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Past In Different Ways PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Kiske   
Thursday, 13 March 2008

Past In Different Ways It's not a secret that in our time free creativity almost became a ''moral-crime'' within certain music-scenes. Markets and sales generally dominate our so called ''art'' and modern musicians worry far more about pleasing critics then about writing a true song. We also know how certain mentalities will react to anything I do that is not following their (art-enemy) ''pontifical-dogmas''; but musicians must never listen to these types of philistines ever. When Serafino Perugino brought up the idea to do this record, my first reaction was: "No way! I don't want to be dealing with my past all the time anymore! etc." But after a few days my thinking changed and I thought: Maybe it's not such a bad idea at all? Because on one hand it shows that I don't reject my past just because I'm a different person today, and on the other hand it can maybe give people who were part of that past a different view at those songs. It's my music, I can still identify myself with its spirit, so why should I not do this? My songwriting today is different. I wrote some of the songs on this album when I was 17 years old, so the lyrics are often blue-eyed and naive, but I didn't want to change them completely again. The basic epic sound of the better ones and the sort of uplifting-idealistic attitude still suits me very well. Also the unconventional arrangements of some those earlier tracks I was getting a bit excited about, I must admit. I generally brought each song down to its basics, threw out useless weight and sometimes changed the key to make them sound better as acoustics; and I was surprised how well they worked like that. Songs like >In The Night< or >When The Sinner< which where never favorites of mine are much cooler and much more convincing now, at least for my ears. It was not always easy for me emotionally to deal with this material. Music somehow seems to preserve emotional-memories and I connect big human-disappointments with the last years of that time. There's also something very unsatisfying about re-recording old songs; it's always MUCH better to write new stuff, but I wanted to make those songs mine again. And in spite of the fact that I strongly felt for the last couple of years that I rather have to build myself a new base of friends, it's always good to make peace with your past. So I am glad that I did it, - but it's also good that it's finally done! -- 

Main musicians:

Karsten Nagel: Drums
Sandro Giampietro: Guitars
Fontaine Burnett: Bass
Michael Kiske: Vocals, Guitars etc. 

Guest musicians:

Hanmari Spiegel: Violins, also Piano on >When The Sinner<
Georg Spiegel: Trombones and Accordeon
Benny Brown: Trumpet on >We Got The Right<



NOTE: If someone pays money for a CD today, especially among the young-ones he or she will get looked at as being almost insane. “I can burn it for you“! they say, or if they like a song, they ask: "Where can I download it for free?“ etc. The social-ignorance here is truly remarkable! Hundred thousands of people which used to work for record labels, publishers etc. have lost they jobs and everyday more are following. Everywhere musicians are not able anymore to keep on working as professionals. The illegal copying and downloading of music has become so insane, it gets almost impossible to produce good records, and especially the more idealistic artists, which don't want to become plain ''industry-whores'', are facing hard times right now. Many turn into ''weekend-warriors'', they have no choice, and since our energies are always limited, the quality of their music will usually show that sooner or later too. But our newer generations don't seem to care at all! They always find cheap excuses like: Musicians are all rich anyway! Etc. Which is nonsense for most musicians, but even if that is true for the more successful bands and musicians, it doesn't make any difference here, because if a big like U2 is not selling enough CDs anymore, they will lose their deals too. And we should not expect every band to make their own labels just because they have the money for it. And why should they do that anyway if noone thinks their CDs are worth buying anymore? So even if some artists are rich, they might not be in danger for their private life's, but they will stop making CDs if they don't sell: so for us to get music from them is in danger. But whatever I may say here, the newer generations don't seem to care. There seems to be no social-sense left. If they can save a few bucks, they steal the music they want to listen to, no matter what. Those generations obviously don't appreciate good record-productions anymore, so fast-food-music is the solution our music-industry came up with. Since (almost) no-one buys CDs anymore, the bigger labels started to completely ''design'' their so called ''artists'' for their markets now to maximize sales a bit more. BUT LABELS AND MARKETS SHALL NEVER ''DESIGN'' MUSICIANS! FREE MUSICIANS AND TRUE MUSIC MUST BUILD THE MARKETS! This is the only way for a healthy music-culture to exist! But since the opposite of what is artistically right has become the rule, most of the successful music today is nothing else but technically well done untrue heartless fake; plain products with just a money-soul behind various masks (and that goes through all music-styles and scenes). Maybe musicians who have not enough support by friends of their music anymore shall now completely stop producing records and only play live until album-productions are appreciated again. It's too often really not worth the pain anymore. If our newer generations are not able (or willing) to keep a fruitful music-culture alive and rather slowly starve it to death, they simply don't deserve music. 

As a record-producer I generally don't like MP3. So I am not a friend of download-music at all (including legally downloaded music). That's because MP3 simply sounds horrible! It still sounds impressive looking at the mp3-data-reduction, but compared to the original the overtones are gone, high-ends are distorted and all openness disappears. We should have moved on to the SACD (5.1) instead of going backwards in quality to MP3. With the internet-download-ages we have also lost other beautiful elements of our modern music-culture. I'm thinking about CD-Cover-Artwork, lyrics, song running orders, concept albums etc. I remember when I was younger and bought a record, that there sometimes was a song on there that I didn't understand (didn't like) right away. But after a while it turned out to be a real pearl. And if people today only download what they like (understand) right away, the cultivating element of learning something new in music is completely disappearing. That's how Mammon slowly corrupts all truth and values of our culture…

 . - Michael Kiske
Last Updated ( Friday, 14 March 2008 )
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