2006 - Kiske
Information about Kiske (2006)
- Recorded, produced and mixed by Michael Kiske in Studio 29, except the slide-guitar in the song 'Truly' was done at Sandro Giampietro's Studio.
- Mastered by Giampietro in the Auetalstudios.
- Artwork by Carl André Beckston.
Edition 1: Standard CD edition; contains 11 tracks in a digipack format.
Edition 2: Japanese CD edition; contains 11 tracks and the exclusive bonus track 'Mary In The Morning', also a little booklet with the translation to Japanese of some lyrics and the Obi.
Edition 3: Taiwanese CD edition; contains 11 tracks and also the bonus 'Mary In The Morning'.
Edition 4: Press promotional CD; contains 11 tracks of standard edition.
Kiske: "On this album I play the acoustic guitar, the rhythm guitar and the keyboards. I know the drummer Karsten since I have 15 years old, he always wanted to play in one of my albums so I decided to give him the possibility in this album and he did a great job. Sandro the guitarist who did all guitar solos is one of my best friends, his work on this album is a great income. I know Fontaine, the bassist, since 2 years, I knew him when he was recording stuff of other artist in my own studio, I like him as person that's why he joined in the project."
- Hanmari Spiegel: Violine.
- George Spiegel: Trombone in "Truly".
- Corinna Wolke: Harmony Voice on tracks 5 & 9.
- Martin Tingvall: Piano in "Painted".
The arwork was done by the Swedish artist Carl-André Beckston (Monowasp). He is the same who did the design for Place Vendôme covers and later the Kiske's Past in Different Ways solo album and he use to work for/with bands of Frontiers Records label among others. He also have a gallery a webshop where you can buy prints of his artwork in various sizes. Andre's gallery can be accessed at this location.
Michael Kiske said about this cover design: "The person who did the cover design was C.A. Beckston, who does artwork for Frontiers-Records, too. He also did the Place Vendôme cover, I liked a lot so I asked him to do mine as well."
Carl-André Beckston commented in an interview for fanclub: "This was one of the two first ideas he did send to me, and it fits the mood of the album perfectly. When I was thinking of artwork, I always saw blue and white, so I was inpressed when he came up with this image. It stands for death and resurection in my eyes, like the album does for me."
Michael is very easy to work with since he tells what he likes and doesn't like. He listens to my ideas and comments them very directly, and that is because he has good eye for art. Many musicians only have an ear for music, but I feel Kiske has both. It is an honour for me to do artwork that will represent music that will live on long after I am gone. Working on any Kiske album is something I am very proud of."
During my time in Michael Kiske official fanclub, I had a very good relationship with Carl-André, he sent to me (to use in the fanclub) stuff like the picture you can see on the left - which is inside the booklet of Kiske CD - before the album was released.
Just before than the album was released, he also did those two top-banners for the website (check the pictures on the left again), which are awesome and I was using them during a few weeks/months.
Before the release of Kiske's Past In Different Ways album, André found time to make an interview for fanclub and he said: "The voice of Kiske inspired me immediately the first time I heard him on the "Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I" – album. Only used to American and Swedish singers before, his voice blew me away. There was so much sensitivity in that voice, so much maturity and poetry that I have followed his career ever since."
The promotional pictures to be used in magazine, webzines, etc... for this release were made by the profesional photographer Gela Megrelidze (www.gelucka.com).
The History Behind
After the SupaRed attempt of create a new band, and return to perform live, Michael came back to the old idea of working as solo musician and try to built a new fan base with people who support his new style a kind of singer-songwriter type. During those years 2003-2004, Michael also had to fix another big problem, he developed a serious problem in his stomach and finally at the beginning of 2005 he had to be operated on. This is the statement published about it: "Kiske went to the hospital several weeks ago to finally get rid of the stomach problems that have plagued him for quite some time. The operation went smoothly and Michael is said to be totally fine again."
During 2005, Michael was writting new stuff in that new style and meanwhile he accepted to make a AOR project managed by the Frontiers Records owner Serafino Perugino, it was Place Vendôme. Since the project was acclaimed by fans, more or less by media and it worked pretty well talking about sales, the label offered a deal to Kiske for releasing the next two solo records. Kiske said: "It's an excellent option after the successful cooperation and experience with the label during the Place Vendome project." And Serafino said about Kiske: "Michael is a great singer, he does good music and his records sell good. Also I think he is a very interesting person under a human point of view and working with him has been so far nothing but a pleasure. You can definitely expect more music from him in the coming years on Frontiers!"
Already with a new deal, Kiske continued working in the album and when he got enough stuff to record, he asked for help to some friends like the guitarist Sandro Giampietro who played the guitar solos, his school-mate Karsten Nagel - with who previously work in Ill Prophecy - to play the drums and an American bassist; Fontaine Burnett who met at the end of 2004 when the Italian artist Yari Carrisi did a few recordings in Kiske's home studio. He also got the collaboration of some guys of the band Mubuntu!; Hanmarie Spiegel and Hans-Georg Spiegel (sister and brother of drummer Jürgen Spiegel) to play the violin and trombone respectively and also Martin Tingvall to play some parts of piano.
Among with another twelve songs, he decided to record the Elvis song 'Mary In The Morning' for release as Japanese bonus track. And at the same time he recorded another three tunes; 'Truly', 'Sacred Grounds' and 'Can't Tell' because the label Frontiers Record wanted to release at the same time the first solo album Instant Clarity as reissue with those bonus. But at the last moment before the delivery of the master tapes Michael decided to change 'Truly' which finally ends in Kiske album instead 'I Don't Deserve Love' which ended in Instant Clarity Reissue. He explained: "The song 'Truly' fits better on the new album more than 'I Don't Deserve Love', which does not mean that the song is worse."
Michael was thinking on using a different name to release the album, as a new start, but he didn't find a good name until a fan suggested him to use simply Kiske instead Michael Kiske. He commented that: "When it came to this record, I didn’t really like the names of the ones I had in mind. A Swedish girl suggested to me that I should simply call the album by my name, because it sounds perfect." So, under a name name he released his fourth solo album (counting SupaRed as the third). The album was received well for his fans and fair by press. There were two kinds of reviews, the positives where the reviewer gave his opinion about the album with the knowledge of being listening a rock-pop album of a musicians who wanted to make songs of that style and he evaluated the album like that, and the negative reviews which are making with "genious arguments" like: "I don't like it because is not metal" or my favourite: "...it's a album full of ballads..." which shares his deep unknowledge of music, for some people if it sounds acoustic or with a slower tempo it has to be a ballad by force, but million light years away of reality the only ballad in the album is the amazing Elvis cover-song 'Mary In The Morning'.
I also want to comment an anecdote about the promotion, Frontiers sent CD promos to a lot of places, magazines, webzines, radios as usually do but focused to the same media which could be with a release of Place Vendôme or any other hard rock/metal album. They didn't try to built a new fans base out that scene which at the end was probably a mistake because Kiske asked for help of fans to request songs for the new album at radio stations, and we (the fanclub) did a huge list of radios of all the planet where you can request songs and asked for the fans to send emails and requests but I received about 200 replies of radios with a kind of "Sorry we don't have that album, please request another song..."
Song by song
'Fed By Stones':
"We have a German philosopher who died about the 1900s, Nietzche, who actually brought up that line, 'God is dead.' Every Christian knows that God was dead, but he resurrected in Christ. It is true — God is dead. He is dead in us, in the human race, he died. The line 'God is dead,' is just what people say, how people act ... for a lot of people, God is dead. He isn't dead, but it's something that our materialistic times are preaching, that God is dead, good is bad, you know? Don't look for anything besides things you can touch, things you can see, just this materialistic religion that pretty much everyone is living in, even if they call themselves Christians. I think it is the essence of how people think in a certain way. If you listen to the whole lyrics, you will see that is not something I think, but it's something I am describing as a fact as it is today."
'King Of It All':
"About 'King Of It All' is instead focused on the anguish they face all those Christians who want to become a born again."
'Sing My Song':
"This was the song that started it all. It has that Beatles, Robbie Williams feeling. It would be a good song also for Instant Clarity."
"The arrangement of 'Painted' for example, is quite complex, but not the way I was used previously, that is, with so many parts put together, and then totally different mix them together (as you can hear on 'Do I Remember A Life?', for example). Now everything is much more organic, and this would make it seem less complicated, that's all."
'Mary In The Morning':
"The Japanese bonus 'Mary In The Morning' is one of my all-time favorite Elvis songs. I love the latter era of the King...68-71, especially 69-71! It was the rebirth period for him and he returned with an explosion of energy. I used to warm up my voice with this song during the Helloween days."
Kiske selftitled Press ratings
|Webzine - Radio - Magazine||Rating 0/10|
- Why did he choose the name "Kiske" instead "Michael Kiske" like the two first solo albums?
Kiske: "I am always thinking of names. When it came to this record, I didn’t really like the names of the ones I had in mind. Now, that I think about it, I didn’t like Supared either. A Swedish girl suggested to me that I should simply call the album by my name, because it sounds perfect. Another interesting thing about my name is that if you check the German phone book, only my number exists under the ‘Kiske’ name. It is a rare name and its origins are rooted in the Eastern Europe, possibly Russia."
- 'Mary In the Morning' was the choosen song of Elvis because...
Kiske: "'Mary In The Morning' is one of my all-time favorite Elvis songs. I love the latter era of the King 68-71, especially 69-71! It was the rebirth period for him and he returned with an explosion of energy. I used to warm up my voice with this song during the Helloween days."
- Kiske thought in playing those stuff live?
Kiske: "I would love to play live again if I could maybe support a bigger act that makes music that could fit my new style too. I would maybe just play with my accoustic guitar together with Sandro and his Fender. But it has got to be the right band or artist to support. I don't know if Serafino (Frontiers' president) is willing to put some money into that type of promotion. But I really do need to reach new audiences somehow. Fans could maybe also consider to ask radio-stations to play my new record."
He also comment in another interview: "I would love to do a thing! I should you play somewhere, the ideal thing would be maybe to act as support for bands like Toto or something similar, so you can listen to my music to different audiences and more diverse. I asked Serafino about this but he said that he doesn't plans to invest more money in this type of promotion. This means that only a miracle could make me sell some 'record! I really need to do some acoustic shows sooner or later, or at least to pass some of my pieces on the radio."