is a Superior interview (with Bernd Basmer) from December 1999
By John Vidiadakis
Superior is one of the unknown bands for many fans, so it would be really nice if you gave us the history of the band.
Superior was founded (as the band is now) in 1992. Shortly after that point of time we recorded the demo "Timeshift" and were playing a lot in the south west of Germany. In 94 plans became concrete to record our first CD and we started songwriting which took one year. In 1995 we went to studio to record "Behind". We released that album ourselves at first and had a look then if there would be a record label interested in our CD. In early 96 we signed a contract with Limb Schnoor (our publisher) who brought us deals with Noise Records and CNR Music. The deals with those record companies were signed in July/August 96 and the album was officially released by them in October that year. Shortly after the release we went on a Germany tour with Virgin Steele and Angra. After the 4th gig of that tour our keyboarder broke his hand and Andre Matos of Angra took his part in a few songs so that we could go on with the tour. When we were home again, we weren't able to do anything for half a year because Jan's hand didn't heal very fast. In spring of 97 we did a short acoustic tour in France and after that we started songwriting for the next album. In November 97 we did a bigger tour through France again with Vanden Plas. In Spring 98 it was studio time again. We recorded our second album "Younique" which was released in late August 98. We were promised to get a tour again but just nothing happened. So we didn't sell very much albums because there was almost no promotion for Younique. We played a few concerts in France again in January 99 (some of those shows were together with Angra and Stratovarius). In Spring 99 we did an acoustic tour in France again. Shortly after that we started to collect ideas again for the next album and right now we are in the song-writing process again for the next CD.
You began your route in 1992, and I would like you to remember the acceptance the "Timeshift" demo (great work for a demo) and your debut album "Behind" (1995) had faced. How would you describe your musical style back then?
It's always a little difficult for me to tell what our music style is like. (smiles) I'd say that our music has grown up a lot between the Timeshift demo and our first album. On Timeshift we did a more classical kind of Heavy Metal while on Behind we did more a kind of Progressive Metal music. I think that's what describes our music best.
"Younique" is the next step made last year. In which way is it different from the previous works of the band? Generally how would you describe your musical style in this album?
is much more open towards different musical styles. The album includes
even some jazz, blues and latin influences while the music is still
very heavy and melodic. Like I said earlier, it is quite hard to define
our style of music. Let's say it's heavy rock music with influences from
a lot of different music styles. (smiles)
Theater has indeed set a kind of standard for the prog metal scene. They
are high talented musicians and incredible song writers. A alot of bands
tried to copy them but I think that just no band can reach them anyway.
Their ability to combine complicated music parts with great singing lines
and songs is just a phenomen in itself. I think though, that Superior goes
different ways. We see more the song itself than playing solos and that
kind of stuff. On Younique for example you won't find many solos because
we don't think that they are necessary for our music. It's still interesting
enough without them. I don't want to say here of course that the music
of Dream Theater
You are one of the very few bands that had no line-up changes from their really beggining. Why do you think has this happy thing happened? What is the reason that leads people in departing and groups in splitting up?
have been together for quite a long time before we have decided to take
the next step and record our first album. Maybe this is a reason for this.
We all know each other quite well and we are all open for critics from
the other members also. I don't know why so many bands just break up or
have a lot of changes in their line-up. We just fit together very well
and of course we have fun together too. (smiles)
The lyrics are at least as much important for us as the music itself. It depends on the situation when we write lyrics. There are things that happen and that move us inside and then we just sit down and write down our feelings. Our lyrics are quite personal at times. On the other hand there are also lyrics that are just short stories with a meaning behind them (see "Think" for example). We like to do both. If we are able to write lyrics just depends on the moods we're in. Therefore it takes some time quite often to dig them out. (smiles)
know that you have played cover acoustic versions of songs written by Queen,
Beatles, Rush, Styx and other artists. What is the thing you find interesting
in covers and especially in the acoustic ones? Should a cover stay close
to the original or should it differ totally?
Which are the artists that you would name as your main influences? Which are the albums and artists that you used to listen to in the past but you don't do anymore, and why so?
main influences for guitar playing were definately James Hetfield for the
riff playing and maybe the Queensryche guys for the solo stuff. I
like to play melodies when I do my solos. It's not important
What do you think does the future holds for Superior? Do you think you can gain a wider success, and why haven't you been more recognised in your opinion?
That's a very difficult question. The future for our band cannot be told now because nobody knows what the future will bring us of course. I hope that we still can do a big step forward but we will just have to wait and see what happens, I guess. Why we didn't gain more success in the past has also to do with a lot of different things. One big reason was for sure that we didn't get much promotion from our record company. Another reason is for sure that we don't do main stream music. Our music is quite complex and not everybody likes that of course. But still we like our music very much and we will go on doing our own stuff because we want to stay true to ourselves of course.
Give me the 5 most important songs for your life, and the 5 albums you listened most at during the last week.
That's it. (smiles)
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Epigram for the last straw ©2000
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