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dinsdag 24 november 2009
Brainstorm: The Conjunction of Five Swabian Musicians

Interview with guitarist Thorsten “Todde” Ihlenfeld of Brainstorm by Vera in November 2009

The German power metallers of Brainstorm have an excellent new album out – ‘Memorial Roots’ – and they are on tour in Europe. We visited them at their gig in Kerkrade on the twelfth of November, co-headlining Primal Fear, and had a brief update with founder member Todde right after their glorious gig. Time for a short yet important update!



HISTORY OF THE BAND
Brainstorm was formed in 1989 as brainchild from guitarist Torsten Ihlenfeld and co-guitarist Milan Loncaric along with drummer Dieter Bernert. These guys are still present in the current day line-up. They started with some demos and released their first full-length album in 1997. The self-produced debut album “Hungry” was an immediate winner with fans and journalists alike, enabling BRAINSTORM to go on their first European Tour. In 1998 the band hired the illustrious producer team of Dirk Schlächter and Charlie Bauerfeind to guarantee a perfect production for their sophomore effort “Unholy”. The following European Tour alongside Iced Earth totally fulfilled the high expectations, created by an already overwhelming reaction from the metal press. In 1999 the vocalist position became vacant, but the band managed to fill it with one of the best metal front men worldwide, Andy B. Franck, earlier known from Ivanhoe and Symphorce. Finally everything was falling into place, and the band signed a contract with Metal Blade Records. The long awaited third album “Ambiguity” was recorded at House of Music Studio with Dirk Schlächter and Sascha Paeth producing, and was received with euphoric reviews everywhere. Successful European tours and various celebrated festival appearances further cemented the band’s popularity, making the “Swabian Five” one of the hottest bands around. In October 2001 the band released “Metus Mortis”, a high-energy metal classic produced by Achim Köhler, which became Album of the Month in several metal magazines worldwide, paving the way for another successful tour as well as many festival gigs and shows across Europe. In March 2003 the band returned to the studio to record “Soul Temptation”, the fifth album in their career. What followed the release can only be described as a triumph for the band: Several chart entries, a massive European tour and festival shows all over the world resulted in the band’s definitive incorporation to the World’s Champions League of Metal. BRAINSTORM had finally arrived where they belong – at the top! So now time to take a break? No way! With the incredible energy and atmosphere from their live shows still fresh in their minds, the band began writing new material. From November 2004 on, the band started recording their new album again with Achim Köhler in their usual working environment. “Liquid Monster” was completed in early 2005, showcasing the enormous progress the band had gone through, surpassing even the most optimistic of predictions. The single “All Those Words” was released on March 7, meant as an appetizer for the fans before the full album was launched on April 4. Again, several chart entries all over Europe followed. Their following first headlining tour through Europe was an overwhelming success, seeing the band touring constantly for over a year and a half, including all the important festivals and such. At the end of 2006 the band started work on their 10 years of BRAINSTORM albums festivities for 2007, which included the re-release of their first two albums, “Hungry” and “Unholy”, and the first ever double DVD “Honey from the B’s” with a duration of over 5 hours of pure BRAINSTORM Power. The DVD was highly praised by fans and media, entering several DVD charts again and shortening the wait for the new album with another successful release. The new album’s preceding single “Fire Walk With Me” was released in October 2007 and topped the Hungarian charts in its week of release. For the first time in their history it took longer before they entered the studio. This time was needed to refresh their sound and come up with something a bit different. Recorded with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro (the latter one plays all the keyboards on the albums, but live they do not use keyboards) “Downburst” came out in January 2008. What a stunner it was!!! Before that, Brainstorm used to be a fine heavy metal band with power and talent, now their skills were sublimely proved. It became their biggest success and the record was followed by many live gigs.



THE NEW ALBUM “MEMORIAL ROOTS”
‘Memorial Roots’ is written in a shorter amount of time again. It is more epic than its predecessor, this feeling is topped during the eight minutes long stunner ‘The Conjunction Of 7 Planets’. They stayed with their producer team Sascha Paeth and Miro, but it is the first record with new bassist Toni Ieva who joined the band right after the recordings for ‘Downburst’. Even before ‘Memorial Roots’ came out halfway October, the band flew to the United States to play at ProgPower Atlanta and a few gigs in Mexico. ‘Memorial Roots’ is the first album for new label AFM Records, after being around eight years on Metal Blade. With such an excellent new album, Brainstorm can expand its success in the coming year, that’s for sure.

THE CURRENT TOUR
Even before the new record ‘Memorial Roots’ was out, Brainstorm crossed the canal to play a few selected gigs in the UK with Primal Fear and on their way home they stopped at the Biebob in Vosselaar, a quite familiar place to play for the guys. This was late September. Next weeks were spent on doing promotion for the new album, but on the 23rd of October they hit Europe again: the proper tour with more new songs on the setlist. On this date the tour has almost come to an end and the first question was how the tour is going. Todde answers in a relaxed way: “The tour is going very well. We have packed venues, almost sold out everywhere. About eight hundred people every night, surely in Germany.”

What happened to the bass player Antonio Ieva, because he was not with you tonight?
He was still with us yesterday. He played the show and suddenly got a call that his wife gave birth to a child. It should have been in the beginning of December. He went home in a rush. We recorded the bass all night, just were finished with it at six o’clock in the morning. We recorded all bass parts during the night in the bus. The tour only lasts till next Sunday, we are going to Czech Republic now, so he will not come back on this tour.

You and Primal Fear are both from “Swäbischen Alb” region in Germany, pretty funny is that…
Yes, we have known each other for a long time. Their guitarist filled the gap on the previous Brainstorm tour, when I had to stay home for my daughter (laughs)



What’s the latest news on the reception of ‘Memorial Roots’?
Very good, we have positive reviews everywhere. That’s great!

Are you recording some shows?
For a DVD? No. We will do another tour next year in March or April. Nothing is confirmed yet, so I have to stay mystical about it (smiles).

Is there any news on making clips?
No, we had no time. We came back from the US and Mexico and prepared this tour right away. There was not that much time to relax, since we had to do the interviews for the new record and prepare us for the new show.

Two new songs were played, but unfortunately we missed ‘The Conjunction of 7 Planets’ this evening. Vocalist Andy B. Franck had a cold and this happened to be too demanding for his voice.

You can read the gig review of this excellent metal evening on our site at this location
http://www.metal-nose.org/news.php?item.694.17


www.brainstorm-web.net







Geplaatst door Vera op dinsdag 24 november 2009 - 23:25:08
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