i was born march, 23rd, 1976, in a very unfashionable part of germany: the eifel (the german equivalent of siberia, i suppose). in 1980, my parents decided to let me have piano lessons at a nearby music school; these lasted until 1993 when i finally managed to get out of this prison... at least that was what i thought then...
i joined my first "band" in 1992. nomen est omen, and thus, in retrospection, it seems only fair that we decided to call it "the rubbish". we did cover versions of anything you might think of, mostly english, with a singer whose accent was a lot worse than the typical german accent: "th" was more or less [s] (dire straits - "manni for nassing"; jesus and mary chain "se sings sat you say" - do i have to say more?). i was the band's keyboarder then, but as soon as i realized that the guitar was so much more stylish (well, rather: as soon as i realized that at least all girls seemed to think so...), i started to teach myself some chords etc.: the usual stuff.
after i had been sacked for being "too serious and too productive and thus unnerving", i joined a 3piece blues band called "backyard": we had drums, guitar + vocals, and bass - me! since then, playing bass has remained a secret love of mine. i simply love the incredible power you have - as a bass player, you "define" the chord the band is playing as well as part of the rhythm structure involved. or, to put it more simple: if you play shit, the singer doesn't stand the ghost of a chance of singing anything not very humiliating. "backyard" put their stress on improvising, and we never really rehearsed; instead, we would just turn up at gigs and play our stuff, rather jamming around than really doing a planned set: "you know "cocaine"?" - "yep" - "right then".
this led to a certain feeling of stagnation after some time, and i decided to do the exact opposite. i had got to know marillion through jrr tolkien's books and some friends; marillion led to "the old 70ies genesis" which were kind of a myth in the better classes of music afficionados at my school; almost everybody knew that there had been a world before phil collins, but nobody knew what it had been like; i was determined to find out.
on my way there, i also started having singing lessons. anyone who has ever tried it certainly agrees that you are never ever finished in learning how to sing; the feeling that you just started and everybody else mystifyingly knows so much more about it than yourself might never leave. i almost hope so - until today i practice and practice and practice...
all of this led to the founding of "powds con fusion", a prog band involving 7 people and lots of tempo and time changes. looking back, i have to admit that we were not too good, the songs were long, but rather unstructered, the technical skills left quite some room for improvement (as they do now...), the sound was a bit, well, plastic-orchestral etc. - but on the other hand... the seeds of "scythe" were sown, as 3 members of powds, martin walter, udo gerhards and me, then got together with ingo roden on bass and started to write what would become "divorced land", scythe's debut album released by galileo records. visit the scythe homepage to find out more.
during the mixing sessions of dl, which udo and me performed with wolfgang schroeder, an old friend and professional sound engineer, i had the chance to learn quite a few things about mixing, sound, fx and coffee. as hard disk recording is nothing too expensive any more these days, i was also able to afford a cuddly little recording studio at home.
patrick becker of galileo records could be persuaded to release not only the whole "divorced land" package, but also my upcoming solo attempts. however, it is not easy for a small label these days to finance its ideas. fortunately, we could find a whole bunch of people who were kind enough to pre-order the album and pay in advance - this is how "naive" was born and finally put into practice.
i was able to perform all sounds and voices you hear on naive myself. i also did the rough mixes, which were then professionalized by andy horn and me, who also mastered the cd afterwards. the artwork by anifan was instantly in line with what the music was up to, and so there we were: my own finished album!
"naive" was what we like to call "critically acclaimed", which surprised me the most! we had had some critical comments for "divorced land", so i thought that the introvert and melancholy "naive" would be too much of my own thing to be a success. well, wrong again, t. people loved it a lot, and so i decided to follow that path and work on my own once more.
the writing sessions for "voices" started half a year after "naive". soon enough it became clear that it was all connected, that different musical and lyrical motifs seemed to come up here and there again. on the other hand, my voices tended to sound completely different on every track. it took me some time to realize that this was because each track gave way to a different voice inside my head. hence the title, then.
by the way, in 2004 i had to move from trier to hannover because of my job. i was lucky: i love this city. it is so relaxed and quiet.
andy horn is mixing and mastering again, as i am proud to say. with his skills on my side, nothing can really go wrong - that's the feeling i had when he offered his help. patrick becker is going to release "voices" for galileo, and i could get the incredible photographer katia tangian to let me use some of her work, because they match the topic oh-so-well.
i hope you like "voices". more updates as soon as there's news.