Whilst visiting a few friends in Hamburg in the later part of 2001 I was strumming a guitar, playing a few of my new songs I had just written, and mentioned to a good friend of mine, Kai Schwochow that I was looking for a singer who was into the same kind of style and music. Kai said he would think about it and so he came back to me a few days later with Carlo van Putten’s phone number.
At the time Carlo was the singer in THE CONVENT. Amongst other projects he had recorded albums with ADRIAN BORLAND (THE SOUND), MARTY PIPER WILSON (THE CHURCH) and MARK BURGES (THE CHAMELEONS). He sounded like just the man I was looking for and so I got onto the phone to Carlo and we exchanged our histories, favourite bands and all that kind of stuff. We felt an instant affiliation to one another and decided we should meet up a.s.a.p. So because I was travelling up to Hamburg to see Depeche Mode at an open air gig we decided to meet each other in a “St. Pauli” pub after the gig.
After a long chat and a couple of beers we’d already made a plan to meet up for a week or so to play around with a few ideas and do some song writing. Carlo invited me to his house situated in the beautiful countryside of the “Devil’s Moor” about 25 miles north of Bremen. A perfect setting to get into a song writing mood, subsequently after about 4 days we had written 6 new songs. We were really excited about the results and thought it would be a good idea to lay the tracks down in a studio. So just after New Year 2002 we spent a week in a studio in Bremen and came out with 4 finished songs which we then mixed down and mastered.
The 4 songs were: Mothers of Mary, Should I, He, Delicate.
I then took the train back to my home town Mönchengladbach with the 4 songs in my luggage. On the way home I was thinking about ways we could take this venture a step further and so I came to the conclusion that we needed more songs and maybe an additional musician to expand the range of instruments and song writing. My first thought of whom to approach on this idea was Kurt Schmidt, a long time friend, partner in crime and fellow musician from the early days and the driving force during the TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING era and at that time the Bass player with SUN. I got home and phoned Kurt the very next day. He came around to my place and we listened to the songs Carlo and I had recorded in Bremen. I believe Kurt really liked the songs and the vocals because on his way out he told me that if we should be requiring his services he’d really be very interested.
So then we were 3.
Carlo, Kurt and I got together on various occasions in my flat to carry on song writing and the results were improving by the day. The blend of Kurt’s and my acoustic guitars and Carlo’s voice was developing into a unique sound. Songs like: Sweet Revenge, Crash, Crumble Zone, Living With Clouds were written during that period. Our song list was growing steadily and we started to toy with the idea of performing live. Up to that point we had been using acoustic guitars, we were fully unplugged, very fragile and delicate, you could hear a pin drop most of the time. It then occurred to us that it would be extremely difficult playing the live circuit in that kind of format. We just couldn’t imagine that we could keep our listeners concentration span alive for up to 60 minutes playing our fragile and sometimes rather melancholic acoustic songs.
Enter Ralph Aussem.
Guitarist, multi instrumentalist and sound wizard from the TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING days and founder of the band SUN amongst many other great projects like BELGIUM, NINA HAGEN and RAINBIRDS to mention but a few. This was a giant step forward for us, as Ralf complimented the songs with his atmospheric carpets of sound, amazing electric guitar performances, catchy solos and counter melodies. We were beginning to sound like a band and were even more inspired and highly motivated to record our new material in the studio.
As we didn’t have a drummer at this point (Late summer of 2002) we were blessed with the fact that Hermann Eugster, from the 12 DD “Loveless” line-up flew in from Switzerland for a long weekend to help us out and record our songs with sound engineer Guido Lucas in the “Blue Box” studios (near Cologne/Bonn). Songs recorded at these sessions were:
Sweet Revenge, Crash, Crumble Zone, Should I, Delicate and Secrets.
After these recordings our next priority was to get into a rehearsal room and arrange the songs to be able to perform live gigs. Seeing Hermann lived and worked in Switzerland we had to look for a drummer who lived nearby our home base. This turned out to be quite a difficult task until Peter Koerfer arrived on the scene. Peter, an excellent guitarist, who joined up with SUN to take Ralf’s place after he left the band in the late 90’s had mentioned to Kurt that he had recently started playing the drums and would be only too happy to help us out until we found a permanent drummer for the band. It was within only a matter of weeks that we all realized that our search for a new drummer was over. Peter’s dedication, feeling and attitude towards our songs, combined with his immense talent and skills on his new instrument was met with sheer admiration on our part. It was then only a matter of formality to ask him very nicely if he would join the band. It was summertime in 2003 and the band of brothers was complete.
From here on we carried on writing new material and with the help from our friend, sound engineer and producer from the early 12 DD years, Rainer Assmann, we performed in Holland and Germany through to the summer of 2004. The live experience was refreshing and many of the songs were adapted, updated and rearranged to suit, some were put on the shelf.
Songs written in this period are: Airplanes, I See, The Great Escape, The Name Of The Sea, White Light, Feels Alright.
All of which we then recorded at Jörg Schneider’s “Sound Cage Studios” with Rainer at the control buttons.
In the meantime during late summer 2005 we have finished mixing our Debut Album with Guido Lucas in the Blue Box. We now have a mastered finished product just waiting to be released.
That, in a nutshell is how DEAD GUITARS came to be.
Hope to see your face in the crowd.
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