Soon after welcoming each other, the sympathetic Italien shows to be a nice talker.
Nat: I'd like to go to the past at first; out of what idea has Vision Divine been founded at all? Most of you are active members in other successfull bands!
Olaf: Well, the main target in the beginning was, yeah, kind of reunion of good friends - Fabio and me. We know each other for a lot of years, almost ten years now, and we were friends already before we started being musicians. As you probably know he was the former singer of Labyrinth and then, well, destiny and decisions or lack of experience or whatever brought us to split and look for our own ways. But certainly we missed the good feeling of when you are good friends and have the chance to play good music together. So the main reason to create Vision Divine was friendship.
Of course now I have to say that since the first release we saw ourselves trusting in this band really as a band, we were not interested in making just a project, this is not our style. We found ourselves to spend a lot of time and a lot of energy in this band, in these albums in the songs we are composing. So far I can say that right now Vision Divine is a really important band for us.
Nat: So, about Labyrinth - we did not hear much about them since the release of Sons Of Thunder - what are they currently up to?
Olaf: Yeah, we're coming back this year. We have first of all a live album that we are going to record in March. That will be just our way to take time for the next studio album that will be recorded before the summer of this year. And we hope to release the new studio album around the end of 2002. The reason why we had to wait a little bit has mainly been that we had many problems with our Italian label and we took the decision that we wouldn't release anything more under this label. We had to go to the court with a judge and a lawyer and everything. And yeah, we had a really bad fight, but we were a hundred percent right, so now we have the right to proceed with our own music and our own career by ourselves and so we had a good end for the problems we had and now we are really ready to go back and this will be a very important album for us.
Nat: "Send Me An Angel", the new Vision Divine album, did remind me of the first Labyrinth release "No Limits" a lot. I mean, the sound is much better of course and the songs are more complex and richer...
Olaf: Yes? Well the sound of "No Limits" was really terrible...
Nat: I think it was not THAT bad, but well...
Olaf: Yeah, but compared to releases like "Sons Of Thunder"..., or better Rhapsody or what else you are used to listen to now. "Sons Of Thunder" is a release we have to keep apart because of the problems we had with the producer of course. But I mean generally "Return To Heaven Denied" for example was sounding very cool - at least compared to "No Limits".
Nat: The studio where you recorded "Send Me An Angel" has a swimming pool and such luxury like I read elsewhere.
Olaf: Haha, yeah...
Nat: But that is no reason why it took you so long to record the second album, is it? (laughing)
Olaf: No, no, of course not. To be honest - it's not like we used the swimming pool that much. (laughing) But it was just a joke to tell about the swimming pool. We chose that studio, because it's the studio of our label and in that studio we have the chance - first of all - to have everything we need and to build a good atmosphere for the band. We have no pressure, we don't have to end the job within one month or so. That's very important for us. To be honest I'm not that kind of person who thinks that the production is 100% of an album. I first of all take care of the quality of the songs. I mean I prefer an album with a sound of 80%, but with great songs, much more than an album with a 100% sound but with songs not that good.
But the thing that was very important for us was to know that in this studio we could be working without pressure from the label and without problems with time.
Nat: You did a cover song on the first release - it was Europe there - and you did a cover song on the second release - what's your intention in doing a cover song on every Vision Divine album?
Olaf: Oh, also on Labyrinth I'll do that! (laughing) - Well, there's not a reason why. The main reason, I think, that every year or every time I have the chance to release an album, at the end of an album I like to give something strange, something unusual for the band. So you may listen to one hour of music by Labyrinth or Vision Divine, but I think at the end it's also fine for people to listen to something different from what you're used to listen to for almost one hour. And that's also the reason why we generally chose songs not that common for a Heavy Metal band [Europe's "Final Countdown" ?? Don't say that... ;-) - the editor]. I don't think that people should judge the album just by the cover (song) of course.
Nat: Yes, well, when I listened to the album for the first time it was funny to hear that A-HA song at the end...
Nat: ...the second time it was interesting and I still think it's interesting - it's some kind of easy listening at the end of the album.
Olaf: Yes, it's a little bit funny, you know. You do not look at us playing seriously when we cover that song (laughing) - yeah, just fun.
Nat: So, will you present the new material on European stages this year?
Olaf: Well, this is not depending on us (laughing). At the moment we're planning our second South American tour. 'cause we have a very great support over there, we're ready for requests to play again over there. We are looking for our chances to play and then with the second album I think we are definitly looking at Europe as our main target. With the first one we had several problems mainly due to the fact that some magazines or people are looking at Vision Divine as a project band. I think with the second release it's quite clear that Vision Divine is not a side-project (laughing). The sound now is much more personal and the band also has a higher personality. So I think this year we definitly look for any chance for playing some festivals at least. So far we are really looking for a chance to play at Wacken or Bang Your Head festival.
Nat: I read about Bang Your Head - wasn't there already a confirmation?
Olaf: For Vision Divine? I don't know man... (laughing) As I told you I'm so busy with playing at the moment that I leave this job to the management (laughing). So if you say so it could be okay and could be good news for us.
Nat: I'm not sure, but I think I read about it... [sorry, it was Rhapsody who are already confirmed - the editor] If you come to Wacken, we will surely meet there!
Olaf: Well, I hope so. What I can say about Wacken is that I've been there with Labyrinth, so I know how cool it is to play there. I also have to say that as every year so many bands are playing there that in my opinion there should be a place for Vision Divine also. If not at least for the names of the people, who play in this band (laughing).
Nat: (laughing) Like you said in the beginning you have to do lots of interviews these days and to answer similar questions every time...
Olaf: Yeah! (laughing) Yeah...
Nat: ...so what would you LIKE to be asked, what would you like to tell us?
Olaf: Well, that's really difficult for me. As I told you at the start I like to talk about my music and it's very difficult for me to just answer questions like "which song do you prefer the best?" (laughing). That's really difficult, because I wrote the songs and I cannot really prefer one of these songs. Generally for the rest I have no problems with talking - I know this is your job and also my job - or your passion, you do this because it is your passion and thanks to your job (or passion) I also have the chance to promote my music and my band. So it's really always a pleasure to talk with people, who make interviews for my songs.
Nat: You said you wrote the songs - did you write the lyrics as well?
Nat: And the lyrics on "Send Me..." deal with the conflict of good and evil. Do you come to any conclusion?
Olaf: No, there's not a conclusion. I'm not used to write anything with a conclusion. I think first of all I'm not old enough to give a conclusion (laughing). I still have a lot to learn before I can say anything about life. I just make kind of pictures of real life using of course allegory and metaphors, because it would be very difficult to talk about real life in a normal way. So I prefer to use allegory like fantasy stories or as in Vision Divine I always use religion to explain things that happen normally. And this is just kind of a picture of normal life, of normal feelings, of things that surely everyone is thinking of at least one time in his life. But I don't want to give any sentence or any solutions for I'm not able to do that.
Nat: You mentioned religion; if you don't mind talking about it - what's your personal point to religion?
Olaf: No problem. - Ouhhh... I'm still looking for myself (laughing). I surely trust that there is something for sure. It would be difficult for me to believe there's nothing after life. Everything is so perfect that it would be really difficult to think everything is just a case, you know? But I'm not able to say if it's true that there's a God, there are angels or there's just spirits. I don't know if good and evil are so well devided in the afterlife. I don't know if there will be a penitence for the sinners and a premium for the good people - I don't know this.
Nat: Yes, I think noone of us has the chance to know about that...
Olaf: Yeah, but we will see anyway. (laughing)
Nat: Haha, yes. Well, that's it for now, I think. Thank you very much for your time and patience!
Olaf: Thank you!
Nat: And good luck for your future work.
Olaf: Thanks, and hope to see you soon then on stage.
Nat: Yeah, so do I! See you!