Road Not Taken was founded in 2011 by guitarist and singer Chris Weinhardt and drummer Benjamin Lindner in Eichwalde, Germany (a small city close to Berlin). Playing together for over 10 years in several bands of various genres it was easy to close to line-up with bass player Florian Valentin and the second vocalist Nico Hentschel.
Chris Weinhardt was kind to answer the Progstravaganza Questionnaire, after Road Not Taken appearance on Progstravaganza XVIII: Transforma in April 2014.
How did you come to do what you do?
I started singing when I was in 2nd grade. It might have been an accident or compulsion since I don’t recall signing in for the schools choir in the first place. 5 years later I bought my first guitar and started some kind of band project with a good friend of mine who got his first drum kit. We never parted, played with lots of other people and founded this band called “Road Not Taken” in 2011. Thanks for the great times, Benni.
What is your first musical memory?
My parents put an enormous amount of effort into raising me with the music of Genesis and Phil Collins. Talking about foreshadowing, I guess. To this day I consider Collins godlike, to say the least.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Basically everything. It might be a song or movie. It might be the city at dawn or the last drink you share with your mates after a long night.
Inspiration is one hell of a moody princess and never shows up when she’s needed. Curse you afflatus.
What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?
When it comes down to it, “Hangman” is kind of a nod to the darker times in life that one has to face. You lose control over something you didn’t even have control over in the first place. But then there’s somebody who punches you and yells “Get it together” and you start the next chapter. It has never been easy for me to explain lyrics and meanings. But maybe there’s somebody out there who finds an entirely different meaning within this song. I’d be glad to talk to this person.
Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?
Almost everytime. It often starts with the guitar and keyboard parts. As soon as I’m finished, our beautiful drummer adds his drum parts, which inspire the last additions and rhythms of melody lines and of course, vocal parts. We did however write songs which started with drums.
What is your method of songwriting?
Grabbing my beloved 7-string and praying for enlightment. Basically most of the time it’s just me jamming in my room and abusing Guitar Pro 5. We have never been the band that writes songs in rehearsals and when it comes to lyrics it’s either staying up way to late and avoiding sleep or getting up way to early and avoiding sleep, for me.
How do you see your music evolving?
I don’t see it as much as others do. Adding growl vocals to our upcoming EP was definitely a huge step forward, like the missing piece of a puzzle. And since this is Progressive Rock / Metal we’re free of boundaries. A balanced mixture between dreamy ambiance and in-your-face-metal. What’s not to love?
What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?
Be open minded. Always. Consider music you don’t like a challenge, not harrasment. There might be more to some genres than you’d think.
What are you looking forward to?
Breakfast. I answered these questions way to late at night. Of course I am / we are looking forward to writing new songs, playing live and connecting with people through our music. It has been a blast so far and we’ll continue making music we enjoy playing and listening to. Prog on everybody and good luck!
Bands, send your music submissions for the Progstravaganza compilation series to email@example.com