The Dynamic Hard Rock Heroes of Dark Sky
The Dynamic Hard Rock Heroes of Dark Sky
Dark Sky is ready to rock an entire world with their dynamic anthems with roots dating back to the 80’s. Their new album Signs of the Time on Metalapolis Records is absolutely epic, jam-packed with powerhouse tunes that will set the imagination in flight. Selections such as Heroes On Ice, Fools, and Forgiveness should be all over the radio airwaves. The band has opened for the likes of Europe and Treat, and are primed and ready to tour with a brand new lineup!
Highwire Daze recently interviewed founding member Frank Breuninger to disciss the exhilarating compositions found within Signs of the Time, working with members of Kissin’ Dynamite on the new album, news about his other band Timeless Rage, and more! Read on to meet Frank Breuninger and the hard rock heroes of Dark Sky…
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Signs of the Time?
Well, Signs of the Time. I think it’s a little bit about the fear we have because of the future, especially in Germany and in Europe, because yes, several things changed, and I think took a bad turn. So, I think the message is we’re afraid of what we’re going through during the next years. But it’s not all the songs are about this theme, but we took it overall because the title track Signs of the Time we thought is one of the strongest track on the CD. And we had other songs which have a similar theme. So, I think it’s really a kind of theme through the album, but not every song.
How much was the writing and recording of the album influenced by the pandemic, if at all?
Yes, because the pandemic was a kind of in these fears, we get. In German, the government was pretty strict not only for musicians, so you cannot rehearse or make concerts or something like that. You couldn’t get out of your house. So that was a pretty hard time. And we remember this time that it’s incredible how fast the government can punish you in a way you’re not used to in a democratic state. That’s really a kind of fear. And of course, the pandemic was bad for bands like us, because we didn’t have any chance to make concerts. So, the best thing was I got time to finish the songs and to prepare the songs for the studio session. That was the only positive thing of that time.
Let’s talk about a few of the songs on Signs of the Time. Heroes on Ice, which is awesome. Tell me a little about the background to that song and the inspiration behind it.
Yeah. Well, first I have to ask you, are you interested in ice hockey in hockey in any case?
I figured that’s what it was about. So yeah, go ahead and tell me about it.
You’re from LA so I thought maybe you’re a fan of the LA Kings.
Yeah. And so you were sad because they were eliminated pretty early in the playoff.
Yeah. The song is about hockey, and I’m a big hockey fan in Germany, and next to my hometown, there is a hockey team called Schwenninger Wild Wings, which is in the first league in the German, DEL. And I’m very often at the games, and I am pretty near to the club, to the organization, because I wrote a fan song for the Wild Wings and as well as the trailer for the coming into the stadium. When the hockey players coming on ice, they have a trailer with a video, and I’m making the music for the trailer. So, I’m pretty near to the organization of the Wild Wings. And my son started playing hockey when he was about 3-4 years old. Now he’s nine years old, and he’s playing in the youth team of the Wild Wings. So, therefore, I’m pretty near to Hockey and to the Wild Wings. And the idea was to make a song which is near to the hockey players, not only to the fans, to the hockey players, because I know of a lot of hockey players from this club, and I know how hard they have to work and how hard it is on the ice the fights and the pressure you have from the organization, from the fans and so on.
I think it’s really tough to be a professional hockey player. So, the idea was to make something as a tribute to the players, therefore, Heroes On Ice. And one of the players from the Wild Wings team was interested to be part of the video. S,o we were shooting the video with him and also with my son, and even my grandson – he was about almost three years old. All of them were on this music video. And so it was a family affair as well, but the band loved it. And therefore, it was the first single at the end of the last season, and we practiced this one at the last game during the break. They sent a video and all the fans stood up and yeah, it was a great moment for me and the band. It came out of my heart. You might understand if you like hockey as well.
Oh, absolutely. I picked up right away that was about hockey and a love for hockey. Let’s talk about your new single Fools. Is there any overall story or concept behind that one?
Yeah, a little bit. The first idea of this song I had when I was studying so many years ago, and we went to a club, which is called Fool’s Pleasure and there started the idea of Fools a song for the guys coming to this club because it’s a rock club. And they had always good music. But later, I wrote pretty new lyrics. It’s a little bit more about my Christian background again, about these days I think when a lot of people lost their spirit and lost their belief. So often people call Christian musicians and Christian people “fools” because, “oh, you believe in Jesus Christ, oh, you’re a fool.” So that’s a little bit the story behind it. Therefore, I say we are “fools in their eyes,” that’s the lyrics.
One of my favorite bands is Kissin’ Dynamite. And one of my favorite albums by them is Generation Goodbye. So I was wondering what was it like working with the various members of Kissin’ Dynamite on this new album?
Well, I know that the boys from Kissin’ Dynamite since they started their career, and one of my daughters was pretty near to the guitarist of the band. And so we’re really friends during the last 10, 12 years when I started making music. And on our album Initium from 2012, I had a song where Hannes was singing with me one song, and Ande Braun was playing a lead guitar. So there, we started making music together, and the former drummer, Andi Schnitzer, still is a good friend of mine, and he played several Dark Sky shows with us in Holland and in Germany, Switzerland, and big concerts when our drummer didn’t find time. So I was always pretty near to that band.
And when I started composing the songs for Signs at the Time, I called Ande’s at the phone and asked him, what do you think about making songs with us – he has a big treasure of songs. And he said, well, yeah, Dark Sky, I know, but you’re a little bit more heavy and I don’t know. I wonder how I can make it the way you like it. And I said, no problem, because I like all your records, you know that. And so we were searching for a song which should fit to Dark Sky. And he gave me a song. That song title was something like Princess or something like that, but with no lyrics and so on. And where I was thinking about if it’s a good song for Dark Sky and of course transposing the song a little bit deeper. Andi is singing so high on this record.
And I told him, well, I think it will fit to Dark Sky. And so we were both happy. And I finished the song making a solo part and an additional parts, and I sent him my ideas, and he was really satisfied with it. And so I said, okay, so let’s finish this one. And I will go to the studio and play with the Dark Sky boys. So we have this one on the CD. This one’s called Forgiveness. And we’re already planning a video for this one. Next weekend we had the video shooting. It will be a video with a lot of emotions.
You are also involved in another band called Timeless Rage, which released an album called Untold last year. Tell me a little about Timeless Rage and how you became involved with that band.
Well, that was also an interesting story. It starts just before the pandemic. We had not so many concerts with Dark Sky. And Michael, the guitarist from the band called me at the phone. I knew him for several years, and he called me and he asked if maybe I would interested in joining the band or singing something for the band. And I told him that it’s probably not a good idea because I haven’t got enough time. But I told him, okay, just send me some demo tapes without any lyrics, and I will listen to it, and I will listen to your old records, and we are going to see. And during that time, I was going to the studio for a trailer for the Wild Wings Schwenninger, and I took the tape with me, and was thinking about lyrics and melodies and just took a short time to sing some melodies and some words on this tape he gave me. And I sent it back to him. And the band was totally satisfied with the results. And they asked me to sing the other songs and to compose more melodies and more songs and lyrics. And so we started the project for this CD, and first they just want to have a kind of mini-CD with four tracks. And I told them, wow, that’s not the way I make music. We’re making a complete album.
I was looking for record company, and the record company from Dark Sky, they told me, well, they are interested if I’m the singer of the band. They listened and they were also satisfied with it. And so, we started the project with Timeless Rage. I think the result was pretty good.
But just let me tell you something about Timeless Rage. Maybe you didn’t read it. I left the band because there were… well how can I say? Well, we didn’t part with any argument, but I didn’t have time for two bands and some things are not the way I did like, and I didn’t like to change the band to the way I like, so I thought it was better to leave them and to tell them to search for a new singer. But I played all the concerts we had, and I told them I will always be friendly to them. And so, if they need anything from me, I will give it. And that was no problem, but this part is over for me. Unfortunately, but yeah, that’s the way it goes.
Well, you got a great album out of it, so there you go.
Yeah. And I’m still proud of it. I really like it, and I like the video of Resurrection.
In the past, Dark Sky opened for bands such as Europe and Treat. What was it like opening for those two bands, and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Well, we didn’t hang around with them a long time. We meet them and talk to each other, but it’s always so less time at the concert, it’s not when you’re on tour, then it’s different. When we are on tour, maybe with the Treat or with other bands, with Magnum and so on, you have a lot of time and touring in the Nightliner and talking to each other every day and every night. But during a concert, when we met Status Quo or with Europe and so on, it’s just to get them to know and to speak a little bit. And Europe is one of my favorite bands and Joey Tempest is one of my favorite singers. So of course it was awesome to talk to him and tell him that I like his style to sing and his acting on the stage.
But probably we’re not friends now because we just met for one concert, and maybe in the future we’ll meet again. We’re going to see.
Has Dark Sky ever played here in the States, or is that something you would like to do in the future?
Yes, unfortunately not, but we really would like to play there anywhere. But the problem is, it’s so far and we need a bigger band to support or maybe a festival where we can play. That’s a problem. In Europe everything is so close together. You can play in Italy, you can play in France, in Germany, in Belgium, Switzerland, wherever. It’s so near, it’s like you’re playing in California and maybe till Texas, but then it’s over. You don’t go to New York or something like that.
I see you some dates coming up. What are you looking forward to the most about touring with this new lineup?
Yeah. We’re looking forward because we didn’t play any concerts with this lineup because Francesco Pisana on the bass guitar joined the band during the last month. He’s such a good musician and we’re so impressed playing in the rehearsal room, but we’re looking forward for concerts.
Do you have any messages for Dark Sky fans here in the States?
I hope they will listen to the album and of course, watch the videos. I think the videos are not so bad and hopefully, I will see the fans somewhere on tour in America. Maybe next year or maybe in 2025, we’re going to see. But that’s really a dream of the whole band playing somewhere in America.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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