1999 - Readiness To Sacrifice
Readiness To Sacrifice Information
- Produced by Michael Kiske.
- Mixed by Michael Kiske and Charlie Bauerfeind.
- Orchestration arranged and composed by Michael Kiske.
- Japan Release Date: 07.04.1999 (Discontinued)
- European Release: 2001 (Sanctuary) (Discontinued)
Different editions of RTS
1. Japanese CD edition: Released in 1999, contains 10 tracks. It contains 22 pages with the lyrics, information, plus the inlay, the lyrics are incomplete. There are only two shorts paragraphs or one long. There is also a quote from Richard Wagner: An die Fürsten, 1849. (To the princess, 1849) "When priests and monks teached us once: Life would be vain mist, when they kept us away from joy and lust of human bright vividly art..." Also there is an extra booklet with the translation to Japanese made by Marie Nishimori of lyrics taken from the main booklet (so there are pieces), a few words of Kiske talking about all tracks and the translation to Japanese of Richard Wagner's quote.
2. European CD edition: Edited in 2001, booklet of 1-page, also contains 10 tracks.
3. Indonesia Cassette edition: contains 10 tracks, released in 1999 in Indonesia and some Asian countries.
Musicians on Readiness To Sacrifice
- Kay Rudi Wolke: Drums on tracks 3,6.
- Jurgen Spiegel: Drums on all other tracks.
Kiske about musicians of this album: "My girlfriend's brother was the drummer who played all the drums on Instant Clarity and only managed to play a couple tracks on my new album because he did not have the feel this time so I had to use another guy. Then the guy I used afterwards who you see on the album Jurgen Spiegel is a professional drummer in Hamburg and he really studied the stuff. He had not heard any of the stuff then listened to it for 3 days and recorded the stuff in 3 days which was kind of cool. Kai Hansen knew Ciricao Taraxes and that is how I got to meet him and Ciriaco knew Jurgen Spiegel."
- Guests: Ralli played guitar on 'Watch Your Blue', flute by Norbert Krietemeyer. And Strings played by The Bremer Weser Quartett: Annika Wahlström (violin), Paul Wicke (violin), Andreas Bartsch (viola) and Daniel Munk (cello).
The artwork was made by Michael Kiske himself.
Michael Kiske: "Well I just was fooling around with a 3D graphic program like 1 1/2 years ago and I am very into that stuff. So when I thought about the cover for my next album I was basically taking pictures from TV and using them. The basic idea of the cover is... that in this music industry nowadays you must be really willing to keep your soul and stay morally a right person. You will have to be willing to sacrifice on the financial side, publicity side and stuff like that. When you as a musician sell records everybody is happy, the record company is happy and you make your money and so on. If you can do this and continue to make honest music and still sell records then you will be one of the most happy people on the planet. If you do not sell with the music you want to do, you still should do it. You cannot bow in front of the market, it is just morally wrong. You should not start to make fake records for the sake of the market and most bands get in the situation that they will have to compromise or to sell less records and go through difficult times.
Music is part of my life and the lyrics and artwork and everything I express has to do with my life. In music if you want to stay real and you want to stay free you have to be able to accept that there might be difficult times coming where you wont sell shit anymore. There is the real one which is hidden in most of us and there is this kind of reflection of this little dwarf that is walking around and is scared of everything and only wants money and is happy when he has a good movie or something like this. Its this low person and it is in every human being and in each person there is this spiritual part that has to get born. This is connected with everything you do and with music, i think true music is this mission to make this real human being grow and be alive! This does not work when you are just after the money to put in your pockets. The thing is that the music has to reach the hearts of the people and not so much the money they use to buy it. That is what the cover symbolizes and everything I just explained is in there a little bit."
The secret artwork
Michael Kiske commented to the Japanese Burrn magazine about a different cover artwork which was not released: "There is a different artwork that I wanted to use for this album cover. I made it earlier and it was better. I think this (chosen) artwork is also good, but the other one contains a vision which has not been musically expressed yet. I can’t use it because I have not musically reached that point. Of course I hope to get there someday. So, RTS is a step between two steps, or a preparation to go one step forward. I may be able to reach this point with the next album, hopefully."
The pics and the promo images contained in the booklet and another promotional stuff were taken by Corinna Wolke and Michael Kiske in a park from Hamburg.
Meanwhile, the new promotional pictures used to promote the release of the European edition in 2001 were taken by the photographer of Hamburg Rainer Drechsler (Fotex.de) the same who made it for Instant Clarity photo session in '96.
'History Behind' Readiness To Sacrifice
Just after beeing released Instant Clarity album Michael began to work on it writing new songs: "I don't want to make a tour, at least during a long time. I'm in a full creative explosion, I'm writing new songs, I have a lot ideas coming up of my head, and tours block creativity. I never was the typical musician who write songs in hotel rooms, I need now focus all my efforts to channel my ideas and give them form."
During two years, Michael was searching his own sound/music and style far of the Helloween influences you can hear on some tracks of Instant Clarity album. A music more rock based with symphonic/classical influences. He also was focus in another things like philosophy, religion, writting treatises and a book edited only in German language "Kunst Und Materialismus" (Art and materialism).
At the end of 1998, with mainly all songs composed, Kiske begin to record the album in his own studio "Studio 29" with the help of the same musicians than the first album Ciriaco Taraxes (guitarist), Jens Mencl (bassist) and Kay Rudi Wolke (drummer) who couldn't finish the recordings and Jürgen Spiegel (drummer) replaced him in this project.
At the beginning the album was only released in Japan but two years later when he got a deal with Noise (Sanctuary Group) to release the SupaRed album, and Readiness To Sacrifice the album was released in Europe. The sales of the first edition were not good and Kiske commented: "I will try to release my music on CDs for as long as I can, but I may not be able to do it for a long time anymore, because I simply don‘t sell enough. Look at Japan! They don‘t buy R.T.S. because it is softer than the last one, and different. That‘s pretty much all that the press over there is realizing. They don‘t care about the spirit or quality of the songs: it‘s pretty much just the hardness they care about. How childish!" A few months later he thought in using more guitars and more like a band: "My new album is very different, very personal. The next one will be different again. I want to make it more guitar and band based."
Since this moment Kiske started to think in creating a band. He said: "The Rock music needs a band to grow. When I was doing the solo records, I had a lot of stuff to sort out and find new definitions for myself. Rock music is not meant for solo artists. My future plans are to form a real band to work with, and make things a little more guitar based. But I'm looking for a deal in Europe, not deal no tours."
Song by Song by Kiske
01. 'Could Cry':
Kiske: "The younger I was say when I was around your age, everything was very clear!! I hate this!! I love that! And the older I get the less precise they get. When I write something I like it a lot better because it doesnt say everything too clear and it could mean a lot or mean nothing. Like the song Could Cry it makes no sense at all! hahahahaha The statement of that song is confusion! This song doesn't have meanings in lyrics. I came up with the music first, and it sounded cynic to me. It was experimental, a bit like The Beatles, so I could think of anything else but to put some nonsense lyrics."
02. 'Ban 'Em'
Kiske: "Very groovy song with country-touch verse and oriental chorus. There are terrible people in this world. They threaten and entrap other people by taking advantage of other people's situation or misusing an authority. This song tells you that we have to get rid of those people from our heart, and we should not sell out our soul, spirit and self-esteem for money."
03. 'Philistine City'
Kiske: "Slow, emotional, power-ballad like song. It expresses a kind of frustration. This title is a name of a city where morally-low people lives, where they are only interested in money and themselves. They don't approve the world they don't know, job they have never done, or anything they have never experienced, by claiming that it is wrong or it's not normal. They are narrow-minded, philistine, and cold-hearted. These days, you find those people in any cities."
Kiske: "Music is mostly written by Ciriaco (Taraxes) and lyric by myself. It's somewhat American sound. Some people think that they own the master key of life, and try to teach other people. But in reality, they are living in an imaginary world. Ciriaco had such an idea and I liked it too, so I wrote lyrics from the idea but in a very ambiguous way."
05. 'Where Wishes Fly'
Kiske: "Most of the idea came from Ciriaco. The lyrics are ambiguous. It can be about love or about any feelings. I think the sound is a bit like U2."
06. 'Watch Your Blue'
Kiske: "This song also criticises something, and I am included in the subject of criticism. I wrote about people who have terrible attitude toward other people in 'Philistine City', and this song tells that I also have such an aspect a bit and I wrote it in a cynical way. Musically, it is a southern rock sound with a chorus like Red Hot Chilli Peppers."
07. 'Out of Homes'
Kiske: "This is a pop song about a homeless person. The more he get used to his situation, his anger becomes less strong. At least, verse means something like that, though chorus tells somewhat opposite"
Kiske: "This is a song about the higher existence. Every religion has the name for it, and every civilization has the words to express it. I decided to call such existence as "It". Its presence let us move forward, and let us fight for morally good. Sound is British, like Britpop or Britrock."
Kiske: "This song tells how difficult it is to truly love someone, accept a pain, and something like that. Very classical and a little bit like a soundtrack."
Kiske: "Same as 'Easy'. This is about heaven. It questions people what they are living for. What people would do if what we believe as a base disappears? Superficial things like job or money would be gone easily. Then, what would people do? It also tells about spiritual image that people must have had millions of years before."
Curiosities of Readiness To Sacrifice
On the back cover, before the last two songs 'Easy' and 'Shadowfights', Kiske wrote an advice: "Turn your system loud here!".
He wrote it 'cause: "The whole CD is not very loud and those classical songs they start at a lower volume than the rest of the songs. It works best when loud!"
-The reason why the booklet doesn't contain complete lyrics
In the first edition, there is a part in Japanese language with comments of Kiske and he explained that doubt: "Recently I have become less and less like lyrics. When I started writing songs, my lyrics were very strict, and clear about what it criticizes and indicates, but gradually such lyrics became boring to me, and I stop writing very explicit lyrics so much anymore. I can't say that meaning of this lyric is this or that any more, as it can be interpreted to various meanings. I thought it is boring to put all lyrics, so I decided to put only a few interesting lines in the booklet."
- What about the quote of Richard Wagner which is included in the booklet: An die Fürsten, 1849. (To the princess, 1849) "When priests and monks teached us once: Life would be vain mist, when they kept us away from joy and lust of human bright vividly art..."
Kiske commented: "Nothing to do with lyrics, but I included this quotation because it speaks for my way of thinking toward music. Music used to be free and real, but nowadays it has been integrated into an industry of loose morals. So I wanted to say that let's go back to what it used to be for the future of music. I like his personality and attitude, as well as his music. That's why I put his words there."
- Readiness To Sacrifice album was planned to be a full symphonic album.
Possible. Michael said that after release Instant Clarity: "The next I want to do is an album with pieces of German history of classical music, Wagner mainly. Wagner was discredited for the apologia that nazis made from about him, but I'm not nazi and I will never be in my life. Wagner was a master of inmortal music, he deserves to be listened and understood with not prejudices."
He also commented about the symphonic songs on this album: Kiske: "I really liked Easy and Shadowfights on RTS. I hoped that you would end up doing an entire album of that kind of orchestral music. I’d love to do that, but I don’t wanna do with keyboards. When I did this I had some good new samples, which were kind of recorded sequences of orchestra. That was okay, because it was a new thing at that time, but if I would do something like this now, I’d really like to do it with an orchestra. And it’s quite expensive and it’s very very difficult to find a label these days to finance something like this. I would love to do something like this, but I will have to write a whole record like this and that would take quite a while and then you have to practice it with an orchestra and then you have to record it and this is very expensive. I doubt that this is ever gonna happen unless some success coming in."
- In this album will be guests as Brian May (Queen) but he hasn't time.
False. Kiske tried to get Brian May (Queen) on Instant Clarity album not in Readiness To Sacrifice. It was not planned with another guest only the usual friends and partners on this moment like Ciriaco Taraxes or Jens Mencl.
- Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) asked Kiske for this album because he was very interested to hear it.
True. Kiske said in '03 that about it: "The last time I talked with Bruce was in Hamburg in a Sanctuary Records party. It was more or less at the same time of the release of my second solo album Readiness To Sacrifice. We talked a little bit, and I remember him asking me about my solo album, he wanted to listen to it very early. And I was like WOW!, I mean Bruce is one of my idols..."