Making a Scene Presents Martina Doerner’s Interview with Andy Susemihl
Andy Susemihl has shared the stage with such rock icons as Ozzy Osbourne, Guns’n’Roses, Deep Purple and Lita Ford, produced and recorded over 20 albums and sold over 500.000 units to date. Now he has a new album out and I’m delighted that he took the time for this interview!
For the new album Andy Susemihl has again lined up a whole number of Substantial musician friends. Bass tracks for 4 songs were recorded by Peter Baltes (Accept), Francesco Jovino (U.D.O./Jorn) and Andre Labelle (Vinnie Vincent) also delivered some wonderful drum tracks. The live line up consisting of Andy Kemmer and Patrick “Paco” Müller on Bass and Harry Wester and Alex Menichini on Drums is on board again.
Hello Andy, thank you very much for taking the time for an interview!
M: You have been making music since you were 12, have you ever thought of doing something else or was it always a childhood dream to be on stage?
A: It was absolutely my dream ever since. There was actually no question that I would become a music artist, it was totally obvious for me. I remember my parents were trying to talk me out of it but somehow it was meant to be and I derived my steadfastness from that inner attitude.
M: You went to America a long time ago, where do you currently live? And where do you see the most glaring differences to the music business in Germany and the USA?
A: Right now I’m living in Germany. I actually did come back to Europe 10 years ago, I went back and forth but essentially I stayed here. Europe pretty much follows what’s happening in the U.S. so I see the differences mainly in the time delay. In my opinion there’s no direction anymore. I don’t listen to commercial radio because I simply can’t take it and the music has lost much of its soul. I won’t doubt that there are brilliant artists out there but you have to find them because they fall through the mainstream net.
M: Your career so far has been really impressive, when you see who you’ve already performed with, you ask yourself if there is anyone else with whom you would like to perform?
A: The developments of the last years brought very interesting details to the bright daylight and I see many of the artists I admired from a completely different perspective now. I like artists who have something to say. Attitude is defined as parroting the mainstream narrative these days. I like artists with a real attitude and I’d be open to perform with any such artist.
M: You are not really nailed down to one genre, whether dialect, metal or rock, there doesn’t seem to be anything that you don’t like, is there a certain genre that is most important to you?
A:I do like good music in general. If it’s good and if it resonates with you from a quality perspective then it’s ok. I like all kinds of music ranging from classical to metal. I wouldn’t doubt that there’s even good Rap out there. But the soulless pop music shells that you get force fed with through mainstream radio is simply an imposition to anyone with a little taste and intelligence left.
M: Your new album Alienation will be released shortly, it is now the 7th album with a lot of other great musicians, the Superfriends, tell us a little about the process, was it a constant harmony or was there ever stress? 🙂
A: Well, life is not always devoid of stress but as far as the recordings and the creation process went it was absolutely stress-free, because I’m composing all the songs here and send a basic layout to the guys to lay down their instrumental parts. We recorded Andre Labelle’s Drums at Bill Leverty’s Studio in Richmind, VA and Alex Menichini’s Drums at Red Studios Germany and I was present at those recordings which was a very relaxed and efficient time. All the other stuff was done over the internet. I then recorded my guitars and vocals here at my studio and mixed everything. Mastering was done by Matt Fleischmann over at Pro Suite Audio and he did a fantastic job, I think you can hear that. So all in all everything was in the flow and a great experience.
M: How do you come up with the lyrics of your songs? For me they all seem to have a relation to “real life” and I assume that what you sing about is important to you … and you don’t get that impression from every musician …
A: That’s absolutely right. My lyrics are driven by what’s going on in the world right now and it’s my take on all the insanity out there. Everything is turned upside down and inside out and I hope I can at least create some kind of normality for the listener while playing music.
M: An inevitable question that affects the past year. ..to what extent has Corona slowed you down in your work?
A: Well the corona show killed all my life shows but allowed me to write and record more music and above all reduce the speed of my life for the first time in decades. So as far as creativity goes I would say it has rather sped me up instead of slowing down. I did quite some producing for other acts last year and I finished 2 songs for a new album already.
A: Really, I don’t listen to music very much because there isn’t anything interesting out there right now, as far as I can tell. Usually good and inspiring music finds me and it always did but at the moment there’s nothing – it’s quite a phenomenon to me because that happens for the first time in my life.
M: Are there any plans for the time after Alienation, a new project or the next album?
A: Well, as I said I already have 2 new songs finished and I’m working on new ideas. You can’t push it since the real good ones just come to you when you least expect it. Other than that I’m working on the next album for David Reece and doing videos for the current release.
Thank you very much for this interview, good luck (and I have no doubt about that) with the new album and for all upcoming projects!
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