The Flower Kings
|The Flower Kings|
The Flower Kings performing in 2004 (Roine Stolt and Tomas Bodin pictured).
|Past members||Jaime Salazar|
The Flower Kings are a Swedish progressive rock band formed in 1994 by guitarist and singer-songwriter Roine Stolt. The group began as Stolt's touring band to support his third solo album The Flower King. They continued performing after the tour and have gone on to become one of the most prolific studio recording units in progressive rock, having released nearly twenty hours of music spread across twelve studio albums. Their music is similar to early symphonic progressive rock groups such as Yes, marked by sharp dynamic changes, polyrhythmics, heavy bass, vocal harmonies, abstract and occasionally nonsensical lyrics, and extended song lengths.
In early 1993, guitarist and singer Roine Stolt had written material for his third solo album The Flower King and sought for musicians to perform it. He had wanted to release a progressive rock-style album for a while and felt the time was right to pursue the project. The album features Stolt on vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards, Jaime Salazar on drums, and Hasse Fröberg on vocals, and was recorded in Sweden between May 1993 and January 1994.
In preparation for Stolt's concert tour to support the album's release, Stolt, Salazar, and Fröberg were joined by Stolt's brother Michael on bass and Tomas Bodin on keyboards. The five performed their first gig on 20 August 1994 at an outdoor festival in Uppsala, Stolt's hometown and the city where The Flower King was recorded. After they decided to become a full time band, they officially adopted the name The Flower Kings, named after Stolt's album. Stolt had produced a list of potential titles for the record, one of which was "The Flower King", and chose it because of its positive meaning and its reference to the hippie era of the 1960s.
After performing a series of concerts through 1994, the band entered the studio in December 1994 to record their debut album, Back in the World of Adventures. The recording process was gradual, finishing in September 1995.
In 2000, Michael Stolt was replaced by Jonas Reingold. Two years later, Salazar was replaced by Zoltan Csörsz. Daniel Gildenlöw of Pain of Salvation joined the band the same year as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.
Stolt has written the vast majority of the material the band has recorded, with Bodin contributing most of the rest. The music is best described as symphonic progressive rock, bearing a strong resemblance to the music of Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, and early Genesis, with jazz fusion and blues influences. The band's lyrics are almost uniformly positive and uplifting, affirming such values as love, peace, and spirituality, and furthering their association with Yes.
Their 1999 album Flower Power contains the eighteen-section, almost 60-minute "Garden of Dreams".
In June 2007 they released The Road Back Home, a compilation of remixed songs from 1994 to 2006, plus "Little Deceiver" (a previously unreleased track) and the full version of their cover of "The Cinema Show" by Genesis.
After touring in 2008, The Flower Kings were inactive for four years. Stolt felt the band had varied levels of focus in their direction and had started to feel lost. They reunited in 2011 to work on new material after Stolt felt it was the right time and sensed eagerness from the other members to work together. This marked the arrival of 27-year-old German drummer Felix Lehrmann. Banks of Eden, the group's eleventh album, was released in June 2012 and was recorded with analogue recording techniques and styles during the height of vinyl records. This was followed by Desolation Rose in October 2013.
In December 2017, the first part of a career-spanning box set titled A Kingdom of Colours was released. This first box, with 10 discs, covers the period from 1995-2002 and includes the studio albums from Back in the World of Adventures to Unfold the Future. The second box set, titled A Kingdom of Colours 2 and covering the albums Adam and Eve through to Desolation Rose was released in June 2018.
In September 2018, Stolt announced a new album named Manifesto of an Alchemist will be released on November 23. The album will not feature long-time keyboardist Tomas Bodin, and as such it is credited to "Roine Stolt's The Flower King" rather than "The Flower Kings"
- Roine Stolt – guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass guitar (1994–present)
- Hasse Fröberg – vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar (1994–present)
- Tomas Bodin – keyboards (1994–present)
- Jonas Reingold – bass guitar (1999–present)
- Felix Lehrmann – drums (2012–present)
- Jaime Salazar – drums (1994–2001)
- Michael Stolt – bass guitar (1994–1999)
- Zoltan Csörsz – drums (2001–2005; 2007)
- Daniel Gildenlöw – vocals, guitars, keyboards (2002–2004)
- Marcus Liliequist – drums (2005–2006)
- Erik Hammarström – drums (2008)
- Ola Heden – vocals, keyboards, guitar (2008)
- Hasse Bruniusson – percussion (1995–present)
- Ulf Wallander – saxophone (1995–present)
- Pat Mastelotto – drums (2007)
- Back in the World of Adventures (1995)
- Retropolis (1996)
- Stardust We Are (1997)
- Flower Power (1999)
- Space Revolver (2000)
- The Rainmaker (2001)
- Unfold the Future (2002)
- Adam & Eve (2004)
- Paradox Hotel (2006)
- The Sum of No Evil (2007)
- Banks of Eden (2012)
- Desolation Rose (2013)
- Manifesto Of An Alchemist (2018)
- Alive on Planet Earth (2000)
- Meet the Flower Kings (2003)
- Instant DeLIVEry (2006)
- Tour Kaputt (2011)
- Édition Limitée Québec (1998)
- Live in New York - Official Bootleg (2002)
- BetchaWannaDanceStoopid!!! (2004)
- Carpe Diem - The Flower Kings Live in USA (2008)
Fan Club albums
- A Kingdom of Colours: The Complete Collection From 1995 To 2002 (2017)
- A Kingdom of Colours II: The Complete Collection From 2004 To 2013 (2018)
- Couture, François. "The Flower Kings – Biography". Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- Charron, AJ (28 September 2003). "An Interview with Roine Stolt". Guitar Noise. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- The Flower King (Media notes). Roine Stolt. Foxtrot Records. 1994. FOX CD 011.
- "Interview: Roine Stolt(Flower Kings)". RockProg. November 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- "The Flower Kings on MySpace". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- O'Boyle, John (July 2012). "Interviews – Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings)". DPRP. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Interviews – The Flower Kings". Grande Rock. 22 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2017.