This page has been set up to provide inside information to those who want to know more about the music and the character behind Tangerine Dream. Here you will find answers to letters by fans, e-mails and interviews. As each question and answer is given equal importance, the text is not divided into topics.

Answers are given by Edgar directly or by the Administrator of this website.


# 11 The 9/11 crisis has increased spiritual awareness in the USA. What are your thoughts on spirituality?


I am doubtful as to whether 9/11 has really increased spiritual awareness in the world. It seems more accurate to say that it has given mankind’s greatest fears a concrete image. An increase in spiritual awareness would bring people to begin questioning the meaning of certain life-defining issues and ideas – for example, whether the values which define the Western world are really in alignment with the true purpose of mankind. Above all, the terrible events of 9/11 have, in my opinion, triggered fear and the hysterical cry for revenge. It is perfectly understandable that people will react in such a fashion, but in order to change structures of coexistence among humans one will have to employ measures different from the simple “eye for an eye” approach that man has been reverting to since the Stone Age. In that sense, the consciousness of mankind has not even reached puberty at this point in time – we still behave like children fighting in the sandbox.


# 12 Your successful collaboration with former band mate Johannes Schmoelling on the Kyoto recording triggers the hope of further co-projects together with other former members of TD. Any plans?


Yes, the both of us had real fun jumping into our musical time machine and travelling back a few years. We’ve also released a studio CD with compositions by Ralf Wadephul and myself. The material was originally composed in 1988 for the summer American tour and for a TV project. Parts of it never got released. So, Ralf and myself sat in the studio for almost two weeks and brought the tracks together and it sounds terrific! We’re very happy. It was a spring 06 release.
Apart from that, there are not many former members I’m impatiently waiting to work with. A lot of people are thinking of reuniting for a gig or a recording of Froese, Franke and Baumann or Froese, Franke, and Schmoelling. I did my work with Schmoelling. Baumann is so far away from any music-related subject that it would be absurd even to consider having him on stage or in a studio. And finally, Franke… he’s the only person in my entire career I would refuse to have a cup of coffee with. There will be some comments about that in my book about TD.


# 13 Record companies and distributors are obviously an important part of the business who set up a functional link between musicians and fans/customers. Which company have you been most happy with during the years of your artistic career?


Maybe there is an unknown planet somewhere in our solar systems with a race just like humans and lots of happy artists who feel perfectly represented by agents, record companies or distributors. I would be very pleased – along with thousands of other artists – to find such an address.
As far as my personal, down to earth, experience goes, no creative artist has been so lucky to say merely good things about his representatives. Record companies often act like a prison guard. Once you’ve signed a contract – blinded by all the rubbish said to you about wealth, fame and artistic freedom – the horror story starts right away. If the first release is far behind commercial expectations, you’ll become a kind of prostitute who now has to do what a bunch of strange guys want you to do. You immediately understand that most record company bureaucracy (“bureaucrazy!”) is nothing more than a giant mechanism operated by little dwarves. If you join the rat race, young full of dreams, you will be – in the worst case scenario – barbecued on a stake built by shareholders and stock jobbers. So what’s the solution? Living on a shoestring and praying for a better world? No, you have to set up your own systems via Internet, via various mailing systems, via strong fan bases… Yet not destroy the existing system, but be completely independent of the burden of other peoples’ dysfunctional decisions.


# 14 Do you think it is really just a problem with the music business which doesn’t have any new ideas and keeps using the same old ideas and then suffers from its own mediocrity? Or is it due to the dream of young artists to achieve the wealth and fame, their hopes of living a glorious lifestyle, that drives them to sign every last crazy paragraph?


If someone is dying of thirst, whose fault is it if vinegar is given to him instead of water? I can say from experience that companies search with great effort to find young, inexperienced, but very talented musicians who would do anything to have a stage and an audience they can share their talent with. These youngsters don’t care about the business side which later will become – often quite unexpectedly – the dead-end of their career. This FAQ is far too short to name all the artists who have gone this destructive and disillusioned way.


# 15 Why popular art forms are so often nothing more than hype machines – the deeper meaning, the wounded flesh of the artist, the philosophy, the tears and pain under which much work has been brought to life seems to be just worthless on the screaming marketplace. Is that part of the Zeitgeist in the 21st century?


Let me answer with a perfect statement from Ken Egbert of Tone Clusters magazine who wrote the following notes for a TD anthology release a few years ago:
“The eternal problem: music cannot exist in a vacuum. It needs patrons to thrive; unfortunately, music shares this problem with every other creative enterprise. Squeeze any art form into the predetermined template of the marketplace and most of the brilliant corners get rubbed off; taking chances becomes hazardous to commercial health. A new musician, group or sound, once recognizable to the masses, quickly breeds clones. Perhaps the Austrian psychoanalyst Carl Jung was right when he said that conformity is an adjunct to fear. So the concept of what sells gets repackaged again and again in slightly different forms. New studio gadgets continuously elbow out past gizmos. The hype machine of the record labels and press canonizes today’s new face while simultaneously burying a dozen more. Music lives in an endless now.”
End of quote. No one seems to be interested in the fact that behind a piece of art there is much, much more than just a dollar sign. The artist has become a servant to the stockholder value scenario. What a plunge!


# 16 Fans sometimes argue that you’ve ruined the original version of a sound or record by adding new layers and/or changing parts of the original composition.


Nothing on the planet has an immortal value, nothing will survive forever. Every life form exists because of the fact that changing forms is a vital part of existence. Should an artist be jailed and locked in a mental framework by a group of fans who in many ways refuse to see artworks from varied viewpoints? Of course I understand the desire to repeat certain experiences again and again if they are extraordinary. These people will claim that whoever touches “their” piece of music becomes a sort of terrorist who has killed parts of the soundtrack to their emotional life. Understandable but with a touch of mediocrity. The fact is that the artist must have the freedom of choice to destroy his own art or at least rebuild structures and change the whole composition in order to pursue a new train of thought. The audience has the freedom of choice to dramatically say NO to such “upside down” activities and simply won’t spend their money on it. Fair enough.


# 17 Has America never been a real alternative as a place to live and work?


It’s just right after flying over from Europe that you get a very positive impression of the lifestyle and the easy way of putting the artistic possibilities into practice. You really get the feeling of living in an open society. This will work out, as long as you stick
to the rules and find ok whatever is accepted as, or I’d rather say, must be accepted as the general life philosophy in your environment. If you put working processes or traditional structures into question, you’ll become a spanner in the works. This is not allowed, everything must run like a properly oiled machinery, rapidly and perfectly. But this does not work, life is not like this, not even in America. I am no opportunist and thus certainly not a competent partner in certain lifestyle questions.


# 18 Have you never experienced anything you like to remember when working in the USA for such a long time?


Once again – my relationship with the USA is excellent and there are many things in the US that I still appreciate very much. Due to the tough competition, a professionalism emerged in many fields of art that you will hardly find anywhere in Europe. You can compare it to your wife, your boyfriend or girlfriend: You can tell them that the snot coming out of their noses from time to time does not exactly remind one of a gourmet restaurant. If anybody feels displeased then, you can’t help him. Being fond of something and criticizing anyway sometimes is part of our lives, it should be as simple as that.


# 19 Are there any spots in Europe you feel especially attracted to?


Paris, Amsterdam, London and Vienna are the most inspiring cities in Europe. But Barcelona is also important. It’s the city of my youth. I hitchhiked there at the age of 17, when I pissed off from home for the first time, believing Spain was the country of liberty of my teenage years.


# 20 In 1974, Tangerine Dream left their birth place Berlin for London – was this decision important for their career?


It was the most important decision in the forty years TD’s existence. If we had stayed in Berlin and in Germany then, a diffusion of our music at an international level wouldn’t have been possible. Concerning progressive rock music, Germany was nothing more but a developing country. There were certainly interesting musicians, but there was no musical industry, nor media that were interested in this new sound. We could publish our first album „Electronic Meditation“, because we had been very lucky and had done a lot of convincing, we made a fool of ourselves and were avoided, as if our music were a contagious disease.

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