German synth-rock on a rise! – interview with SOULIMAGE

Hello guys! I hope you are well and “ready, steady, go!” for these questions I prepared for you.
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1. As for the beginning I’d like you to share the story of SOULIMAGE. How did that started for each one of you: when did you join the band and what were your first thoughts about the project?

SI_Juergen: I already played several times with Luck in different bands/projects since the 90s. In summer 2014 he asked me if I would like to join his current formation “soulimage”. All the time before I “only” made hand made music and was quite interested in interacting with electronic music. At the end I was challengenged to try something new, which lead me to soulimage.

SI_Burbn: I started in summer ’15 at SOULIMAGE and played in different bands and sideprojects before (unknown for the most). I answered on a posting by Robert at Facebook and now I am here 😉

SI_Stefan: I already saw Soulimage live in 2006 and did the livemixing on one of their concerts in 2010 something. When Robert needed new musicians I called to do guitars or keys, what I ended up with. Before that I did my own gothic rock band from 2000 to 2010 and participated as live musician or sound engineer for several bands in the german gothic scene. Ironically, in my own band I played the bass, but I am nothing against Juergens skills.

2. And I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t add one extra question for the vocalist Robert, about the idea behind the formation of the band. When did you know that you want to form a band and what was your vision about it then and how does it look now? Did that change or is it still the way it was in the very beginning?

SI_Robert: Soulimage was created in my mind in 2005. Even before any music was written, I knew that the band or project should be called Soulimage. Then I started to work on songs. Everything was created on typical electronic pattern, until a few years later the idea of a real band came up. There were many line-up changes and the music sounded different over times. That’s why it was so hard to get some constance in the music. For me Soulimage should just sound awesome, no matter if it was electro pop or hard rock. But that, maybe, was also part of the problem, why it took this long to find the real Soulimage sound. It really took several years, but now we have arrived.
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3. It’s not that common for a band to describe the performing genre as “synth-rock”. Please explain where did that come from and why did you choose this over other music genres?

SI_Juergen: The term “synth-rock” is the combination of our most dominant music styles. “synth” stands in general for electronic music and “rock” I think needs no explanation 😉

SI_Robert: Synth-rock is only a description of what we unite in our music. Synthetic sounds with some hard but also melancholic rock. We are no gothic-rock band, certainly influenced by this genre, but no way bogged down. Maybe there will be a new style of rock with Soulimage – I don’t know. But no matter what you want to call it – we just make our music.

SI_Burbn: I dont like to put our style in a typical genre like “synth-rock”… We use synths and playing a basic-rock-set, yes, but we are too “unclassified” i think 😉 Sometimes we play metal with synths, sometimes we play industrial-rock, so every guy where listen to us has different explanations for this style. I dont care ’bout that 🙂

SI_Stefan: Synth-rock is a defined term in germany to describe Bands like The Birthday Massacre, A Life divided and so on, everything thats not tough enough to be industrial rock/metal nor “Neue Deutsche Härte”. Technically it’s a spoof, most people forget how much synthetic stuff is common these days in produced music. For me it’s a punctation to point out that the digital parts are as important as the rockish parts, though the mass of the ingredients might vary. Maybe someday, the term will change. It’s just a word….

4. Connection of synth music with strong rock is so intriguing that I need to ask for the influences. What was your inspiration in the creating process and what ispires you in general?

SI_Robert: I hear a lot of different music. Classical music as well as hard metal. However, most affect me “Depeche Mode”. I love the mood of their songs.

SI_Juergen: The biggest inspiration for me was the work of bass player Twiggy Ramirez on the albums “Hollywood” and “Mechanical Animals” together with Marylin Manson. The way he supports the band and song is quite imposing. He’s also the reason why I started using distorted bass sounds.

SI_Burbn: I have a big repertoire on music styles i like, but mostly something with guitars in it 😉 I learned a few instruments, but my favorite instrument was since the age of 9 the guitar. I listened to a lot of bands, but two guitar-players with very significant styles/sounds gave me goosebumps everytime i heard them and they impressed me alot; Richard Z. Kruspe (Rammstein) and Paul Allender (Cradle of Filth).

SI_Stefan: Speaking of electronics, my greatest influence is the work of Bruno Kramm, how he mixes harsh electro sounds and classical tunes perfectly on a very artistic level. Despite that, my favorite Bands is “Samsas Traum”. And I love the stuff Stevie Wonder did in the 70ies.
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5. Many great music bands and artists come from Germany that gained international popularity, such as Rammstein, Reamonn, Scorpions, Kraftwerk or Die Toten Hosen to name a few. Do you have equal ambition to become globally known or do you focus on your homeland?

SI_Juergen: We definitely do not restict ourselve. The rest is up to our fans and the music society. Try it on yourself, invite us to a Polish festival and meet us 😉

SI_Burbn: I would love to play in the whole world, but like Juergen said; it’s up to the fans and the industry 😉

SI_Robert: We focus on what the future will bring. It is much of the financial resources, whether you reach a corresponding degree of popularity. Money is not everything, but it’s definitely important to get further.

SI_Stefan: I like most of the bands you named, but I’d rather aim for a “cult-band” status, that is not that dominant in the charts but could manage to gain a solid fandom all over the world for decades.

6. On 20th of May this year your debut album “The Whole Universe” had its release. Can you share something from the working process? How long it took to record the album and what music lovers can expect from it? Also, how involved were you during the process of the making?

SI_Burbn: Most of us recorded our instruments at our own “home-studios”. I recorded only the guitar-parts for the album. Most of the work had to be done by Stefan 😀
Expect nothing peticular of this album and you will love it 😉

SI_Robert: Partly, I was really frustrated about my voice and the singing. This is certainly due to my perfectionism. 😉 But ultimately, we have produced a good debut album, in my opinion. Even if it took really much time and nerves.

SI_Stefan: I hate them. All of them *laughs* The whole process took about 2 months, but everyone had about 3 weeks of work on their own, my job was to collect all the recordings, arrangements and ideas everyone had and put them together in one piece.
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7. Aside from the album release, you seem to know some other German artists like Florian Grey or Bitch&Chips that you already performed live with. What do you think about these other artists? Are they a serious competition to you or is it that you don’t consider anyone a competition?

SI_Robert: Why should good artists represent a competition? We only can learn from each other. Everyone invests time and money for the success. Florian Grey is a really talented musician and singer and he really deserves it. Bitch&Chips changed their name again to “Darkh”. But no matter how they are called – they fuckin rock the stage!

SI_Juergen: Bands should not be competitors at all. The most important thing is that we and our fans have fun and enjoy our music. Some people(and also bands) hopefully like us and others will not. That’s life.

SI_Burbn: Juergen’s right. It should be fun, so we don’t care ’bout competitions with other bands. I personally don’t give a f*** ’bout that 😉

SI_Stefan: There is no competition in music. You have your occassional divas and “superstars”, fuck them, otherwise it’s important to help each other out, otherwise this whole underground music thing would not work at all.

8. As a band there must be a true bond between the members. What is the most funny memory you have with one another so far?

SI_Burbn: We don’t have fun and we don’t have funny memories. We are the most evil band in the world… I’am just kidding 😉 It’s always fun to play with this guys and i’am very proud to be a part of it! But I could not name a particular memory with one of them, there are so much of it 😀

SI_Stefan: I wanted that cake so badly…. *lol* *

* – What Stefan meant was most likely the cake one FOB (fan/friend of the band) made for one of the gigs that was unfortunately canceled due to bad weather).
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9. You are the members of the synth-rock (but still rock, though) band. How do you like to spend your time off? Or is there even any amount of time off for SOULIMAGE? Do you spend it together and separately and what gives you relief and calms you after a gig or time in the studio?

SI_Juergen: To be member of a band is a kind of partnership. But beside of the band almost everyone has his own family with childrens. A well balance is very important to keep both partnerships working. Most of the time when we are not busy with tormenting our instruments we are kidding each other.

SI_Burbn: As Juergen said, most of us has a family and working besides the band (we have to). There’s not much time besides that, so we “hang out” at gigs and at our “super-creation-room” 😉 But personally i like to play video-games at home and going out to concerts, cinema, eating at restaurants and so on.

SI_Robert: Nothing else to say! 😉

10. You have a strong bond with your fans. What is the most memorable thing you remember from your live performances?

SI_Robert: Our keyboard-player Stefan has pulled out his shirt on the stage. That has really traumatized me. More than anything else! 😀 Otherwise I remember well in every single show. People give back so much energy.

SI_Stefan: It was at this one show, where I dared the audience to move at least as much as my mother (she’s a 5 time granny) that danced the whole time 😀 And HEY, it was hot on stage!!

SI_Burbn: A complete family (grandmother, mother, children) where’s rockin’ to our songs! It was fascinating to see, that we could animate 60+ and 18+ year old people with our songs 😀
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11. To stay with relations with others. Do you consider yourselves to be a role model for young artists and bands that are still in a phase of playing in the garages and trying to knock out for a bigger stage? What would be your advice for those young people?

SI_Juergen: The best advice to musicians is: never stop making music and keep your ears open.

SI_Burbn: Play the style you like and never (!) give up! But focus on your school/work! Don’t see it as something you had to do, it’s very important to have a good job… to finance your equipment 😉

SI_Robert: Do your own style! Be faithful to yourself and always listen to your hearts!

SI_Stefan: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try again. In art, everything goes!

12. Going back to your debut album, share with us some of the dates and places where people can find you performing live. How does the tour looks like and what are your plans for the near future?

SI_Robert: You can see Soulimage live: 08/20/2016 – Dresden (Club11), 08/27/2016 – München (Garage Deluxe), 09/03/2016 – Regensburg (H5). We will plan some more shows for autumn 2016. Otherwise we plan to release the second single from the debut album this year. For sure we will work on new songs and on a second album, but we don’t want to commit us still in a date.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview and I hope that soon a group of your listeners will significantly grow!
Iwona “Izzy”

SI: Thank you very much Izzy

German answer for Rock – an interview with Florian Grey.

FLORIAN GREY – is an acoustic project by musician Florian Grey from Germany. Florians virtuosic voice that reaches over 3.5 octaves is brought out in a perfect way by Steffen on guitar, Dave on bass and Felix on Cajon. The result is a great combination of rock music and soft sounds. Sometimes powerful and impulsive – sometimes soulful and quiet. Florian Grey started singing in his early childhood. At the age of 16 he formed his first band. The successful singer, songwriter and music producer Frank Bülow from Darmstadt was Florian’s music mentor. He was Florian’s vocal trainer for 2 years. In 2002 he completed his vocal studies. Even after the vocal training he continued taking singing lessons to form and improve his voice. He worked as studio /background singer for several well known German artist. In 2006 he co-founded the rock band Eves End. 2008, the band released their first EP “Dead End Hope”. The debut album “Frozen Heart Philosophy” was published in 2010. Florian was decisively involved in songwriting and composition. The band achieved considerable success in Germany. They played gigs / tours in Germany and Finland, and had the honor of supporting well known bands / artists like Doro Pesch, Lacrimas Profundere, Matthau Mikojan, The Jade, Saltatio Mortis etc. In 2011 Florian made the decision to leave the band. He then worked on different projects, e.g. with the band Royal Decadence, as a studio singer and guest vocalist with various bands. In 2013 he now is back on stage as solo artist.

(C) Music Lights Berlin

(C) Music Lights Berlin

First of all, we want to know how would you describe your style of music?

I would say it’s self-therapy mixed with stories that happens in life wrapped in melancholic poetic words.

You´ve been playing in different bands before you started your solo career. For example you had a band called “Eves end”. What was the reason for your decision to play solo now? And do you prefer playing with a band or alone?

I think you have to try different things with different people on your way to find your own style. When you ever find it cause music is so different nowadays. Sometimes you make compromises in a band that you wouldn´t do for yourself just to keep the wheel turning. But its dangerous cause you lose yourself more and more in these compromises. It rocks the most being in a band, but when you´re on your own you can lead the direction. When you find musicians who believes in your visions like you do or combine the visions of all members thats the best thing about it, but very rare nowadays. Everybody is different and, not in general but in my case, it’s the best way to express myself at the moment.

We heard that you are working on a new album now, is this true? What can we expect?

It’s too early to talk serious but there will be music.

What are your influences? How do you get inspired?

Over all its life, love and loss, it can be a verse or a few words. I write them down and keep everything in my little book, make a note in my mobile or it flows and I just finish a whole skeleton to be ready to work on. One of the biggest influences are definitely movie scores, I mean the instrumentals, sometimes of movies I´ve never seen. They create a whole world of emotions and feelings while listening. I adore the Music from Thomas Newman for example or Alexandre Desplat and Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish to name a few.

Which one is your favorite own song so far, and what is the story behind of it? Please tell some words about it.

Hm that’s really hard to say, I don´t know. I wrote something last year I’m very excited to release somehow cause it took so much from me to write it down. I hope I can realize it

What make you decide to make music and what job would you like to do, if you were not a musician?

Good question cause most of the musicians work in dayjobs nowadays. I’m blessed to have one of the coolest jobs besides the music, working as a soundman and booker. Means I’m working with a lot of bands and that’s what I would do even when I wasn´t a musician by myself. Its quite inspiring as well and it keeps you grounded from the beginning, where I’m at the moment.

What are your plans for the future? Is there a special goal?

Have to rule the world XD…No no, the only goal I have is to make music. I think I’m on a good way now, ’cause after my last band I lost myself. The people I’m now working with believed more in what I do than I did, they believe in my ideas and I trust in their knowledge and experience. And I’m so thankful for this. Lets see.

What was the weirdest or funniest job you ever had?

As a printer in a print company… weird and very very stressy to take 500 printed wedding invitations in 2hours… and the payment was horrible, as so was the owner but I needed the money.

Could you describe one day in studio, recording stuff?

Nothing really thrilling, when you´re in the studio you try to have the best result and work on things that could be different or better. Studios are always very expensive so you have to be prepared and carefully arranged when you enter it. You can do much on one day if everybody are in a good mood and the atmosphere is well.

Do you prefer to play in front of a big or a small venue, and why?

I prefer playing in small venues, it’s more raw and familiar. You can see the peoples reactions and emotions in their eyes and faces and that’s important for me. To see how they interpret the song you sing for them. On the other side when I would get an offer for a festival I have to say it’s fun and you can present your stuff to a bigger audience and maybe get some more people to like what you do.

What’s the biggest challenge for you at the moment?

Hm, there are some challenges I work on but the most important one is at this time to realize some plans in music cause 2014 is not far.

What would you do if you would be invisible for a day?

I would steal the hand-painted picture of Bela Lugosi in that bar in my hometown and hang it above my bed… Nothing spectacular, some people would say going to the ladies restroom and listen what they talk or watch them do whatever but I think its boring that’s the reason they are there, that we don`t hear what they say.

What is the question you can answer every time, even when you are roused in the middle of the night?

First: are you listening? Yes! I just let my eyes rest a bit *SNORRR* Second: Adam is He-man 😄

What was your worst chat-up line?

Ha, I’m very bad at this. When I’m really interested in a girl I don´t need a bad chat-up line. I blame myself just with easy lines. I start to lose my grammar and the result is I’m the nervousness in person… I’m not really into starting a flirt ’cause I don´t think you find your special one in a bar or a club. If you are searching for a short adventure maybe yes, but I’m not interested in it. Sorry, can´t give you one right now.

Florian Grey’s tour dates:
GREY TEARS – XMAS ACOUSTIC TOUR 2013
04.12.13 | Hamburg | Grüner Jäger
05.12.13 | tba
06.12.13 | Bochum | Kult
07.12.13 | Berlin | Galiläakirche
12.12.13 | Göttingen | Exil
13.12.13 | Darmstadt | An Sibin
14.12.13 | Stuttgart | Four42
15.12.13 | Leipzig | 4Rooms

https://www.facebook.com/GREY.F

Interview with Gared Dirge from Lord Of The Lost

Garet Dirge1

On your EP there are seven rare unreleased songs for example rocking cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or an orchestral and cinematic version of “Dry The Rain”. Does it mean that you can start recording new album, without looking back for past and ballast in the form of unreleased songs which have been requested by fans for a long time? Is it a new chapter for you?
Gared Dirge: Well, i wouldn’t consider those songs as ballast or any sort of oppression. It was rather an attempt to shorten the wait for the new album for the fans so they don’t “starve” until we finally released the new album. Actually, the recording for “Die Tomorrow” had already begun at that time. Especially in case of “Bad Romance” it felt like the end of a chapter because we had waited a long time for the permission to release it. So one of the biggest wish of the fans was finally fulfilled and we/they got ready for something completely new!

It’s unusual to hear gothic band singing their own version of a pop song. Tell us where did the ideas for covers comes from for you and where are you looking for inspiration when creating new music?
GD: The idea for “Bad Romance” in particular came indeed while being completely boozed and hearing that song by chance. Since Chris is a huge sucker for Lady GaGa, he suggested to do a cover of it and the others immediately agreed. As for inspiration, any music we like has an influence on us. Be it pop music, be it classical music. If we like it, it also finds a way into our music.

Where did the idea for making such a controversial music video as “Beside & Beyond” came from? Haven’t you think about such idea as risky? In the end it’s availabe to watch (for example on YouTube) for “+18” watchers.
GD: We assumed in advance it would become an +18 video, but we accepted that because this idea was the only idea that perfectly mirrored the lyrics and the emotion behind that song. There was some skepticism here and there like “Do you support domestic violence against women”, but i guess in the end everyone understood what we were trying to tell with that song and video and that we do not in any way support stuff like that.

You already made around 60 episodes of “TV Of The Lost”, have you thought about releasing DVD and put there some of those backstage videos?
GD: You never know… Up to now there are no plans to do so with the TVOTL episodes. They have grown to over 8 hours of pure nonsense by now, and i guess no one would survive watching so much bullshit at once. But if we were to put out a live DVD, some kind of backstage report (independent from TVOTL) is always a nice gimmick for the fans. Let’s see…
LOTL2
In artistic area, do you occupy yourselves with something else for example: writing, painting etc. ?
GD: If you wanna call it “painting” what we’re doing to our bodies when going on stage… But no, not at all. We’re all musicians through and through.

Can You describe in a few words members of Lord Of The Lost?
GD: We’re a bunch of sexy guys having more fun at what they’re doing than the gothic scene has ever allowed… A common goth-boy-band you might say. wink

Is there anyone you would like to cooperate? Any bands, producers?
GD: Lots! There will a few surprises in the future, you will see!
LOTL1
You’ve released new album “Die Tomorrow” on 31st of August this year. It includes 2 CD’s and it’s released limitedly. The album is promoted by videoclip to a title song “Die Tomorrow” that was published on 10th of August. Fans might be suprised of the mixture of genres you put into that album. You mix gothic music with pop, death metal with disco, industrial with electro. But what can you tell about this album to people that have never heard of your music before?
GD: I guess, the mixtures you’ve mentioned are able to perfectly describe this album to someone who has never heard us before. We’re not very good when it comes to categorize music, because in some way it just restricts oneself. So to all of you who haven’t heard our music before: If those above-mentioned genres don’t scare you off, just give it a try. wink

Between January and February 2013 you have plans for “Darkness Kills” CO-Headliner Tour. It’s located all over Germany. Do you plan any gigs outside your country? I’ve heard you had some contacts with organizer of Castle Party in Poland.
GD: Well, actually we plan to play all over the world sooner or later, but it’s always a matter of booking contacts you have and how cost-effective it is. You don’t wanna lose all your money just to play in, let’s say, Japan.

Thank you very much for your time ! Any final words for polish fans?
GD: Thanks a lot for your support! We’re looking forward to play Poland. One day, our tour bus will also lead us to you! Stay tuned and see you soon!