Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, in 1965 by my very musically inclined parents, I knew by age 6 that drums would beTHE instrument to play for me. Attempts to convince me to learn flute or guitar went absolutely nowhere. Not having a kit at home, the down comforters on my bed had to do. Ruining one by beating on it with sticks (made from branches) for a year didn't earn me a drum set, just a new blanket. Great!
I bought my first set at age 17, and although it was a piece of crap, (don't ask me for a brand name - I think it was just glued together) it was a wonderful start into the music world. I soon replaced this "thing" with my first real brandspanking new Yamaha 7000 kit: a 7-piece beauty made of 5 mahagony toms, snare and single kick! It was a great kit that made it through a lot of shows and studio sessions, including the Tinman 6 song Demo CD "Beast".
In 1990 I went to Los Angeles to study at the Musician's Institute, PIT. It was one of the best things I have done in my life; I grew as a musician in so many ways, and gained knowledge that I could have never obtained by myself. After studying with some incredible teachers, (Casey Scheuerell, Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey) I graduated in 1991 and moved to San Francisco.
There I first met Andy Zamenes who was about to get his project "Tinman" off the ground We soon recorded the 6 song Demo CD "Beast". At the same time, I started another project with John Buckle and his band Dreamland. I brought over Steve Kolokithas who played with Tinman as well. Andy decided to take Tinman in another direction and Steve and I continued with Dreamland. Doug Amey joined us on bass and we were complete. Doug, who had arrived from the New Jersey coast, had been playing with Billy Babjak (brother of Smithereens Guitarist Jim Babjak) in the Nines, and was ready for another project and more shows!
I had just bought my newest drum kit: a Premier Signia - also a 7-piece, a wonderful set which has a beautiful and explosive sound. Phat! :) We recorded the self-titled Dreamland CD with that at Gregg Schnitzer's studio in Petaluma, CA. I don't think I ever played through that much Tequila and second hand herbal smoke in my life! It turned out to be a great CD.
With Dreamland we played San Francisco, Las Vegas and lots of venues in between, yet Steve, Doug and myself wanted to start something on our own, rather than other people's projects. Nothing wrong with that, we had a lot of fun and enjoyed it - we just had some ideas of our own and wanted to realize them. I had just met singer Dave Wipert who was also interested in doing original material rather than cover songs. Together we formed Chromata in late 1999.
Steve went nuts, bought himself a Roland VS2480, a 24-Track digital recording studio, mics and 2 (Two!!) Paul Reed Smith guitars. Dave acquired the necessary singing equipment, I bought mics for the drums, cables, plus a snake, and we were set to open up Chromata Studios! Besides recording our own CD, Doug had started playing again with Billy, and they also wanted to get their original material recorded and were looking for a drummer. I basically forced myself on them without missing a beat. Maybe Billy was concerned that I wouldn't hit the cymbals hard enough! Screw you Billy! :)
Over the next 3 years we recorded whenever we could, wrote songs, performed, tried out the songs, and finally had the Chromata CD done in early 2004. Stoned Romeos CD was still in full swing and was completed in early 2005, soon to be released.
Another project that ran parallel was 4 Less One. This project was put together with friends from Germany that I have known since the first grade: Stefan Wittke (git and voc), Dirk Kludass (git) and Tobias K. (bass). I had not yet played in a project with them when we decided to put together this long distance project to record songs we had written in the early 80's. Stefan and Dirk flew out to California, and without any rehearsals, we started recording the drums at the Chromata Studios. Everything else was recorded in Los Angeles with keyboarder par excellence/engineer Nate Tschetter at Glue the Moose studios.
I moved back to Hamburg in June of 2004, and together with Dirk and Stefan, we mixed and mastered the 4 Less One CD at Punkt Musik in Trelde with engineer Mike Vogel. 4 Less One
At the same time while finishing up 4LessOne, Stefan, Dirk and I started a new project here in Hamburg called Breysn We recorded a great 6-song demo in early 2006 in just 2 days, (including the mix and mastering!) again at Mike Vogel's Studio, Punkt Musik. Lead vocals are done by my wife Alexandra Cornelisen, Frank Lisker played his beautiful Rickenbacker Bass. And the way things go sometimes in the music world, this band unfortunately broke up in mid 2007.
Since I can't keep my hands and feet still for long, I joined 2 more bands which are also well worth hearing. 805, my "all time first" band, a solid down-to-earth Rock band, is just pure adrenaline. With long time friends Mike Spengler on lead guitars, Ulli Grave on rhythm guitars, stuntman/frontman (serious!!) extraordinaire Ronnie Paul who has a lot of American in him, and Tommy Seidenkranz on bass, it is pure joy to play with. Just like when we started 20 years ago. Check us out at www.805-rocks.de.
My biggest project at the moment is Nine-T-Nine. This is a great band of excellent musicians who not only write great material but also revel in putting on great shows. This band does not fit in your ordinary small club. With 2 guitar towers, a mountain of keyboards, bass, lead and backup vocals, this band needs some serious space. Our sound is just as big. In 2007, we're booked to play all over northern Germany; Berlin, Plattenburg, Bremen, Fehmarn, and at the largest event in Hamburg, the Harbor Birthday bash, which is an event where half the city shows up and parties for almost a week straight. Every year this is a huge happening. If you are into West-Coast Mainstream Rock, you definitely want to see this band perform. Check out the website for more details." www.nine-t-nine.com
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