Welcome to Lords of Metal. I interview you because of your appearance at Musikmesse 2018. Are you looking forward to that?
Hi Ramon, yeah it's a pleasure to talk with you for Lords of Metal! Yes, absolutely! As we all know, Musikmesse is the best and biggest event here in Europe and you can't get any better than be there on board with such a great artists surrounded with beautiful musical equipment...also with the audience who are interested in particular styles of music or instruments.
What is it you think made them book you?
Well, I guess it's because I'm currently playing really big shows, arenas and stadiums with Andreas Gabalier (an Austrian pop star) and along with this having my own career as a singer, songwriter and guitar player. So there's a parallel thing going on all the time where one help to another to get the chances and spotlight as much as it's possible in this business. It gave me opportunity to play some different styles and of course to learn a lot from fantastic musicians I played with in a last decade. Then it's naturally to become more versatile player which I was always been interested cause music has no limits and it's constantly moving on and on...evolving.
Your recording efforts are doing quite well, but your own videos are really becoming more and more recognise, don’t they?
Thanks! Yes, it's because I was in many different projects and like I said earlier, one helps to another. For example, people who like my original music, they could see or hear me in the other formations like acoustic or Austro-pop with some country elements, black metal, blues and other... Then you have a lot to show for everyone and your audience is growing. It happened many times while I was on stage with Andreas, some of our fans showed up with the banners with some of the lyrics of my original songs...or when I was support band, his fans were singing along my "Voice like an angel" or "Every minute in my heart"...those ballads. It's simple: I'm trying to do my best for them, they are the best to me. Then you can expect some of those fans at your show where you gonna scream and shred like a devil with your own thing and people gonna love it, or (at least) show you respect. Remember the song by Tesla "What you give is what you get"? Hahaha!
No, honestly, it's a hard work to be a professional in a different bands and styles at the same time. You have to be really dedicated to the music. I never been into anything else except music. People gonna recognize the passion and love what you delivering soon or later...it's just a matter of time.
It took me 20 years to get the chance for playing in the front of 70.000 or even 100.000 people like I did last summer 2017 at Hockhenheim or Olympia Stadium in Munich two years in a row or going to play Musikmesse 2018. Life is really beautiful although sometimes looks like hell hahaha.
Do you have any idea where will be the emphasis of your Messe performance, on teaching, or just performing?
Think I'm gonna just perform my own music, but maybe I'll explain some things here and there and talk about dynamics, or something which I think is important to draw attention in playing overall.
Dynamic is something what you can't buy in the store so It's something what you must feel and if you do then the audience will feel it too and result is always great. There are so many people who just love music but they don't understand what's going on there, they just feel something. The easiest way to touch their hearts is to use dynamics and they can feel the vibe immediately. I have a lot of music to present from my first record, from 2008. My new material which is going to be out very soon, after which I can use that too. It's my fourth studio album and it contains twelve songs written, arranged and performed by me, produced by Michael Voss (MadMax, Michael Schenker, Phantom 5, Casanova). There is going to be special duet song but let's keep that as a surprise!
Keep us posted when you know, or we will read that on your Facebook page. Will you be doing acoustics too, as I know you have a great joy in that too?
I am still thinking about it. Yes, acoustic music is a huge passion of mine too! I was lucky enough to play with some of the best acoustic players in the world and since I met the great Tommy Emmanuel C.G.P. (“Certified Guitar Player”, LoM-R). I went so deep into this magical world of wood and steel. In 2016 and 2017 I also performed some live acoustic shows with Eric Martin (Mr.Big), then shortly after I played on the famous MTV Unplugged with Andreas Gabalier, along with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, at the temple of culture called Odeon Theater in Vienna/Austria. We also recorded live a DVD/CD/LP of that show and we went on an MTV Tour, through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Often I'm doing some acoustic shows with my dad with two guitars and voices. It's a kind of family tradition.
Speaking of acoustic guitar, Bruce Gaitsch is performing too. Being the writer of many pop songs, was there ever a period in which you avoided the music he was on, but later recognised the genius he is, like many rock and metal orientated musicians?
Well, the first time I heard about him, was at the time when Richard Marx came out with one of his brilliant albums and Bruce was a studio musician on it. There was really nothing to avoid about the music they did. I really love it. He is one of the greatest on the planet and I'm the one who respects everyone's work and will never say anything bad, even if it's not my cup of tea. So I'm really looking forward to meet Bruce at Musikmesse and shake the hands or maybe play a few notes together. It's gonna be a great experience.
Nowadays, it's really hard to be a professional musician, so you need to play sometimes that you don't like every now and then, but that's the only way to survive and it should not be a shame for any musician. It's just may be the way to get something better than you deserve, or you're looking for, but first you have to go through. I played also on some weddings, Birthday party and all kind of events...so what? I did it the best I could, not to impress somebody, because there was nobody to impress, but to have fun with myself, to learn from some not funny situations, to collect the experience so I could go easily through this things. Actually, this is what I'm doing today. Every single gig I'm trying to impress myself with some new lines, creating the solos in the moment, improvising, trying to add some nice chords to paint the picture different than the night before and also with singing. I think that is interesting for me and for the audience. It doesn't matter if there are ten people, or huge crowd. I wanna feel that I really created some magic that night, not only replay originals. That keeps me alive as a solo artist. By the way, that was a nice question!
And it was a great answer. I think it shows a great sense of reflection. And I think it is better to play guitar in music you would not choose yourself, instead of having a job on the side you don’t like. Or worse, depend on a hand-out, to support your career. I am happy to see how you look at it, but back to the Messe. Do you like the concept of the intimate Sweat, Blood & Tears Box, instead of a stage performance, or a booth clinic?
Yes I do! The concept is great. Every day, everyone of us will play for 30 min on stage and it's the best place to present the material, or gear. I heard there is going to be killer equipment like the PA system and stuff. Beringer Marketing and Gerd Essl did a great job. I met him some years ago at one of the shows I did in Dresden/Germany. He is a really nice and professional guy. Mister Gerd Essl invited me to play this the 2018 edition of Musikmesse. So all I can say is a big thanks and respect!
This is, if I am correct, your first time at Musikmesse, right? Have you ever been there as a visitor?
Yes, that's right! I never been at Messe, but I always wanted to go. Last year we were playing that MTV Unplugged show in Frankfurt just a few days before Messe started, but then we left to Switzerland to play the famous KKL theater and I missed it again. Obviously, the time has come for me to finally go there.
Awesome, go wreck that box! What brands will you be representing?
I have no endorsements. If somebody want me to present his company or product, I'm open to discuss about it. The world market is full of great products and I'm sure I could find the nice toys for myself hahaha.
I am sure you will. From your experience, what is the best tip you can give to starting guitarists, or guitarists who get stuck in their development?
All I can say is never give up and whatever you play, play it with the heart, because one of these days you're gonna get what you deserve. I heard someone said very nice: Learn from the others, then forget it and try to play on your own...I think it was Marty Friedman and I really like it!
Is your new material coming out any time soon?
Yes! My new album is going to be out very soon, accompanied with a promo tour, and I will do summer open air stadium shows, a big arena tour in October with Andreas Gabalier (with 30 shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland). Some new guest releases are coming up, like I did last year for the band called Volfpakk with Mark Sweeney and Michael Voss and more. I hope It's gonna be a great year, but so far it is looking great! I would also like to mention the things I did last year, in case that somebody wants to hear some more of my music. Vampires Of The Mists - 'Inside The Dreams Of Reality, with a kind of horror metal vibe. And there is also Soul'd Out, an acoustic cover project...you can find it on YouTube!
What other artists do you really want to hook up with?
I don't know. There are many artists I admire so I really don't know. Maybe I'm a little bit weird in this case, but I can tell you that I really don't care how big is somebody is as an artist, special, rich or however you call it, if they are not down to earth, or normal like others. I don't see the differences between people, only good or bad. I'm old enough for this things, so If I ever meet somebody of the greatest musicians in the world, I'm sure we will not talk about the guitar strings or pedals hahaha.
I see what you mean. What is the most important reason for fans to come and see you and all the other events at Musikmesse 2018?
The only reason to be at Musikmesse is love & passion for the music!
That is a mighty good reason indeed. Thanks a lot for your time, man. I really appreciate it and I immensely respect you as a guitarist. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Lords of Metal and the visitors of Musikmesse 2018?
Thank you very much Ramon for having me on board! Horns up for Lords of Metal and hope to see you all soon! Hat's off!