Foto by Marion Schmid
Interviewed by: Denys Founder/Senior Staff writer for Myglobalmind Webzine
I’m gearing up today for a “one on one,” up close and personal Interview with rockstar Michael Bormann known as “one of the best vocalist’s of our times,” a prominent European record producer-engineer- songwriter and multi instrumentalist who has fronted and contributed his talents to more than 30 well-known albums apart from his very own successful solo albums. The fourth Michael Bormann solo album “Different,” was just released on November 19th 2010
worldwide in both hard copy CD and digital downloads at Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody to name a few stores and let me tell you folks this is one dynamite record produced by Michael Bormann that U.S. fans of Bon Jovi, Daughtry, Nickelback, Bryan Adams, Foreigner are running to the stores to buy. Bormann is currently in rehearsals for his upcoming Michael Bormann (2011) headliner tour in Europe that kicks off in Spain-Germany-Netherlands-Switzerland with more dates to be announced soon and busy recording other projects so I was lucky to catch up with him for a rare interview. Here we go….
Myglobalmind: Hi Michael so glad you could take the time to share some thoughts about your new solo record Michael Bormann “Different!” How did you come up with the title Different?
I must admit you are crossing over into various popular musical genre’s which is fabulous, each track is great. There are many chart-toppers on this release that would be ideal for the American radio market! Give us your take on Different?
Michael: Hi Denys, It’s my pleasure.
It´s been different factors that led me to the title “different”. It´s really not precisely speaking for the music. Unfortunately, I went through a hard time for more than a year, some things just change in life. One thing different was the fact, that I didn’t record, produce in a blocked-out 6-8 week session. Second, I used a German song, 3rd the black and white artwork with only drawings, 4th I didn´t ask anyone for opinions whatsoever this time around. I had a vision pretty early, even though it took me about 1.5 years to finally accomplish my album in between other projects. In the end, the variety of the songs crossover into various popular genres. Many different things inspired me… ;). All in all I think it has everything a record should have. My decision to use so many “different styles” was the right move. And, I’m hearing that very often from music industry insiders and fans alike. I´m proud of it and that counts the most!
Myglobalmind: Did you actually perform everything by yourself in relation to all the instruments on Different ontop of all vocals? Any special guest musicians on a few tracks?
Michael: I always play, perform most of the instruments myself. And it has always been like this. I´m pretty much a one man show since as far back as I can remember. And to be honest, it´s good that way handling all arrangements on my own! But, like on the other records I had Andreas Rippelmeier“ on several guitars and leadguitars, Lanvall on one leadguitar, Chris Ivo, Marco Grasshoff and Eric Ragno on some keyboards. Barish, my old JADED HEART-buddy co-wrote one song and played most of the guitars on it. That´s it. I am very grateful to have these great musicians on board.
MyGlobalmind: How are rehearsals going for your upcoming Michael Bormann (2011) Tour and which musicians are in the line up as your back-up band?
Michael: We rehearse every weekend for about one month now…. We´re slowly getting there ;-). It really takes time to become one as a band, no matter how great a musician is. I am very happy, that I decided to form a real band, not just a tourband. On top of that, I´m glad to have some great musicians on board. Andreas Rippelmeier on guitar has played with me for ages going way back in time. Chris Ivo was my keyboarder in the real Jaded Heart-band. Guido Gallus is a great drummer. It´s just the bassman, who´s still missing…..
Myglobalmind: For listeners and readers of our Webzine here in the USA and all over the world, can you tell them a little about yourself and what you do as a full time producer, singer, songwriter? What’s your daily life like these days from the time you get out of bed each morning as you head into your work schedule since you are known around the globe as one of the busiest guys in the music industry?
Michael: That is simple. Getting up, coffee, studio, hahahaha. For about 10 years, I was working like crazy. 24/7, 30 days a month never taking one single day off to relax. All business- with no down time whatsoever, before I went to the studio, or after…..14-16 hour work days were normal routine within my daily life. But right now, after a burn out from working so much, I tend to take it easier. Although, I have spent my “vacations for many years” on Rhodes, Greece, singing night by night without a day off….. But I love my life 😉
Myglobalmind: For many people who cover the genre and fans you are simply known as a tremendous lead vocalist, but some may not yet know about your skilled songwriting and production abilities in the United States. How important are all those 6 assets to you as a talented singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer-engineer and mixer?
Pictures courtesy of Susanne Konrath.
Michael: Nowadays, playing all those roles together on my solo work makes me the unique person that I am. As far as songwriting, I write every style rock-pop-adult contemporary-modern country-metal etc. But to be honest, my vocal-abilities got me into this business. When I wasn´t singing on certain projects then, the songwriter, or producer roles kicked in, while at the sametime I still had that voice that people liked. I guess, my voice is my “very big asset,” if you don’t mind me saying so. 😉 I enjoy doing it all. Although, I would love to work with some of the bigtime producers-mixers stateside like David Kershenbaum, Richard Perry, David Foster to name a few along with others as I further advance my career into the United States market from my successful Europe history. My favorite styles of music to perform are ideal for the U.S. during these times… we’ll see what the future holds 😉 We are all optimistic….
Myglobalmind: On your extensive 30+ album releases under various known in the rock world, project names and solo CD’s that range in genre from rock-melodic rock-hard rock-modern rock-heavy metal-pop-modern adult contemporary and modern acoustic country rock what are your absolute favorite styles of music to sing and record?
Michael: I really prefer the softer music as a solo artist. Something you can perform with just an acoustic-guitar, or piano along the lines of Pop-Adult Contemporary crossover Modern Acoustic Country arrangements. The real stuff with longevity that is most popular with the masses worldwide. Too many bands are here one day and gone the next… but, I’ll always be a rocker at heart. 😉 On my new release “Different,” it’s all mixed rock-new rock-adult contemporary-modern acoustic country- pop with melodic rock. Moreso, the styles of Sony and Columbia Records artist’s is right up my alley for my own solo career leaning into pop-adult contemporary-crossover modern country to demonstrate that strong side of me these days with those specific genres heavy emphasis added. My U.S. representative Leslie Monet Management is really taking aim in that direction with my *new* release for major deals. I could easily produce a full solo CD in any direction that I want…however, pop/adult contemporary is my favorite style…I’ve got at least (6) strong tracks in that vein on Michael Bormann- Different that is just now generating a buzz within the music industry in New York City after the new year since we’re back in biz after the holidays. We’ve got a lot of work to do yet for the final outcome in the states. These are exciting times….and, new beginnings…..
Myglobalmind: You are no stranger to success, and have been in the music industry since the early 80’s. Just as a prelude to some questions later on, how has the rock industry changed from then to now in your opinion? And lead us into what you are trying to accomplish as a crossover artist on your new record?
Michael: When I look back, I have a smile on my face with fond memories. Back then, we had hundreds of rock clubs, nothing anymore. You heard great rock music on the radio, on TV etc. This all is history. The heavily funded media/radio promotions of the major labels has been supporting a lot of pure crap these past 20-years or so and it gets worse. Any wonder why the music industry is facing record breaking losses just in part. Although, millions of people still love Rock´n´Roll immensely, when they hear it.
Me, I´m just a musician, who loves music keeping busy running my own successful label in relation to my own solo work and producing many other projects some that I front others not. I don´t try to accomplish something. It just all comes natural. I write great songs. Well, at least in my opinion. I write for myself, not for somebody. I just believe, only when I love my music, someone else will too. As a crossover artist, it was a logical move with “Different” for a real shot at possible mega funding for major radio/media promotional campaigns through a potential major label in the states as one of many goals. It’s ironic that I am a European artist yet best suited for the popular music of today that you are hearing on radio in the U.S. already confirmed by the top radio and media promoters in the states who are aboard with us while my Personal Manager Leslie Monet seeks out the mega funding deals so that everyone can rock with their important roles. You can’t get that type of major financial support unless you are crossing over into what is popular in the U.S. territory.
I’ve nailed it with my new release Different! Fan’s as with most others have no clue the millions of dollars that it takes to launch a crossover artist worldwide. I was pretty blown away and very proud to have recently learned that the Worlds # 1 Promotion Man “ Pete Bennett,” whom promotes all the big superstars believes in my crossover songs and is aboard with my manager apart of the team being put into place. He’s promoted all the greats The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Kid Rock, Aerosmith, Vince Gill, countless others… nothing but superstars past through present! So, that’s a huge compliment towards my “crossover musical works” on Different that he believes in me!
Interestingly, fans of Taylor Swift, The new Foreigner, The Scorpions, Bon Jovi are even purchasing Michael Bormann- Different at the U.S. digital download site Amazon.com … this “ Different,” baby crosses over no doubt… 😉
Myglobalmind: Let’s talk about your new album “Different”. You have really managed to hit a great balance of catchy more radio friendly material to the edgier rocker tunes that older fans like. Take us through the songwriting process on your new record? Which songs do you favor the most as possible singles for the U.S. radio market?
Pictures courtesy of Susanne Konrath.
Michael: Actually I wouldn´t dare to give a prediction. There´s a lotta hits on this album, but let´s not forget that a hit is nothing more than marketing. You can make gold out of a piece of shit (forgive me) if only the machinery is working meaning a huge fully funded promotional team. A good song helps though, haha. I never think about songwriting. It just flows outta me. Some of the songs on “Different” are 10 years old that are timeless hits. Some I wrote for other artists.
This time on “Different” I just threw all boundaries overboard. I should have done this years ago….. crossing over! Some of the strongest songs that have the real potential as radio chart-toppers for the U.S. market from a business point of view according to my management would be tracks like Life Is A Miracle, Think Twice, Somebody, Don’t You Tell Me, My Favorite Time, Wouldn’t Let You Down, Breathless etc but, my devoted fans truly enjoy every single song. The good news is that great rock appears to be making a comeback in the United States finally whereas, rock never died in Europe! It’s going to be interesting to see what the future brings…everyone is optimistic.
Myglobalmind: I’ve had the liberty and pleasure to listen to many artists this year, but few records have captured the moment so to speak than “Different”, I can’t stop playing it. One of the strong points on the record for me is the sound quality of each track as every track has something to offer that targets a much broader fan base. As we often know with artists who are in the limelight, they manage to throw out a couple of hit songs and the rest of the record is weak in comparison. What was the challenge behind creating a full powerful experience on each track as you have indeed accomplished with your new Michael Bormann- Different CD?
Michael: I didn’t really change anything production wise. The big difference is the variety of the songs that crossover into many genres. I always produce-engineer-mix song wise pretty much the same way. I think the different variations in song selection is appealing to a wider audience, creates a different sound, feel and emotion when people listen to all the tracks on Different. Guess that´s it. I have the same impression like you.
Too many artist’s just focus on 3, 4 great songs on a release, that´s it. On Michael Bormann- Different the whole album is loaded with great songs verses any filler songs. And, we´re talking about a lotta superstars here that might only have 1-2 hits on an entire album that makes fans feel ripped off when they go buy a CD. I always intend to write a good song. It´s always a 100% effort on my part I believe to produce great songs so the fans really dig the entire album as a whole picture.
Myglobalmind: I love the whole record from top to bottom as you probably could tell from my review, tracks like “To The Top”, “Think Twice” and “Breathless” are just marvelous!. Do you have any personal favorite songs on “Different” and where do you get your amazing inspiration from with the universal lyric’s?
Michael: I love the whole record. It´s strange, but I never listened to my previous CD’s as often as I do with my latest “Different”….haha. It feels like a best of MB to me 😉 Textual I just use myself. Most of the stories I lived thru and it´s pure me. I think it’s important to write something that people can relate to with positive lyric’s that uplift and move the listeners. I mean, who really needs fantasy-lyrics, or horror stories…..like a lot in hardrock and heavy metal….For me, it has to be kinda authentic, more or less. Life itself inspires me…
Myglobalmind: Some final thoughts on the new record “Different,” as I got the feeling in the writing and sound of a genuine whole hearted record, with an earnest and frank take on life and it’s many day to day experiences. I know it’s something that lacks here in the States for many of these mainstream bands writing music that anybody can relate to, and have a good time listening to. I feel that you accomplished this on your new record, any thoughts on that?
Michael: As I tried to explain earlier that fans need to be captured with a song that they can truly relate to from within their own life experiences. I mean every part of life, I believe. I’ve managed to accomplish that on Different. I´m one with myself. Whatever I do write, is pure Michael. I guess you can hear that. I´m just a happy camper living life being inspired 😉 Too many people try to be somebody else. Chasing the wrong dreams. Maybe that comes with age… But who am I to say 😉 haha… but, it’s great when I get feedback from my fans that they can relate to my songs that applies to their own life experiences that somehow touches their heart….
Myglobalmind: If I was to ask you what your formula to success is, what would you say?
Michael: The right people that play various important roles, machinery, marketing, mega funding behind you is key to success! Without that type of support nobody makes it into the bigtime! The best move I ever made was to release all my solo CD’s under my own successful label RMB Records since I have a heavy following after 20+-years in the business. But, it would be great to be picked up by a U.S. major to move millions of CD’s around the globe so that we can outsource to the top promoters within the music industry.
Myglobalmind: Speaking of success, how about your two previous solo CD’s Capture the Moment and Conspiracy a couple years ago making the cut onto the “highly impressive,” short list for the Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Male Solo Rock Vocal Performances and Best Male Solo Pop Vocal Performances as with accepted entries into other classifications not limited to Best Rock Album, Song Of The Year, Album of the Year to name a few. How cool was that for you as such an incredible artist? Explain where you were, how you learned of the good news and your feelings at the time? Will Michael Bormann “Different” be submitted into the 54th Grammy Awards for consideration?
Foto by Charles Mesaros
Michael: That was something, haha. I remember when Leslie Monet (my american manager) called me up, while I was producing. I really had a tear in my eye and butterflies in my stomach, hahaha.. I´m proud to be mentioned on the Grammy short-list’s with big named artist’s that are larger than life. Let´s see, what happens with “Michael Bormann- Different” for the 54th Grammy Awards. Thumbs up 😉
Myglobalmind: I know you have been known to spend a lot of time in the studio as a full time record producer-engineer-recording artist but when you have some down time what do you do for fun and where do you take your vacations? Any plans to visit the United States?
Michael: Vacations???? Hahaha….I spend my time with friends and family as often as I can. When I can, I enjoy a great movie. Actually, we plan to come to the U.S. this year 2011. We´re talking about a little roundtrip vacation in between my Europe tour dates, but nothing settled yet. It would be nice to go yachting in the tropic’s…. 😉 before I resume the 2nd half of my tour.
Myglobalmind: You have mounted a great following in Europe and other parts of the world with your solo material, how great have the fans been when you hit the road touring?
Michael: I must admit, that I was fed up touring after the split from JH, 2004 after fifteen years as the founding member. So, I finally started touring again last year to support my previous solo release “Capture the Moment,” for the 1st time after 5 years being abstinent with the exception of studio work that keeps me very busy annually. It was great, the headliner Capture the Moment Tour! Here in Germany I´m quite known and it makes sense to tour. Not really outside of Germany….
It´s one or two gigs here and there in other European countries. But still great 😉 We´re speaking about venues up to 1000 people on weekends to allow me to still produce projects in the studio weekdays. Unfortunately, I had to turn down some of the larger Europe rock festivals 100,000+ due to my booked production schedule. You would not believe, HOW much I´m (we are) looking forward to the tour in 2011!!! We’re gonna kick some major ass 😉 The fans have been totally awesome during the last tour… 😉 It’s pretty cool because many of the fans will show up at “every single show” wherever I tour driving long distances rain, snow or shine… 😉
Myglobalmind: I know the touring has been assembled for parts of Europe where you have had a long time heavy fans base in support of your new CD “Michael Bormann- Different”, how about touring in the USA is that in the works?
Michael: As soon as I get the chance…..I´d love to. We´re working very hard on it, but it´s complicated. To bring a whole band over costs a fortune. Without having a big name in the states just yet it´s like everywhere in the world, you have to pay to play ;). This is not an option (anymore!) If I get the support from a major concert promoter stateside for a concert tour as support act to a bigger name well then of course…anything is possible… all of the big tour promoters will be taking a listen to my new output Different.
That alone is a good thing… at least the door is open for consideration. For now, my following is heavier in Europe based on CD sales where I am established as an artist but we feel confident that a U.S. tour is apart of my future… we shall see how it all comes together…
Myglobalmind: Well Michael a pleasure for you to take the time to share some light on the new material and spend some time with us here at Myglobalmind. The famous last words are yours.
Michael: It was my great pleasure Denys. Thanx for your time. Fingers crossed, that I finally make it to the States. Time to rock the world!
And never forget. It´s only Rock´n´Roll
Pictures courtesy of Charles Mesaros, Susanne Konrath and Marion Schmid. Album cover sketch artist Leilla Carvalho.
Michael Bormann Websites:
Webzine Review for Michael Bormann – Different