we are back from the European Tour with Powerwolf and Epica! At this point, we want to take the time to thank each and everyone of you for coming out to the shows; it is an amazing feeling to see that the metal scene is alive and well all over Europe!
We also have some great news that we want to share with you:
For the first time in the band's history we will be touring and Russia! On March 17th in St. Petersburg and March 18th in Moscow, so are you guys ready for this? Because we are, and we cannot wait to celebrate two wonderful evenings with you guys!
METAL HAMMER PARADISE
On November 10th and 11th we will partake in Metal Hammer Paradise, a great indoor festival that takes place in northern Germany! We will play alongside Bands like Kreator, Paradise Lost, Powerwolf and many more! Hope to see as many of you there as possible!
For more information and tickets, check:
In December we will finally be back with our own headline tour in 9 German cities! You can also buy a special tickets with exclusive merch and a signed tourpass. Normal tickets and Black Tickets are avaible on www.eventim.de
normal Tickets: http://bit.ly/2kQla6P
Black Tickets: http://bit.ly/2kTDXK6
As you can see, we were quite busy besides touring and are very proud and happy about everything that happened the last couple of weeks. We hope you are as excited as we are and too meet you all on the road!
Best to you all,
Friends and Fans in Russia! Here is a quick check-in from our european Tour with Powerwolf and Epica to give you these great news: we are coming to your country! These two headline shows are for YOU, and we cannot wait to visit your beautiful country and celebrate with all of our russian fans for the first time EVER! You can order your tickets here:
St. Petersburg: https://radario.ru/events/103842
The Grand Finale in the Grand City. Mercedes-Benz-Arena, a big and modern location in what is Germany's most vibrant city. We are on our way early and...no. I cannot write that blog entry in the typical manner I did before. There is much more to it than meets the eye. I will elaborate, but for that, I need to take you back to a couple of months ago...
It was in august of 2016 when my life changed, before I even knew it. It was when I heard that Beyond The Black were searching for new Band members. It was when I decided to apply as Bass player. It came back to me the day before today when I was walking through Berlin, through the city lights that were blurred by the rain, through all the busy faces of this big and vibrant city. I remember the day of the audition, I remember the sleepless nights before and after, remember how I walked parts of my way in Berlin to make sure I would find the audition in time; I remember checking every detail to be as prepared as humanly possible, to know that it would not be my mistake if did not get chosen - and I remember seeing the Mercedes-Benz-Arena where we play tonight, which was then so close, yet so far away.
Now, a couple of months later, I sit in the backstage area of that said Arena, wearing my stage outfit, listening to some ambient music and typing these words. I sit here, with a new outlook on so many things it scares me at times. As a teenager, I always dreamt of this happening; as a young adult, I began to chase that dream. And now I sit here, the chase is over, the dream is no longer
a dream, but my reality, wide awake. Noone watches me as I write these words, everyone is sort of busy; tuning guitars, warming up, chatting with friends and family, or just enjoying a minute of silence. The last show of this tour, this year. And I feel like I came full circle - the surreal feeling I had before leaving home is back. Everything is so close now. So real. Surreal.
I cannot wait for the show to start. To hit the stage with my new friends in Beyond The Black, and warm up the crowd that is waiting for the iconic Scorpions. Berlin. December 2nd, 2016 - the end of a road at the beginning of my journey.
So how was the show? You probably know by now - it was AWESOME! A big and enthusiastic crowd, quite some of our fans were there, and the show went really, really well. It leaves a bittersweet feeling in me to know that this is it for the year. As we leave the Arena, it still feels so close, but yet so distant.
So this is it, Ladies and Gentlemen; the last blog entry. It has been a great experience, not only the tour, but also to write my thoughts and experiences down for you! I hope to see you on the road sometimes, and if you are interested, find me on Facebook under my real Name "Stefan Herkenhoff" to keep in touch! I try to write a blog regularly and started to write some short stories, so maybe you find something you like!
Until then, Mr. Cat and I say goodbye and take care!
Hamburg travel and show at Barclaycard-Arena
Travels are long and boring. Indeed, this travel in particular is THAT boring that nothing happened I could write about, so sorry that there was no blog yesterday! We were on the highway for around 6 hours and besides watching movies and listening to movies there is nothing to report. I took a picture of our Bus and Mr. Cat at a highway rest, though:
So let's skip the boredom and head straight for the awesome! Hamburg, lovely pearl of the north, we are here to rock! Barclaycard Arena it is, quite a beautiful location!
After another great lunch on this tour, we start setting up and prepare ourselves how we always do - some warming up, tea, meditation... Scratch that, tonight is BEER TIME! Even more so, as Mikkey Dee himself visits us to chat and invite us for a little after show party, which we thankfully accept. We took a picture before because we felt that the picture afterwards might not be as charming ;)
The show went well - people seemed pretty excited to see the Scorpions and who would blame them? We slowly realize that there is only one more show to go: Berlin, the capital, the big city, the never sleeping metropolis. Two days off await us before the grand final and though with a bittersweet feeling we cannot wait to rock one last time with the mighty Scorpions!
I'm off for two days, I'll keep you updated if something good happens, but don't expect too much until Saturday! ;)
I hinted at the beauty of the Festhalle yesterday, but I actually never saw it in real life. Needless to say, we were pretty much blown away by what we saw, and even more so as the management confirmed that the Festhalle was SOLD OUT! This will be quite a sight to behold! I tried to capture the amazing dome of the concert hall, but pictures cannot do it justice. See for yourself!
Words cannot describe the amazing view we had from the stage. and since I actually really am at loss for words, see for yourself again:
Showtime. The crowd is awesome! We feel very welcome, have quite a lot people singing, cheering and having a great time! And not only them, we all feel incredibly good on stage tonight. I am pretty amazed to see some icelandic flags, and the group of vikings is really celebrating with us! Gotta love this enthusiasm, but what you gotta love even more is when you meet them in your hotel later! Great group of guys, and we will try to come over to your beautiful island as soon as possible!
So the night ends as the day began - and we will see what tomorrow holds when we travel to Hamburg.
See you there!
Travelday: Leipzig to Frankfurt
The next day, the next journey - Frankfurt is calling, but before us lies a 4 hour travel on the highway again. It's the more annoying part of touring, you spend hours and hours on the grey highways that start to look the same after a short period of time. Before our departure I take a shower, enjoy the first coffee in the morning and keep up the work on the blog. Here is a little picture of Mr. Cat and Mr. Laptop (to be renamed) to give you an idea of my extremely spacious workplace.
Travelling is definitely my least favourite part of touring. I can't sleep on the bus, I can't look down for a longer period of time due to me getting seasick (what a pirate I would be!), and in the wintertime there is not much to see outside the window. You are basically left with your thoughts, not necessarily a good thing. The occasional stop for regular caffeine intake does not deliver any more brightness into the travel day - actually, it reminds me of the atmosphere in "The Walking Dead".
By the way, that's Outer Space President and Drummer Kai Tschierschky in the Picture! He's my roommate for tonight and says "Hi" to you all, so there you go.
We'll head out for Sushi later (it's all about food again), and from then on it's probably some drinks and a good night sleep before we play the breathtakingly beautiful Festhalle in Frankfurt tomorrow - more on that on the next blog.
See ya then!
Leipzig: Arena Leipzig
In life things can take quite the turn. What has been a stressful and at times horrifying experience the day before, is a calm and relaxed atmosphere of finally being back in the pilot seat. We arrive safe and sound at the arena, the fabulous Scorpions Crew - they call themselves - "The sCREWpions" - are already building the stage and setting up the lights while we check out our Backstage and dressing room. The Arena is a cool location, smaller than the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, but not less impressive. It would be too much to say that we already "got used to this", but we feel a lot safer.
There is not much happening and not much to do, we have lots of time on our hands and setting up our stuff is by now in fact not even remotely stressful. So let's take a moment to talk about the real reason why any musician aspires greatness - THE FOOD!
I am quite afraid that I won't fit in my old Mazda when I return home, but will you look at that? But the worst thing that could happen to me are the deserts. Oh boy... Handmade brownies, dark chocolate cream cake, vanilla creams, cherry cakes... You might have guessed it by now, I have a serious problem. I admit, I'm a cake addict. Sweets in general, but cake... man. Can't go wrong with a nice piece of cake. And this catering DELIVERS!!! No matter how big the stages get, there is no chance of running around that much to actually use up all the energy I consume in form of baked sugary awesomeness.
So time goes by rather quickly when you're in a good mood with awesome food! It's almost showtime, and everyone is just relaxed and looking forward to hit the stage! The intro starts and... wait, the intro doesn't start! That can't be good. People running around on stage. The crowd is wondering what is happening. Clueless faces, stressed and hectic movements. Something is going wrong. Hundreds and hundreds of meters of cables, connectors, lots of possible sources of failure and so little time. What we had all day in abundance is what is running out now - time. I feel my hands getting sweaty, my muscles getting tense, my heartbeat is consistently on the rise. But then, suddenly, there it is! The intro is back! 20 seconds to hit the stage! We make sure that everything is back on track and we start the show, almost out of breath before it began. So yes, in life, things can take quite the turn.
After the show everything is back to normal. We watch the Scorpions rock the Arena, have some drinks and chat with our guests. After load-out there is not much to do or tell, so I'll stop here and we continue with the next day - travelling to Frankfurt!
Travelday: Cologne to Leipzig
Arrr, scurvy mates and curvy ladies, the mighty ship "Beyond The Black" just left ye harbour! Off to new lands to conquer, dragons to slay, hearts to break and...
...waiting for Windows to update.
...and wait! For three HOURS! Holy Meatball on a stick, what is going on here?! Who designs something like this? Anyway, we are on our way to Leipzig, the second of five shows with the mighty Scorpions. The highways of Germany are what they are: long and boring. Highlights of the day was us plundering a Subway along the way, stopping at a restpoint called "Helmetal" for...obvious reasons...and using the rare islands of internet access along the way. It sure can be lonely as a pirate...
But if THAT Pizza didn't make up for it I don't know what would have! Nothing really much more to report here, I am still digesting the ridiculous amount of awesomeness that this pizza was and will probably proceed to bed very soon.
Take care guys, and thanks for reading!
Cologne – Lanxess Arena
Get up, get dressed, get ready - the time has come to open a new chapter in my life. playing the first arena show as support for the Scorpions. This surreal feeling has not vanished yet, so the day starts pretty much as expected. I load my stuff in my old rusty'n'trusty Mazda, turn on my GPS-Nav and type in the adress. Lanxess Arena. I feel myself smiling unwillingly as I type in the letters, and I take another sip from my coffee to go before I start Old Rusty's engine (290.000 km of experience) to begin this journey. I see my home vanish in the rear mirror as I turn for the highway.
A couple of highway construction yards and the occasionally (and very much expected) traffic jams later, all feelings of surreality vanish as I approach the Lanxess Arena, and reality kicks in hard. This thing is HUGE! I have seen and played a lot of concerts in various locations in Cologne, but the Lanxess Arena is something different. 19.500 people Capacity. Germany's biggest indoor Location. Any last doubt of this really happening turned into a feeling of what I can only describe as anxious excitement.
I drive around the arena twice to sink in that feeling - everyone who tells you that was due to me not finding the right entrance is a filthy liar - before I park old Rusty and meet the rest of the band. As per usual, the mood in the group is awesome. We start unloading and check out the location. First things first; building a ping-pong-table!
The average day at the office. You unload, you get a drink and a snack, you do some chatting, and you check out the location. This is where "average" stops. This monster is even bigger ion the inside! At this point, noone really knows what to say or expect. Imagine everyting between anxiety, serene happiness, pure horror and utter excitement. I guess everyone of us feels like this at some point. At least I do.
We watch the stage being build up. It's a serious rock show, and it's amazing to be part of that. Time goes by rather quickly, so we start setting up our stuff. I help Kai with his Drum setup as much as I can, not only because of band comradery, but because I need to work to get my mind of what is happening here. I admit, I am quite nervous, albeit with a positive connotation! While setting up and getting ready to do soundcheck, Mikkey Dee (I do not need to explain who he is, do I?) shows up, shakes everyone's hands and makes Kai have a fanboy-moment. Well...not only Kai, to be fair ;). There is something about the presence of such a legend in the music business that feels special. It sure is a great honour to be here.
After soundcheck, we all feel way more relaxed and are now just looking forward to the show. And what a show that will be! A 30-minute burst of all the energy that built up throughout the day, and during the show, I see everyone in the band smiling. As always, my place is stage left right behind/beside Chris, but for the last songs, I cannot withstand the feeling anymore - I need to RUN along that stage! It is just too big NOT to! And damn it, this is fun!!!
Cool down after the show, some beers, some more snacks, a lot of chatting - the mood is great. We peak at the Scorpions Show before we start loading and head for the hotel. Travel day tomorrow. Not sure if there will be a blog entry, but who knows what the road brings!
Cheerio, my friends, take care!
November 22nd 2016, 18:38:
The night before the Scorpions Tour
I am sitting in my bedroom and prepare my stuff for the next 12 days. We are hitting the road with the Scorpions through Germany for their 50th Anniversary Tour...
I cannot even begin to describe how utterly surreal it feels to type these words. It seems like an ordinary November's evening; it is cold, dark and rainy outside, I am having a cup of tea and sit in front of my computer to write. Just an ordinary evening. Except it's not. The Scorpions. Man. Even when I was younger I would not even dare to dream of something like this happening, but now I sit here, amidst my clothes, my neckroll "Mr. Cat", my Laptop and an empty pizza box, feeling nothing but gratitude and that tingling sensation in your stomache when something is about to happen in your life that has the potential to change EVERYTHING (might also be the pizza, though ;)).
Recently, while riding a train to a band related appointment, I talked to Jennifer about how I perceive being in a band. It is like being on a pirate ship ("Beyond The Black" would be an awesome name for a pirate ship,by the way) with your mates, sailing the seas to new horizons, through wailing winds and changing tides towards a distant world that you are never sure it even exists. But you keep sailing, no matter the cost, no matter the risk, because you know one thing - it is worth the cost, it is worth the effort. And this very moment right now is one of the treasures we find along this journey. The treasure of gratitude, excitement and being alive and awake like never before. Sure, you are surrounded by sweaty guys all the time and the food isn't necessarily the best, but you love every second of it nonetheless.
It is a rare opportunity to do what we do, and each of us feel blessed to participate in this adventure.
So you guys, we will meet on tour, hopefully! Keep tuned for the next block when "Beyond The Black" reach the harbour in Cologne tomorrow!
Best to all of you,