Carlo van Putten was the lead singer in a band called The Convent. He also made two highly acclaimed albums with the late Adrian Borland from The Sound under the name White Rose Transmission.
The Convent came together as a concept in late 1985 and throughout the band’s evolution some members have come and gone , and all of them have been at one time or another, vital to the band’s development. That they were able to continue to grow for over 15 years and generate genuine affection amongst lovers of guitar music in Europe, is a testament to passion and the power of it, the root of all fine art They began with an occasional independent single, which in turn led to the band’s first cd Counting the stars ,self financed and distributed for the most part at the numerous concerts the band played across Germany and Holland (the singer’s homeland).
The band began to gather a strong reputation and came to the attention of strange ways records based in Hamburg. Strange ways agreed to take over the distribution of “Counting the Stars” as well as finance the band’s second album “Tales from the frozen Forest”. Mark Burgess, former lead singer of the UK indie band The Chameleons, who was also a big fan of the band, was invited to produce the album. He was already partially involved in a production role on the first album.
However with strangeways came a degree of inflexibility as the realities of working within the constraints and financial motivations of the music industry began to seep in. A band of visionaries, dreamers, idealists, found the compromises too great and it was decided that they would strike out on their own once again. Besides, the group’s two leading lights, Carlo van Putten and JoJo Brandt were beginning to move beyond the boundaries of the traditional band set up. As the nineties influences took hold JoJo began to yearn for a more progressive approach, whilst Carlo began to paint his canvasses in a wider arena, resulting in a collaboration with Adrian Borland . Adrian, the leading light with The Sound , an English band Carlo admired very much. It also saw him reunited with one of the founding members of The Convent, Florian Bratman. This collaboration, entitled White Rose Transmission was released in 1995 and was a watershed in Carlo’s development as a singer and lyricist.
The Convent came together again the following year, 1996 to record the band’s third album. Produced by Yves Altana, a Corsican musician/producer living in Manchester England. Crashed Cars & Loveletters contains some great moments. The band were able to well and truly put the eighties behind them and embrace the nineties, “crash the car, and walk on down the hall.”
Adrian Borland and Carlo decided to work on the second White Rose Transmission album in 1999. The Album was called 700 Miles Of Desert. What basically began as the two of them ended up into another collaboration with Mark Burgess (singing a song called digging for water) Florian Bratmann, Claudia Uman and David Maria Gramse.
Adrian Borland went back home to England to record another solo album and sadly committed suicide on the 26 th of April 1999. The album became second after Tom Waits for the German lyrical & music award “Der Deutsche Schallplattenpreis”
The Convent recorded their album Red Light Melancholy in 2001and went on tour for a while. For an independent band as they are, the album did get great reviews but never made it into the limelight. The band ended up with the album About Kings & Queens. Carlo went back to the Netherlands where he is now working par-time as a German teacher on a Dutch high school. He lives in Utrecht But nevertheless he’s started another band called Dead Guitars.
Dead Guitars was named after a song that Adrian once wrote for the last WRT album. The band began as a project of Carlo van Putten and Peter Brough from a band called 12 Drummers Drumming. After Ralf Aussem, one of the founder-members of German band, 12 Drummers Drumming and mastermind behind the hugely succesful band Sun, joined forces with vocalist Carlo van Putten They collectively gave life to Dead Guitars.
Recently, Dead Guitars have been joined at the hip by their rhythm section: Patrick Schmitz – Drums and Sven Olaf Dirks – Bass Guitar. Both are immaculate musicians and fit so very nicely into the family. Dead Guitars released their debut album Airplanes and went on tour supporting The Mission on their Farewell tour through whole Europe. In the beginning of 2009 they will release their new album Flags.
But also the White Rose Transmission project never died. In 2007 a new album came out called Bewitched And Bewildered Carlo met the painter and guitarist Ron Keijzer and started to work on songs. With some help in the studio of Rolf Kirschbaum, Mark Burgess and Florian Bratmann it turned out to be what Carlo always wanted to do. A stripped production of simple, beautiful diamantes in the rough. Within a bonus CD where Carlo did some female cover songs together with Marty Willson Piper of The Church & All about Eve. Right now they are joined in by Frank Weyzig, former member of the Dutch band Clan of Xymox to work on the 4th WRT album called Collector Of Souls.
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