Traveller in Time wrote:
Hansi even says that everyone can bring ideas, but they don't force anyone to do so.
Here's something from me strongly opinionated as usual that someone can see as a rant...but oh well, not going to swallow it
It's hard to bring your own ideas when there's someone that usually comes up with whole records, especially when it's someone so picky that goes on to record 17 guitar tracks on a single song when even the producer tells him it's overkill.
This is band management 101.
You clearly have an alpha dog that is marking the territory all over the place.
Which for the other band mates becomes something complex to deal with.
It subconsciously ranges from the
A- my stuff is not good enough for the band standard
B- my stuff doesn't sound like the band usual sound
C- since I feel bad when my stuff is pushed back, there's no reason I should work my ass to come up with ideas
D- who knows where mr x wants to go this time with the sound
E- a mix of the above
At the same time the alpha dog can think
A- it's better than I write everything since other guys don't have the right writing skills
B- I forged the band sound and know what it must sound like
C- damn I would like some help, the others are parasites in my band
D- we must renew ourselves and I have the idea where we must go
E- a mix of the above
From my personal band experiences, way back in the past, I realized I totally behaved like the alpha dog case E and only after years from the disbanding I realized to think that I had been "choking" my band mates creativity bringing full songs and having an idea on how they had to sound and at the same time complaining that no one helped.
The point is that writing a full record only by yourself blows your ego to the stars...
Anyway, this is not something you can solve around a table, whatever the mood of the chat is, neither if you're willing to listen nor if you rant.
Usually everyone has the best interests of the band in mind.
Even the ones who don't write songs can think: "the band has worked until now because dude x has undeniable writing skills, it's BETTER TO LEAVE THINGS AS THEY ARE"
This is what happens daily on 95% of bands of any nationality, genre and level of fame.
You don't have to trust me, but just read band biography, talk with friends who play in a band, read between the lines in interviews.
I bring up this because I think that more or less every guy in BG has something cool to offer to the songwriting.
Marcus has proven himself many times to write excellent stuff, Thomen wrote great stuff (in and out BG), Frederik is said to have helped a great deal with Holy Grail so he can "potentially" write good stuff.
Mind you I said potentially because one song is not enough in my book, and it's not because we're talking about Frederik.
Going back and forth with the discussion, I briefly mentioned Thomen.
Because Thomen openly said that he wrote 3 songs after ANATO which sounded very Imagination-era stuff and didn't presented them to Hansi and André because he said he knew that they would have told him: "cool but we did that stuff 10 years ago", so those became Savage Circus material, then Thomen left and blah blah blah...history.
Writing stuff that resembles BG is not an easy task, if you want my opinion as musician; you can pretty much clone Helloween, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray...but BG, as well as Rage are quite hard to clone.
This to mean that Thomen's work although derivative (but written originally for the main band!) was no easy task.
Now we have Marcus and Frederik (that both play in Sinbreed) in the backseats.
The Holy Grail is a great song, Doom is a wonderful song that imho was "criminally" relegated to B-Side/bonus track/whatever and not even given the orchestra/choir treatment the rest of the record got.
I'm not pointing that they could leave
I'm pointing that André and Hansi should better realize the valuable assets they have in the band and how precious they are.
I really think at this point a good breath of fresh air could be for the band go back to "school times" writing the record with studio jam sessions like young kids do rather than going to reharsals with stuff already done, which is pretty fatiguing, but could be very rewarding considering the skills of the people involved.
It's true that BG renewed their sound with loads of elements, but also left stuff behind...
- Some of the medieval vibe
- The acoustic guitars breaks inside the songs
- Loads of speed (even if it's something I'm not worrying about or think is so important in BG sound)
- The dark choruses of ATITM (I like them)
- The twin guitar interludes
Stuff that can be still in new records together with the new elements without the fear to sound old, but enriching the sound even more, and Doom is an excellent example and I also want to point out that it has the best bass guitar lines of BTRM and also the very varied and nice drum sections from Frederik.
I do really think BG should go back to write as a band.