Michael Ehré – band leader/drummer Love.Might.Kill
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Tom Hack at Massacre Records for setting up this interview
Thanks to Massacre Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Single pictures on the band members are from the bands website.
Here comes an interview with band leader/drummer Michael Ehré from the new band Love.Might.Kill. Last year the band released their debut album BRACE FOR IMPACT. During the interview we talked about the new band, the line-up, and of course about the new album. I also dug a little deeper in Ehrés background as a drummer. The music of Love.Might.Kill will appeal to any fan of melodic heavy metal.
Hi Michael, nice to talk to you today, how are you? Ready to kick off the interview?
Yes I am, lets do this.
Well, lets begin to talk about the new Love.Might.Kill album BRACE FOR IMPACT that actually is your debut album. Who has written the music and lyrics and what are the lyrics about?
I´ve written the music and most of the lyrics while our singer Jan Manenti is responsible for all the vocal melodies. Most of the tracks deal with some weird and bad things that are going on in our society. But I´d like the listeners to discover the stories so I´d rather not get into details now.
If you sum up all the writing and recording how long did it take to get the album ready to launch?
It didn’t take that long. I can’t tell how many days or weeks or months we needed because I wasn’t able to work on the album in one shot. As I’m playing in a lot of other bands and projects I had to interrupt the work on “Brace for impact” from time to time.
Are you happy with the outcome of the album?
We are all very excited about the album! Now that we get the first reviews we know that we’ve done something good as the reviews are outstanding! We never expected that.
Where do you find inspiration to write lyrics?
This is not so difficult. You just have to read the newspaper or watch TV…There are a lot of weird things going on all over the world and they are all worth writing about.
Who came up with the idea to name the album BRACE FOR IMPACT?
“Brace for impact“ – With these words the American pilot Chesley B. Sullenberg prepared the passengers of the Airbus A320 for the spectacular landing on the Hudson River in 2009. The pictures went around the world – so did his words! In my opinion there isn’t a much better way to title the debut album of the “Love.Might.Kill”.
Who has done the cover art-work and what do you think of it?
The artwork was done by a friend of mine Nikolas Fritz. He is not only a very talented art worker he is as well the drummer from Mob Rules. This band is also very special to me as I’ve played with them a couple of times. I’ve known them for almost 20 years now and we’re always helping each other. This is how it should be in the business.
The info sheet say that fans of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio are going to appreciate your music is that correct?
Absolutely! These bands are our main influences and I’m pretty sure that everyone can hear it 😉
There’s no one listed on keyboard but there are a lot of keyboard play on the disc, who plays it?
Most of these keyboard-parts I’ve played on my own. But in the meantime we have Sascha Onnen (ex-Mob Rules) on board. He’s a very good friend since years and a fantastic keyboardist.
Could you tell us about the video you shot to “Pretty Little Mess”?
The video was shot in October 2010. The clip was directed by Stefan Ellerhorst, who is one of our guitarists.
How come you chose to shoot a video to that song?
I’ve chosen that track because in my opinion this song was the best one to introduce our new band to the fans all around the world.
Have you read any reviews in the media regarding the album? Do you care about what critics have to say?
The reviews are absolutely fantastic! We got tons of very, very good reviews from all around the world. We never expected that. We also get mails from fans from all around the world. That shows that there are still people who like the style that we are playing, even if we are not a modern-style-metal band.
Is it correct that you recorded this album without the backup from any record label?
What response have you received from the fans on the album?
The people from all over the world seem to be very happy with the album. We get a lot of mails from all the globe what makes us really happy and proud.
Did you have a releaseparty for the album when it was out? If so when and where was it held and was it fun?
Yes, we did a release party. It took place in my hometown Nordenham on the same day the record was released. That was a really big party. We played a show with all the songs from the album.
When was the band formed and how was the idea born?
I started LMK a few years ago when I decided to work on some demo-tracks that couldn’t be used by all the other bands I’m playing with because they didn’t fit into these bands styles. But I knew these tunes were too good to stay on my computer so I’ve recorded them. I immediately knew that this could be the beginning of a cool band – my own band since years.
Was it hard to recruit members to the band? Was it an easy process?
No, it wasn’t that hard to be honest. With Jan Manenti from Italy I found a very good singer, who knows how to create real good melodies. Along with ex-Crossroads-guitarists Stefan Ellerhorst and Christian Stöver and Jogi Sweers on bass the line-up was completed. We’ve recently played some shows and we were joined by Sascha Onnen (ex-Mob Rules) on keyboards.
Was it a given from the start that you were going to play melodic metal?
Yeah, that was absolutely clear.
Who was the first one to join the band?
Jan, our singer was the first who I’ve asked to join the band.
Lead singer Menenti is from Italy but are the rest of the band from Germany?
I know that a new member joined the band at the end of last year could you tell us about that?
As I said before, Sascha Onnen joined our band as we needed a keyboard-player for our live-shows. We started as a five-piece-band but now we are very, very happy to him with us as he is a very talented musician.
Are any of the members involved in any other projects or bands besides Love.Might.Kill? If so do you see any problems or difficulties in that?
I’m playing in a lot of different bands and projects as I’m making a living by being a musician. As we have full control about our band schedule there won´t be any problems or difficulties.
Is the current line-up a solid one?
Absolutely! I’m very proud of the line up and I will do everything to keep this line up for the future! Everyone in the band is proud and happy to be a part of LMK as we know we have something real special!
Is the band a project or is it a proper band?
Though I’m playing in other bands and some people said that LMK is just another project that I’ve launched I have to say that this band is a real band. And I’m absolutely serious about that.
Where was the album recorded and who is the producer?
The album was mainly produced and recorded by myself in my own studios. Jan recorded his vocals in Italy but the rest was done here in Nordenham.
Was it hard to produced your own band? Wasn’t it hard to stay objective?
No, because I knew from the start what I wanted. It was not a matter of being objective because I made the album that I wanted to make. So, first of all I had to satisfy my own belongings.
What does the rest of the band think of having you as producer?
That was a thing that was clear from the start as I started LMK as my own band. So, who else than me should be able to produce an album that is 100% Michael Ehré? All the guys in the band have the same opinion as I’ve proofed with our debut that I’m able to produce an album that has a certain quality.
Do you like and produce and have you produced any other artists or bands?
I’ve co-produced some Metalium-CDs but that’s it. But who knows what will happen in the future 😉 I really like to produce records so why shouldn’t I produce other artist?
Do you think that you’re going to continue produce the bands albums in the future?
Right now I would say yes. But you never know what will happen in the future 😉
Who did the mixing and mastering and where took that process place?
The album was mixed and mastered by Markus Teske in his Bazement Studios, where he already worked with bands like f.e. Spock’s Beard, Saga or Vanden Plas.
Was it hard to land a record deal? Were there many labels that was interested in Love.Might.Kill?
It wasn’t that hard as Massacre Records were interested in LMK from the beginning. With Metalium we’ve worked more than ten years with them so my choice was obvious as I know this company for such a long time.
You inked a deal with Massacre Records are you happy with the work the label have put into the band and the album?
For the first record I’m absolutely happy as we didn’t expect such a good start for LMK. Massacre is also very happy so we´re looking forward to our next album.
For how many albums are you signed for?
For two albums.
Has the album been released worldwide yet? If not is it going to be released in North America?
The album was released in Europe and Japan. I hope we’ll have a release of our next album in North America…let’s see…
Is it possible to download the disc?
Yeah, absolutely. You can download the album on the usual platforms like Amazon and many more.
Are you currently working with any management or booking agency?
We don’t have any management company but we started to work with a booking agency. I’m really excited about that and I hope we will play a lot of shows in the future.
The line “Drumming For A Difference” can be read on your website what does that mean?
This is a slogan that came from the guy who started and created my website. Nowadays it’s not enough just to be a good musician. If you want to be booked as a drummer or a musician in general you have to be reliable and a person that you get along with. No one needs any egos or assholes in his band or project. In my special case I’m not only a drummer but as you know a producer and a songwriter. Besides that I also play other instruments like guitar and bass.
For how long have you been playing the drums?
I started when I was a young kid. I think I was 10 or 11 years old.
You also play the guitar and the bass, which instrument do you have the most fun playing?
I like to play all the instruments and I have fun with it but in the end the drums are my main instrument.
What artists or bands did inspire you to begin to play drums?
I was inspired by bands like Deep Purple, Whitesnake or Judas Priest and AC/DC. My main influences were Cozy Powell, Ian Paice and Tommy Aldridge.
I’ve read that you also work as a drum teacher is that true? Is it fun? What’s the most fun with teaching?
It can be fun but it can also be hard work – that depends on the students. If they are willing to learn than it’s mostly fun. I like it a lot when I work with a student for many years and I see his or her development. That makes me proud.
One of the bands you were a part of was laid to rest last year, the infamous Metalium, how was that?
This is not correct. We decided to make one last record but I can’t tell when that will happen as we are all very busy doing other things. We are still very good friends but we decided to go separate ways in the near future.
During 2009 you played with the Swedish guitarist Kee Marcello how was that?
That was very cool as Kee is a very funny and nice guy. We had a lot of fun on tour.
You are today part of the icon Uli Jon Roth’s act. What’s it like to be playing with such a skilled and iconic person?
Uli is unique! I’m so happy to be in his bands. I joined him in 2005. He is an idol for all these famous guitarists all over the world who are in fact my idols, hahaha….Being in his band opened a lot of doors for me as a musician.
Have you learned anything from Roth?
I’ve learned a lot during these years and I’m still learning from tour to tour. He has a very unique sight to certain things in life and in music and that helped me a lot.
You also work as a songwriter what artists have you written songs to? You sure is a busy man 🙂
I wrote for Japanese female singer Saeko Kitamae. We did two records some years ago. I also worked for Jutta Weinhold (ex-Zed Yago).
During 2010 you joined the band Firewind how did you end up there and how is it to play with those guys?
I knew Gus before I joined Firewind and as Mark Cross left the band he asked me. It was great playing with these guys. We played a lot of great shows and this band is really kicking massive ass.
But you also left the band rapidly, why?
Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not easy to make but necessary. In that case I had to leave the band because I had to follow my priorities. I’m not 20 anymore and I have some responsibilities so I had to do what I had to do.
How many bands are you involved in at the moment?
I’m playing with Uli Jon Roth, LMK, a German guitar-player called Matthias Roehr and I have a cover band in my hometown with some friends. Besides that I’m playing where ever I’m needed, hahaha…. I’ve recently played a show for the German TV with Gamma Ray.
Was the idea of having your own band something that you have thought about for many years or is it something that came to mind recently?
Some years ago I always had my own band, like f.e. Murder One in the 90ies and I missed that. So whenever I found the time to work on my own ideas I did that and than someday I said “Okay! It’s time to start something new again!” That’s when I started LMK.
What brand do you use in drums?
I’m playing drums and I’m very happy to work with them as they are always very helpful.
Do you have any advice to young aspiring drummers?
Keep practicing hard and don’t stop believing in yourself. You have to be self-confident but also not an ego but a team player. And: be prepared 😉
Do you think it’s important to be active on all of the social networks that are available online today?
I think they are a good way to spread news and get in contact with people from all around the world. So I think they are important.
Do you get a lot of mail from fans? What’s the most common question you get from them?
Yes, I get a lot of mails from all around the world. The most common question is probably: “How long are you playing the drums?” hahaha
Have Love.Might.Kill done a lot of shows so far?
We played just a few shows so far. But these shows went great and we’re sad we didn’t play more…but we’re all pretty busy so this is not that easy….
Are you eager to go out on tour with the band?
We will play a tour for our next album that will come out in October 2012. Right now we’re booking the shows and we’re very excited about that.
I know your album was released in Japan late last year, are you big in Japan?
No, I don’t think we are big in Japan, hahaha but we’re doing pretty well I guess. Our label is absolutely satisfied at the moment.
Are there any plans on do a longer European tour at the moment?
As I said we’re booking a tour for October right now. I hope we will play some shows outside Germany but I can’t tell right now.
Or do you have any festival shows booked so far?
We’re in contact with some festivals but there’s nothing confirmed yet.
Have you begin the work on the second album yet? If so could you reveal any of the song titles or in what musical direction the band is heading?
Yes, we’re working on our second album at the moment. I can’t reveal any song titles right now but the musical direction hasn’t changed 😉
What do you have to say to the ones who haven’t discovered Love.Might.Kill yet?
I guess those who haven’t discovered LMK yet should do that as soon as possible, especially if you’re interested in melodic metal.
Could you also give them three good reasons why they should buy BRACE FOR IMPACT?
Yes: BRACE FOR IMPACT features a lot of really good songs with good melodies along with a pretty good performance and a powerful sound.
Finally do you have any words of wisdom to share with the readers and fans?
Words of wisdom? I don’t think I’m wisdom at all, hahaha
Thanks a lot for taking the time to make this interview. I wish you and the band all the best in the future and I really hope that you’re coming to a stage near me soon.
Thanks for your interest in LMK! Hope to see you soon 😉