Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / D / Domain /

In Words: Domain

- Axel Ritt - April 2001 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Axel Ritt - Sep. 2003 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Axel Ritt - September, 16th 2003

The German melodic metal band Domain and mainman Axel Ritt are back with their 3rd album after their - The Sixth Dimension. The first obvious change is that there are 2 new members - drummer Stefan Köllner (ex-Symphorce) and bassist Sandro Lo Giudice (ex-Circle Of Pain). "There is no bad blood between the former members and Domain. After a while it was time to check the priorities and their priorities had changed. A band like Domain requests a lot of time and energy. Demands all lot from the members. It became obvious when we toured last year through out Europe with HTP." When Axel Ritt revived the band a few years ago he placed some ads. This time it was a little different. One was found by an ad, the other was recommended. "Our new bassist Sandra was recommended by Carsten. Sandro always liked Domain and when we talked on the phone it became clear that he's the right one for us. Stefan (drums) we found through an ad in the internet. We did auditions and at the end it was clear that he's the next one behind the drums. It was important for us to find musicians who fit to Domain personally and have the skills. Especially when you go on tour it's important, coz there you are together for weeks. Have to deal with each other 24/7." Last years tour... "We know the people of HTP's label and they got us in touch with the HTP management. But at least it was the decision of HTP. It was great to tour with 2 legendary vocalists. Glenn Hughes was one of the singers who impressed me most when I was a teenager. I felt like 15 years ago, so I went to their dressing room, knocked and then introduced myself. I told Glenn that I own all his albums with Deep Purple and that they influenced me. He was really nice and even if you are a star, it's cool to get a compliment. On the tour they treated us very well, they had respect and they are really professional. It was fun to do the tour with them." The tour led them from Scandinavia to Southern Europe. "Actually this was the first real Domain European tour. The response was good everywhere. Okay, we had 2 shows where we weren't as good, and there the response was not as good. On the tour we recognized that the different mentalities are more marked then we thought. Germany had the toughest audience. In Scandinavia the people were more reserved and they listen more intense. The fans in Spain and Italy are more enthusiastic. The crew guys told us that in Greece it's more extreme..." Okay, so we've been through the latest past, now let's talk about the new album The Sixth Dimension. Sometimes there is a story behind the title or a concept, sometimes there is no deeper meaning. So I asked Axel, what does the title mean? Mean to the band? "Sorry, there is no big story behind. This is the 6th full-length studio album of Domain. Carsten and I are huge Star Trek fans and so we are in to time / dimensions, etc. So, it was an obvious title to us." The new album of the German quintet is - again - heavy then the last one. "Before we start the songwriting we do meet and talk about the direction we want to go to. The Artefact was heavier then One Million Lightyears From Home, and it sold much better. Also the Domain fans prefer the heavy tunes and the new line-up wanted to go that way, too. We all feel quite comfortable with Melodic metal, even if with Young Hearts Can Fly is a homage to hard rock. Beside that the scene changed. What was classified as hard rock in the 80's is now too soft for heavy rock fans and too heavy for radio. These days Domain is a melodic metal band, we combine melodies and heaviness. And we don't forget about the typical Domain sound! It's always a walk on the edge." For Axel it's important to take into consideration what the fans want, for him it's more important what the fans want then what he wants. Melodic metal is his favorite genre and so he just have a little to arrange himself with the fan request. It's bullshit to change for others, you have to be true to yourself. Be yourself. Even if he writes songs which not fit to the Domain sound.
Between the releases of The Artefact and The Sixth Dimension singer Carsten Schulz stepped into the limelight with the project Evidence One. He also toured with them. "There are no problems, Domain is Carsten's priority and Evidence One is one of his side-projects. We coordinate everything with Domain and beside that Frontline are friends of us and Robby (guitarist Frontline) also put priority on his band. Beside that Carsten is just recording with Evidence One and also touring, but with Domain he's involved in the concept and everything else." For the Domain mastermind it's important that Domain has priority, but everybody is free to do side-projects and do some money with them. A tour is planned, but no details can be given yet. "We are talking about different possibilities, but I won't give names. It looks like we will do early next year a package tour with another band which is at the same level and probably have an opener." That is what they prefer, coz as a support they toured in the last years and it might be too early to do a headlining tour. Until the end of this year they will do some club shows here and there. "With this line-up we never played live and so we'll do some club shows to see how it works live and probably to improve the live show."
The first run - the digi pack - has a bonus. A cover version of Aerosmith's Rats In The Cellar and and the video clip of Charade. "Awhile ago a label asked us to record a Aerosmith song for a tribute album which should be done by German bands, but it never got released. I own the rights and so we considered to use it in a way or another. Personally I think that the song sounds like a Domain track, don't have the Aerosmith sound / vibe." Axel has the same opinion about cover versions as I do have that it don't make sense to play it note by note. "The video clip was recorded during the tour with HTP. There was a camera team which offered to record the show. We recorded 2 shows - Oberhausen and Bremen. The clip is done with sequences of both shows. But the sound quality isn't good enough for a live CD or DVD!" Domain is open-minded for multi-media, but don't see a reason to release a DVD, just to have a DVD release. "These days it's hip to have a DVD release and there are quite some releases which seems to be made just to make some money. Live stuff and some old interviews are put on a DVD and released. We will do a DVD one day, I think. We have some material from the entire career of Domain, but it'll take time to sort it out and to overdo it. If we do a DVD we want to give the fans value for money." That's the right way to do it, coz fans can't buy every release - CD or DVD. It good that there are bands who see the costs for doing a DVD and who think about the sense of this release. They want to give the fans something special. It's better to see a band live then to buy a DVD which isn't worth the money.
Now we have to wait and see. It'll take a few days, probably weeks and then we will know about coming live shows of the sympathetic five-some.

Claudia Ehrhardt

Axel Ritt - Bochum (Germany) - April 14th 2001


Some of you might know Domain from their early days.... Younger fans might never heard of them... Last February Domain released the album One Million Lightyears From Home after being absent for a years, the band now returned. In the late 80's / early 90's the band released three studio albums which made them known for melodic hard rock from Germany.
At the first day of the current tour I could talk to guitarist and mastermind Axel Ritt who's the only original Domain member these days. "That the band broke up had different reasons. One reason was the change of the music scene. To continue wouldn't made sense at a time where bands like Nirvana been mega-sellers. Grunge was the current trend. But our biggest problem were our egos! At the end we were no longer a band, it was more like several people who had the same dream, but had different ideas how to make this dream come true." Several times a reunion was announced and than nothing happened... Now Axel Ritt is back, but with different musicians... "When I thought that the time was right to start Domain again, I called the former members. Unfortunately they haven't been interested. So I started on my own and soon my former band mates sue me, coz I used the name Domain! So it took longer as I expected, but now I own the right to use the name." Axel confessed that they made mistakes like every young band, but that he learnt from it. After the band broke up Axel started his own company Humbucker Music, so he always been in touch with the music scene. He got in touch with Carsten Schulz the singer of a band called Mr. Hate. "When I started Domain again, I put an ad in some magazines where I didn't say that I'm searching a singer for Domain. Humbucker Music was searching a singer for a melodic hard rock band. One of the first demos I got was from Carsten and I invited him for an audition. He totally blew me away and so I cancelt all other auditions. We started writing material. To find the musicians to complete the band wasn't a problem. At the coming album everybody will be involved in the songwriting and so the Domain sound will get some fresh input."
The title track starts where the track Lost In The City ends. "The song contains the typical trademarks of the Domain sound. First the band was like 'What is that? A shanty?', but finally they accepted it after I explain it. The title track is kinda building a bridge between the old Domain and the new!" The show in Bochum was the kick-off of the tour and the 2nd show the new band ever played. And they surprised the audience opening up with One Million Lightyears From Home and a little later with an a capella part of Carsten followed by a ballad. That can be risky... Depends on the audience... "That's right, but just if others don't do it, doesn't mean that we can't do it! When we rehearsed and Carsten told me that he wants to do a solo, I said okay. I thought that he wanted to do a vocal part with keyboards, but he said 'no'! He wanted to do it without! So I ask him to show what he has in mind and he convinced me!" Tonight it worked out very well, but it was confusing for the fans in the beginning... "Some fans came up after the show and said they liked it and some dislike it, but as long as people talking about, it's good!"
At the moment the album is just released in Europe (most European countries) and there are talks about a release in Japan, later perhaps the USA. "We will start little by little. I don't want to make the same mistakes we did with the band in the 80's! Our first goal is to establish the band in Germany and the rest of Europe. If we can do Japan with the next album and not with this one, it's okay. I'm a very pessimistic person, but so I can appreciate everything, coz it turns out more positive as I expected!" At the moment there are no plans for the band to play any festivals.... "Sure, we would like to play at some festivals. Unfortunately the same bands play there again and again, but that's business and business is not fair!" Perhaps they will get a chance to play at some festivals... At the moment they use their chance to present themselves as the opening act at Bonfire's Strike Ten tour.

Claudia Ehrhardt


• E-Mail: