Interview with Carsten lizard-schulz
Band: Carsten lizard-schulz
By: Salma ben Rached - 2012-12-01
Throughout the past 17-years, Carsten Lizard Schulz had his share of ups-and-downs but continued to record some truly solid material to this day. He worked with many good solo artists and bands, toured with EVIDENCE ONE and, now, is trying to solidify his character through other collaborations. For the second time, Casten recently participated in a non-beneficiary event (with all proceeds going to Japan) with various artists, like the ex-HELLOWEEN vocalist, Michael Kiske. He later collaborated with the guitarist, IAIN ASHLEY HERSEY (among many others) in his "Vintage Love - Best of" compilation album. So, naturally, when you throw into the mix a number of successful minds and an active side-project, you can’t expect anything but the best, so we had to uncover more...
JZ: Few Musicians get to say they’ve collaborated with great composers and stamped their print in music history. Of all your collaborations with many artists, which one would you consider as the most influential to you?
That’s indeed a difficult question, because I’m still learning. With each new musician or project, I have the chance to work with, there are new challenges for me, especially when it gets to singing different styles. I’d say, I had the chance to experience a lot of wonderful things in my musical career, which I’m really thankful for.
JZ: Looking at your career, have you always known that you wanted to be a professional musician or did just have in mind that ‘the sky is the limit’?
Yes, always! I always wanted to not only live for, but also from my music. In fact, I never wanted to be a big Rock star, I had a few really challenging offers over the last years, but making the music that I love was more important to me. Even as a studio musician, I don’t need to do every job, I’m offered, I only do the projects, I like, which I see as a huge privilege.
JZ: What were the struggles along the way?
Well, struggles… business decisions, which I made, which in hindsight were definitely wrong, signing shitty deals, working with the wrong people… not much of a difference to any other more or less professionally working musician, I guess.
JZ: What gig can you name as ’your favorite’?
Really difficult one again .All in all, in most gigs I had, there was something, that really kicked me. With DOMAIN I had the opportunity to tour half the world, with EVIDENCE ONE I got to play the huge Metal festivals, with my studio jobs, I could work and be on the same albums with some of my all time heroes… so, my favorite simply is being me, because I can do an AOR album this month, like PARADISE INC, MIDNITE CLUB or FROZEN RAIN, and a Metal record, like ANGEL OF EDEN or CRYLORD, the other!
JZ: After being in EVIDENCE ONE, you joined the Belgian Band, ‘FROZEN FEAR’ for one album. How would you describe it ?
That is really a fun thing to do. The album will come out in February next year; a video is shot, too. I got the gig to sing their second album through their record company Avenue Of Allies. The guys seemed impressed on my job; I did for an Italian all star albums called SHINING LINE. The FROZEN RAIN thing, speaking of challenges again, was something really new for me, because their sound is way softer than anything else, I did before. I had to do a lot of different things vocal style and technique-wise. Great Song, Great musicians and over all wonderful human beings.
JZ: There's been another ash cloud over Japan, the whole world showed sympathy for the lost souls. Of course, each one of has, in their own way, shown their support. Could you tell us about the upcoming project to support Japan? Who is going to participate ?
It’s called “Help for Japan”, and in fact, it’s the second Japan Benefit record, I’m participating in. Earlier this year I did a song with Belgian band IRON MASK for a double CD sampler called “Embrace The Sun”, a Japan benefit album of the Lion Music label. “Help For Japan” is the wonderful brainchild of my dear friend Tommy Heart of FAIR WARNING fame. I feel really honored to be asked. There will be lots of legendary singers involved, like Michael Kiske, Andi Deris, Bob Catley, Tobi Sammet or Marc Storace – the cast is sensational! Everyone worked for free, and all the money coming in will be donated directly to the Japanese Red Cross! It’s going to be single CD, a cover version of the Beatles classic “Help”.
JZ: Could you tell us a little about your collaboration with the Italian guitarist, Tommy Vitaly?
Tommy’s a great guy! I love his style! Tommy combines the best of real MANOWAR-style Metal with Malmsteen type of guitar skills. I got into contact with him through his label Icewarrior / Rock It Up Records, after I did a song with one of their German bands named SCAVANGER. Tommy asked me to do two songs for him, which was really cool indeed – pure Metal! Meanwhile he confirmed a couple other singers, like Zak Stevens or David DeFeis – hey, what can I say!?! Being on one album with these legends… this is why I love doing what I do J. The album will be out spring next year, entitled “Hanging Rock”.
JZ: Metal music is considered in North Africa and the Middle East as a sign of power and rebellion against the corruption in societies (some are just following the trend and there's no need to mention those for sure). What I am getting at is: how does it feel to join forces with a Jordanian band like DRAGONRIDER?
Nothing but a huge honor, and I mean it! You know, one of my closest friends, my long time drummer Rami Ali, who used to be in EVIDENCE ONE and the Kiske/Sommerville Project, is actually from Jordan. When I told him about the collaboration, he was simply freaking out! I can only imagine, how difficult it must be for a band like DRAGONRIDER to work their way through all the repression and difficulties, so knowing that they chose me to do this feels really good! Can’t wait to get the material out, which up to now is just one song, I did, but I can assure you – it kicks major ass!.
JZ: Is there anything else I didn't ask you about that you would like to add?
Well, I don’t know… I guess, it’s up to the people to decide, if they like what I do or not J …thanks for the interview.