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[Übersicht der Interviews]
BLIND GUARDIAN meets VIRGIN STEELE
Thomas "Thomen" Stauch is one of the most popular and successful artists of the German Metal scene. His releases with BLIND GUARDIAN are milestones of European Metal and his follow-up band SAVAGE CIRCUS followed this way with the amazing debut Dreamland Manor. After the split with SAVAGE CIRCUS Thomen decided to make a musical change and he joined SEELENZORN and COLDSEED. Nevertheless the fans are waiting for new material in the style of BLIND GUARDIAN, and currently Thomen is busy in building up a new band which will satisfy all fans of Power Speed Metal. The following interview will bring new information about his forthcoming band, but it will also show you interesting facts about the private person Thomas Stauch who is one of the friendliest artists of the scene. So here we go ...
? First of all: how are are you?
I am fine, thank you. As most of the fans know I had to go through hard times but many things which had been written were exaggerated. And even some things were totally wrong. Well ... someone tried to keep himself in a better perspective and I do not mean the guys of BLIND GUARDIAN. You can imagine who is meant (Thomen laughs). But I think it is not advisable to wash one's dirty old laundry in the public. After the split of SAVAGE CIRCUS I decided to announce some information concerning my health but it was not so extremely perilous as it sounded. I just wanted to save the band's good name but these times are over. Many friends of mine helped me and also many fans wrote eMails and asked me how I am doing and they sent wishes to get well. Thanks a lot for all these kind wishes – I really appreciate the sympathies. But you do not have to worry ... currently I am looking forward to the future and I am happy and very busy with my new band.
? How would you describe the private person Thomas Stauch – not the artist Thomen?
I am very honest, trustful and sometimes still naive. I believe in the good and positive character of all people, but this faith has been exploited many times. Unfortunately I have to admit that I have been deceived very often and every time it hurt so much. When you trust someone and someday you find out that this person has only utilised you it is difficult you stay yourself. Sometimes I wished to be harder but that's not my character. I am just a friendly guy who loves harmoniousness ... but this is not always wise if you are a professional artist. But what can I do – I am what I am (Thomen laughs).
I recognized that very often the good guys are betrayed but that's life. Nevertheless every experience makes you wiser and you learn something for yourself.
Another facet of my character is that I always stayed true to myself. I never prostituted myself and did something against my conviction. Nor as private person neither as artist – I will never be a "musical bitch".
? How is your life as professional musician? Are there differences to regular bureau jobs? And is that kind of life profitable?
I think you cannot compare an artist's life with a regular job. I get up approx at 11:00 o'clock but I often work the whole night until sunrise. Well ... I am an artist with heart and soul and when I work at songwriting I don't mention the time at all.
Altogether I am satisfied with my life but concerning your question if a musician's life is profitable I want to be honest: it isn't! At present it does not look very good because I have to build up everything new. I have to organize the new line-up, I must write new songs and then I will have to establish the new band. I also worked as drum-teacher but I had to give up this auxiliary income because we have lost our rehearsal room. Currently I have to rehearse in Darmstadt with my band SEELENZORN.
? Can you tell us something about the new band?
It will be a Power Speed Metal band with David DeFeis on vocals, Michael Schüren on keyboards and me on drums. I have asked Oliver Holzwarth to join on bass and currently he thinks about this request. David and I are phoning nearly every day and change mp3s. We have composed some songs yet and they really sound great. We don't have a bandname so far but David has many ideas in his mind - it will depend on his lyrics. The style will be a mixture of BLIND GUARDIAN and VIRGIN STEELE with midtempo- and uptempo-songs. Also we will have one or two ballads and some epic tracks like Noble Savage. I am convinced that all BLIND GUARDIAN and VIRGIN STEELE fans will be enthusiastic ... at least I hope so (Thomen laughs).
? What are the most important criteria for you?
A continuous line-up and a high-quality production with great songs! When I was member of BLIND GUARDIAN it was always extremely important for us to release top albums and I will not depart from this principle. The fans buy our albums and we are on duty to present them the best album as possible!
? David lives in the US and the other members are from Germany. Will there be a tour?
Yes, definitely we want to present our album live. I know that it will take some time to finish the album, but after the release we will go on tour. David will come with VIRGIN STEELE to Greece and Italy soon, and at present he is in contact with his booker for some additional shows in Germany. If they will manage some gigs maybe I will perform as guest musician on percussion. We will see ... that's all not for sure so far.
? Are you also in contact with your former bandmates of BLIND GUARDIAN?
Yes, we are friends and sometimes we meet for a coffee and then we discuss problems or stuff from the music scene. Though we go our own separate ways we respect each other and that is pretty fair for all of us.
? How do you see the actual music business?
Oh wow ... many things have changed – and not to a better way. I personally do not like the ProTools technique. It is much easier to record songs but it takes some kind of "spirit". And in general it is difficult for all participants in the music business. The labels fight to survive because the sales figures have totally broke down. Formerly the bands toured to promote their albums, nowadays they tour to earn some money.
In addition to that there are so many bands and so many releases. The fans cannot buy every album and as consequence the artists don't sell enough CDs to live by their music. But we have to make the best of this situation.
? Last not least: do you want to say anything to your fans?
Yes, of course. I thank you very much for your friendship and faith. Thanks that you have not forgotten me! I will not disappoint you and I hope that you will buy the album and that you will like the new songs.
Wolfgang Volk (04.07.2009)