cutting from 3 versions
and I moved to another, got it on the first try, getting back to the
former song which then went down at first try. Jaki always played
the complete song, too. After we did a sound check with drums and
had everything in place, Jaki did Starcraft as the first
song. After the song ended there was complete silence. After a while
Jaki asked was it OK? The engineer said we listened in awe. I was
very happy to have managed to record Jakis special beat coalescing
with my music.
mwe3: What other plans do you have for 2014 and 2015 as far
as writing new music, recording and upcoming live performances? How
are you planning to further spread the word about Alan J. Bound and
There are a lot of plans and projects. A live record cut from Hawkfest
is popping up. I will try new stuff for a successor to Cosmology
and a more rock related CD with English friends so I do hope. It is
planned to do a hall concert in October which seems to be delayed
and again a hall gig in February. We will work with magazines and
mwe3.com in order to get better known.
to Alan J. Bound at www.AlanJBound.com