Author: dblofficial

Interview With Roger Thorp…



Roger, let’s start with how you met dBL…

So I’ve known Joe for a long time, but I met the rest of the band when I helped shoot their live gig. I was just roaming around with a DSLR camera at the front. We shot some footage in the studio so we could marry it together. I liked that. The studio stuff was really nice to do, getting to know the band in the studio…but I only met them at the gig, I’d never met them before then…

[ See LINK to dBL Live at the Acorn: ]


What were your first thoughts on hearing their music?

That’s a good one because my first thoughts probably were that I really like it a lot…it’s not really my kind of thing, but then I worked on the album, on the backdrop film, I spent 6 months on it probably – I never tired of the music.  In my teens I was into Yes and Pink Floyd – people that were described as ‘prog rock’, so I kind of thought that dBL sounded more like those guys…more like prog rock.

And – not wanting to pigeonhole anything because I don’t think you can with this music because  you don’t need to categorise it…I mean, nowadays there are so many genres and definitions that maybe if we abandon them all and just went ‘I like that music’… I don’t know, it might be better…but no, Imean, I love it! I think FPATM is a great, great album and I think the lyrical content is really strong…and I’ve probably heard it more times than anybody except for possibly the band, and I still get a buzz! I was listening to it again – I was looking through it again last night and – it’s great!


So tell us how you planned the film and what the main inspirations were?

The first thing was that I was thrilled to start with to get asked by Chris to get involved in it… We had long conversations about it… I studied the lyrics… Chris sent me a backstory to the lyrics, what it was all about, and I worked on the backstory and responded to the intent behind the lyrics – that was key – and I put down some visual ideas for Chris to then bounce back…there was constant bouncingof ideas across each other really…and eventually we came up with a working plan. I shot a few things…I kind of went off and did it really…


So you effectively built a storyline and some key content. And there are obviously very keen strong themes such as mortality…

Yeah, and it was also developing the characters I suppose, developing the characters to try and convey the right ideas…We also talked about a lot of mythological crossover, and fine art. The 3 Ages of Man and that kind of thing, mortality, which was represented in Da Vinci’s embryo in the womb…and lots of other references to elements of mortality, both in the girl dancing in the sand and the guy walking down the bleak road…


…And I like the playing cards, the deck of cards – the joker.

Yeah…that’s something that happened to me while I was living in London actually, in my 20s, I kept seeing cards facedown in the road, and I’d pick them up and it was always the Queen, the King or Joker…I’ve still got them in a box somewhere…so I planted the Joker – the Joker seemed to work with the lyric really….

But yeah, I’ll say it again, the lyrics on the album are finely wrought and worthy of Chris being in the lexicon of great lyricists really, because it’s dealing with issues in a way that rock, only rock music can…and – call it whatever you want, ‘indie’, ‘prog’ whatever you want – the lyrics take the project forwards as much as the music. The lyrics were kind of what kind of gave the film its narrative structure I suppose – there is a slight narrative in there – but the music is so finely laid down…


So there’s the visual, the lyrical narrative and the musical journey…

The musical journey is written in a classical kind of structure, and that helped me create the overarching feel of the film, with references back to the stained glass and the art, and, sort of like a painter, the elements within it…


Chris / dBL: If you look at the album as a single piece of work rather than a separate number of songs, it allows the film to reflect that one piece of work. So you’ve got one narrative story, generally, with different interactive themes and that was our aim…to visually reflect in one, that tie-in, and that enhances the album beautifully because then when people see it, and you hear it at the same time, you realise that the same characters are in the start as they are in the end and therefore you’ve got one piece of work, and that was one of the main things…to make it kind of homogenous.

But going back to the music, the depth of the music – as I said a minute ago, after 6 months of editing the film, listening to the music which I probably heard more than anybody else except for the band…the musicianship is so powerful…Joe’s bass keeps just riding along through there and then Greg’s guitar work is just like…just picks up the kind of like…off the bass and the poetry and everything…and the musicians that you chose – like Jim – I mean, Lucy still cites the end of Funny Farm to be one of her favourite things ever…

Yeah, so it’s so rich, and the structures – you don’t notice the structures because it keeps evolving somewhere else. I guess that’s why the allusion with prog rock is relevant… Progressive, I mean everything needs to be progressive these days…I don’t think it’s a bad tag if you’ve got to have a tag…


So tell us about the 2 main characters who appear throughout the film – who are they and what are you saying through them?

This is a bit loose because they’re there to portray the meaning of the lyric and it’s a little bit abstract in a way. We call him ‘The Loner’ (Steve Jacobs). He’s out on the road on his own, something has gone wrong with his life but he’s trying to come to terms with it. I based him to some extent with the character of Travis in ‘Paris, Texas’…in ‘Paris, Texas’ (I’ll quote Roger Ebert here – he’s a film critic, died recently) Travis is “the man comes walking out of the desert like a biblical figure, a penitent who has renounced the world”…in renouncing the world, you kind of get to know what’s really important, so he’s on the road looking for answers, looking for a way to reconnect actually, in a self-imposed exile…

And the girl – we called her “The Girl” (Nix Wood) …she’s kind of new, fresh, she’s trying to shed the chaos of the 21st century, and you see her on the bridge and she’s being attacked by all of the kind of data streams and that kind of stuff and she doesn’t know which way to go. In the sand she finds this kind of Hindu icon…it’s quite loose, it’s there to suggest things to an audience as opposed to telling them. There’s no dialogue for the characters particularly, she is Innocence and wonder really – a new day – but she does relate directly to the lines in some of the tracks. I suppose she’s like his muse in a way, although they don’t know each other, she kind of offers him a way back…

You imagine that he has escaped from some drudgery in the city and he’s linked in with the swarms of people that you keep seeing and that keep recurring, and she’s got this kind of lyricism about her…it’s a very simple tale, in a sense, that he’s looking for her back in his life…it’s what he needs – he needs that wonder, if you like, that’s been drained out of him by institutionalization I suppose…


CHRIS/dBL: Yeah, you’re not bullying people into a defined narrative, you’re provoking thought, questioning modern life and how it can grind you as time ticks by and therefore that’s where the appreciation of your own mortality comes out – in the narrative of the film. There’s no obvious bullying into ‘you’ve got to take this message’ – in that sense, the art of it flows really beautifully… And given such a long piece of work, Roger had the platform to develop those themes without having to cram it in to 5 minutes.

Tell us about the locational setting for some of the images and clips in the film?

The landscapes obviously reflected the lyrics and the moodsetting for the piece. Some of it I shot in London, some of it I shot down in Cornwall, and a lot of it I shot from the internet. Everything was filmed, nothing was actually just lifted or dragged onto the desktop, except for stills – I used quite a few stills. I used the internet as a landscape as well…largely I interacted with The Girl.

There is a sequence where there are some rough seas that I filmed at our house, Halzephron…Our house is called Halzephron House, and ‘Halzephron’ is Cornish for cliffs of hell…which we didn’t realise when we bought the house.


How long did the project take to put together?

From our first conversations to getting it finished – from start to finish shoot, to getting it edited was about 6 months I think this is the band’s way…Chris and I luckily appreciate the same way of letting time not be a dictator…deadlines aren’t important – a time frame to finish the project was not the driver – the art was the driver. Having no deadline means that we can let things cook.


Do you plan to show the film at any galleries?

Yes. I’m going on a tour, a short tour of Northern Europe with an exhibition called ‘Fountain Road’ and visiting Berlin, Copenhagen, Oslo, in April/May 2017. And we will show it as an exhibition piece definitely in Berlin, with a special screening for one night.


What are your current projects and where can we see them?

The tour – hoping to take that to Southern Europe in September. Something else I’d like to mention is a web project, which is not unrelated. It’s about the arts. It’s called the Olive Network, we’re posting stories about people doing good stuff – take a look:


How long have you been a visual artist?

Ages…since I was 14 years old, although not practising as an actual artist… I worked for years in film. As a child I was ‘arty’ and had an interest in photography…then it was art school (Bournemouth) doing film and photography. Then it was working in the film business in all sorts of roles, but alwayswriting my own material – both drama and music, and trying to get that developed… but it was always with a European influence and while I could entice co-producers in Europe, it was always hard to sell it to guys in the UK, because we’ve got very much a Hollywood influence or gritty British drama slant that comes from TV.

So, to cut a long story short, working in film and music as an artist but not as a defined artist…what I say in my personal statement is my influences are European Cinema and the rock poets of the latter part of the 21st Century. So that’s kind of where I’m from…


Tell us more about being influenced by rock poets…

The greatest poetry of the latter part of the 20th century came from music – came from the lyricists in music in my view…I mean, a lot of that kind of gets lost really…the writing does get lost because sometimes people don’t really pick up on it…


…and the European influence?

The poetics of European cinema – ‘la camera stylo’ is something that the French New Wave (Alexandre Astruc in fact) wrote about the camera…that the camera is a pen…it actually follows and looks at the world in a different way… Jean-Luc Godard said a great phrase when he was focusing on cast members – you dwell on them for longer than the normal director might, so the camera can brand them more deeply – you might start to see things in that character that you might not necessarily see when you’re working in a typical drama necessarily… and that’s important.

And another massive influence is Andrei Tarkovsky… who would use very long takes, and he would dwell on situations…I think it’s important to have a poetic like that.

So it was in Penzance that I put on my first exhibition…an exhibition for a fundraiser for the Lido, and it was called ‘In a Darkened Room’…and it involved people going into the room and seeing themselves within different landscapes…there was a forest…and you were in the ocean… and within an airport terminal.

The big message for me is…if we can understand the finite nature of things and our insignificance within the beauty of this incredible planet…our humility…that’s what makes me tick, to try and illustrate that and to make people think and to see that, so that if we appreciate our insignificance really, then there’s less chance that we’re going to be wanting to be Donald Trump (laughs).

I mean it’s such a tiny chance that any one of us is here. We need to dwell on things… That’s why one of my projects is called ‘Dwell’…we dwell here, we should dwell on things, we need to hold that gaze… you know, what’s the point of jumping about like idiots all the time when it’s just this entire fluke…the beauty of things.


That’s a really good crossover…so a lot of the lyrical content of the album (Fingers Pointing At The Moon)  resounded with you and through a lovely coincidence both projects came together, with you being able to depict that… Are you musical yourself? Do you write or have you got a band?

It’s scrappy. In a good way. I work in a 3-piece, Wintervine  – I’ve always been doing music – in the ‘80s, two or three different bands.  It’s never been covers, it’s always been our own material. So for instance I was in a band in the 80s called ‘Ghosts Before Breakfast’ and right now I’m working back with Nick [Rye] who was my partner in that band.

Ok, so the thing with Nick I’ve come up with is a ‘live art film music’ thing. It’s not a million miles removed from the backdrop I did for Fingers Pointing At The Moon, but it’s more of an installation than a concert backdrop. It’s something I’ve been playing around with for a few years – ‘Songs For The Hard Earth and Dreaming’. Some of the material is new, some of the material goes back to when Nick and I were together in Ghosts Before Breakfast. It’s a live installation but can also be presented as a three channel independent work.


So it’s clear that dBL feel you are great to work with because you have a long history in composing your own music and you’re a visual artist, so there’s a lot of crossover. dBL have an interest in representing their music in films but of course don’t have your amazing ability and technical knowledge, so with all of that there’s a great collaboration there…of interests… We look forward to seeing what the future holds!


Full Fingers Pointing At The Moon Film :




Highlands Magazine

Thanks to Highlands Magazine (France) for this interview article with the band, published in their latest issue. We enjoyed the interview process and hope you enjoy the read.



Progzilla Radio

Our thanks to Shaun Geraghty for playing the full length of our track ‘Home’ on Progzilla Radio recently and for his excitement regarding the album as it continues to become better known. For those who missed out, catch it here:…/ (01:00)

Full Film Release

Dworniak Bone Lapsa are delighted to present the full film of their album Fingers Pointing At The Moon. The film is a collaboration between the band and visual artist Roger Thorp and will accompany live shows.

A full interview with Roger will be released soon.

Record Store Day

Happy RSD 2017 from the dBL team. To celebrate, our vinyls – 180g and pressed at Optimal in Germany – are available to purchase at the lovely Jam Records, Falmouth and also available from the online store.

We leave you with this…

“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise. I said, “Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”
~ John Peel



Thank you to for their review of Fingers Pointing At The Moon.  “A pleasure” and “a true masterpiece”, scoring 9/10.

We are back in the studio as our new album comes together and takes shape.

…Our First No. 1!

Our first No. 1. Nice. Thank you to all who bought the album. Vielen dank. X!



More good news…

dBL now at number 2 in one of the German Prog charts. These German dudes obviously know what a good Christmas present sounds like!!





We’re in the top 10….

Thought we’d share entering the German prog charts with you all – good to see we are keeping Ritchie Blackmore honest!!