Edenbridge was formed in 1998 that developed itself out of another project called Cascade. When our drummer Roland entered the band in 1998, the lineup was complete for our first CD production, Sunrise In Eden, which we did in summer '99. With this CD we tried to get a deal and we sent the CD to about 30 record labels around the world and two weeks later we had the deal with Massacre Records in Germany. The CD came out in September of 2000 and then we went on tour with Pink Cream 69 and Axxis here in Europe. Then the second CD, Arcana, was produced in July 2001 and came out in Europe in November and I think on the 15th of January in the States. That's where we are now.
Are all of you from Austria?
Yeah, we're all from Austria. Sabine the singer and I live in Linz and the other three guys live in Vienna.
For the geographically impaired, where is Austria located and what languages are spoken there?
Austria is really located in the middle of Europe. You can say south of Germany. The language spoken is German but in Austria it's spoken with an Austrian accent. It's a lot different from the German accent so when we are talking in our own accent, it's hard for the Germans to understand us. Especially for the people from north Germany.
You would be surprised at how many people confuse Austria with Australia.
Well, we have no kangaroos in Austria.
Well, okay, so we know we're in the right place. Who are some of your musical influences?
I grew up with classical music. I started playing piano when I was seven years old and took lessons for 12 years. More or less the only music I grew up with was classical music until the age of 14 or 15. At that time I discovered heavy metal and at the age of 18 or 19 I learned bass and guitar by myself. Then I went to the American Institute of Music in Vienna to study rock guitar for one year. From the time that I started writing songs, I always wanted to combine classical music with heavy metal and I think that will be so in the future too.
Kind of like Dream Theater or Savatage?
Well, not really. They are both two great bands. Dream Theater is one of my absolute favorite bands. They are both dealing with classical influences but I think our influences are quite different. I also use a lot of Far Eastern influences. I like the Far Eastern stringed instruments very much therefore I also bring those into the sound of Edenbridge.
Like the sitar?
Yeah, the sitar I like very much. It was on our first CD and is also partly on the second CD on the bonus track "The Whisper Of The Ages" where we use the sitar but also these other instruments like koto or gustan, those Japanese and Chinese instruments.
You've released three solo albums.
Yeah, I had a solo deal before Edenbridge from 1994 to 1997 where I did three solo records for a small German record label. The music more or less was symphonic guitar rock music. A bit in the direction of Mike Oldfield but everything more rock oriented. I also used different influences from New Age music and I also used a big church choir on two of the three CDs. Yeah, that was more like my start in the music business.
Two of them were released by a South Korean label as well.
Yeah, that's true. They got a license I think in 1998 or 1999 for all three records and they re-released them.
Do they have a pretty big music scene in South Korea?
Well, I don't know if the scene is so big but I think my music, what I'm writing, is really accepted there because we have played on national broadcast radio and we get great responses from that country so there must be something in our music that is really very well accepted in South Korea.
Where can people purchase your solo material?
Well, that's a bit hard because the distribution was very bad here in Germany and also worldwide I think. I think the best opportunities to buy it are on the Internet. I think there are several mail order companies which also now do have CDs. I'm not sure. I think people should search on the Internet for it because in normal stores they're really hard to find I think.
I hear E-Bay calling my name. Sabine has a beautiful voice. Did she take vocal lessons or is she just naturally gifted?
Well, Sabine has been singing since she was a child more or less and she took some lessons especially for breathing and relaxing techniques. I think she also made a great step from the first CD, Sunrise In Eden, to the new CD now and she's constantly making her voice better and better.
Where did you dream up the name Edenbridge?
Edenbridge I think is a perfect name for our music because it indicates these positive vibes, this positive energy which we try to transport to the listener. The first time I heard the name was actually from the town in Camden, England. There is a town called Edenbridge and there was a racing team called so because I'm a big motor sports fan. From that point on it was also cool that it's the story of how we came to our name.
You managed to get signed to a label fairly quickly. How did that work out so well?
The story was funny because as I told you, we got the deal with Massacre Records within two weeks and that was really a surprise for us. I think they called up immediately when they heard the first two songs from the Sunrise In Eden CD and also it seemed immediately we also had some other offers by other companies. Massacre made us the best offer and they did a great job because they also licensed the record to all the important countries and markets of the world like Japan, South Korea, United States, and also South America and Taiwan. That was really great because for a debut, the CD sold fantastically and I think the new one will do so as well.
I'm sure it will. It's a really beautiful record.
Dennis Ward of Pink Cream 69 has mixed both your albums. Do you enjoy working with him?
Yeah, I enjoy it very much because I think he's made himself a great name in the scene because he also did the new Angra record. He really knows what instruments should sound like especially drums. He's really able to produce a great drum sound without any triggering. I have a very good relationship with him and the whole band. We were on tour with Pink Cream and we will also do the next album with him.
Was touring with Pink Cream 69 an enjoyable experience?
Yeah, it was a good experience because when the tour started, we had only done three gigs before and so we could gain a lot of experience on the tour. Getting better from evening to evening, show to show. Everything was a good start. Also the fact that all three bands were from the same record label. That also makes things easier. It was a real great experience for us.
You've had a slight lineup change since Sunrise In Eden. Tell us about your new guitarist, Andreas Eibler.
Actually when we started to rehearse in the year 2000, we recruited a second guitar player that was the one before Andreas who also did the tour with us. After the tour the other guitar player left us for studying reasons. He wanted to end up his studies in business and then we called Andreas who came with us on the tour as a guitar roadie. I know that he was a good player and he's an old friend of our drummer. They had played together in a lot of bands before. He wanted to join us and he also played on the record. He's a sixth member of Edenbridge.
You have an album out titled Arcana.
As I said before, lyrics are very important for us I think because what I'm trying to do is to spread positive energy and positive things in the lyrics. Arcana means secrets and mysteries and it's a good album title for some songs on the album although it is not a concept album in whole. Most of the inspirations for the lyrics come in my case from Star Trek because I'm a big, big Star Trek fan especially from The Next Generation, Deep Six Nine, and Voyager. There are also these kind of spiritual scenes that are transported through the different episodes and there lies a lot of inspiration for me to bring into my lyrics.
You do all the song writing?
I'm doing all the song writing, all the lyrics, all the management, nearly everything.
You do it all. What are some of your favorite tracks on the album?
That's difficult because when you write all the songs on the album, they're all like babies to you. It is very hard to say which one is my favorite but I the title track is the one that I would say is the most near to me because I spent I think two months in doing this song. It took a lot of time and I think the result was very fine.
You got to meet and share a place with the guys from Angra while they were working on Rebirth.
Yeah, we met them in the studio. They were recording with Dennis and we were recording with another engineer. They are really nice guys. We spoke a lot about music and about things in Brazil. They were telling us that we were really accepted there and we have many fans there. I also knew this from the many e-mails we got from Brazil but it also was funny to hear that Angra was telling us those facts. It was really cool.
It took a while to position the drums for the studio work on the album. For the technically oriented, how do you set up in the studio and in what order to you record everything?
The keyboards were already done before because I was doing all the keyboard stuff at home and brought the midi files into the studio. Then our drummer was recording all the songs at first because you have to do drums in one otherwise it's difficult because even when one microphone is changed or falling down, the sound will be different. When he's recording the drums, I play a rhythm guitar track along so he has an idea of the song in that case. Then we start doing rhythm guitars and bass for each song more or less before midday and in the early afternoon. In the late afternoon Sabine started to sing some tracks because her voice is much, much better when it comes to the evening. Then we did this about two weeks completing song by song and when the rhythm guitars and bass were complete, I did the solo stuff and all the acoustic guitar things. That was it more or less.
How long does it take to actually mix the album?
At the time we were quite fast because we worked on everything before so we needed 18 days for recording and only six days to make the album. I think that is quite fast when I am reading that bands that have our status are needing 100 days for a studio production. I don't like to waste time in the studio because that's wasting energy, time, and money. I like to work very fast in the studio doing 10 to 12 hour days.
Sabine recorded some vocals for a rock opera called Missa Mercuria.
Missa Mercuria was actually initiated by a lady who saw Sabine at the concert in Munich and after this concert she was very impressed by the singing of Sabine. Then she asked her if she would like to sing one song on the album. The main singer on the album is D. C. Cooper of Silent Force and the tracks were written by Silent Force members, Vanden Plas members, and also Pink Cream 69 members. I think the album is now mixed and will be released in Japan by Marquis Avalon but there is no record label up to now in Germany who is releasing this thing but I think that will take place very soon.
Any touring plans in the near future?
Definitely. At the moment we're discussing a tour with Metalium. They will be the headliner and we will be the second band. Cornerstone will be the third band. The tour should take place in May and will feature concerts in nearly all of Europe. Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and also Scandinavia. Also The Netherlands and Belgium.
When is the new record coming out?
We're going back to the studio in November and six new tracks are written. At the moment I'm writing on the long track for the next album. November will be a good time to come back to the studio. The record will be out in February of 2003.
Any other comments or thoughts?
Yeah, I hope we can play the States soon. Also other shows outside Europe. Brazil, I hope the new record will be out soon there. They promised to do something to bring us over. Also Korea could be possible this year to play there. That would be fantastic to make a real world tour.