Music: June 2006 Archives

Phil Ehart interview

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Since March 27, Kansas fans have speculated about the reasons for Robby Steinhardt's departure from the band and his re-replacement by his former replacement David Ragsdale. See my posts here and here. In one of the best interviews I've ever read from drummer and band manager Phil Ehart, we now get the details. Robby wasn't fired, but he didn't just leave on his own either. He'd gradually been losing interest in the band, and it was showing in his performance. Eventually, the band had to make him realize that his heart wasn't in it and that it was affecting the band. But they didn't fire him. They left it to him to decide what to do, and he realized that he didn't really want to keep doing it.

There's lots of other great stuff in the interview. He explains why he has insisted that the band be part of any efforts by labels to repackaged already-released material and remasters, even with projects he wouldn't have been motivated to do. He just thinks that if it's going to be done, it ought to be done right with band input. He reflects on Always Never the Same, the album (with the following tour) that utilized an orchestra as a sixth band member. He also offers thoughts on their current situation with their two writers reserving material for other projects, the different band lineups over the years, and the controversial period of the early 80s when two band members became evangelical Christians, singer Steve Walsh left over the explicit Christian lyrics that followed, and newcomer John Elefante turned out to be an evangelical Christian himself, leaving them with a majority Christian band.

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