By Leslie Krouse
17 years, 4 Platinum Albums, Numerous #1 hits. LIVE is still going strong. With such an amazing career, I had to see what they’ve been up to, so I sat down with Ed Kowalczyk front man for the band. He was charming, articulate and soft spoken. It went a little something like this.
RIS: 20 years in this business, and back on tour again. What’s your take on the music industry today, as opposed to when you quys first got started?
EK: It’s radically different in a lot of ways, some for the good and some not so good. One great thing is the accessibility to our fans through the internet, they can reach out to us, and we can interact in a way that we could never before. It seems this has seriously taken place in the last couple of years. The negative effect has been through CD sales, our last two albums were affected by this, with everyone downloading music, and we feel that people are loose a certain amount of connection with the bands. That’s why we are back on tour, we are able to connect personally with our fans, and get more, and more into their hearts. It gets frustrating for us, but once we climb on that stage it all goes away.
RIS: This is our annual Green Issue, are you or the band involved in any environmental issues?
EK: As a band we haven’t really connected ourselves with a cause, we kind of feel it’s a personal issue and everyone needs to do their own part to help. As for myself personally, I have an 11 Kilowatt Solar System on the roof of my house, and I grow my own food.
RIS: With 9 amazing albums behind you, any plans for a new one?
EK: We are planning to put out a DVD/CD called Front Burn LIVE; we’ve wanted to do this for years. It looks like June in Holland, we are going to be able to make this happen; plus we’ll throw in a couple of new songs. At this point that is the plan.
RIS: Any advice you would like to give to up and coming bands?
EK: Stay true to yourselves and your music. Great Music, Great Art, Great Bands, stay true. Don’t make compromises, and always remember the fans are the most important thing.
RIS: One last question. Have you noticed the difference in the ages of the fans that come to your concerts?
EK: It’s very cool to see what I call “uncled in” that’s when your cool uncle tells you, “yeah your music’s ok, but you’re coming to this concert with me to hear this band” like when my uncle introduced me to Led Zeppelin. It always amazes me that they know all the words.