IMS managed to find a window of opportunity to chat with the band
4th Labyrinth are a high energy band with their toes planted firmly in the 70’s. IMS managed to find a window of opportunity to chat with the band but first up here’s what their bio has to say on social media.
4th Labyrinth is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/producer Marcel Kunkel, but the band started life as a group of musicians, long before the 4th Labyrinth project was born.
The band creates an energy that is hard to find in this world of manufactured bands and artificial stardom. You'll find their sound somewhere between Queen, ELO, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Supertramp. It's a sound that goes back to basics, that rock with maybe just a sprinkle of pop, a bit like it used to be in the 1970's...
2015 marked the year of their debut album Quattro Stagioni which was released to much critical acclaim and airplay on UK's radio stations across the country, including the BBC. Over the next two years Quattro Stagioni was toured extensively, with the band sharing stages with artists like Focus, FM and Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy.
Known for their engaging and witty live shows, the band has acted as main support for the likes of Wishbone Ash, Dan Reed and prog legends Focus. Their highly approachable rock sound makes them incredibly versatile, keeping the listener's attention throughout. From heavy guitar riffs to the most delicate heartfelt ballads, from progressive rock monsters to future sing along classics, the bands mission is to bring back approachable rock music to where it deserves to be.
There seems to be a new wave of classic rock out there, but is this really classic rock? 4th Labyrinth aim to continue the tradition of classic rock where it stopped in the late 1970’s.
Things don't always have to be reinvented. It's right when it's beautiful, and beautiful it has to be!
First off. How did you all get together and decide to form a band?
Claudia: “Marcel, Tom and I used to play in a band quite a few years ago. When our singer left to go back to the States we really wanted to continue playing together. Marcel had a bunch of songs he’d written and asked if we’d be up for playing them (which of course we were). We’ve had a couple of guitarist changes over the years, but Andy was known to us and was persuaded to join our cause.”
I’m very much an 80’s music guy so why the 70’s?
Marcel: “Because we are 70’s guys and shoulder pads don’t look good on us ha ha! No honestly – to us for some reason rock music from the 80’s doesn’t seem to age as well as music from 1970’s (and before). We tend to like things that are more traditional in terms of rock music.”
You’ve supported the likes of Dan Reed and Wishbone Ash. What bands are on your wish list and why?
Andy: “Some of the bands that are on our wish list are not around anymore – or not in their classic line-ups. With bands like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Queen or even the Beatles it’s no longer possible to play with them in their original form. However, playing with Uriah Heep at HRH Prog in October is a dream coming true for us.”
You released ‘Quattro Stagioni’ in 2015 and your last single was ‘This is Rock n Roll.’ Is there a new album on the cards?
Tom: “Funny you should ask that. Our new album will be out at the beginning of October, and it’s called ‘Better’.”
What can we expect from a new album?
Marcel: “We are very excited about this! With “Better” we’ve very much stripped things back to a classic rock sound but with a progressive rock influence. It’s rock music how we like to hear it. All in all, it’s a lot rockier and more upbeat than the first album, with a clearer direction.”
You are down for quite a few festival appearances this year. Where are you at with a stand-alone tour?
Claudia: “The biggest problem for independent bands like us is not in playing the music, but in organising everything else around the band. To be honest, we have been concentrating on the upcoming album and it’s been taking our full attention. We definitely want to take the album out on the road, and it’s something we will plan within the next few months.”
What are your thoughts on playing further afield and is there any place in particular that you have your sights on?
Tom: “We played the Wildfire Festival in Scotland which was pretty far away for us! Never say never if the right thing comes along. We enjoy touring – we see new places, meet new people and do the things we love the most. Let’s see how it goes with our album tour. Germany would be the obvious place (with Marcel being German) and we could go from there.”
With the current level of talent within the UK, what do you think it takes to stand out?
Marcel: “Having been involved with the scene in the UK for quite a while now, one thing we’ve learnt is that, unfortunately, talent isn’t everything. You can have the most talented band but if your infrastructure within the band is wrong, or if you’re not all pulling in one direction, and if you don’t have anything that makes you special apart from the music you are probably going to fail. The most important thing in the music business is having the stamina to go through with your ideas and be true to yourself.”
At IMS we actively promote independent music. Firstly, what’s your opinion of the scene at the moment?
Tom: “Every time we play a gig at a venue or a festival, the standard of the other bands can be incredibly high. That could be quite overwhelming, but for us it’s just an incentive to work harder on what we do.”
Secondly, there are times where a venue can be quite empty for a gig, so bands suffer from ‘empty room.’ What’s your take on this and why do you think it happens?
Claudia: “In some ways the answer is in the two previous replies. There are a lot of good bands and musicians around, and the market is saturated. The kids these days have seen an episode of X Factor and think, “Rock star! That’s what I want to do.” Another reason is related to the streaming market, and how you don’t really need to leave the house to hear new music. The sad thing is that listening to a track on Spotify puts very little money back into the music industry (at least any money that goes to the musicians).”
Have you got a message for your fans?
Andy: “For us the most important things for the band are creating music we love and finding other people who love it – the fans. The best band in the world is worth nothing playing an empty room. It doesn’t even matter whether it’s a big or small room, if there are people that respond to what we have to say our band is a success.”
Marcel: “Don’t forget about your local venues and support young bands. These guys are doing it for the love – show some love back.”