How did you first get in to music? Who or what turned you onto heavy metal and did you ever enjoy hip hop, R&B and country?
My mom always said that I was born as a musician hearing T-Rex in her womb even before I was born. Later I sung some well-known German songs in my school class (without being asked of cause). I turned to metal after hearing Queen and Whitesnake because I was the guy with the best tape deck in our clique and so I had to copy the first CD´s for all of us…hearing things like Testament, Sodom, Megadeth…etc. as I copied them.
I hear a wide range of music…the genre is not important for me. I still hear 80/90s pop music and newer stuff from Chirstina Aguilera, Outcast, Nelly and even Backstreet Boys song “Incomplete”. I like world music from Jan Gabarek and Al Di Meola or Opal Ocean…nearly every kind of great guitar and Bass playing and T.M. Stevens of cause. Ok…I ´m no great country music fan but believe that there are some incredible country style artists out there that I will discover someday. I like “The unknown stuntman” by Lee Mayors or Camourflage from Stan Ridgeway…maybe that is Country enough???
Who was your first concert, do you have vivid recollection of it and have your parents always approved?
First of all…yes everything was approved because my mom is a metal head. She shocked my first band members by driving over 200KmH over the Autobahn hearing Agent Orange from Sodom and explaining that this kind of music is not so hard…and my friends were hiding behind some mountain bike mags that were laying in our car.
I don´t really remember my first live concert…I think it must be an unknown band in a small venue. The first live experience that made an impression was Manowar because of the volume, Rhinos drum solo and the fact that even German girls were showing their tits as the band asked for it, and Joey De Maio failed to park his bike on stage several times…😊
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
I started playing nylon string acoustic guitar at the age of 10 because my mother played for some years at that time, and it sounded good. So, I got lessons from a great guitar teacher and learned how to play the old Italian composeres Carulli, Carcassi, Guliani etc. Of cause I quit that to become a Rockstar and bought my first E-guitar in 1991…selling my Amiga 500 for it.
What was the first music you bought with your own money, and what have you bought more than once in a different format? What is your most prized music collectible?
I bought my own first single from Kraftwerk (“Wir sind die Robotter”) as I was five but never was I collector of vinyl records…so I think I only had some Queen albums on CD and record at the same time. I like to buy a signed CD at a live gig but would not pay more for a signed album, or an original guitar from Steve Vai, or other things from artists apart from shirts or normal Merch. Maybe I just need to save my money to buy more guitars!?
How did you become a guitarist and who are your main influences?
After learning the basics of metal guitar by playing Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax songs by ear I made first attempt in singing some metal covers like For Whom the Bell tolls, AIR from Anthrax, As I Die by Paradise Lost and many more. Later I had to teach a female singer my first own songs and by the way I learned better to play and sing at the same time. This was in a time without smartphones or digital recording. Meanwhile I practiced singing to Queensryche, Malmsteen and Black Sabbath (Tony Martin) of cause not always with big success😉 My biggest influences as singer are: Phil Anselmo, Jorn Lande, Bruce Dickinson, Jo Lynn Turner…and as guitar player Diamond Darrel, Dave Mustaine, James Hetfield, Yngwie Malmsteen, Chuck Schuldiner, Marty Friedman, Brian May and many more. And I´m very impressed by Kip Winger because he is just an awesome singer and composer and personality…he is always learning and progressing. Great guy!
How much has the local scene changed since you started playing in bands?
I never had the feeling if I was part of a scene…I always had to practice and go to my job…so I don´t had so many contacts to other musicians outside my bands. But in general, many things changed over the years for a musician in Germany. As I played in the first good band in 1995 there were not many clubs for live gigs…and most of them don´t wanted metal bands. Today (but before Corona) we had more venues but 100 times more bands with the result that it is still hard to get some nice gigs for a nearly unknown band. That was one of the reasons for the release of OMEGA…just to have something out there. Otherwise, you don´t get nothing just because most other bands have videos, albums etc. On the other hand, it was not planned to release OMEGA…it was just planned as internal recording for us, but our producer Michael Bormann said I should think about releasing that shit…😉
What kind of gear is bringing us the Paradox Community sound?
I´m a collector of 80/90s metal guitars like ESP Horizon 1, Hamer California, Kramer Stagemaster etc. but own some standard guitars like Strat, Tele and a Les-Paul of cause and few nice custom guitars. Some of the old axes are updated with modern PU´s from Seymour Duncan, Bareknucke, Lundgren etc. After the production of OMEGA I sold my Koch Supernova amp and bought a Revv Generator for tighter sound. Last production was a big learning process so next time we would go for a more unique sound. Our drummer Tommy plays different kinds of custom drums but will use his Manic Custom Set for the next production. I don´t use so many special things for my vocal recordings…my voice sounds shitty no matter what I use…😉
Which bands are you fans of whether regional or local?
I´m a bad fanboy because I don´t have the time to listen to fresh music so often so I´m still hearing nearly the same stuff since years. Lately I loved the Atlantic album from Evergrey and returned to hear more DEATH. I like Battle Beast´s Bringer of Pain album and try to get into more modern metal styles with deeper guitar tunings and more complex rhythms. And it is crazy…our drummer Tommy said I should listen to Stryper and I really liked most songs on the God Damn Evil album…???
Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and all time?
The only new albums I heard is the last month was Rise of the Phoenix from Evergrey and The Hadal Zone by Opal Ocean and I liked them both. Hard to choose but if I have to pick 5 albums for a ride to a lonely island, I would take Pantera Cowboys from Hell, Queen Jazz, Metallica Justice for all, Toto Kingdom of Desire and DEATH Individual thoughts pattern…maybe!?
Who living or dead is in your dream 5-piece supergroup with you?
Mhmmm…difficult but I would choose Jorn Lande or David Readman as singer, Marty Friedman for lead guitar, Deen Castrovo on the Drums and great background vocals and T.M. Stevens or Kip Winger as bass player, I would choose Alex Skolnick as guitar player as well…but then I wouldn’t be part of my own dream band😉
What album epitomizes your style of music over all others?
Oh…I think that answer can be misunderstood as arrogance from my side but I never heard such an album and even our own album OMEGA is not doing that good enough for me. But I can explain what I expect from the perfect album:
Just imagine you would have 10 totally different great songs, each of them in a different style like rock, hardrock, thrash, progressive, death and modern metal, one acoustic song, one pop song etc. and all of them are played only by one band. That is like choosing 10 songs from Queen from all eras and styles and combine them on one album…but transferred to the metal world of cause. I mean…if you take the best albums of all times you don´t need to do that because they just have this special thing that makes them work, but for my personal entertainment I would like to have it as explained.
No genres, no limits…just great music. The only thing is that we are all limited as musicians…because of our abilities and taste. But if someone would say…hey you can´t do that I would say: ” If I have enough great ideas for playing 10 totally different metal and music styles on one album with my band…I will do that…we are Paradox- Community and styles are not important for us…it just has to be quality music and our potential fan needs to be 100% open minded!” So…maybe I missed the question…but I don´t even want to follow a special style!
Thank you very much for my very first band related interview!!!
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