Paradox – Interview –
Hello Mr. Charly Steinhauer. Put 2 copies of your curriculum vitae on the table. Introduce yourself and Paradox , tell us about your previous musical experiences ?
Hey I`m Charly Steinhauer, songwriter, vocalist & guitarist and producer of the german speed/thrash metal band Paradox , My passion for music grew up in 1970 at the age of 7. Our school library had a record player and a small record collection. I discovered Black Sabbath`s “Paranoid” and after i listened to this heavy music, i knew that this will be the favourite music for my life. The dream was born to learn an instrument. In 1972 i´ve started playing drums in a school band, but i was not really satisfied with playing drums rather much more interested in singing or learning to play guitar. When Axel Blaha (drummer of the first two albums) and me were getting friends in 1980 we had the same taste of music and we were big fans from bands like Saxon, Motörhead, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and especially the NWOBHM. After a Saxon concert in November 1981 we started the band as a trio with our buddy Volker Hartmann (Bass). Volker leaved the band after a year and after we had countless line-up changes. In that time we played under different banners like Overkill, Maniac, Poison, Warhead. After we found Markus Sypath (lead guitar) and Roland Stahl (bass) we decided to go on under the banner of Paradox in February 1986.
What does Paradox stands for and why did you chose this name ?
Paradox stands for consistency and passion for more than 30 years. We never gave up. It`s a life`s work. In one of our pre line-ups we had a song called Paradox. We decided to use this name. It should be one short word with a mystic message which should sound good.
How’s life in Würzburg , Bavaria ? there are a cool Metal Bands around ?
Well, not as many as in the Ruhr (Nordrhein- Westfalen), but we have a few Thrash Metal Bands like Vendetta, Hatred, Brain Damage, Final Breath or Mystic Prophecy, Würzburg is a very beautiful city (150.000 citizens) with a castle and a river. It´s very nice to live here. Great nature with many vineyards and we also produce a lot of good beer (Würzburger Hofbräu) , The criminal rate is low. We also have 45 catholic churches in the city and less industry.
How many times a week do you rehearse and what does it take to have the songs all tight and technically Okay as you imagined ?
Well, after the reunion of the original line-up in December 2016 we needed 4 month to play a set of 10 songs (60 minutes music). We always work on tightness. With the whole band we rehearse once a week in our rehearsal room, but everybody work at home on his parts as well. I still play each day guitar. Sometimes just a few minutes, sometimes for hours.
In what kind of conditions do you rehearse, and are metallers welcome or is the access quite restricted ?
Well in the very beginning the access was quit restricted, but we get more and more open for it cause now we know how to play the songs. We have no problem to invite some metal buddies at our rehearsal room.
Every Paradox studio album, seven all in all so far, has been quite a success story in the Thrash Metal community. Do you believe you still haven’t written your best album yet ?
Good question! You always work on your best album and try to do something better than on previous records. So if you ask me i would say yes. we still haven`t written our best album. On other hand until now .
Where does your inspiration comes from for the lyrics ? Is there a particular subject matter you feel Disquiet deals with ?
Achim “Daxx” Hömerlein (former Vendetta singer) wrote the lyrics for the past two records “Tales Of The Weird” (2012) and “Pangea” (2016). Daxx and me always gather ideas for new topics which could fit to the Paradox lyrics. We like to write about things who affect us in our life on earth, but also storys with personal backrounds.
What is the concept behind the albums artwork ?
On our current album “Pangea” (2016) the album artwork should symbolize the end of our planet. In my opinion it comes from outside. The “alien god” theory. People believe in a god but who knows whether he is good-natured or does he has malicious intensions. I talked to Claudio Bergamin our cover artist and asked him whether he could do a cover artwork with some kind of a “Monster” on it, who recapture the earth. Claudio did a great job..
Paradox hasn’t split up, even though there’s no permanent line-up for this German Thrash / Speed Metal powerhouse at the moment. Could you tell us what’s going on in the Paradox camp ?
As i mentioned before Paradox reunited after 28 years in the original line-up. Charly Steinhauer (vocals, guitar), MarkusSpyth(guitar),Roland Stahl (bass) and Axel Blaha (drums). When we came back together it felt like coming home. It´s a family. We dont meet just to play music. We hang out together as well. It was one of my biggest goals to end Paradox how it started, but right now we still have the fire in us to go on with passion.
How generally are the gigs of Paradox ? Did you share the stage with other cool bands Give us their names and did they appreciate your hair-guitar habilities ?
In July we will play our reunion show at the Bang Your head Festival in Germany. The billing incldes bands like, Death Angel, Sanctuary, Raven, Saxon, Venom, Michael Schenker, Vince Neil, Hammerfall and more .We shared the stage with countless bands and idois in the past., Exodus, Opeth, Twisted Sister, Toxik, Destruction, Sodom, Tankard, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Exciter, Riot, Agent Steel, Grim Reaper, Helstar, Vicious Rumors and many more.There was always respect among the bands. We have no special concept behind our shows, We just go out and play. We never study any movements. Just spontaneous. We let the music speak for itself. We always try to do our best for the people who pay money for our concerts. After the show i like to meet fans and talk to t
Give us your definition of what Thrash Metal needs to be REAL THRASH METAL with two big balls and a strongly headbanging head just on the upper! Are you into the more modern kinds of “thrash metal ? how do you feel when some peoples happen to write “Trash metal”… ( Without the sexy “H”… ) ?
Haha I don`t give a shit about how they spell Thrash Metal. Thrash Metal should sound heavy, rough, fast including a lot of double bass drums and staccato guitar riffing. My favourite Thrash Metal band is Exodus.This is the right definition how Thrash Metal has to sound. Im more into old school thrash metal like Exodus with Paul Baloff, old Slayer, Forbidden, Sepultura etc, but i also listen to bands like Evile or Suicidal Angels. Nowadays most of the newcomer bands try to sound like their idols. I have no problem with it if it has quality.
Do you like paper zines, or are you rather a website enthusiast ? Or maybe you enjoy portable phone websites? Do you think the metallic « press » still has a significant use at the age of downloading, streaming… After all, some say they don’t need to read reviews anymore to have an opinion… ?
I really like print magazines cause i grew up with them. You have something in your hand you know. With websites you have the big advantage that you get much more information and be able to read the daily metal news. I still read the record reviews before i decide to buy the album. Of course we all need the Metal press even in the age of downloading and streaming. A fan don`t want just listen to their favourite bands. They also want to read interviews, reviews, news, specials .
Is there plans for more shows this year ?
Besides the Bang Your Head festival we also play at the Harder Than Steel Festival inGermany. I guess we could play everywhere in the world, we just play selected shows. No tours. Everybody in the band has family and job.
This is the last question, so tell us everything concerning your Paradox future s, available merchandising, welcomed fan-gitfs, and that’s it. Good luck and keep in mind !!
Right now we keep our focus on the reunion shows. Right after i start writing new songs for the next album. We also gather material for a later history DVD. Thanks for your support !
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher