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Monday, July 02, 2007

10Q's with Carsten Schulz - Evidence One

1. What are you currently up to?
Carsten - “Doing interviews constantly…. And, besides that, waiting to announce our next tour!”

2. Could you take us through the songs on the new album 'The Sky Is The Limit' (AFM)(stories behind the songs, songwriting process, etc.)?
Carsten - “OK, the track "The Sky Is The Limit" opens. We've always liked that almost, near Accept type of guitar riff! The real 80s feel. So we decided to add it to our live set almost a year ago! Hey, these are our roots!”
“The chorus hook gives the song a completely different vibe and makes it way more melodic. We instantly knew, this is going to be the title track and the video off the album. Robby and ‘Warthy’ Wartmann share the solo part if you didn‘t already know?”
“Then it’s, "Mr. Madness". Another classic guitar riff, straight forward and simply ‘Classic Metal‘! It has a wonderful guitar solo by our new buddy in the band, Jörg "Warthy" Wartmann, again!”
“For what reason, I don't know, I wrote a couple lyrics about murder and killers. This one in fact was inspired by Jack The Ripper. Imagine being the one, who's out to hunt and kill…?”
“Then, "The Luxury Of Losing Hope". If hope is lost, everything's lost. When it comes to breaking up relationships, to me it's the hardest part, realising, that there's no hope left at all.”
“Followed by, "Won't Sleep Alone". We didn't have a real ballad on the first two albums (though some consider "In Love And War" as one). "Won't Sleep Alone", which is about not giving up after breaking up, is the closest thing to what could be called a ballad. Personally, it's more like an anthem or some sort of hymn to me, than a real ballad. I love Warthy's slide guitar intro to his solo part.”
"Propaganda"; Though I'm highly interested in politics, there's only a few times in my musical career, when I’ve actually written political lyrics. "Propaganda" might sound political in a way, but it's more like a statement for telling the truth. ..or let's put it this way: It's not about politics, it's about politicians.”
"Can't Fight The Past"; This is a typical E1 composition, and could have been on all the previous albums for sure. Again, this track went through a couple of rearrangements. It even had completely different lyrics and vocal lines in the first run through. Finally, it turned out to be, simply a wonderful piece of Melodic Metal music.”
"Gallery Of Broken Glass"; To us "Gallery..." is some sort of a follow up to "Virus In My Veins" from “Tattooed Heart”. It’s the first song Robby and I wrote for "The Sky Is The Limit". During the recordings the track went through a lot of changes, but it was when Hutch made up his bass parts, which later became the backing for Warthy's almost Steve Vai-like solo, that the song turned into such a killer.”
"Rain Road" is next. This one can be seen as the opposite to "Mr. Madness" - “now I am the hunted with the cold breath of the killer on my back“! From the first demo, I loved Robby's almost George Lynch style guitar riff for this one!”
"Mindmines" comes next and is one of the heaviest songs we've ever written. It’s a perfect example of how diverse Robby's songwriting can be. What's a mindmine? Ever had the experience of getting struck, like lightning, by just one word, that keeps reminding you of so much you’ve been hiding in the back of your mind…? That's a mindmine to me!”
"Raging Winds" closes the record. This track basically was instrumentally written for "Tattooed Heart", but we did not get to finish it. About a year later in 2005, I went through the songs left from the recordings and found this killer tune. Together with my buddy Steffen "Seegi" Seeger of Midnite Club, I started working it out, without Robby even knowing…. Originally it was intended to be featured on another friend's solo record (which in fact was never even recorded). I played it to Robby, and we re-recorded it for "The Sky Is The Limit". It’s one of my absolute favourites!”
"Into The Depths Of My Soul" will be, I think, the bonus track. This is real leftover from "Tattooed Heart". Written very early on, it didn't really fit to the other tracks from our second album, but it’s a nice addition to this one for the real fans who buy the special edition. We really needed another hard rockin' track and "...Soul" was simply perfect.”

3. Right. How did the band react to the news of Robby Boebel's decision to leave? Will he still be involved in the future in the songwriting/recording at all?
Carsten - “Of course he will! You know, for us nothing's changed. Since ‘Warthy's been Robby's live substitute for more than a year now, it just seemed like a natural progression. When we started the band in 2002, this was supposed to be a studio project, Robby's studio project only… But over the years, we’ve evolved into a full touring and performing band. Standing in the limelight was never really Robby's thing. So now, he, as the master, the wizard in the dark, if you like, is still pulling the strings music-wise, but he's just not in the picture any longer! As I said, nothing's changed. He will continue writing all the material and producing all the albums! That's more or less it!”

4. How do you think Evidence One have progressed musically through the years?
Carsten - “When we released our debut CD "Criticize The Truth", we were basically a heavier version of FRONTLINE, somewhere between AOR and Hard Rock… But since we started playing live, and started touring, we've evolved into more of a Melodic Metal band. We don't use keyboards live, we went out and got a second guitarist in and played with several Metal bands - and that had some tremendous impact on the band's sound. When we started producing "Tattooed Heart", our main aim was to capture our live heaviness on CD. With "The Sky Is The Limit" now, it's time to establish our own sound, and somehow try to be recognisable for it.”

5. What have been the live highlights so far? How do you view the current live scene as regards metal and hard rock bands?
Carsten - “Well, I'd have to say the Wacken Festival, because this is the gig every Metal band wants, and it got us the deal with Nuclear Blast! Then, there’s the final show of the SAXON tour in 2003 at a sold out London Astoria… that was also brilliant! What else can I say about it?! And last but not least, the whole tour with Alice Cooper! A sort of dream come true, going on the road with a Rock And Roll icon!!!”
“What's positive these days, as I see it, is that people seem to be going to quite different types of Metal shows, from Hard Rock, to Gothic, to Prog Metal to the True Metal stuff again. The music itself and the genres have come closer certainly.. What is shocking though, and I can only speak for the situation in Germany right now, is that, as the tickets for the big star shows are going up and rising sky high in some cases, people don't now go to all the club shows any longer, and there's dozens of tours with an average of under 100 people - which is s a real shame!”

6. What were the highlights - live and recorded - of your career with Domain? Any chance you may work with the band at some stage in the future again?
Carsten - “Well, the 2002 tour with Glenn Hughes & Joe Lynn Turner definitely stands out! These guys are my idols, have always influenced me on my singing, and touring with them for more than a month was a real honour! The Busan Festival in Korea in 2005 stands out in my mind also! We didn't expect anyone to know us over there, and suddenly you find yourself standing in front of 30.000 screaming, rocking people! An unbelievable experience!”
“Speaking of albums, definitely the "Stardawn" album, for which I worked harder than for any album before… It has way more of myself in it than any other DOMAIN album, but that’s it. I have to say, I believe I left the band at its absolute highest point! Any chance I may work with the band at some stage in the future? Definitely not!”

7. Would you like to do a solo album and who would you have guesting on the album if so? What sort of musical styles would you tackle?
Carsten - “I don't think so, because it would sound like E1 anyway these days. There are plans to do some other projects, which I run myself, but they won't be like a solo album. Thinking of guests, well, it would depend on the music, because I've always loved songwriters like Dianne Warren or Stan Bush on the one hand, and guitar masters like Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Stevens on the other?”

8. What has been the best career decision you have made and why?
Carsten - “Hmm, I can't say really, because my personal belief is, that everything happens for a reason, so every decision leads to another. I could have done anything in my career and we’d be at a completely different stage to now….I don't know!”

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?
Carsten - “There's not much spare time, but, if you believe it, I love to cook and do the gardening. Not much of a Rocker, right?!”

10. A message for your fans...
Carsten - “As usual: “Power To The Music!!!”

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