vendredi 11 mars 2011

Axel Stupplich speaks about his musical universe (2011)

Axel, 2010 seems to have been a big year for you. You realized your 5th solo album (Fusion), your 2nd collaboration with Max Schiefele or Maxxess (Impact) and Pyramid Peak 7th album (The Cave). How do you manage to disentangle all these musical styles which inexorably are being entangling?
Axess: Well, all the 3 different projects have almost the same priority to me, although I must admit that “Axess” occupies most of my time now. Before I got my little children we spent a lot of time jamming together in Andreas’ or my studio. But with a big family you must make a compromise and now we meet only about once a month to work on some new music (except when we are preparing a concert, then we still meet at least 1-2 times per week). It is not too difficult to separate each project although at least the PP and Axess style is very similar. In my solo project I try to realize all the different music I like. Time Traveller for example was the realization of my long dream to make a more energetic, powerful album with influences from modern dance music. And the newer albums bring me back to my roots, means the Berlin School type of EM. Of course there are differences between Axess and PP because in my band the musical style and preferences from 2 other musicians is melting together and creates the unique style of Pyramid Peak. And although it seems that my cooperation with Maxxess is totally different I believe there are a lot of commonalities between my music and our Axess/Maxxess tracks. Of course Max adds some incredible guitars and drum programming but the secret which makes our common music sound so different is Max extremely professional way of mixing and arranging. He's really a genius and every time I'm surprised what great song he makes out of a little idea or 30 second loop. That's what makes the songs different, sometimes the original idea sounds much more like Axess but he creates a new atmosphere around it. Anyway, I enjoy all of the 3 projects and for me there is no problem to work in parallel for my solo albums and another Pyramid Peak or Axess/Maxxess CD.
But there is one thing which makes it very easy to separate my individual projects. You will never see Axess alone on stage! I did this twice in the past and honestly speaking I didn’t like it very much. It’s simply much more fun and joy if you are on stage together with friends and it is also much more enjoyable for the audience too. Some people drive a long way to listen to a concert and they want more than just listening to a CD and one lonely man hidden behind his keyboards. Therefore “Axess” is a pure studio project and songs from my CDs will only performed as part of an Axess/Maxxess or PP gig.

Fusion is very beautiful, poignant, melodious and very moving. Can we talk a little bit about it? What were your sources of inspiration and which motivate Axel Stupplich the most recently?
Axess: First of all I believe my direct environment, means my family is the biggest inspiration. I have 3 little kids and one older son and of course there are a lot of emotions and remarkable moments. For sure this is the biggest source of my inspiration. Besides this I'm very interested in astronomy and space - perhaps something I share with thousands of other Electronic Musicians - and maybe the cosmic energy also helps me sometimes ;-) Finally I have the pleasure to travel quite often to Japan due to my job and every time I'm back from a trip I have new musical ideas in my head. In fact I had the idea for the song "Roppongi Hills" from my CD "Voices of dawn" when I was sitting in a taxi cab on my way back to the hotel in Tokyo. Other songs are inspired by the beauty of Nature and the mystery of ancient ruins and rituals (for example "Stonehenge" or "The Sirius Mystery") and besides this I'm a member of the Ancient Astronaut Society (A.A.S.) who tries to find evidence of former extraterrestial visitors on Earth. It's an exciting thing to think about...
Finally I must admit that also new synths are a big inspiration for me. It doesn’t matter if it is a hardware or software synth as long as it has fresh sounds which fit to my music. Fusion for example was heavily influenced by the CronoX Synth from LinPlug Virtual Instruments. It creates fantastic arpeggios and sequenced sounds which inspire me a lot.

Voices of Dawn and Fusion are distancing by bar regarding First Light (2002), Time Traveller (2003) and Chameleon (2005), how do you explain that the music of Axess became darker, more experimental and more melancholic? Is it new technologies, new influences or more bitter life experiences.
Axess: For sure no bitter life experiences. Since 10 years I'm happily married, have 4 beautiful and healthy kids and have not been unemployed since I left University back in 1991. My music has always been melancholic but that seems to be part of my style. It is maybe more due to the bigger possibilities I have now with my studio equipment, I can suddenly realize things which I was not able to 7 or 8 years ago.
In fact Chamaeleon in 2003 was the last album which I produced completely without any software synthesizers but only hardware equipment. I did not really trust software synths and really thought good music can only be made by hardware. That changed "over night" in 2004 when Max visited me at home during our Contact CD promotion tour. He showed me what he does only with software and a few weeks later I started to sell most of my hardware and bought a new, faster PC with some great software synths. Suddenly totally new things were possible for me and my music went into a new direction. I'm now able to do everything I want to do without making any compromise. Of course that had a big impact in my music and Time Traveller was the first result of this new technology in my studio. After that I felt I should go back more to the roots of Berlin School type sequencing but also this is so much easier with the new toys and it sounds so much better.

We know that Pyramid Peak produces albums parsimoniously, that is 7 in 10 years. Is Axess career an extension of the Peak’s or it’s really in parallel with the Peak career?
Axess: In fact the Axess project was somewhat started already back in 1992 when Andreas left our common band project (at that time called "Digital Dream") for the first time. I did not change the project name but the 2 tapes "Himalaya" and "Eclipse" were pure my own music. Later, after the Pyramid Peak "Fish'n Love" CD, I had so many ideas left that I decided to release my first official solo work which was "First Light" back in 2002.
There was a little break of 2 years in the Peak project anyway but surely not because of my solo activities. However, I used the time to work on my second album "Chamaeleon" and the first Axess/Maxxess CD "Contact" during that time. Since 2005 all 3 projects are really in parallel to each other although I spent most of the time for my own music. But when I start with a new song I don't know if it will be used for my own Axess project or if I will share it with the others and use it for the next Pyramid Peak or Axess/Maxxess CD or concert. That's something I sort out later.

Sonorities of Pyramid Peak and Axess are quite similar. We hear through your solo albums works and structures that will be appear on Pyramid Peak, in particular on The Cave. Does Peak live through the creativity of Axess or the trio is totally independent from Axess projects?
Axess: First of all I'd like to explain that I know the Pyramid Peak members since a very long time. Andreas and I started to make music together back in 1987 and of course musically we are a very good team and understand each other almost blind. And our friendship and common musical career with Uwe started back in 1995 which makes us one of the "oldest" EM trio in Germany or even Europe which is still active in making music. Not all tracks on our Pyramid Peak CDs are composed together in one studio, very often Andreas or myself bring some first ideas into a common session and we go from there. As we are all working with the Steinberg Cubase sequencer software it's easy to share ideas and loops to start with. That's why some songs on our Pyramid Peak CDs may sound a bit like Axess or Andreas' (Andrew Rotten Project) style. But since we are one band we don't make any difference or even name different composers for our tracks. Pyramid Peak is an independent project from Axess, although I might be the biggest driving force behind it, at least in the last 2 - 3 years.

How was born this so characteristic synth sound of Pyramid Peak? It’s unique and can only be hear on the Peak music or Axess. Are they synth that you invent or it’s just a PC thing?
Axess: We are all using "standard" equipment which everybody can buy in a music shop. And we even use preset sounds quite often so that virtually every other musician can use the same sounds as we do. During our first 3 Peak CDs there was one unique sound from "The Raven", a synth developed and manufactured by the German company Quasimidi (unfortunately they went bankrupt a few years ago...). Basically this synth was made for Techno-/Dance-/Trance-Music producers and most people who bought it probably never used the extremely beautiful solo sound named "Klaus" (…Schulze). Andreas and I both had this synth and used this sound in almost every song so that this soon became our "trade mark".
However, we both don't own this synth anymore but of course we are using others and have our favourite sounds. And we try to spend a lot of time in the final mix of our CDs to give all songs the same "paint". Maybe that's our secret, I don't know.

From your point of view, as a music writer and sound technician, how do you perceive EM evolution?
Axess: Good question, there are so many different styles of Electronic Music out there. Actually a lot of music in the Charts is Electronic Music, with vocals but completely produced without any "real" instrument on a PC. Of course it is now much easier for a young musician to create his own music with a PC, a soundcard and a few plugin synths. But what is an advantage can also be a big risk. While CDs were the only medium 10-15 years ago there are so many other ways now to release your own music and share it to thousands of other people in the Internet. Unfortunately that also creates a lot of garbage and real jewels are harder to find.
Independent from styles and technology I think Electronic Music is the music of the future and all different kinds of it will have its fans for the next few hundred years. It would be great if our kind of music would become more popular again but since I'm not living from making music I have no problem to belong to a relatively small community.

Do you believe that new technologies facilitate the access to more creativity? Is it easier and artificial to create music in 2010 by comparison of 1990 and 2000?
Axess: Oh yes, as I mentioned above I made this experience on my own. When I started making music in 1985 an analog polyphone synthesizer cost a fortune. In the late 80s I heard an Emulator II Sampling Keyboard and I remember the price was about 15,000 EURO at that time. Today, a laptop with the right software can do so much more for just 10% of the price. So technology definitely helps to create the music I want. Of course it's not everything; I still need the ideas, inspiration and basic musical skills.
But there are so many toys and tools which can help to improve your sound, audio quality, drum programming and so on, that making music today certainly has become much easier than 20 years ago. Even my 8 year old son knows already the basic functions from Cubase and maybe he will make his first own song in a couple of years :-)

What were your sources of inspiration and what, musically speaking, fascinates you in 2010?
Axess: The biggest change in my private life was back in August 2010 when I left my old German company after almost 5 years and started to work for a Japanese company again. For me that was a great move because this new job is so much more exciting and challenging to me. Musically there has been one high-light last November when we played with Pyramid Peak and Maxxess in the Planetarium in Bochum/Germany. That was a fantastic concert in a great environment and I think the audience really liked the show.
Another influence has been the purchase of my first telescope back in December 2009 and my first "real" looks in the starry sky during 2010, amazing! Astronomy and Electronic Music is a perfect match for whatever reason :-)

Do you believe that the Berlin School style, which is very omnipresent in The Cave, still has things to shows and innovates? The Berlin School style, as you exploit so well with Under a Starry Sky and Fusion, is it at its crossroads?
Axess: In my opinion the Berlin School type of Electronic Music is like classic music from composers such as Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. It is timeless music which fits into different environments and attracts people of all age. Of course there is no real new development in the music and the basic sequences still sound like back in the 70s. But the classic composers are dead since a few hundred years but still their music is alive and played in concert halls all over the world. Sometimes it’s just not necessary to reinvent the wheel – simply paint it in a new color to make it different and give it your individual style.


I absolutely agree with your statement! The Cave was recorded in Dechenhöhle’s cave. It’s P. Peak 2nd attempt to produce a recording from this place, while the other one being Caveland which you reworked in studio, and it’s as well the 5th time that Pyramid Peak held a concert there. My question has 3 shutters:
A) What is so motivating to give a show in a place so somber and humid?
Axess: Ha, ha, it’s really humid there; all the time drops of water are falling down to our equipment. But if you would have a chance to join us there you would understand. It is such a special place and with only a few light effects you can create a mystic and fascinating atmosphere. There are a lot of fancy stones and stone formations and the ceiling looks like a crystal. All of our shows in the cave had a break after 35-40 minutes to allow the audience to drink a cup of tea and heat up again. But the feedback we got is extremely positive and most visitors are “forcing” us to come back for another concert there; this is the strongest motivation for us.
B) Does the music of Peak fits very well in a place as a cave when we know that it’s more cosmic than terrestrial?
Axess: Absolutely, it fits extremely well and the feedback we got from the audience is a strong indication that people think so too. People have always been fascinated by caves and especially by the ones with colorful stones and stalagmites/stalactites.
C) The music of The Cave, as well as Caveland, was inspired by this place or it was compose pretty much before the show?
Axess: Of course we composed the music a few month prior to our concerts but we had this unique location in mind while working on the music. At our first show in the cave we used not too many fast sequences and delays because we were not sure about the acoustic behavior in that place. We even went there with a pair of speakers just to get an impression of the acoustics and echoes. The music for “Caveland” as well as “The Cave” was composed especially for the concert in the cave but of course with the option for a later CD release in mind. Originally we had the idea to make a DVD from the 2009 concert but unfortunately the poor picture quality of the video tape does not allow us a release. But at least we have something for ourselves to remember.

Is The Cave a recording of the concert or another version reworked in studio, as on Caveland
Axess: Yes, it’s the original live recording from the concert in the cave but of course we used various audio tools to eliminate some noise. But we did not add or change anything to the music itself, that’s why you may here 1 or 2 little mistakes in the music too. But the cold temperature (10°C all year) made our fingers stiff and after a while it became harder to hit the right key.

The Cave presents a musical approach closer of the cosmos that of the earth. Is there a link to make between both worlds? How doo you approach the music composed for the event?
Axess: As mentioned before, the music for our concerts in the cave is composed at least 4-5 month prior to the concert. That’s why there are different influences, not only the cave itself but also other experiences, space, mystic places or activities. And again, for me there is not such a big difference between deep space and a dripstone cave, both places are full of wonders and mystic fascination. I’m sure the music would also perfectly fit into a planetarium or “open-air-under-the-starry-sky” show.

Underground Movement is a monster of wild rhythms, night-structures and lugubrious fragrances. Who influenced the Peak during its composition? Would it be just to say that it’s the darker and wilder track of P.Peak directory?
Axess: Underground Movement is a musical journey thru different styles of Electronic Music. It has influences from Berlin School, Dark Ambient, New Age and typical Pyramid Peak elements. Basically it consists of 2 parts which are connected by wild sound scapes and effects. The first part is more energetic, powerful and has lots of rhythms which remind me personally at some of the older Rainbow Serpent works. The second part of this song is more or less a live version of my song “Pictures” which has been released in a different mix on my solo album “Fusion” (with guitars played by maxxess). This is a very peaceful and harmonic piece of music which was the “great final” of our concert in the cave.

On the other hand, Range of Sound is filled with recollections as diverse as Jarre, Tomita, Axess and Vangelis, with a very metallic tone à la Nefilim of Fusion. How Range of Sound was initiated? Am I right to say that there seems to have a lot of Axess in the air?
Axess: Indeed the first part of Range of Sound was composed by me while I was working on my Fusion CD. I used a lot of synths and sounds for our common song which I also used for my 5th solo album. That’s why it may sound very similar to songs on Fusion. The second half of this song was later produced by Andreas and me, using basically the same sounds of the first part but with different sequences and tunes. Range of Sound was meant to be the quiet, relaxed opener of our concert and I think people enjoyed it.

On the occasion of Evolution's released you mentioned to me that the Peak would get closer to Berlin School style and it was effectively the case. Although we find the main part of the ambivalent rhythms of Peak, The Cave presents a different musical approach, closer to Caveland, with two long tracks filled of heavy atmospheres where glaucous tones abound in a rather metallic atmosphere. Is it the reflection of the influence of an underground world which guided the musicality of The Cave or the Peak was simply allowed to go in a kind of improvisation à la Ramp style?
Axess: “Evolution” is an interesting album because we released brand new music as well as some older tracks on this CD. We even remixed one of our most popular songs (“Dive” from the 1999 album “Ocean Drive”) for this CD. Although the title track is a remix of a song we played in the Dechenhoehle cave in 2007 “Evolution” is a studio album. That allowed us to mix different styles and eras of our common work. Contrary to that “The Cave” was really composed especially for the 2009 concert in the cave, similar to the music on “Caveland”. That’s why these two albums have a similar style and “Evolution” is more like a sequel to our first CDs Ocean Drive, Random Events and Fish’n Love.

On Evolution, Pyramid Peak shows a certain influence for Tangerine Dream and albums like Underwater Twilight and Tyger. Is Dream a good source of inspiration to Pyramid Peak? If yes, what is the period? And what are the other influences of Pyramid Peak?
Axess: Well, it may be hard to find an Electronic Musician who is not influenced by TD :-) And the song “Gravity” is really a homage to the golden era of TD in the early 1980s. I remember working on this intro and sequence and it sounded so much like TD that we only had the chance to make it a “TD clone”. After Andreas programmed the typical drums and my wife added some Russian vocals (like in “Kiev Mission”) the illusion was perfect. In my opinion the best era of TD was between 1975 – 1987. In that period they created some of my all-time favorite albums (Force Majeure, Exit, White Eagle, Hyperborea, Logos, Poland, Live Miles). Of course all of us are influenced by the music we grew up with. Besides TD my favorite artists have been J.M.Jarre, Gandalf, Vangelis, Michael Garrison, Kitaro and Software. So besides the pure electronic music I always had a heart for more romantic, new age kind of music. Andreas loves Klaus Schulze and Kraftwerk and maybe that’s the more dark influence in our common music. Finally Uwe was pretty much influenced by TD too but while he was living in the US for one year he listened to a lot of different Electronic and New Age Music. The first time we met was back in 1994 when I woke up in the middle of the night by music from Kraftwerk, played extremely loud. We just moved into the same house a few weeks earlier and I couldn’t believe there’s somebody who shares my interest in Electronic Music just next door. A few weeks later we started to work on some remixes of songs which were later released on our first Pyramid Peak CD “Atmosphere”. That’s how a great friendship started…

And you, what were your main influences? What pushed Axel Stupplich towards music?
Axess: My mother used to play the piano when I was a little baby and every time she started playing I started crying. My mother was very upset about it and thought I would never like music or even play an instrument so they sold the piano when I was 2 years old. Fortunately I had a good music teacher in Secondary School and he told my parents that I have some musical talents and I should learn to play the piano or organ. So my parents bought an electric organ and I was very lucky to find a very nice and talented teacher, Max Nabben. He taught me not only to play the organ (I played almost everything from Bach to Depeche Mode) but also a lot about music theory. I started to take my first lessons when I was 12 and stopped when I was 17, mainly because the sounds from the organ did not really match my musical targets anymore. But these 5 years really helped a lot to understand the theory of music and composing which helped me later to make my own music. To add a funny story, due to a lucky coincidence my old organ teacher now teaches my 8 years old son Sergej to play the piano… (and my 6 year old son Nikolaj will soon start playing the drums…)
Besides this, my mother also took me with her to some classic concerts and operas and I still enjoy to listen to Bach, Haendel, Mozart and Vivaldi. In fact I believe they would use synthesizers and computers to compose their music if they would be living in our times.
When I was 12 or 13 years old I started to buy my first own records in a small record shop in my hometown, which owner knew almost every single record in his shop. He soon figured out my music preferences and gave me a lot of good advice so that I discovered artists like TD, J.-M.Jarre, Kitaro and later Software/Mergener-Weisser, Michael Garrison, Steve Roach, Wavestar and others. In the beginning I didn’t really like Klaus Schulze because sometimes nothing really happens in his songs for 10 minutes and that was simply too boring for me. That has changed a little bit and today I listen to some of his albums but there is still a lot I don’t really enjoy. I also might have some “New Age” influence from musicians such as Kitaro, Gandalf, Kamal, Michael Genest and others.
But surprisingly I was not listening to Electronic Music only. I also liked and still like the music of Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, U2, Depeche Mode, Apoptygma Berzerk, VNV Nation and maybe this different kind of music still has subliminal influence to me.
If you want me to name 3 major musicians who influenced my own music it would be:
Johannes Sebastian Bach, Tangerine Dream, John Dyson (Wavestar). But of course there are lots of other minor influences from all the musicians mentioned above and even more not mentioned here at all.

Knowing the years which separate the works of Peak, what can expect Pyramid Peak during the next months?
Axess: During the work on new songs for the concert in the Planetarium in Bochum/Germany last November a lot of new music has been created and we are currently mixing and recording the final CD versions of these songs. We have no concrete release date yet but it will certainly be in the 2nd half of 2011. While “The Cave” was a concept album for our concert in the cave our next CD will have much more Berlin School influences again. It’s the sequel to “Evolution” if you want, more sequences, rhythms and less atmospheric effects. Besides this we will perform our 5th concert in the Dechenhoehle cave in October this year and of course we have to compose new music for this event too. But I can’t tell you anything about this right now because we didn’t even start to work on it. Currently the CD has the higher priority.

Let’s speak about your collaboration with Max Schiefele (Maxxess). How came the idea to work with a guitarist?
Axess: That idea was born many years ago when a former colleague of mine visited me in my studio. He played the guitar but was coming from a totally different musical style. It was difficult for him to improvise to Electronic Music which does not follow the general rules of creating a pop or rock song. However, some of the tunes he played fascinated me and since then I was dreaming of adding some guitars to my music. A few years later when Pyramid Peak became more popular in Germany’s Electronic Music scene we met Klaus Hoffmann-Hoock (Cosmic Hoffmann, Mind over Matter) and he offered to play guitar to one of our songs. This song was played together on a festival in The Netherlands back in 2000 and later released on our Fish’n Love CD (title song “Fish’n Love”).
So when I got the chance to do something together with Max “Maxxess” Schiefele a few years later I had already a good idea of what I wanted, but Max exceeded all my expectations.

Do you believe that Berlin School EM can benefit from more conventional instruments, such guitars, basses and drums? Is it in your future projects?
Axess: Absolutely, yes! Guitars fit extremely well to Berlin School EM and also a live drummer is beneficial to the whole project. I love the music from Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder and it’s fascinating how much power and groove Bas (Broikhuis) adds to their music simply by playing the drums live. Pyramid Peak also did two concerts last year together with Maxxess and although it was new to them, Uwe and Andreas enjoyed it a lot. Max will also play on some songs of our new Pyramid Peak CD so maybe a new collaboration has just started :-) We may not need a drummer for our studio work but we wouldn’t mind to have a drummer on stage on one of our next concerts. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to find a drummer who likes Electronic Music but we’ll see what the future brings.

Do you adapt easily in working with such different persons in your musical projects? I mean, how it is working with different mentalities when you have to make room to your’s. Are all those projects essential to Axel Stupplich’s progression, as an artist and as a human being?
Axess: Some artists can be interesting characters but in our case we’re all good friends and know each other for many years. Of course sometimes there are some discussions and different opinions but at the end of the day we always found an agreement and consensus. When we are working on new music for Pyramid Peak we are not in competition to each other. It is not a goal to add as much own ideas as possible in the new common work. It’s the opposite, we have much better ideas when we are sitting together and jamming for a while. If Andreas and Uwe don’t like one of my ideas it’s either really not a good one or there’s still the chance to work on it by myself for the next Axess solo CD. Nevertheless I might be the main driving force behind Pyramid Peak because I enjoy creating new ideas for our band. Where can we play live? What could be the design for our next CD? How can we promote our music outside of Germany/Europe? My profession is a sales and business development and maybe that’s why Andreas called me recently the “PR Manager” of Pyramid Peak. And I think the other guys have no problem with it because it makes their live a bit “easier” :-)

Isn’t difficult switching styles between your own, Pyramid Peak,s and with Maxxess? It’s seems to me that you start from melodious Berlin School to experimental EM and to a much more heavy. How do you place yourself in the middle of this?
Axess: As I mentioned before I like a lot of different EM styles and I’m not really addicted to one only. The music I compose often depends on my mood or the music I listen to in the car or in my office. If I listen to Klaus Schulze for example it is no surprise that my next songs will sound a bit more like traditional Berlin School music. Listening to Apoptygma Berzerk or VNV Nation gives my music a more rhythmic, powerful touch. Since all of my music is done on a computer it’s really easy to switch between different songs depending on my mood. When I save a current project everything is stored and when I open the project the next time it sounds exactly the same and I can continue to work on it. That’s what makes it so easy to work on 4 or 5 different projects at the same time. And then also switching between different styles is not really an issue but more an advantage. If I have not the right idea how to continue an Axess song I can start programming a new sequence for a new Pyramid Peak song, it’s easy.

How do you find your sources of inspiration and your musical marks with Max? Because we sharply see the difference between your solo works and those with Max. For example on Fusion, Max is very melodious and delicate on Schwerelos while on Contact and Impact, he is heavy and very incisive.
Axess: Basically the work with Max is not so different from the work with Pyramid Peak. It all starts with a 30 seconds loop or sometimes even with a semi-finished song. I send these ideas to Max and after he first listens to it he already knows if this will become a new Axess/Maxxess song or not. Compared to my solo works I do not have to arrange every single detail on our common songs because Max will re-arrange and remix everything anyway. And when he finally adds his incredible guitar and drum programming the song has a completely new style compared to the original draft I sent him. But I must admit I really like what he does to the original music and finally the result is a unique EM which can’t be heard by any other musician or band at least in Europe. In my opinion Max is a real professional musician and maybe one of the best talents in the whole German EM scene. It’s a big honor for me to work with him and besides this he has become a real good friend of mine during the last couple of years.
By the way, Max played “only” an acoustic bass on “Schwerelos”, no guitar ;-)
Is it a side that Axel Stupplich absolutely wanted to develop or the meeting with Max Schiefele was fortuitous?
Axess: Although I wanted to add some guitar sound to my music Max and I met by a lucky coincidence. We were both playing on the “Gruga Open Air” party in Essen/Germany which is organized by the German “Schallwende” club once a year. I was immediately fascinated by Max professional way to play the guitar and obviously he also liked my music. On that day the idea for a common song was born (Indian Skies), not knowing that 2 great albums and a couple of fantastic common concerts would follow later.

Is there a secret dream that you cherish?
Axess: Yes indeed, there is. I know I have a couple of fans in the US/Canada as well as in Japan and it is my dream to perform a gig in these 2 countries. The problem is that the cost for such an event is quite high and it’s almost impossible to find somebody to take the risk to arrange such a concert with an unknown artist from Germany. But what would life be without dreams?

Thank you Axel and what do you reserve us in 2011?
Axess: First of all I’d like to thank you for this interview and the interesting questions. It was a big pleasure and I hope you discovered some new things in my person and music projects. 2011 will for sure see a new Pyramid Peak release and our 5th concert in the Dechenhoehle cave in Iserlohn/Germany. I’m also working on new Axess music but I do not have any plans for a new solo CD this year. The music is pretty much influenced by the Berlin School EM and will fit to the 2 latest CDs I made. The 12.12.12 would be an interesting release date….
We’d also love to come back to the UK for another concert because we know that Pyramid Peak and Axess/Maxxess have a lot of fans there. Although there are not so many big events in England anymore I’m sure we will get a chance to play there but maybe that will not be in 2011 but in 2012.

Axel it was a pleasure and, in the name of Synth&Sequences readers, thank you for your collaboration.
Axess: Let me wish to your readers and all the fans of EM around the world a great and healthy year 2011 with lots of good music.

Interview realized by Sylvain Lupari on January 2011. Photos courtesy of Axess web site which you could view at this link: http://www.axess-music.de
Sylvain Lupari (January 2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream :
http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/document.php?doc=0210723ec67e151a4a5a56c9b07780b4

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