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Patricia, Michael and Steve (Cornerstone)

Interview with Patricia, Michael and Steve from Cornerstone
by Jorge Zamudio at 12 January 2012, 2:10 AM

With the release of their a new album through the presentation of Rock N' Growl Records, the AOR / Hard Rock band of CORNERSTONE were able to mesmerize with their rocking sense. Zarto had a chance to discuss the band and the album with three of its members. 

CORNERSTONE is not a brand new band, you´ve been on the road for almost 13 years for what I’ve read, tell us: How did you met? And how the band started?

Steve: We have begun to perform cover-Versions of REM, SOUL ASYLUM and THE CURE in the livingroom of Mike’s former girlfriend in 1997 (*laughs*) …that was it. After a time a friend of Mike – Markus Bousska – joined the group, he has played drums, so the band was born, we have started, to write own songs. At the beginning Mike was the leadsinger, but – let me say it this way - there are some things in the band, he can do better than singing…(*laughs*).

Michael: yeah, so a singer joined the band, we have changed the name to “Cornerstone” in 1999, and started to perform. After four years – members came and gone – I haven’t seen a sense anymore, to be in a band…but we had good luck, and the “reborn” Cornerstone has started their work in 2004 – and now we have an interview for a great ‘zine, that’s really great! 2007 was a great year, 2008 and 2009 even better: we have signed a contract with an american label, we were on tour trough U.S.A., UK and Austria, and got some really positive response from the international press. This year we did another tour trough UK to promote our new album “Somewhere in America”, we did some gigs with NEW MODEL ARMY, DENNIS STRATTON (Iron Maiden) and others, so that’s cool (*haha, haha* -> should be a Beavis & Butthead laughing ;-))

Patricia: I joined the band in August 2009. I read an announcement on the internet, which said that “Cornerstone” is looking for a female singer. After a call and an audition, I got the part. This was the best thing that could ever happen to me.

After hearing you, one could see the strong R.E.M. influence in your music, which other bands are noted as influences to you?, maybe your countrymen AC/DC.?

Michael: Oh man, no kangooroos here in Austria! We’re not from Downunder, but for sure AC/DC is a great band! Austria is the country with the world’s best skiers and the world’s worst soccer-players (*laughs*)

Patricia: Usually, people compare us with bands like Fleetwood Mac and Roxette, which is a huge honour for us.

Talking about your music, you probably have your own favorites among the songs, if that’s the case which ones and Why?

Patricia: My personal favourite song of the album is “Strut”. Not only, because of the catchy chorus and the harmony of the voices, but also because of Steve’s great guitar solo and the fact, that it was created and finished in the studio. It’s a slow number and arranged very musically. In short words, simple and unique to listen to.

Michael: “Strut” has probalby the most obscure story: when we started to record the album, some songs weren’t ready 100% lyrically or musically, but this song didn’t exist when we’ve started the recording sessions!! Our producer asked me about the name of the song, and after think about it – there were just a few chords and a vocal-harmony existing in my head! – I told him: “What’s about ‘Strut’”? Then he made a short break, and we’ve worked out the song in two hours! I sang a Demo-track bymyself, because there were no lyrics at that point, and then we’ve finished the song with some Keyboard-Work, etc. Funny story behind this is, that this tune is the very best effort from Cornerstone for many people, and actually people told us, to use this as a single…life is strange sometimes (*laughs*). Beside this, “Like A Stranger” and “Right Or Wrong” are the best songs on the album for me. Perfectly arranged, very memorable, and musically we gave our very best on this.

Head Over Heels is your debut album, and whit that reached a successful status all over the world, did you expect something like that?, that kind of success has been on your plans or was something unexpected?.

Michael: it was definitely a surprise! Originally we have recorded it for our fans, and for our personal tastes. But suddenly we’ve got offers from US-labels, english PR-agencies etc. So we have decided to go internationally with our music. AUSTRIA (Not AUSTRALIA!! :-D) is like a little village: everybody nows everybody, especially the music-scene here is very narrow-minded and uses Payola-tactics. So it was very clear for us after a few months, that we have to escape from this situation, if we wanted to become sucessfully. So we did…

Patricia: We work very hard to bring our music and the name Cornerstone out to the people and try to play as many concerts as possible.

I have to say that Somewhere in America was something that I’ve never heard before, I’ve always been in the metal and rock world, but this was something that really caught my attention, something that some friends and people all over the world I know have felt the same way, what was your formula to make that happen?

Steve: Thanks a lot Jorge, we really appreciate that.

Michael: we have no special formula behind our music. I usually came up with some lyrics and chords, and then Steve and me worked on the songs. In case it will lead us to nowhere, the others will never hear it. Principially we always wrote, what we’ve felt in our hearts. But I guess it’s about the mixture: Patricia’s tastes are more into lighter Pop like Maria Carey, Whitney Houston, etc. Steve is more a kind of Heavy Metal guy, he likes Metallica, Guns ‘n Roses and stuff like that. Me? I’d want to be Journey! Mike could handle every musical  direction, so this particular mixture make these songs and sound so unique!

Patricia: Michael and Steve, who wrote the songs together, did a great job. In my opinion, concerning lyrics and melody, they are the perfect creative team. After they provided a base for the tunes, we all came together and rehearsed till midnight to make the songs unique. And they are.. I am very satisfied and proud of what we achieved with our music. So far, people’s reactions to the new songs were always positive. I guess that’s because of the different styles of music we experimented with (Ska, Punk, Pop, etc.).

Where do you like to go with your music, which countries have been on your list?

Patricia: I see ourselves rocking the Madison Square Garden JNo, just kidding… it’s necessary to stay down-to-earth. It’s my wish, to play as many concerts as possible in different countries, especially America.

I’ve read that you not only have the way of success in the music, but in television and films, how have you managed to focus in each activity without interfering with CORNERSTONE?

Michael: these things more or less happened per accident. Our lawyer asked us, if we could deliver two songs for a movie (which I have seen in Televison last week, by the way!), so it was a great feeling, to hear our music in cinema in front of all these people. Our former Roadie Charles and me also were actors ins some TV-commercials. But this have principially nothing to do with Cornerstone, so it’s no problem to handle it.

Luck is only a consequence of hard work, how hard have you been working on CORNERSTONE since the birth of the band, or has been something that only emerges in the inspiration moments? How much luck have you had since the release of your first album?

Patricia: Very lucky! We did a great tour around Greece, which was more kind of a holiday than hard work Jand, what also should be mentioned, is the beautiful adventure tour around UK, which we absolved this year. Every concert we played, since the release of “Head over Heels”, was special and unforgettable. Because of all those references, a few important people noticed us and as a result, our album is now on the playlist of Austria’s biggest radio station called “Hitradio OE3”, for example. What could be better for the life of a musician? We’re all very thankful, that this is all happening.
Steve: you always have to live with Up and Downs. But this happens in all parts of your life, not only music. But when I started the band, Mike always kidded around: “One day you’ll perform in America”. And suddenly we’ve PERFORMED in America. This was fucking greatest!

I have to say I’m from Colombia (I always say that), but do you know something about your presence in Latino America? Is in your thoughts someday to make live performances in these 3rd world countries? (Sorry how that sounds, it’s the truth).

Patricia: Of course!!! I’d love to come to Colombia!!!

Michael: We have no particular plans to go there, but never say never! In case we’ll get positive response and offers from Festivals etc., why not? By the way, a friend of mine moved to Argentinia two months before… she really loves it! But she also told me that the Argentinians are the Germans of South-America: no one likes them principially (*laughs*)

Which are your new plans for the moment, live album in the making or a DVD?.

Steve: We’ll do a few concerts in Austria and Germany in spring, and in summer we’ll do another UK-tour. In fall we’ll start working on a new album, let’s see.

Well, Thanks a lot for your time, for the last I want to say congratulations for your success and really hope you to continue in that way. Hails and goodbye.

Patricia: Thanks a lot for having us, Jorge!!! Hope to see you soon in person and greetings from all members of Cornerstone!!!

Michael: Cheers to all readers of Metal-Temple! All the best to you and thank you for the interview!

Steve: …and don’t forget to grab your copy of “Somewhere in America”, it’s available via and iTunes! Cheers! 


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