German outfit SUBSIGNAL was at first a side project for Sieges Even members Arno Menses (vocals) and Markus Steffen (guitars), and was set up in 2007. The first creative output from this duo actually made it onto the Sieges Even album Paramount - a track called Eyes Wide Open.
In the summer of 2008 they left Sieges Even, and decided to turn this side project into a band, and with the addition of Ralf Schwager (bass), Roel van Helden (drums) and David Bertok (keyboards) a full line-up was in place.
I got in touch with the band's managment and Dr. Markus Steffen answered my questions.
You were members of
Sieges Even. Why did you set up Subsignal and why did you leave
Sieges Even ? How big step was it to leave the established Sieges
Even and strike out on your own ? Why did you choose that name and
which bands were you influenced by ?
was originally founded in 2007 as a side project of Arno and me. It
was intended to become a pool for songs that didn’t really fit in
SIEGES EVEN. Actually, ‘Eyes Wide Open’ from the 2007-Paramount
album was one of those tracks. Well, as you can see, this piece
actually made it onto a SIEGES album
After the Paramount tour Arno and I decided to leave SIEGES because
of ongoing personal issues with the Holzwarth brothers. It just
didn’t make any sense to continue. But it was quite obvious that
the time had come to turn SUBSIGNAL into a ‘real’ band. So we
were looking for the right people to form the right band. Of course,
this was a giant step for both Arno and me because SIEGES EVEN was on
a good was commercially at that time. But with the new guys (Ralf
Schwager, Roel van Helden and David Bertok) it just felt right and we
were willing to start all over again. The name is a technical audio
term and has no deeper meaning. We were looking for a band name that
was easier to remember and to spell than SIEGES EVEN
Our influences come from AOR music, progressive rock and also pop or
metal. Just too numerous to mention – we are simply open minded to
Over to your two
albums so far. Your debut album Beautiful & Monstrous was
released in 2009. Please tell us more about this album.
& Monstrous’ was of course a very important album for us. It
gained us the record deal and made people aware that Arno and I were
still active. By the time the whole line-up was completed, almost all
tracks were already written by Arno and me. So, the other guys didn’t
really have the opportunity to put their own stamp on the music. But
be it as it may, I am really proud of the album – there are some
tracks that still send shivers down my spine when I listen to them or
when we play those tunes live. By the way, the album was co-produced
by Kristian Kohlmannslehner who also worked with Arno and me during
The follow up album
Touchstones was released earlier this year. Please tell us more about
album was produced by Arno, David and me. Kristian Kohlmannslehner
again contributed on the technical side by recording drums and doing
the final mix. All other instruments were recorded in different
studios this time. I
think on ‘Touchstones’ each band member had more possibilities to
become more and more involved in the process of song writing and
arranging. If you for example listen to the drum arrangements of
Roel, you can hear that he is playing more outgoing than on the
debut. Same goes for the other instruments. And David has really
become an important factor for the band since is contributing a lot,
not only concerning writing lyrics and music but also in terms of
producing. So it was quite logical that he became a co-producer
(beside Arno and me). Speaking of the music, the songs sometimes hit
a heavier note without neglecting our what I call typical trademarks:
melody and emotion. I think the songs breathe more life.
For those of us
unfamiliar with your music; how what is the difference between Sieges
Even and your music and would you describe your music ?
EVEN was more focused on the technical aspect, SUBSIGNAL is focused
on the song itself. Don’t get me wrong: I am still proud of what we
did and achieved with SIEGES EVEN, but the constellation in SIEGES
was pretty unique I think and certainly not
something I wanted to repeat. As I said earlier, writing emotional,
melodic and yet energetic music is our goal with SUBSIGNAL. Of
course, the music is technical demanding as well, but all that stuff
that is going on is more hidden in the background.
What is your current
status and what is the plans for your band in the future ?
are quite happy at the moment since ‘Touchstones’ has hit the
German charts. This is something we never achieved with SIEGES EVEN,
so I think we are on the right way. We have already played some
headliner shows and festivals (like ProgPower Europe) in support of
the album. Currently, we are in the planning stages for the second
leg of the ‘Touchstones’ tour which will commence in April and
May next year. And yeah, there is Christmas festival coming up. So we
are quite busy. And we have already started writing for the next
wrap up this interview, is there anything you want
to add to this interview ?
thanks for the interview. If you haven’t heard the new album yet
give it a shot! Take care.
Thank you to Markus for this interview
Their PA profile is http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=4936" rel="nofollow - and their homepage is http://www.subsignalband.com" rel="nofollow -