By: Sergio Fernández
Hello, thanks for answering to our questions.
You have just released “reDISCOver(ed)”, a covers album. First off, how did you come up with this idea?
It's not a “real” AXXIS release:-) The idea came up when Harry and I discussed about the situation in the business because of the illegal downloads. The result of this situation is, that the labels have no money anymore to support fresh and young bands. Many of the bands who have record deals are more hobby musicians with a regular job and some of them have to pay for a record deal ..that's really curious. On the other hand professional musicians need to earn money with music. On some gigs in Germany we've played with AC/DC, Police, Kiss Coverband...and lot of promoters just booking coverbands. No space for a new generation, no honour for creative musicians. Then we mentioned that our stars of our youth are still the headliner everywhere? So where is the next generation?
And if you listen to the radio situation in Germany we still listen to the old stuff, 70/80’s music sometimes the 90’s - nothing new... On the other hand bands who writing their own songs and bands who put a lot of soul, power and money into a production were killed by illegal copies. So we try to check out what would happen if a band like Axxis react on this situation like the musicians in the live market who try to make money with copies. Everybody in Germany knows that I don't like coverbands and cover songs..the main reason for me to play with AXXIS is to be creative not to copy stuff.
To underline this idea we choose “strange” songs, songs that are not really compatible with the metal sound. Rediscover(ed) was a challenge for us. As a producers and musicians we try to come very close to these very successful productions and on some songs we try to change them a bit without losing the deeper sense. By the end of the day I think we've got a very polarizing CD especially for die hard metal fans...but if the people want to understand this release and try to listen to this songs without a typical AXXIS expectation, I would say:it sounds cool sometimes it's surprising sometimes it's strange BUT...everybody can use this selection for the next rock party. It's a great cover CD and we’ve learned a lot during the production. I don’t need to mention that we won’t play this CD live...:-)
How has its feedback been both from the fans and press? Did you expect it wasn't going to be so good as your fans might couldn't accept some tunes so different to your usual style?
“reDISCOver(ed)” has got a polarizing effect that we've had expected. Some people read the word DISCO and get problems without listening to the songsJ, some of them got problems with the songs selection. And I understand that :-). The people who try understand the cd just taking the songs like they are - a good copy with an AXXIS touch for the next partyJ
On this record you have covered 13 really different songs but; is there any other track you would have liked to cover?
Like I said before I don’t like to cover/copy songs... the selection was made by our fans who voted on www.axxis.de. We have given them a strange and polarizing collection of world hits that were really be strange for us too:-)
but anyway... we still have some more strange songs doneJ For example Fine Young cannibals , U2, Spliff, Paul Young, Sally Oldfield... we’ll going to release these songs online in a couple of month
And are you going to play live any of them? Like I said ...never!! :-)
This is your first CD with drummer Dirk Brand; how has everything been with him so far? What has he brought to AXXIS?
Dirk is perfect for AXXIS. He’s got power, a lot of experiences and he’s very professional. When we decided to go for Alex a couple of years ago, Dirk was in our rehearsal room too. But we thought he would have had to less time for AXXIS because he was playing with a lot of worldstars together...for example SEAL etc. He plays in Russia, USA everywhere around the world. Alex seemed for us the best decision and he’s a really kind guy. Unfortunately in this period of time with Alex, Dirk have played more gigs with us ...
With such a variety (we can find songs by Celine Dion, KISS or BEE GEES among others), how could you describe your latest opus with just 3 words?
Hey we’re a rock band. Releases shouldn’t be weak without any statement like many other bands doing it today:-) so reDISCOver(ed) is : Strange, risky, courageously :-) which other band would have the courage to record “My heart will go on” seriously with respect for the songwriters...puh... J
“reDISCOver(ed)” has been released by Phonotraxx Publishing, your own label. What made you take that decision? Is something positive with you having your own label? As lately things seem harder for music labels.
Since Harry and me decided to go for an own label we just got one motivation. Are we really able to do this? Do we have enough knowledge? During our work with our first signings “Dawn of Destiny” and “Mercury Falling” we’ve realised:”YES!” we’re able to do this. Sure, times are hard but they are harder for musicians who just playing an instrument without any knowledge about marketing, social networks, Copyright protection, contacts etc...
You’ve been around for over two decades now. How have been both the best and worst moments with the band?
Puh ...there are a lot of good and bad moments.. I got a lot of very personal moments that were really bad, for example when my father died in 2009, or during our UDO tour (about 1999) Harry’s baby died. But on the other hand we have AXXIS to write songs about it “My fathers’ eyes” or “Only God knows..” ...AXXIS is our personal psychiatristJ
Our first chart entry 1989, was a great moment too, the 150.000 copies (1989) we’ve sold in only 6 month, the tour with Black Sabbath, the recordings in LA or New York, the record of the fastest Vinyl-press-record in the world, the first gig in Spain (Rockmachina) J...being still alive...so, life is great:-)
And throughout all these years you’ve played extensively and have shared stag with different bands but; with which band would you like to play with that you haven’t done it yet?
Not really bands...but I would like to be on stage with the Cirque du Soleil:-)
The Rock/Metal scene has changed a lot since your inception. How are your thoughts on the current state of Rock/Metal music? Do you think there are too many bands and only a few new ideas?
You’re right we got millions of bands, a lot of hobby bands who have paid or a record deal, bad record labels that try to earn money with quantity of bands, Millions of hobby musicians who producing a homemade cd on a cheap computer with cheap samples, the competent people in the business are gone, good musicians are making more money with cover songs and cover bands, venues just booking cover bands...
..., but hey! That’s all the result of the illegal downloads...so the people themselves are responsible for that.
When I got a record deal in1989 the people really criticising the music business...sure a lot of mafia, a lot of bad structures... BUT...if you got a record deal the label supports you in the beginner phase with touring on every toilet in Germany, promotion, learning to deal with the journalists etc..You’ve got the chance to learn. In 1989 we’ve had no money for posters, or a logo or a tour bus or a sound engineer or a recording studio etc.....everything was paid by the label because they trusted in us. And maybe that’s the reason why we still have a loyal fan base that supports us so well over the years. And today? Which new “successful” band of today would be still well known in 30 years like Iron Maiden/ ACDC/KISS did before etc...your answer is the reason for rediscover(ed)J
And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Signing more bands and recording a new REAL AXXIS albumJ we still believe in rockmusicJ
That has been everything from my side, thanks you once more. If you want to add some final words; last lines are all yours.
Maybe you’re interested in our bands Dawn of Destiny and Mercury Falling..they are really cool and they have released great cd's-)