2010 - Kiske / Somerville

2013-09-19 16:24
Release date: 
September 24th, 2010
Line up
Vocals: 
Michael Kiske
Vocals: 
Amanda Somerville
Guitars: 
Magnus Karlsson
Guitars: 
Sander Gommans
Lead guitar: 
Magnus Karlsson
Bass: 
Mat Sinner
Drums: 
Martin Schmidt
Keyboards: 
Magnus Karlsson
Keyboards: 
Jimmy Kresic
Track list

Information Kiske/Somerville

- Recorded & Mixed at Stuntguitar Studios, Audiospezialist Studios, Liquid Home Studio & Indiscreet Studios.
- Produced by Mat Sinner.
- Album mixed by Achim Koehler and Mat Sinner.
- Engineered by Magnus Karlsson, Martin Schmidt & Jimmy Kresic.
- Executive Producer: Serafino Perugino.
- Videoclip Director: Martin Mueller.

Kiske/Somerville album was released on September 24th via Frontiers Records in a CD+DVD format with the two videoclips and a making off included (October 12 in the USA).

To promote the album, Frontiers Records released the Silence Single in digital format on August 20th. The single can be purchased via i-Tunes, eMusic, Amazon, Spotify, Napster, Nokia and other fine digital shops.


Different editions

kiske somerville digipack albumkiske somerville japanese editionkiske somerville standard edition
 

The Japanese edition was released on 27 October via King Records and include an acoustic version of 'One Night Burning'. The "Icarus edition" is the edition released in Argentina, is not in digipack format.
 

Promotional stuff

Artwork

kiske somerville artwork cappoThe cover, artwork, booklet concept for this project was done by the German artist and designer Cappo of Cappovision.com. He did the CD and the digipack design.

He also did the cover for the Silence Single.
 

Photoshoot

The pics were taken by Eddy Bachmann who did the camera work in 'Silence' and 'If I Had A Wish' videoclips, and were taken in the same place where they filmed the videoclips.

Videoclips

On Sunday (March, 29th) and Monday (March, 30th) have been shot two videoclips for the new project in Nuremberg, Germany with the presence of both vocalists Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville, the bassist and the main composer Mat Sinner, the guitarist Sander Gommans, the drummer Ramy Ali and Jimmy Kresic. The song "Silence" is the first video clip. The second is for the track "If I Had A Wish". The clips were directed by Martin Mueller of RCN TV who previously helmed U.D.O.'s "Black and White" and "Mean Streets" and Gotthard's "The Call" videos. Camera work by Eddy Bachmann and assistants - Armin, Ferdy & Tina.

Mat Sinner about the videoclip shooting : "The first video clip is for ther song and first single of the album, 'Silence', and was shot at the Opera House. The second video clip was shot for the song 'If I Had A Wish' in an old and closed public bath. Hard job for all of us, but we had a fantastic time!"
 

michael kiske somerville shooting videoclipsThe journalist Carl Begai of Bravewords.com was in the video clip shooting of 'If I Had A Wish', and he wrote a nice review titled: "Wishful Synching: Move, Don’t Freeze!" of that shoot-session on his own blog. 

Carl commented: "The shoot takes place in an old public swimming facility with three separate Olympic-sized pools. A protected historical monument in Nuremberg, Germany that plays on the idea of a Roman bath house. Hasn’t been used in at least 15 years, the pool areas are creepy as fuck, especially without water in ‘em. A splatter movie director’s dream. I would NOT want to be in this place with the lights off.

I discover that Kiske is not as anti-metal as everyone thinks, he’s simply pro-music. Has plenty of cool things to say about Kai Hansen and Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), and is interested in hearing HELLOWEEN’s new horns-n-blues version of 'Dr. Stein'. Not because he wants to hear them fail, but because he thinks it’s a cool idea."
 

Also about the videoclips Amanda Somerville published a videoblog on her Youtube Channel about the recording of video clips 'Silence' and 'If I Had A Wish'.

Amanda commented a few months later about this videoblog: "Those videos I record are really candid. I'm just shoving my camera in people's faces at random intervals and so when you see Michael's face when I explain that it's the first time we've met face-to-face after working together on earlier occasions, he looks a bit confused, when I said that you can see it in his face where he's thinking... huh?That's because he never realized that it was me who sang the Silver Maiden demo for him, for example, or that I was also part of Avantasia, so that was all news to him! And it's great that I got that initial surprised reaction on camera".

Michael Kiske about the videoblog: "Amanda was doing a video diary and she was saying "Finally I meet Michael, we've worked together before on two projects but we never met personally, this is the first time and I'm a really excited" and I'm thinking "Two times?" I just didn't have that Aina project in my head. And here's the funny thing. There's one track on Aina called 'Silver Maiden' that they wanted me to sing on and they sent me a sort of demo version, but it was far too good for a demo, and there was a female voice on it. When I heard that voice I said to Sascha "I don't wanna sing it, that girl sounds perfect, I couldn't do any better", and he said "I want you, the record company want you to do it" but I thought her version was better. It turned out that was actually her (Amanda) and I didn't know that until I came back from the video shoot and looked at the cover and it said Amanda Somerville on it, writing lyrics, writing some music and stuff. Luckily they used her version as a bonus track later on on the record".
 

Release parties

kiske somerville release partyUnderdawg Promotion arranged the following club parties in Germany to celebrate the release of the self-titled Kiske/Somerville album.

Release parties dates, September 2010:

23 - Ochsenfurt, Germany - Postkeller
23 - Ludenscheid, Germnay - Alte Druckerei
24 - Uster, Switzerland - RockCity
24 - Ludwigsburg, Germany - Rock Fabrik (Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville will make a special personal appearance at this party)
25 - Darmstadt, Germany - Steinbruch Theater

The site Tvroxx.de filmed a report in the Ludwigsburg party where Amanda Somerville and Michael Kiske had to make that special appearance. You can see a few videoclips in their website about the party, the Kiske/Somerville official videoclips and also an exclusive interview with Amanda Somerville.

Finally Michael could not go because he has a domestic accident a few days before Ludwigsburg party.

He recorded a little video to Youtube Channel of RockFabrik where he said: "I had an accident at home, my leg is burned by hot water, when I was trying to do tea, check the pic. I would love to go to the release party in Ludwigsburg but I can't walk or even put the foot in a shoe. I had already booked the flight and the hotel, but the travel is not possible. The release party will take place as planned without me, but Amanda will be there, so please, you should be nice to Amanda and have fun, even when I will not be there. Thanks"

Promotional visit to France

After being released the Silence Single and just before the full-lenght release date, Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville traveled to Paris, France, it was exactly on September 11th, to make promotional interviews. They also did some interviews later in Germany together, some were filmed and released as video interviews.

The interviews in Paris were set for 30 minutes for each media. A lot of work for one day, they did interviews for magazines, webzines and some radio programs. You can see some examples: La Grosse Radio.com, Lesacteursdelombre.net, auxportesdumetal.com, etc... You can see a video interview on the right part by Morow.com.

History behind

In early 2009, Serafino Perugino (Frontiers Records owner) contacted with Michael Kiske to know if he would be interested in a whole album of duets with a female singer. Serafino used as example the previous collaboration Kiske did in Indigo Dying where he sang a duet with Gisa Vatchy. Kiske said he would do obviously if he would like the songs so Serafino contacted with Mat Sinner who was the person charged to develop the project. Mat Sinner started to work and compose music with Magnus Karlsson and Jimmy Kresic.

Searching female vocalist

michael kiske amanda somervilleThere were at least 4 female vocalist on the table for being Kiske partner on this project. The first option was not supported for Serafino because he wanted a famous singer, to make a project interesting like Allen - Lande, from both vocalists sides, but it was supported by Michael. He wanted his ex-girlfriend Corinna Wolke. Kiske commented about it: "He offered me to make a duet album with a famous female vocalist. But I want to sing with my ex-girlfriend if this album finally is done. She can sing very well, and she would give a close feeling. Frontiers ideas are very funny."

The second option was a real big name but until now we really don't know who was. Probably Floor (After Forever), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation, Avantasia) or Simone (Epica), but not sure, that option didn't worked because the other guys in the band of this singer didn't want her making projects. Probably only Serafino knows because Kiske forgot the name, he said: "The label wanted someone known from hardrock and metal scene but that woman is in a band and the band didn't want her doing something outside the band, which is understandable. Amanda was one of about three options, I think she was the second choice. But to know who was the first option you should ask Serafino, I forgot who was. I don't know... but I think she was in a Gothic band."

Another option on the table was the Norwegian vocalist Issa Oversveen. Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus) who is related with Frontiers Records label told Issa, that the Italian label was searching a female vocalist for a duet-project so she sent to Frontiers some demos. Issa got a deal with the label but finally was not part of this project. Issa commented: "I knew the band Circus Maximus and Michael loved my voice, he told me Frontiers was searching for a girl to make a duet with Michael Kiske, so I recorded some demos, and Michael told Frontiers to check me out. They got some demos of me and from that they wanted to do a record with me."

Finally the fourth option, (I guess, she was the "real" second option) was Amanda Somerville who said yes. Amanda commented: "When Mat Sinner asked me if I wanted to be the 'other half' of the face of the album, I was very honored and quite looking forward to working more closely with Michael Kiske after a long time of kind of indirectly working with him on projects like Aina and Avantasia, so I was thrilled!"

Recording and composition process

Also Amanda asked to Mat if she could write a few songs and he said yes, so she started to work together with Sander Gommans in his Eternia studio, they composed four songs and three ended in the album. When Mat, Magnus, Jimmy, Amanda and Sander finished the composition process Mat and Kiske picked 12 songs to record. Mat said: "I wrote 14 tracks together with Magnus Karlsson for this project and four songs in the more orchestral and epic direction with Jimmy Kresic. Then Amanda and Sander Gommans wrote three more songs with a little different vibe and these songs gave a little extra to the overall concept. Finally Michael and me chosen 12 songs to record".

One month before release the full-lenght album, the label Frontiers Records decided to make a digital release, it was Silence Single which was supported with the release online of videoclip. The album was very well received and some people started to request a tour or at least a few dates but in that moment Unisonic was already composing new songs after being touring in Masters Of Rock Festival and Sweden Rock. It was also some kind of misunderstanding with Mat Sinner during the videoclip shooting because Mat asked to Kiske about to make something for Rock Meets Classic but Kiske didn't realize he was asking for a confirmation in that moment, he thought it was an idea for the future. And also Kiske and Amanda will take part in a few months in Avantasia tour.

So I guess to finish this history is better to say, and the story will continue in a few years...

 

Comment of Musicians

Michael Kiske: Amanda is so good, that I very often thought, she should really sing it all... I wouldn't mind to step down and give her MUCH more parts to sing, because she really is coming across strong. Love her voice! So I am happy we do this duet... I have no doubts that this will be a killer-album especially because of her.

Amanda Somerville commented about Kiske: We'd both been involved in various projects over the years together, such as Aina and Avantasia, but it was always through third parties and we didn't sing together like we do here. It's not for nothing that Michael's a legend in the scene. He's got a very unique voice, a special delivery of his performance and is a wonderful person on top of it all. This has been a great experience all across the board!

 

Kiske/Somerville Press ratings

Webzine - Radio - Magazine Rating 0/10
Truenometallico.com 10
Dangerdog.com 9,75
Femmemetal.net 9
Ytsejam.com 9
Lordofmetal.nl 8,7
Powermetal.de 8,5
Hardrockhaven.net 8,5
Metal-archives.com 8,4
Stormbringer.com 8
Foreverock.com 8
Sorroweternal.com 8
Chambersofrock 8
Seaoftranquility.org 8
Metal-invader.com 8
Musicaheavy.org 7,75
TheMetalcircus.com 7,5
Powermetal.cl 7,5
Heavyparadise.com 7,5
Metalrage.com 7,5
MetalHammer 7,2
Metal-temple.com 7
Myglobalmind 7
Metalchroniques.fr 6,5
Musikreviews.de 6
Mswings.com 6
Mayfair Mallzine.com Album of the year
Polvora.com.mx Tip
RockReport.be Tip
Uberrock.co.uk Tip
Metalunderground Tip

 

Rumours

kiske somerville tourGossip: Michael Kiske will make a tour or a few shows in 2013 playing stuff of Kiske/Somerville duet album.

They had the option to have done a few shows but Michael didn't come back touring yet in that moment (early 2010), so he prefered to wait for Unisonic dates. Michael had an offer from Mat Sinner to make it but it didn't happen. Kiske explained why here: "Unfortunately I had some sort of misunderstanding with Mat, we kinda talked about a different thing. He was doing this classic meets rock thing, I don't know how often they've done it, but it's a band and a big orchestra at the back and they have some pretty big people there. Next time in January Ian Gillan will be there and on the last tour they had Lou Gramm and Mat asked me when we did the video shoot if I would be interested in being part of it. By that time I had not been on any stage in nearly seventeen years, so I said that I'd really like to do the Unisonic festival shows first to get a feel again, you know? But after I'd done them and loved them I thought we would still have time because after the video shoot we met for promotion and we had that exact questions from interviewers about playing live and we said you have to sell a few copies to have anyone interested in making a tour so we'll wait and see what the record does, if it does well we will be touring. I thought he was talking about this classic meets rock thing but it was already decided, he'd needed my confirmation a lot earlier and I didn't know that, I thought we would still have time. So I would be ready for it but unfortunately everything is set now. It was kind of sad because he wanted me to be a part of it and I would have loved to have presented this kind of thing. I mean can you imagine with the big orchestra presenting this? Maybe next time."

In another interview Michael said: "In this moment there are not plans to play live but is true Amanda's manager so as mine already received some offers, there was interest of some promotors of Italy, Germany and France. If we would do something like that it's needed to have a good band with us and also a nice organization. Both are busy now so to have a good organization is fundamental."

 

- There was a rumour which said Amanda Somerville was not the first choice to be the female singer to this project. The first choice was Sharon Den Adel.

As usually happens with rumours there is something true. Is true Amanda was not the first choice but I have not clue about who was the first option. Because in all interviews with Kiske, Amanda and Mat about that topic they never answered that question, they said the information but without names.

The first option was not supported for Serafino because he wanted a famous singer, to make a project interesting but it was supported by Michael. He wanted his ex-girlfriend Corinna Wolke. Kiske commented about it: "He offered me to make a duet album with a famous female vocalist. But I want to sing with my ex-girlfriend if this album finally is done. She can sing very well, and she would give a close feeling. Frontiers ideas are very funny."

The second option was a real big name but until now we really don't know who was. Probably Floor (After Forever), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation, Avantasia) or Simone Simons (Epica), but not sure, that option didn't worked because the other guys in the band of this singer didn't want her making projects. Probably only Serafino knows because Kiske forgot the name, he said: "The label wanted someone known from hardrock and metal scene but that woman is in a band and the band didn't want her doing something outside the band, which is understandable. Amanda was one of about three options, I think she was the second choice. But to know who was the first option you should ask Serafino, I forgot who was. I don't know... but I think she was in a Gothic band. But I'm very happy that it ended up with Amanda because we just mesh very nicely. Not only vocally wise but also personally, it was a great atmosphere, we like each other very much and that is like a beautiful kind of closing for this project that we like each other, it could have been worse you know?"

Kiske Issa OversveenAnother option on the table was the Norwegian vocalist Issa Oversveen. Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus) who is related with Frontiers Records label told Issa, that the Italian label was searching a female vocalist for a duet-project so she sent to Frontiers some demos. Issa got a deal with the label but finally was not part of this project. Issa commented: "I knew the band Circus Maximus and Michael loved my voice, he told me Frontiers was searching for a girl to make a duet with Michael Kiske, so I recorded some demos, and Michael told Frontiers to check me out. They got some demos of me and from that they wanted to do a record with me."

So, the first part of the rumour is true but the part about Sharon Den Adel... I have not clue about it, but probably I know the same who created that rumour. According Mat and Kiske, somebody in her band didn't want her doin' stuff outside the band but Sharon already did a lot of collaborations before 2009 like Ayreon, Avantasia, Tolkki's Hymn To Life, etc... and after 2009 she was guest in Oomph!, Ruud Jolie, Agua de Annique... so it has not sense, but who knows. Anyway there is only one way to know who was the first option...

 

Curiosities

- Did you know Amanda Somerville did a concert playing some tracks of Kiske/Somerville project?

sirens of metal 2 amanda somervilleThe show was on August 13th, 2010. Amanda Somerville headlined the festival Sirens Of Metal II at Blondies in Detroit, Michigan, USA  where she played with the following bands: Publik Parking, Maxine Petrucci, DesDemon and Kobra and the Lotus.

The line-up of Amanda Somerville band was Paulo (Miles Beyond) on guitar, David Teggerdine on guitar, Mark Burnash (ex-Crop Circle) on bass, Scott Fisher (Crop Circle) on drums. Ashley Peacock (The Times) did a guest appearance on vocals, and Sander Gommands (ex-After Forever, HDK, Kiske/Somerville) did a guest appearance on guitar playing a few tracks.

Amanda Somerville accompanied of Sander Gommans and guest vocalist Ashley Peacock (doin' of "Kiske") played, for the first time live, two songs of Kiske/Somerville album, the songs were 'Set Afire' and 'A Thousand Suns'.

 

You can see the fan footage of Amanda Somerville band playing 'A Thousand Suns' with Ashley Peacock playing the Kiske's role.

Amanda's set-List was:

01. Carnival
02. Set Afire (Kiske/Somerville)
03. Delilah
04. Mayday
05. Get Me
06. Bad Girl
07. A Thousand Suns (Kiske/Somerville)
08. Terrorist
09. Go
10. Out
11. Inner Whore

 

Catalog numbers
FormatCat.NumberLabel
European editionFR CD 479Frontiers Records
Japanese editionKICP-1495King Records
Argentinian editionICARUS 676Icarus Records