Friday, December 28, 2007

My personal hitlist 2007

Usually at this time of the year you can see polls everywhere, so I decided to also list my faves of 2007. Of course this only reflects my personal taste, so feel free to disagree :-)


1: Dimmu Borgir - In Sorte Diaboli
2: Alter Bridge - Blackbird
3: Amorphis - Silent Waters
4: Heaven & Hell - Live at the Radio City Music Hall
5: Dethklok - The Dethalbum


1: Pirates of the Caribbean III
2: 300
3: Transformers
4: Metalocalypse Season One
5: The Fountain


1: Steve Niles - 30 Days of Night
2: Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys
3: Henning Mankell - The Dogs of Riga
4: Frank Miller - Dark Knight Returns
5: PC Games - World of Warcraft Specials


1: Heaven & Hell (Loud Park)
2: Orphaned Land (ProgPower)
3: Dimmu Borgir (Cologne)
4: Iced Earth (Cologne)
5: Amorphis (Wacken)

Most heard Album in 2007: System of a Down - Mesmerize

Fave Songtitle: Panic at the Disco - There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet ( I DEFINITELY have to see this band live one day, first of all I like them and I want to find out how their fans are screaming for that song live...)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My amps and my rack

After all the updates about my guitars we now come to the other side of my equipment, my amps and my rack. As you can see I am using a rather simple setup, I don't like those huge racks with tons of effects, first of all I don't need them and if one thing gets damaged in such a big system you will have a lot of fun finding the problem, specially if this happens during a show.
The core of my system is a Mesa Boogie Tripple Rectifier, the original two channel version, in my opinion those originals sound better than the new 3 channel versions. I am using a Sennheiser G2 Wireless System for my guitar that leads the signal straight into my main amp, there are no additional effects between my guitars and the amp. For my main rhythm sound I don't use any effects, only when it comes to my clean and some lead sounds I am using a Rocktron Intellifex to get some chorus, reverb and delay. I am also using the Rocktrons Hush system to prevent humming or any other noise. To control the whole setup I use a Rocktron Midimate footcontroller and everything is connected to a Furman Powerconditioner to make sure that everything always gets the right amount of power, concerning cabinets I am using two Mesa Boogie Rectocabs. As a backup system I am either using a second Rectifier head, or as you can see on the picture, my Mesa Boogie Rectifier Recording Preamp. The big advantage of this preamp is the fact that it has recording outpts that sound extremely good, so I can plug it straight into the mixing console and still get my sound, which is very handy when we are are flying and therefor can't take all of our equipment with us. For this backup system I also have a Rocktron Xpression to get my clean and lead sounds, so like this I have two completely independent systems, in case the main one freaks during a show I can switch to the second system within a few seconds. This is all I need to get my sounds and I was using this setup during the whole tour. The only changes were made towards the end of the tour when I replaced the Recording Preamp with a Mesa Boogie Triaxis Preamp and I added a Mesa Boogie 2:90 Poweramp, the Triaxis is extremely versatile and in the moment I am thinking about making this one my main amp, but well, since we won't be touring anytime soon I have enough time to think about this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Les Paul Standard Premium Plus II

Now that we are done with touring I decided to finally finish this little report about my equipment, so here is another Les Paul of mine, again a Les Paul Standard Premium Plus, this time in wine red. It is pretty much the same guitar as my other Standard Premium Plus, this one is equiped with the original Gibson Burstbuckers though and sounds incredibly good. Getting this guitar was perfect for two reasons, first of all it is an awesome guitar that immediately made it into my personal top 3 of guitars, and the second reason is that now I don't have to wonder anymore if I should take the EMG 81 pickups out of the other Standard Premium Plus to replace them again with the Burstbuckers, with those two guitars I can have both variations :-) (Pic taken by Nina Voronova)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The end of the tour

Are those 18 months really gone? Somehow it feels as we played the first warm up show last week, and on the other hand it also feels like Wacken for example has been years ago already, somehow I always lose my track of time on the road. But one thing I know for sure, it has been an awesome time, a great tour and I want to thank everybody involved for making it happen. A big thank you goes to our crew, who always did their best to make every show work, and a very special thanks to all of you of course, our fans, without you all this would not have been possible. See you again on the next tour!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


We just finished the soundcheck for the show in Krefeld, so far everything worked perfectly fine and we are ready for the final show of this tour. In my opinion the setlist is perfect for a show like this, but of course I won't tell you anything about this now, it would spoil the surprise ;-) It will be a very special evening for us and a worthy final gig, so see you all in about 4 hours.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

30 days of night

I just came back from the cinema where I watched the premiere of 30 days of night, one of my fave graphic novels, but unfortunately the movie is disappointing. Obviously Hollywood discovered that a lot of money can be made with movies based on graphic novels, but why the hell are they not able to stay loyal to the original stories, why do they always have to change things in the movies? Since Steve Niles was involved in the making of the movie and also Sam Raimi already proved that he knows what he is doing, I had really high expectations, but well, now I will do what you should do too, I will re-read the graphic novel and forget about the movie.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost done...

After having a great time in South Afrika and Japan (and after being fed up with intercontinental flights) we returned to Germany and played the Nuclear Blast aniversary Festival last weekend. I enjoyed it a lot, but for me the highlight of the day was the "Nuclear Blast All Star Jam" which I took part in. The idea was to have musicians from different bands jamming on some cover songs and I was supposed to play the Trooper, together with members of Rage, Edguy and Subway to Sally. The funny part of this whole thing was that we never rehearsed this song a single time, we didn't even do a real soundcheck, and on top of all this I was not able to use my in ear monitoring system for this session, but in the end it was a lot of fun, slightly chaotic, but definitely fun. Now there is only one more show to go, the "End of Tour" show here in Krefeld in about 10 days, and even though in my opinion playing live is the best thing about being a musician, I have to say I am looking forward to getting a break, after almost 18 months on the road it will be very nice to stay home for a while. But before this break starts it will be very special for us to play the last show of this world tour here in our hometown, so see you guys there next week.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Concert season continues

After having some more fun at gigs that I went to as a fan (Orphaned Land at the Prog Power festival and Iced Earth at Cologne) the time has come to play some shows again. Yesterday we arrived at Pretoria/South Africa, we already did soundcheck last night and now we can't wait to play the show today, it is the very first time for BG to play a show here in South Africa and we are so curious to see how it will be, we only expect the best. See you at the show tonight.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What is your price?

Something I never really understood is this reunion-mania that is going on since some years. A million bands reunite, play at Wacken to record a live cd or dvd, only to break up again 2 months later, does this really make sense? Kiss are on a reunion tour since the middle of the 90's, even though Ace and Peter already left the band again years ago and, while Black Sabbath finally are touring in their best lineup ever as Heaven & Hell, Sharon anounces that next year there will be another reunion album with Ozzy on vocals... Another nice example is Immortal, they are on their big reunion tour after not having released an album for 4 years... lol, 4 years? Reminds me a lot of Blind Guardian, are we constantly doing one reunion after the other without knowing it? But all this is not limited to metal bands of course, Genesis went on tour again with Phil Collins, The Police are on the road and plan a new album and even the Spice Girls plan their come back (lol) and the big driving force behind all of this is money of course. But it seems that not everybody is for sale in this business, a few weeks ago David Gilmour was asked to launch a Pink Floyd reunion and, to make this a bit more tasty for him, he was offered 125 million (!!!) pounds... and now guess what happened... While most people would even join the Spice Girls for this amount of money, he refused, saying he already has enough money and prefers his life without Pink Floyd. I really respect this guy for his decision, even though I hope he will change his mind one day since Pink Floyd is one of my very fave bands and I never had the chance to see them live, but well...we will see.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Impressions from a gig

After being on the road myself for quite some time I finally went to a gig again last night and watched Dimmu Borgir in Cologne, it was a tripple package with Dimmu Borgir headlining and Amon Amarth and a band called Engel opening up. I have to say that I don't know anything about Engel, besides what the singer let us know... "We are not fucking Hatesphere, we are not from fucking Norway, we are Engel from Gothenburg and we have T-Shirts"... well, good to know... It was my first time watching Amon Amarth besides some short impressions on festivals and I really liked the band a lot, they played some cool songs, but since In Sorte Diaboli is one of my fave albums of this year so far they couldn't compete with Dimmu Borgir, at least not for me. The band played a killer show with a great mix of old and new songs and now I can't wait to go to more gigs again, it is nice to not be on stage for a change :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Stupidity in perfection...

Over the last couple of years I saw many very stupid things happening in the music industry, and whenever I thought it can't get any worse I was proven wrong and somebody came up with another "brilliant" idea. The newest revolutionary develpoment still took me completely by surprise now and I still wonder who the hell had this creative idea... So far chart entries in Germany (as well as anywhere else on this planet) depended on album sales, so if a band sold many albums in one week it would have a high entry, less album sales meant a lower entry, but all this is history now since Media Control just "modernized" this old fashioned chart system for Germany. From now on it doesn't matter anymore how many albums you sell, now it only matters how much money you make with your sales, so if two albums sell the same amount of copies in a week, the one that was sold for a higher price will get the higher chart entry... You don't have to be a big prophet to see what this will trigger, forget about special offers or good prices for new albums, most record companies will raise the prices to get higher chart entries and then they will wonder why people still go for illegal downloads... I am really curious to see what they will come up with next...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

No updates today

No updates today, there is a birthday to be celebrated...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Metalocalypse is near...

Have you ever heard of the band Dethklok? They are the biggest, baddest and most famous heavy metal band in the world and soon they will take over world domination :-) If you don't know them yet, check them out at this link, I am sure you will love them.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pics by Nina Voronova

Some days ago I got some pictures taken by Russian photographer Nina Voronova that really impressed me big time. She gave me her ok to use those pics for this blog so I wanted to share some with you, you can check out more of her pictures at

Monday, August 20, 2007

Metal Heart

I'm back from Norway again, even though we had some techincal problems on stage during our show at the Metal Heart Festival we really enjoyed our time. When I first saw the lineup for that festival I couldn't wait to go there cause some of my fave bands were on the bill but as usual the running order ruined this and bands like Nevermore, Dimmu Borgir and Testament didn't play on our day, too bad. At least I got to see Queensryche again and they played a killer set with tons of old songs, but it would really be nice if for the next festivals the promoters would let me decide about the running order :-)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Les Paul Studio III (Tronical)

Here is another guitar of mine, another Les Paul Studio in black. For a change, the special thing about this guitar is not the pickups (it has the original 498T / 490R combination), here it is the Tronical Powertune system. For those of you who don't know this system yet, it allows you to store 6 different tunings in your guitar and to get the guitar in tune in the desired tuning within about 2 seconds! All you have to do for this is to pull up the special poti to activate the whole thing, set it to the desired tuning, push a button, strum the strings once and after 2 seconds the guitar is in tune. You don't believe that this works? I thought the same, but trust me, it works perfectly. If you want to read more about this powertune system you can find a link to the Tronical webpage in the linksection under my endorsers. (Pic taken by David Siepen)

Friday, August 10, 2007


Today I had the smart idea to mention this blog on the BG-forum so people that don't search the net all day long get to know about it, but I found out that it was already discovered by some guys and there was already a discussion going on about it. So instead of posting the link I just posted a short comment for somebody that had the thought to be all knowing and took care of my Pro Tools instead. The bad thing about Pro Tools is that I keep forgeting how to use it properly after not working with it for some time, but since by now I know how to use my new handy I guess I can replace the phone's manual with the one from Pro Tools...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lessons in Blues

Did you know that everything in todays music is based on the blues? Just listen to the tonality... very B.B.Kingish, very soulful, very beautiful... lol Check that link and learn from the best.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Les Paul Studio II

Here is another newbie in my collection, a satin black Les Paul Studio. No, this time I didn´t mess around with the pickups, it already came with EMG´s, an EMG 81 and an EMG 85 to be precise, it is part of a new line of guitars launched by Gibson, strictly limited to 400 pieces worldwide and it sounds really great. In contrast to normal Studios it also has a white binding on the neck which looks awesome in connection with the satin black finish and the black hardware. (Pic taken by Michael Schüren)


Here is the newest piece of my collection, a Gibson J45. It just arrived in time before Wacken and will replace my old Ovation from now on. It does not only have a great tone, it also brings a lot of fun and chaos into touring since it managed to confuse my guitar tech completely. By the time I arrived for soundcheck in Wacken, Danny already took the guitar apart completely, checking the built in preamp and all cables because he was convinced that something was broken since he didn´t get any signal from the guitar... Well, he couldn´t find any mistakes or damages in the setup, but he learned the very valuable lesson that if you turn the volume control clockwise the guitar will be muted, and if you turn it in the opposite direction everything works perfectly fine :-)
(Pic taken by Frederik Ehmke)

Back from Wacken

I am back from Wacken and I had a great time there. I saw some of my fave bands live, as usual I also missed some of the bands that I originally wanted to see but I guess this is the eternal curse of big festivals with several stages and bands playing at the same time. At least from Friday on it stopped raining, in contrast to 2002 I even made it home without getting stuck in the typical Wacken traffic jam so everything went perfectly smooth for me and I am looking forward to our next time in the full metal village.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Les Paul Standard Limited Edition

The next one on the list is another Les Paul Standard, this time a Limited Edition in coral reef blue. For this guitar I managed to behave again and didn´t mess around with the pickups, it still has the original Gibson Burstbuckers and sounds awesome like this. (Pic taken by Nina Voronova)

Les Paul Standard Premium Plus

The first guitar that I got after becoming a Gibson endorser was this Les Paul Standard Premium Plus. I had never played a Standard before, I only used my Customs and my Studio so far, so I wanted to try something different now and this one immediately blew me away completely and became my main guitar, along with my original Custom. Again I played around a bit with different pickups and ended up using EMG 81 pickups again, even though the original Busrtbucker pickus sound incredibly good too, maybe I will switch back to them one day. In my humble opinion the most beautiful guitar on this planet. (Pic taken by Nina Voronova)

Les Paul Studio I

Do you know those moments when you see something and you just HAVE to have it? This is exactly what happened to me when I saw this red Les Paul Studio. I found it in a Guitar Center somewhere in the middle of the Nightfall tour and I immediately fell in love with it. Playing it a bit in the shop made this feeling even stronger so I just had to buy it. This time I didn´t change anything about the guitar, it still has the original Gibson 498T / 490R pickups and it rocks big time. (Pic taken by Hans Martin Issler)

Les Paul Custom II

My second Gibson also turned out to be a black Les Paul Custom, basically the very same model as my first one. This guitar was owned by a good friend of mine and luckily this friend fell in love with one of my old ESP guitars, so when one day he asked me if I would be interested in just trading one guitar for the other I immediately agreed and both uf us are very happy since that day. Originally this Les Paul was equiped with the original Gibson 498T / 490R pickups, but since I always liked to experiment a bit with pickups I changed them to the Gibson 500T / 496R set, aside from this there were no other changes. (Pic taken by Hans Martin Issler)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Les Paul Custom I

Ok, here we go with guitar number one, my first Les Paul Custom. I always wanted to have this guitar, I always loved the way it looks and sounded, so in 1997 I finally decided to get one myself, and this started my addiction to Les Pauls right away. Even though this guitar was "just" a regular model straight out of the shop without any custom modifications for me, it immediately became my favourite and main guitar, it was (and still is) just the perfect guitar in my opinion. The only detail that I changed was replacing the original pickups with two EMG 81 pickups, besides this it is exactly as I bought it back then, all the details can be seen on the Gibson homepage. (Pic taken by Hans Martin Issler)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The beginning...

Am I really doing this???... Well, yes, I think I am, after thinking about this for I don´t know how many years I finally decided to start up my own homepage, well, my own blog in this case. I am not really sure myself what I will post here, for sure I will give some information about my equipment since many people ask about it (and I have already seen many people spreading false information about my stuff), there will be some pics, links and... well, we will see. Just keep checking this blog and you will find out about what I will do with it yourself. But ok, instead of babbling nonsense here I will keep experimenting with this blog so hopefully soon the first serious postings will follow...