Today’s Feature – July 24-25: Stanfour

July 25, 2008 at 10:41 pm (Today's Feature)

For much of the PensEyeView.com viewing audience, Stanfour is a new name for the vocabulary. It’s understandable. But if you mutter the term somewhere near Germany – hell, anywhere around Europe – folks would know who you were referencing before you made it into the second syllable. The gentlemen of Stanfour grew up on the small, yet quite beautiful island of Foehr in northern Germany, and after a successful takeover of their local market, are poised to attack the American charts like no other pop-rock band before them.

And Stanfour knows success isn’t far, referencing the open way many young American minds think: “It seems like the American fans become very interested a lot faster. Rock music has a great tradition in the States and people over here are a lot more open to new bands than in other countries.” Hits such as “Do It All” and “For All Lovers” have grabbed numerous newcomer awards from German magazines and radio stations, and both are selections from their latest release, “Wild Life.”

The album is a mix of ballads, up-tempo rock songs and even tracks that will get your feet moving on the dance floor. Guiding the best from pop and rock into wonderfully blended melodies, Stanfour has added attention grabbing elements to this record, such as big string orchestras and exceptionally passionate lyrics. Some huge names helped make this collection; names you’ll recognize whether you’re from Germany or the states. People like Max Martin (Pink, Kelly Clarkson), Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Kiss) and Lindy Robbins (Backstreet Boys). It’ll be tough to catch the guys in America over the summer, as they jump festival after festival in Europe. But trust me – this won’t be the last you hear of Stanfour. Get into the XXQ’s to learn more.

XXQs: Stanfour

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us how Stanfour first started out. Was it an instant connection from day one?

Stanfour: We got to know each other almost five years ago working for a different artist. We started writing songs right away and it felt really natural being together as a band. So instant connection is probably the right term!

PEV: Growing up in small, beautiful island of Foehr, in northern Germany, what kind of music were the members of Stanfour listening to?

Stanfour: Some favorite bands/musicians are:

Alex: Journey, Toto, Michael Jackson.

Konstantin: Queen, Incubus, Coldplay.

Eike: Nirvana, Taking Back Sunday, Green Day.

Christian: Coldplay, Three Doors Down, Nickelback.

PEV: Already a household name in Europe, and getting air play in the US as well, how are the fans in Europe different than the ones in the US?

Stanfour: It seems like the American fans become very interested a lot faster. Rock music has a great tradition in the States and people over here are a lot more open to new bands than in other countries.

PEV: What’s one thing that you love about Germany, you can’t find in the US?

Stanfour: There is one thing – soccer! It’s the most popular sport in Europe but not that big in the U.S.A… yet. But we know David Beckham is going to change it.

PEV: Tell us about the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio. Do you remember that feeling and excitement?

Stanfour: That was after a show with John Fogerty. We were all sitting in our tour bus heading for the next city. Everybody was talking about the gig and suddenly we heard the intro of our song on the radio. It got quiet immediately, a very special moment.

PEV: Was there a certain point when you realized that music was going to become more than just a hobby for you?

Stanfour: Music has always been more than just a hobby for us. It is a privilege being able to spend every day with writing, recording or performing music.

PEV: You have played with John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Daughtry, One Republic and have a show coming up with Bryan Adams. Who have you not collaborated with so far that you would like to?

Stanfour: There are so many great bands and musicians out there. A lot of bands have an impact on our music and it would be a great honor to play shows with bands like Three Doors Down, Lenny Kravitz, Snow Patrol, Nickelback or Coldplay – to name a few..

PEV: Having traveled all over Europe and traveling in the US, in all your travels, which city do you think offers the best scene for music?

Stanfour: In Europe it’s probably Stockholm (Sweden), which offers the best scene for Rock/Pop music. The city is not that big but has an amazing musical output. Hundreds of artists and producers are working in small studios all over the city and Swedish productions are dominating the charts all around the world. We recorded most of our songs in Stockholm in different studios. It was a great time in a beautiful city!

Los Angeles is of course one of the most important places for band, artists and everyone involved in the music business. There are cool clubs and festivals for young talent to present themselves and a superb recording infrastructure for established artists. Alex and Konstantin have been living and working in LA for a couple of years now and are opening up a small studio this fall.

PEV: How has “life on the road” been for you? Good parts? Bad parts? Any favorite stops along the way?

Stanfour: We just love to perform our music in front of an audience and we love to travel, being on the road is the perfect combo for us. You get to know great people and cities… Touring has no big down sides, except maybe sleeping in a bus next to 12 other men every night. Our favorite stop so far has been Brussels (Belgium), it is great city that has an amazing crowd.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Stanfour performance?

Stanfour: Performing live means a lot to us, but in the end it’s all about having a good time and a big party with our fans.

PEV: Before a show, are there any pre-show rituals you do or do you just go out there and perform?

Stanfour: About 45 minutes before the show starts we all gather in our backstage room, then we just go through the set really quick. Afterwards, everyone has his own pre-show routine. Some are powering themselves up with music while others are calm and focusing on the show.

PEV: Any embarrassing or funny live performance stories?

Stanfour: It’s actually a thrilling story; One of our shows with the Backstreet Boys in Europe had to be cancelled due to a fire. It broke out in one of the wardrobes of the Backstreet Boys while our crew member was sleeping in the room next door. He was trapped inside on the second floor and the only chance to get him out was by smashing the window from the outside and rescuing him through the broken glass with a cherry picker. Gladly no one was seriously injured and the tour could be continued.

PEV: Is there an up and coming artist out right now that you think we should all be looking into?

Stanfour: George – an amazing singer/songwriter managed by Howie from the Backstreet Boys. Great performer!

PEV: Already a massive hit in Europe, what can the US fans expect from your release, “Wild Life”?

Stanfour: It’s basically a melody focused Rock/Pop album. We wrote and produced over 50 songs and 13 ended up on the record. There are ballads, up-tempo rock songs and even tracks that make you want to dance. It’s a good reflection of the last couple years that we have had together as a band…drama and fun.

PEV: How has your work on this album differed from your previous works?

Stanfour: We had the opportunity to work on our debut with some outstanding writers and producers such as Max Martin (Pink, Kelly Clarkson), Desmond Child (Bon Jovi, Kiss) and Lindy Robbins (Backstreet Boys) among others. Making this album was an amazing experience. We wrote and produced in our own studio in Germany, in Stockholm/Sweden and in Los Angeles, it was quite a journey.

PEV: What is one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Stanfour?

Stanfour: We all have our own personal history in the music business. Alex used to work as a film composer in a studio in L.A. for a couple of years. Konstantin joined him and later he was picked by Brian May to perform in the Queen show “We will rock you”. Eike was working as a producer for a local radio station where Chris hosted his own daily show.

PEV: When you sit down to write, what kind of environment do you surround yourselves in?

Stanfour: The environment can be totally different as long as you have an acoustic guitar and something to record your ideas on. We have our own studio on a small island in Germany and that’s where we wrote and still write a lot of our songs. The sea and the beautiful nature of the island is a great inspiration to us. It frees your mind and you are much more open to music than in the hectic nature of a major city.

PEV: When you are not touring or performing, what can we find the members of Stanfour doing in their spare time?

Stanfour: When we’re not touring we’re usually in our studio working on new songs. But since our studio and home base is on a small island we love to hang out at the beach, playing soccer and having barbecues. We love barbecues!

PEV: In one word, describe Stanfour.

Stanfour: Melodies.

PEV: So, what is next for Stanfour?

Stanfour: We have a lot of shows and summer festivals all over Europe coming up. Then in late September we will be on the road with our own club tour.

For more information on Stanfour, check out www.Stanfour.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Kralle said,

    Thanks. Interesting Interview!

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