The Trophy is a new band, but you will know the men behind the music! Their debut is in the stores now and so time to talk to guitarist Todd Wolf. Many thanks to Todd for answering my questions within no time...
Todd, please tell us, when did you have the idea to found The Trophy! And how long did it take to bring the band to life?
Hi Claudia, I started back in 2005 to write more commercial Songs. In the beginning everything which didn't fit to Human Fortress was deleted. For a while I toyed with the idea to record a more commercial rock album and many of the ideas I had sounded very good even as a demo. It would have been a pity to delete them or to have them on the HD forever. To find the right people for the band took quite long. Luckily I still had Michael's email addy. I sent him Justice as MP3. Shortly afterwards we met at his studio and some songs he likes right away. A few weeks later I sent him some new tracks and we scheduled the production. Keyboarder Marco joined us while we were producing, he plays in Michael's Band as well. And so The Trophy was born! But I should mention that Dirk Marquardt of Human Fortress also played some keyboard parts at the album.
How you got the name The Trophy?
The first song I wrote for this album was Get The Cup - cup = trophy! I like the way it sounds. We added the article to it, coz there was another band called Trophy.
What about Human Fortress, are you still in the band? Or do you fully concentrate on The Trophy?
The Trophy has priority. The cooperation with Michael and Marco is so much fun. And musically I'm extremely happy with what we do. Human Fortress is more a hobby, but there will be big news regarding Human Fortress quite soon! But I can't give you details right now.
You got Michael Bormann for The Trophy. Have he been your #1 pick? And could you hook him up right away?
Yeah, Michael was my favorite. I knew right away that his voice would be perfect for the new songs. But a singer extraordinary has a lot jobs to do and so I had to convince him. But I think, now he really is a part of The Trophy, coz he likes the songs and has a lot fun working with me and Marco.
The songs, how much influenced did the others have?
Michael had a big influence as a musician, singer and producer. I had about 70% of the songs written - incl. vocal lines and lyrics. During the pre-production which I did together with Michael, we wrote another 4 tunes. Three of these songs are on the album. The Shades Of Grey is a song Michael had in store. Marco joined us later, so he haven't had much chance to add something.
Why the album title The Gift Of Life? And who was responsible for the cover artwork?
All the songs are based on stories life wrote, the good and the bad ones.
The title track I dedicated to my 2 1/2 year old son and Justice is written in memory of my grandma who by now passed away. And so the title fits very well.
The artwork was done by Frontiers, I had nothing to do with it, but it shows the circle of life quite good.
Are there songs which have a special meaning to you? Which are close to your heart?
I surely love all songs. Rescue Me is a song which is touching me. The song tells a sad story and it has this epic touch which I like at many Human Fortress tunes. There is no typical sing along part and you have to listen several times til the chorus is hooking you up. The vocal melody and the guitar melody are working together. The loops and keys are great. And Michael sings this track perfectly!
When Nightmare Wake Me Up is the one which is more AOR then the others. This song also has a slightly melancholy chorus.
The Gift Of Life is also a very important song for me. When my wife gave birth to our son there been problems and my wife lost a lot blood. At the end they had to do a cesarean. My mind was racing and I had this horrific ideas... What if the doctor wants me to make a decision? Telling me we can save your wife or your son!!! So I'm extremely happy that I have a healthy son!
Liar was written when I was full of anger. It's about this suicide bombers in Iraq and the self-proclaimed religious leaders. Partly they send innocent children with explosive belts out and into eternity. I hope that the Iraqi people will soon find peace and that the war mongers have to face retribution.
The Way I Am tells about a dark chapter in my life, but every time I'm down, I get up again. Then ambition takes over and I fight til I reach my goal. But you should never sell your own grandmother!
If you would get the chance to do a video clip, which song would you choose?
Get The Cup! This song is perfect for sports events and has a catchy hook which the fans can sing along immediately.
What about live shows? Anything scheduled? And who will join you on stage?
There is the possibility to play live, but we want to wait and see how the album's doing. We'll see!
What's on your schedule now? Any news you can tell us?
Michael's tour is rescheduled for fall and after the summer I'll start writing new songs for The Trophy.
It's great that there are bands in this genre which really have something to tell and not just offer stereotype lyrics. And it seems like we will hear more of Todd Wolf and The Trophy soon.