Q&A with label owner and manager Manfred Plötz of Rockville Music and drummer of Plavlov's Dog

"Give more fairness to the artists. Make consumers & the music industry aware that musicians are humans who need to eat, raise their kids, buy a car and rent a house. Music cannot be for free."

Manfred Plötz: The Passion of Rockville 

ROCKVILLE MUSIC is a Music Management company founded in 1996 by Manfred Plötz. By this time, label working mainly as management representative for Pavlov’s Dog. Rockville initially started as a local concert promoter in Munich/Germany. After a few years Rockville established additional internal music services by running a Record Label and Publishing, as it turned out that there was a strong demand by bands to benefit from the synergies between release, booking and publishing. In 2005 was the year when Pavlov’s Dog & Rockville Music joined forces. Pavlov’s Dog had just reformed and Rockville turned its business from a local promoter to an international booking agency. Manfred says: "In the following years Rockville became Pavlov’s Dog’s general management representative, which today is our main business and passion."

Manfred Plötz / Foto by Albert Brixko

*Pavlov’s Dog, iconic Progressive Rock band from St. Louis and highest signed newcomer act of all times in 1975. Besides the post-reunion studio albums „Prodigal Dreamer“ (2018) -the new Pavlov’s Dog studio album „Prodigal Dreamer“. The album contains a collection of 13 songs and will be released worldwide on December 7th 2018- and „Echo & Boo“ (2010), reissued all albums ever recorded since 1973, most in precious cardboard formats, thoroughly remastered and with rare bonus tracks. Check out e.g. „The Pekin Tapes“ (the forgotten 1973 pre-Pampered-Menial album), the reissue of the 1977 „Lost Third“ (for the first time in brilliant sound from the 2013 re-discovered master tapes) and „House Broken – Live 2015“ (a full concert 132 min. 2xCD + DVD).

*Keith Reid (founding member of Procol Harum). Keith released two solo albums on Rockville Music: „The Common Thread“ (2009) and „In My Head“ (2018)-the new studio album by Keith Reid will be released on December 7th 2018. The Album comes under the banner „The KRP“ (Keith Reid Project) and is titled „In My Head“. The album contains a fine collection of 10 songs that Keith composed together with Anders Widmark, Rob Wassermann, Steve Booker, Anthony Krizan, Matt Noble and John Waite. Six singers are featured on the Album: John Waite, Steve Booker, Anthony Krizan, Jeff Young, Chris Merola & last but not least on four songs, the young and talented Maya Saxell. Other projects are: The Moonband, actually not from the moon, but from Munich. And Sunny Vegas, who – last not least – handle the kick-ass-fun-rock-n-roll part! And during all these years we worked with many artists, such as Uli Jon Roth, Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Nazareth, Alcatrazz, Big Brother & The Holding Co., Budgie, Y&T, Skid Row, Lordi, White Lion, Pretty Maids, and others …

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Rock music and culture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Pavlov's Dog (and music in general) is a faithful companion on my side, who always finds the appropriate words for any situation I'm dealing with. I would not say though that music changed my view of the world.

What were the reasons that you started the Rockville? How do you describe Rockville's philosophy and mission?

There are just too many people in the business who have no passion for music but still judge about other people's art or just go after their money. Especially after meeting David Surkamp, with a similar mindset plus a great musical project to work for, it was the right time to establish an own buisness framework for Pavlov's Dog. The philosophy is passion and independence. Today I use the infrastructure for a few other artists also.

"Music will always require to be composed by humans with feelings and emotions, no matter if on classic instruments or computers. And modern developments bring also positive aspects: It was e.g. never as easy as today to produce and make music available to the world." (Photo: Pavlov's Dog, 2015)

Why did you think that the Pavlov's Dog music continues to generate such a devoted following?

Because it touches people deeply in their hearts. Composing such music is quite a unique gift.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

Seeing David for the first time on stage in April 2005, healthy and alive. Especially after 20 years of believing the rumors telling he's dead.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I don't miss or fear much, I'm positive and not stuck in the past. Listening to music that my kids show me, I realize there is a lot of new and good music still today. Music will always require to be composed by humans with feelings and emotions, no matter if on classic instruments or computers. And modern developments bring also positive aspects: It was e.g. never as easy as today to produce and make music available to the world.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Give more fairness to the artists. Make consumers & the music industry aware that musicians are humans who need to eat, raise their kids, buy a car and rent a house. Music cannot be for free.

"Pavlov's Dog and music in general is a faithful companion on my side, who always finds the appropriate words for any situation I'm dealing with. I would not say though that music changed my view of the world." (Pavlov’s Dog new studio album „Prodigal Dreamer“ contains a collection of 13 songs and will be released worldwide on December 7th 2018 / Photo: Pavlov's Dog backstage)

What touched (emotionally) you from "Prodigal Dreamer"? What is the most important lesson you have learned from David Surkamp? 

Keyboard player Nathan Jatcko took his own life during the recordings of Prodigal Dreamer. This is an overwhelming and deeply touching tragedy. Musically, there are many tracks on the album that touch me emotionally: Paris, Hurting Kind, or the wonderful Aria, just to mention a few. An important lesson I learned from David? Well: "Trust your intuition". Don't think too much, just play and it'll be great.

How do you describe Keith Reid's "In My Head" sound and songbook? Keith Reid is....

"In My Head" is a wonderful collection of soul full songs, featuring six different singers. But it's not only the music. It's also Keith's extraordinary talent for writing lyrics. Keith Reid is a wonderful poet, and he's a unique phenomenon in music history: Being an essential part of a band (Procol Harum), but not sharing stage.

9-Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

See Pavlov's Dog live 1974 at the Ambassador Theatre.

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