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Biographie : Sieges Even

1986 - 1988

It all began back in the 80s when guitar player Markus Steffen and bass player Oliver Holzwarth founded their first band in Munich, Germany. After Oliver's brother Alex (drums) and singer Franz Herde had joined the band the name SIEGES EVEN immediately became a synonym for innovative and progressive rock music.

Between 1986 and 1987 their first demos and rehearsals were recorded, highly acclaimed by the underground press in Europe and the States. In 1987/88 SIEGES EVEN recorded another 4-track-demo called "Repression and Resistance" which called the attention of producer Kalle Trapp and German record label SPV to which SIEGES EVEN finally got signed.

1988 - 1992

In the spring of 1988 SIEGES EVEN entered Kalle Trapp's 'Karo-Studio' in Munster to commence the recordings of their debut album "Life Cycle" The album contained 7 tracks: "Repression and Resistance", "Life Cycle", "Apocalyptic Disposition", the instrumental "The Roads To Iliad", "David", "Straggler from Atlantis" and another short instrumental called "Arcane".

As for the production, the album had a very rough and energetic sound. Not quite what the band had in mind, but yet a first step. After the recordings had been finished and having received the first positive reactions from the press and from lovers of progressive rock and metal, SIEGES EVEN instantly began writing new music for a second album.

In March/April 1990 the band teamed-up with the new producers talent Charlie Bauerfeind to work on the second output "Steps". Recordings took place at the 'Lakeside-Studios' in Utting nearby Munich. the concept of the album was very different to what they did on "Life Cycle". Encouraged by the enthusiastic press feedback, SIEGES EVEN wrote on of the extremest albums in the progressive rock genre. "Steps" contained 7 tracks with a full playing time of about 55 minutes. The 25 minute opening track "Tangerine Windows of Solace" alone was a challenge for both the musicians and the listener. The other tracks on the album were "Steps", "Corridors", "The Vacuum Tube Processor", "An Act of Aquiescence" and "Anthem Chapter 1 & 2".

Again the following press reactions were more than brilliant. One thing the band wasn't too happy about was the live situation. Although SIEGES EVEN always enjoyed being on stage, the opportunities during those years were rare. But one show they played turned out as a real highlight in the bands history: in 1991 SIEGES EVEN opened for the US band "Psychotic Waltz" in the German city Verl. In front of a enthusiastic crowd coming from all corners of Europe, SIEGES EVEN performed several tracks from their first two albums (and one new track from the upcoming third album).

In 1991 the band entered the studio again. Once again Charlie Bauerfeind was the man in charge concerning the albums production. It was entitled " A Sense of Change" - the perfect title for an album which was yet again very different to its predecessors. Indeed, the title was well chosen: During the recording sessions SIEGES EVEN parted company with their long-time singer and friend Franz Herde. Finding the perfect replacement took the band another 3 months. After the recording some of the material with a female vocalist from the USA, SIEGES EVEN decided to go om with an unknown guy from Germany. His name was Jogi Kaiser. His jazzy and clear voice fitted perfectly to the more transparent and open sound of "A Sense of Change". And this guy was fast: He recorded all of the songs within 3 days time! " A Sense of Change" was one of the first recordings done in DDD and to be released on compact disc. It contained the following pieces: "Prelude: Ode to Sisyphus", "The Waking Hours", "Behind Closed Doors", "Dimensions", "Prime", "Epigramfor the last straw" and "These Empty Places".

Even though the reactions to "A Sense of Change" were, once again. enthusiastic and the band members themselves that they had created something that would last, the album marked the end of the first chapter in the history of the band. Guitar player Markus Steffen left the band for personal reasons after they had played their last and legendary show in Wiesbaden in the summer of 1992

1993 - 1999

From that point, both the Holzwarth-brothers and Markus Steffen were pursuing different musical directions. While Oliver and Alex continued with SIEGES EVEN, another two albums with new musicians ("Sophisticated" and Uneven") Markus focused on the modern classical guitar, recorded a solo album in 1999 (Unsheltered Places") and wrote a book on the guitar in the same year.

Oliver and Alex gained a lot of live experience as they did a tour with prog-rock legends Emerson, Lake and Palmer and,furthermore both were recruited by international acclaimed bands such as Blind Guardian (Oliver) and Rhapsody (Alex).

Even though each of them developed his musical abilities and benefited a lot from working in musical areas which were quiet different to what they had done with SIEGES EVEN, there was the feeling that something was missing, something was left unsaid. So after 6 years it took nothing than a phone call to bring those guys together again. After the ultimate end of SIEGES EVEN Oliver, Alex and Markus felt that the time was right again, to finish what they've started.

In the summer of 1999 they met at their first rehearsal after 6 years of not having heard anything from each other, not having played with each other. They wrote a first track called "Equinox" and instantly decided to carry on as a new band, since all of them felt that one of the most important factors each of them was lacking during all those years was eventually back: the chemistry.

1999 - present

After the decision to carry on under the name LOOKING-GLASS-SELF, the main problem to appear was to find a right voice to their music. Everything seemed perfect when singer Andrè Matos, who was known for his works with Brazilian outfit Angra joined LGS to record the vocals for their first promo release "Equinox".

The cd contained the four tracks "Equinox", "Stigmata", "Footprints of Angels" and "The Valparaiso Dreaming". However Andrè, whose contribution to the band was highly appreciated, was pursuing his own solo projects. So it wasn't a surprise that many people had the feeling that LGS was not a band but a project of Alex, Oliver, and Markus plus one guest star as the singer. This of course, has never been the intention. Even if a frustrating search for an adequate vocalist began anew, the three continued writing new songs.

But it took them almost two years 'till a guy from the Netherlands send Markus an email, telling him that he was the right one for the job. And so, in January 2003 they entered the studio to record the vocals for two new tracks. ("The lonely views of Condors", "Were our shadows sleep") that were already recorded a year before. The name of that new singer was Arno Menses, originally a drummer with a lot of backing-vocal experience. Due to the fact, that for the first time after many years Oliver, Alex and Markus had the feeling that they had a whole band line-up together, they decided to leave the past behind and continue under a new name: VAL'PARAISO.

After all, the four felt that this was only a half-hearted decision as the new material was showing all the typical SIEGES EVEN-characteristics. So it was only a matter of time that they left behind their doubts concerning a typical so-called reunion and switched the bands name back to its origin: SIEGES EVEN.

Alex, Arno, Oliver and Markus played their first reunion show in April 2004 at the Headway Festival in Amstelveen,NL, followed by their first gig in seven years in Germany in Frankfurt (October 2004). Their new album "The Art Of Navigating By The Stars" was released in the Spring/Summer 2005. Currently SIEGES EVEN are writing the songs for their new album Paramount thus opening another chapter in the history of SIEGES EVEN.

Source : http://www.siegeseven.com/history.html