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Markus A. Bader (Dante)

Interview with Markus A. Bader from Dante
by Cameron Ervin at 08 May 2013, 1:27 PM

Recently signed to the German Massacre Records, the Progressive Metal band DANTE, elevated their journey into newfound boundaries with the release of their new, and third, album "November Red". Cameron had a chance to talk with the band's guitarist, Markus Bader, about the new album, the band's history and more…

Hello Markus, how have you been? Thanks for time for this interview for Metal Temple.

Thank you, I've been doing great!

Before jumping into your new album, let’s start by getting to know DANTE a bit better. Where did the name “Dante” come from and what does it mean?

As far as I know, back in 2007, after the first songs were written for the 1st Album, known latterly "The Inner Circle", obviously it became necessary to find a name.

In the early stages it became pretty much clear that DANTE started to grow as a very ambitious project, one which is pretty unique in its kind, with the strong intention to write good progressive music with thoughtful lyrics with a cool artwork and booklet enclosed. After some feeble ideas it was Alex who suggested the name DANTE, and that translated well to that.

It was pretty easy to remember, and good looking too, so all of us agreed.

How did you and the other members come together to form Dante?

The band started out in 2006 when Markus Maichel (Keyboard) and Markus Berger (Guitar) decided, that they wanted to make music together again. Later on, Alex (Vocals) and Chris (Drums) joined in and DANTE was born. After a successful album release with "The Inner Circle" in 2008, and after finishing the 2nd Album "Saturnine" in 2010 the band decided that they needed a second Guitarist in order to play properly live. That was the moment I joined the band, first as a live support through a couple of gigs over 6 months, until February 2011 at the Generation Prog Live Festival, from this point on as a full DANTE member.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

I think the most remarkable thing about our music is that it breaks the boundaries of traditional rock/metal. DANTE songs can be powerful, hard and fast but also fragile, threnody and tragic. From a musicians perspective we love to play complex songs, love to have a sophisticated instrumentation and composition with odd time signatures, symphonic influences and lyrical content.

Our music does not necessarily hold to formal procedures, so if there is any need for songs to be 6 minutes or even 12 minutes long, we are trying to give them the time they need but we´re also trying to stay away from extending songs just for the sake of it.

Now for your new album, “November Red”, signed to Massacre Records. First of all congrats. I wonder how the public reacted to your release?

First of all we are pretty happy with Massacre Records, they are doing a great job to promote us, so with this great support its getting better and better. From each album to the next it was a continual improvement, so we are pretty excited how things are going well.

Do you believe that “November Red” has been keeping the same vibe as your earlier two releases?

Yes I do, I think "November Red" is the natural successor, but at the same time it is more heavy and complex. As a matter of fact I think we are growing as a band also, and since this is the first album I was involved in recording, it became different to our previous albums. I also had the opportunity to compose two Solo parts on "Birds of Passage" and The Lone and "Level Sands", which is new to DANTE.

Any plans for touring to support the album?

We try our best; unfortunately there are not as many concerts and tours as we would like to play. We do not have as many opportunities to perform also due to financial reasons but we play with a lot of like-minded bands.

We are persistently working to make our name known and it would be great to play abroad too.

In general, as a musician, what’s your main inspiration for making music?

I always loved film music! Huge emotional pictures supported by tremendous music give me pleasure. Since my childhood I liked the power of the E-Guitar and also was trying to create big feelings out of it on my own, so one thing led to another.

What got you interested in this type of music with all that need for progression and development?

As I said before, the love for film music, but also the challenge to play everything I can imagine in my head and also to express my feelings. At this point it was necessary to develop my technique and knowledge to be able to do that. I think that was the main reason that lead me into progressive music.

Which musician would you say has influenced you most?

Definitively John Petrucci when it comes to both, technique and feeling.
But also Steve Vai, Michael Angelo Batio, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane…..

Do you have a favorite album that made you whole? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

It is "Dangerous" from Michael Jackson, because this album has led me to learn guitar.

It would be interesting you to know how you guys sit down and write an album. Is there somewhat dominant or it is a group’s effort?

There was always a core consisting of  Markus Berger and Markus Maichel as the main composers, then the rest of the band, more or less democratically, can influence on the compositions. But right now, due to the loss of Markus Berger, the whole process has to be redefined, but luckily it is going well so far, we are making progress, and so far there are at least 4 new demo songs.

Where do you think Dante will be in a few years?

Well, we will always try our best to be successful and to play as many gigs as possible, there is nothing better than playing live. We enjoy writing music together and want to continue what we are doing. Hopefully our popularity increases further, so we will be able to reach out to more and more fans with our music and tour as many times as possible.

Markus, I wish to thank for this interview, you guys are an interesting group that needs to be checked out. Good luck with the new album. Any last words for the readers?

There would be no DANTE without all our fans and friends, so thank you so much for your support. We are always working to offer you great music because you deserve it.


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