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An interview with Cornerstone | FESTIVALPHOTO

An interview with Cornerstone


Festivalphoto: For anyone who isn` t familiar with Cornerstone, can you tell us a bit about the band including where are you from and when you were formed?

Steve: we have begun to perform cover-Versions of REM, SOUL ASYLUM and THE CURE in the livingroom of Mike’s former girlfriend in 1997 (*laughs*) …that was it. After a time a friend of Mike – Markus Bousska – joined the group, he has played drums, so the band was born, we have started, to write own songs. At the beginning Mike was the leadsinger, but – let me say it this way - there are some things in the band, he can do better than singing…(*laughs*).

Michael: yeah, so a singer joined the band, we have changed the name to “Cornerstone” in 1999, and started to perform. After four years – members came and gone – I haven’t seen a sense anymore, to be in a band…but we had good luck, and the “reborn” Cornerstone has started their work in 2004 – and now we have an interview for an swedish mag, that’s really great! 2007 was a great year, 2008 and 2009 even better: we have signed a contract with an american label, we were on tour trough U.S.A., UK and Austria, and got some really positive response from the international press. This year we did another tour trough UK to promote our new album “Somewhere in America”, we did some gigs with NEW MODEL ARMY, DENNIS STRATTON (Iron Maiden) and others, so that’s cool (*haha, haha* -> should be a Beavis & Butthead laughing ;-)

Festivalphoto: Your new album - Somewhere in America (which got a 4/5 rating on has recently been released. Can you tell us a bit about the album and the songs on it?

Patricia: Thanks for this great review. With "Somewhere in America", we principially departed with big steps from our debut album "Head Over Heels". Our main goal was to play the music we like, to have fun and to stay true to our principles and so far, people` s reactions to the new songs were always positive. I guess that’s because of the different styles of music we experimented with (Ska, Punk, Pop, etc.). The songs are all very catchy, peculiar and designed after everybody´ s fancy. My absolute favorite is “Strut”, the last track of the album.

Steve: …this was the “official answer” :) The truth behind this is, that it was exhausting, devasting and very, very hard work to do! I love our producer Kristian Ignatov’s work, but for him it was an unmerciful challenge to work together with a band, that wanted to go eight different ways, but instead of preparing for the record, they went on tour for three years nonstop. We all did not know exactly, where we wanted to go. The songs were not finished on time and Kristian stood between the lines. I felt sorry for him. Anyhow, we made the best out of the situation and did this brilliant and homogeneous album. But in general you can say, it was a very difficult production…neverthelesse we are very proud of it, at the end :)

Festivalphoto: Where do you get the inspiration from for your songs/lyrics?

Michael: for “Somewhere in America” we’ve got our inspirations in particular from our 2009-USA Tour. Musically it went very, very well, no question, and we are looking forward to do another tour either in 2012 or in 2013, because people simply loved what we did. But behind the scenes…well, this was more a bit of a backstage-drama, but I’ll not go any further into this at that point. But it definitely gaves me material and stories for new songs - songs, which you may find on our new album “Somewhere in America” now. So you also found out now, how our new baby found his name :)

Festivalphoto: Who writes the songs in Cornerstone - is it a group process or are there one or two main songwriters?

Michael: Most of the time I came up with the lyrics and the chords, and then Steve and me worked on the song-details…Arrangements, Solos, etc. At the next step the rest of the gang joined, and we’ve worked out the tunes and finalized them. But let me tell you, that we have wrote some tunes as a group in the past…”Regret”, “Stefania” or “Better Than You”, which you can find on the “Head Over Heels” album. But to be honest, this was very hard work to do, and I really didn’t enjoyed it much. Beside the fact, that these efforts are very different from the rest of the album or from the Cornerstone-style in general.

Festivalphoto: You've got some tour dates later this year in Austria. Are there any plans for more tour dates now that the album has been released?

Patricia: I look forward to another England- Tour next year. Of course we are going to play concerts in Austria and Germany as well, but my personal dream is to perform –“Somewhere in America”- one day.

Michael: We’ll definitely come back to UK next year, principally we could repeat the whole 2011- Tour 1:1, because every venue wanted us again. We’ll do a lot of concerts in Austria, too, in the next weeks, and after that we’ll take two months off, to care a bit about our personal lifes, before we’ll forward touring in February. Then: let’s see. Offers for concerts and Festivals are always welcome, as long it will fit into our time-schedule.

Festivalphoto: What bands do you think have influenced your music?

Patricia: Since childhood, I listen to the leading female artists like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Beyonce, who are, in my opinion, the best singers in the world. They influenced me a lot. I try to learn from every artist, bring out the best of him/her or rather introduce it into my work.
Michael: hm, are we really in the same band? (*laughs*). I’d say, REM, Toto, Asia, Survivor, Alan Parsons Project, Journey. I definitely come from the AOR-side of the street.

Steve: Metallica, Guns’ Roses, Queen, Foo Fighters

Festivalphoto: When you buy an album do you prefer buying mp3 downloads or buying a CD ?

Patricia: It depends. If it´ s only one song I like to hear, I buy the download, but if it´ s an artist with many good songs, I personally prefer to buy their CD, because I like to read the booklet and it´ s nice to have something in your hand, not only on the player. (Besides, I still listen to my old cassette recorder too.)

Michael: definitely buying a CD. To enjoy listening to music, I must take the CD, take a look at the Booklet, the pics, etc. Surely, in case I only like one or two songs of an album, I’ll download it…legally! As a musician I know a bit about the fact , how expensive it is, to record and promote quality music. And to be honest…how much is 0.99 Bucks nowadays? A contribution, to keep good music alive! Man!! Go on amazon or iTunes and you may find, whatever you want with two mouseclicks …no searching around for hours in some obscure russian servers to save a few bucks and kill music instead ….(*laughs*)

Festivalphoto: What was the last album you purchased?

Patricia: Beyonce “ I am…World Tour”, plus DVD.

Michael: who’s this chicken beside me? I guess she should be in another band (*laughs*). My last album was Van Halen’s Greatest…stop, ticket back: I’m sure, I’ll be killed now…the last album was “Culture Club”, Best Of. YES, I also listen to this. But it’s very clever produced music!

Festivalphoto: Thanks for your time

Patricia: Thanks for having us and greetings from all members of Cornerstone!!!

Steve: Byebye^^

Michael: …and don’t forget to check out our new album “Somewhere in America”…it is available at amazon, iTunes, HMV, etc.

Writer: Anthony May
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