I recently conducted an interview with Dark Sky's lead vocalist Frank Breuninger to talk about the history of the album as well as the great new release 'Edge of Time'. Dark Sky has actually been around for a very long time, but has only been releasing consistently in the past few years. The band is melodic hard rock and Frank is the only remaining founding member from the early days of the band. I would like to thank him for taking the time to chat with me. Here is how it went....
Dave: Hi Frank, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to discuss the band with me. Let's start with the album, when does it actually street??
Frank: Our record company GOODLIFE RECORDS will release the new album on October 1st, and we´re going to do a short tour right after that, starting on Oct. 2nd playing 4 dates in the south of Germany. The main part of the "Edge of Time" tour is planned to happen in spring 2003.
D: Where can fans expect to find the release from a distribution standpoint??
F: As far as we know, nearly every CD-shop in Europe can order the record from the record company / the distribution company. The album also can be ordered at the major mailorders AOR HEAVEN will have it in stock once Goodlife Records is ready to deliver.
D: Ashes has left the and you have a new member in the band with Steffen Doll. What does Steffen bring to the band??
F: He brought the cheese, bread and red wine, hehehe. Well, he is a really good fellow playing excellent guitar and has pretty good ideas. Even during the recording sessions he improved parts of the songs and re-arranged details of his guitar parts.
D: After listening to the album I noticed a bit more of an edge. The sound is definitely Dark Sky, but has a bit more grit. What was the difference going into this album from a writing standpoint??
F: After the "Believe it" album we decided to give the new songs a bit more guitar power. If you are composing by playing guitar it might sound more heavy than playing the piano to create a new song. But the most important thing was that we chose a studio and an engineer for rock music. And certainly Markus Teske from the Bazement studio was able to mix the guitar the right way.
Anyway I'm not sure if there is a big difference between the naked compositions of "Believe it" and "Edge of Time". But the sound is different. Try to imagine the "Believe it" tracks with the sound of "Edge of Time", you know what I mean?
D: Yeah, I would agree with that. That is definitely my feeling on the differences and similarities. How has this release been received so far. Has it had a pretty good reaction??
F: The promotion for "Edge of Time" has just begun, so we can expect most of the coming reviews during the next couple of weeks. Those reviews we´ve already received are really great ! Ed. note-The reviews I have seen have been very good so far!
D: What kind of touring do you hope to do in support of the release??
F: As mentioned before, first step will be playing 4 clubshows in south Germany. There will be some more single shows during the following months, but our booking company already tries to put a real tour together for 2003, looks like 2 legs at 5 to 9 shows each during March and May '03. We hope to have some shows in the neighbour countries Switzerland, Austria and maybe in Italy.
We also try to play some festivals in 2003, but that´s not that easy... Our agency will keep eyes and ears open; if we get a chance to support a named band, we´ll take it !
D: Well, we would love to see you in the States although I know that isn't a possibilty right now. Maybe down the road someday... What are your personal favorite tracks on the album??
F: Well, I think it's a difficult question. Own songs seem to be like own children for me so which child is my favorite one? I really can't tell. Every song has its own story and remembrance. If you read the lyrics you might know what I mean. But I want to mention "Searching for better tears". When we play it live, even in our rehearsal room, my flesh begins to creep.
D: Let's look back at the history of the band. I understand there was a very early recording that you used for a demo. I think it was called 'Living in Eternity'. Have we heard anything from that release re-recorded on recent Dark Sky albums??
F: That´s almost correct. That "early recording" was a complete album we recorded in 1986 (!!!) for a record company that went bankrupt just before releasing this album. The demo you mentioned was a different recording in 1988. Two songs made it to the "Believe it" album, "Eternity" and "Gimme a try".
D: Do you think that you would ever entertain releasing this music maybe in original form for the fans??
F: You´re talking about that album from 1986? aahhhh no. Well, these recordings are 16 (!!!!) years old. The band was completely different then, the members as well as the music we played those days.Technical standards and sound of course can not be compared with modern productions, so I think, our fans should not spend money on these old recordings, even if somebody would be crazy enough to release them.
D: Some may not be aware, but you were not the original vocalist of Dark Sky, but are an original member. Talk a bit about this.
F: You've got a lot of insider know how, don't you? But you're right, I was one of the original line up starting playing guitar and singing backing vocals. As a young boy I wanted to become a drummer but my parents quit that plan soon. So I decided to become a guitarist. My idols were not guys like Blackmore or Malmsteen. I wanted to become a composer like Rudolf Schenker from the Scorpions or Francis Rossi from Status Quo. Therefore I had to sing a bit as well. Recording the demo tape "Living in eternity" we begun to use keyboards in the band for the first time. Just to do this live as well I started playing keyboards additional to my job as a guitar player and background singer. We didn't have a keyboarder during that time but another guitarist playing most of the guitar solos.Having trouble with various singers we were finally fed up with searching a new vocalist every couple of years. It was easier to find a good keyboarder. So I switched off the power button of my guitar amp and took the mic.
D: Talk a bit about your feelings on the current music scene. Love it or hate it. How would you tackle breaking into the American scene??
F: At present the music industry prefers to sell a kind of music without a face or with faces they have created, you know what I mean? Techno and hip hop is played in discos for the kids and it's very easy to exchange the artists of that kind of music style. Also boygroups or girlgroups are easy to control and easy to produce if you compare it with a rock band for example like Bon Jovi. A record company often needs years and a lot of money to build up a real band. Therefore the major companies are not interested in new bands and the indie labels haven't got the money to push their bands on TV , radio, festivals or other media. That's a pity.
I don't know how to break into the American scene at all. Probably we have to play live and the CD needs to be promoted by radio and magazines.
D: Fill us in on Steffi Schubert. What is Steffi´s part in the band?
F: Steffi's job is just to clean the rehearsal room and to serve the drinks for the boys, hehehe. Was a joke! No, she's a permanent background singer in the band. After the release of "Believe it" we decided to add a high voice to the choir just to make it more wide for playing live. It wasn't that easy to find someone who fits to the band because Claudios behavior sometimes seems a bit strange to visitors. So we were happy to find Steffi and she's really got a lot of patience with the boys.
D: Any parting thoughts for the fans of Dark Sky and what can we expect in the future of the band??
F: I hope a lot of people listen to "Edge of time" and hopefully most of them like it. DARK SKY is a team of friends and we enjoy playing rock music that's very important for me. We're looking forward to the next shows in Germany but we're still heading for an European Tour in spring 2003 and maybe we'll get the chance to play overseas too who knows ?
D: Thanks Frank, I do appreciate it!