February 26, 2023
Very well, thank you very much. The feedback for the current album is overall very positive and that of course gives impetus to continue on the chosen path.
No, I'm not a concept album kind of guy. For me, every song is created as its own little "work of art". Nevertheless, during very creative phases I always keep in mind the overall picture I want to "paint" with an album. But that's more an emotional thing, not a thematic one.
Haha, well, I'm just like that, especially in the last three years I'm overflowing with musical ideas. Of course, there is probably also a certain self-therapeutic aspect to it. Music is a channel for me to let emotions out. I don't write so many songs because I absolutely want to, but because I can't help it.
The title and cover artwork are, of course, very complex. No darkness without light, no joy without suffering. Since most of the songs were finished just during the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, it was of course obvious to depict a war scenario - hoping that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
I let the singers write all the lyrics, quite deliberately. I only provide the music, and the respective singer may be inspired by it to write a suitable text. Only sexist, racist, or too political topics are excluded. Otherwise, the singers are allowed to write what they want - and above all what they feel.
I want the singers to write the lyrics themselves, because that way I can be sure that they are wholeheartedly behind it. And I think you can hear that in the final result. Here everyone sings his own words!
I wanted to depict the war scenario for the reasons I mentioned earlier. However, the cornflowers are in the foreground, which in many cultures stand for hope and confidence. In France, by the way, for war victims - interestingly enough. By the way, I grow these flowers myself over the summer, which is where this idea came from. And Stan has implemented this simply stunning.
I think one can interpret the sentence or also the lyrics of the song rather in such a way that humans are often able to achieve surprising things and one sometimes surprises not only one's environment, but sometimes oneself, "what comes to light". So, it's also about faith in yourself, and self-confidence.
Absolutely! I've recorded well over 100 songs since the Pandemic. Of course, you notice when you repeat yourself and I was looking for new inspirations and new elements for my songs. So, I've experimented very extensively with guitar synthesizers and worked with them especially for this album. I think that was addressed in the review as well, even if the reviewer couldn't quite place it. The synth strumming on "Take A Ride," for example, is all guitar played through synth sound pedals. This opens up completely new worlds for me both sound-wise and arrangement-wise.
I consciously try to include the one or other moment of surprise in songs, also to "wake up" the listeners every now and then (laughs). Here an abrupt break, there a chromatic-unmelodic guitar run. I think that's the best way to keep the listener's attention. And in the end, that's exactly what you want as a musician: to be heard. Also, I try to make sure that an album, as a whole, gives a coherent picture. On the one hand enough variety, on the other hand stylistically matching songs, and also a meaningful song order. So, you will never find songs in the same tempo or in the same key placed directly after each other on one of my albums. This must not be, if the listening pleasure is to offer variety.
During very intensive songwriting phases, I usually only listen to the respective current demos - in the car, in bed in the evening or during my fitness training. Beyond that, I usually listen to music that is somewhat similar to what I compose myself, from Skid Row to Dio and Whitesnake to current bands like Heat and Eclipse, but now and then also more progressive tones that I tend not to play myself like Dream Theater, Devoid, Vindictiv and Circus Maximus.
Sometimes I had song ideas for which I had the right singers in my head (Doogie White, Dan Reed), sometimes I composed the songs especially for the respective singer (Danny Vaughn, Jesse Damon). It differed from song to song.
Journalist Stefan Glas from the German Rock Hard Magazine had reviewed the album by the German band Preincarnation, on which Deibys had sung. Stefan immediately recommended Deibys to me because he was also enthusiastic about his voice and vocals. Through his German bandmates I got Deibys' contact details (he still lived in Venezuela at the time, now in Spain) and the rest is history. No, wait - he's even penned a second song ("Over The Horizon"), a 7.5-minute track that might open the next album. And let me betray with said song he really upped the ante and delivered an INCREDIBLE vocal performance.
I think the song is 100% Markus Pfeffer. Groovy riffing, relatively modern drum arrangements, one or the other filigree guitar run - and I spontaneously wrote and recorded the music for it on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
That's exactly why I wanted the song on the album, because it brings in exactly this variety, primarily because of the 8-minute duration, but also because of the progressive elements. Originally it was supposed to be a duet, but unfortunately that couldn't be realized.
"One Or The Other" has some guitar runs that reminded me of riffs and harmonies on Watchtower's "Control and Resistance" album. So, I contacted Alan, who by the way is a really nice fellow and had a lot of fun with the song - which I think you can really hear! His very own way of singing is also clearly different from that of the other singers, that's why the song is deliberately placed towards the end of the album to bring in a bit of a new element and variety here.
Thank you for the support and all the best!