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Frank Weyzig (Vaselyne, Born For Bliss, ex-Clan Of Xymox,...) - Interview

Interview with: Frank Weyzig
Conducted by: T.V.

Dutch musician, composer and producer Frank Weyzig is certainly one of those names that marked in a big way the last 30 years of alternative, dark, goth and new wave music. He was the member of the first line-up of legends Clan Of Xymox, then he formed as well legendary band Born For Bliss, he made one song for godfathers of gothic rock Love Like Blood, which was released on their cult album Snakekiller, released in 1998 and after almost ten years long hiatus from the music scene (1999-2008), he got involved in the band White Rose Transmission, a band founded by Carlo van Putten (singer of Dead Guitars) and later on together with Remco Helbers formed Stargazing Project. He's last project is called Vaselyne, born in the Spring of 2011, where Frank is joined by an amazing Dutch singer Yvette Winkler (Sea Of Souls), known also for her contribution to Pieter Nooten's (ex-Clan Of Xymox) latest album Here Is Why, released in 2010. Vaselyne released so far one EP entitled Earthbound and debut album The Fire Within, which came out in October this year through Echozone/Turmoil Music (read a review over HERE). We did an interview with friendly Frank, where we talked about his present with Vaselyne and the album The Fire Within, about Born For Bliss, his past with Clan Of Xymox, future plans and really much more. Also special thanks to Yvette for hers contribution with answers to a couple of questions.

T.V.: Your last musical creation is the album The Fire Within. How are you satisfied with it as it represents quite a different musical output than the rest of things you worked on?
Frank: I am very pleased with the album. It was a good experience to write music with Yvette’s voice in mind. Usually I write music while I already have a vocal melody in the back of my head, and then arrange the complete song before I add my own vocals. This time, I just started with simple instrumental tracks, only played on piano or acoustic guitar. I then shared a drop box folder with Yvette and uploaded these demo tracks, so she could play the music at her home and listen to my ideas. Yvette would then write her lyrics and add the vocal melody to it. Subsequently, in my studio we recorded her vocal parts and after that I started to add different instruments and drum tracks and slowly the Vaselyne sound started to take shape and come to the surface...
T.V.: Can you share some words how this project - Vaselyne started?
Frank: Yvette worked together with Pieter Nooten and did some of the lead- and backing vocals on his album Here Is why (2010). Through Pieter (whom I know from the time that I was with Clan Of Xymox), she became familiar with my work and she contacted me and suggested that we maybe could work together on a new project. So we decided to do a first demo and from the moment that I recorded Yvette’s initial vocals in my studio, I was blown away by the unique timbre and deepness of her voice. I knew right away that this collaboration was going to be more than just another project.
T.V.: Can we talk about Vaselyne like of a proper band or just a "limited time" project?
Frank: I would like to think that Vaselyne will be able to be more than just a “limited time project” as you call it. But of course it depends on a lot of different things. Nowadays, for most independent artists it's just impossible to make a living of their music. With services as Spotify and the like, independent artists get almost nothing paid for their music that's being played there, despite of their hard work and effort to promote themselves... We are still looking for agencies who will be able to help us with gigs and give us the opportunity to promote our album, but like I said, today it’s really hard to get this going.
T.V.: You worked with many different people in the past, but how are you satisfied with "your partner in crime" Yvette Winkler?
Frank: I think I already described that with my answers to the previous questions. I find Yvette a super talented vocalist with a very unique voice and her way of writing lyrics and vocal melody lines go perfectly well together with my music.
T.V.:  Have you already had any live-shows with Vaselyne? And do you have some live members beside Yvette and you?
Frank: We haven’t done any extended touring yet. We only did one try out gig in Amsterdam so far and we are now figuring out what will we be the best approach for the coming time to do live gigs. We do have two extra live members that we work with. We have Rina Vervoort on flute and keyboards (she is also playing on two tracks of our album) and Einar Ihle who plays electric violin and keyboards.
T.V.: You used cello, flute and other sounds that made me think that you fancy classical music...
Frank: Yes, I have always been interested in classical music and sometimes these influences are shimmering through in my music. Especially with the use of string instruments like violin and cello. Of course you can hear classical influences on some tracks of the album and especially on the instrumental track for “Earthbound”.
T.V.: What can you tell me about your own label Turmoil Music?
Frank: As a musician and longtime user of open music platforms such as ‘Myspace’ and the like, I started to get more and more annoyed  by the everlasting growing list of other musicians trying to get my attention. Instead of getting attention from my true fans, my message board was overflowing with links to music releases and other stuff I didn’t ask for from musicians all over the world, trying to get a top position on the ranking list. Most of the time their music didn’t appeal to me at all and not seldom these same musicians were cheating by using automated click bots to have more audio plays showing up in their embedded audio players and a higher count of profile views on their home pages.
This fact together with the also annoying advertisements that showed up on my own pages made me decide to try something new. Setting up a new Independent Networking site dedicated to Professional Independent Artists with a similar view and approach on Independent Music. This is the reason why ‘Turmoil Music’ is only accessible by invitation or by direct request.
My goal was to gather a cool family of artists coming from the same corner of "Alternative" music with the same ideas and philosophy about independent music... Unfortunately, since I’m very busy again with making music myself and working on different music projects at the same time, I don’t have much time to keep Turmoil Music going like I would have liked to. I hope that I'll have more time in the near future to put some extra life in Turmoil Music again.
T.V.: As you mentioned, can you tell me in which projects are you involved right now?
Frank:  Well, first of all it’s of course Vaselyne, which is the latest full album release and we think of planning to do some gigs in the beginning of next year. Then there is Born For Bliss, which is still the band/project that I love the most but I’m not sure if we will perform live again. I would love to, though. Earlier this year, I released our EP Innocent as a warming up for a full new album which will be released sometime next year. I am really excited about that one! Furthermore it might be possible that I could collaborate again with White Rose Transmission for some new recordings in the near future. And finally, there’s Stargazing Project that is still waiting for a possible new release.
T.V.: And what about the collaboration with Echozone?
Frank: After being away from the music scene for a couple of years I started to work with White Rose Transmission (a project initially started by the so sadly missed Adrian Borland from The Sound and Carlo van Putten) as co-writer, band member and producer for the album Spiders In the Mind Web (release date; May 7, 2010). This album was released on German label Echozone and that’s how I got in touch with Jörg Tochtenhagen, co-owner of Echozone, who suggested to do a release of the never before released Born For Bliss album Between Living And Dreaming. Originally this album was recorded and mixed in 1999 but due to problems with our former label and management this album never saw the light of day. After the release of Between Living And Dreaming in 2010, all my other music for my different bands and projects have also been released on German label Echozone. The good thing about the collaboration with Echozone is that I still can co-release all albums on my own label Turmoil Music as well.
T.V.: What was the reason that you were away from the music scene for some years?
Frank: After we released our first Born For Bliss album in 1998, despite of very good reviews and some great gigs in Germany, our record company decided to kill their sub-label Deathwish Office that we were signed with. So there was no more money left to promote our next album, Between Living And Dreaming (which was already recorded and mixed) and we couldn’t even release it. Anyway, to make a long story short, I got fed up with the whole thing and I stepped out of the music scene and started to teach Information Technology on a high school in Amsterdam. Right now I am combining the two, teaching and producing music. For me these two disciplines go really good together.
T.V.:  Let's return to Vaselyne... While listening to The Fire Within I've got a feeling that it's kind of conceptual work, mostly because of the fact that each track pours into another. Am I true or is this just a coincidence?
Frank: As far as the music is concerned we have tried to let the tracks tell a story of their own. Of course we have tried to put the songs in the most natural order for the best possible listening experience.
This is what Yvette has to say about it: “The Fire Within wasn't planned as a concept album. The fact that the songs seem to have a common ground, grew as we recorded. Probably mainly the lyrics and the melancholic use of instruments give it a sound that carries throughout the album. I think what we tried to achieve is making an album that really moves you as a listener. Like being taken on a journey, an emotional sound wave to ride and enjoy.”
T.V.: Is there any special message in the words behind the music?
Frank: Yvette is responsible for all of the Vaselyne lyrics and this is what she thinks; “Words always have meaning, intended or unintended. Lyrics as poetry give you an insight in the writers state of mind, thoughts and view of the world. It's a very personal thing sharing yourself on paper. Like the words I sing in "Fragile", "Too write from within is to wear on your sleeve". The lyrics on The Fire Within, speak of everything that makes us human. The trials and tribulations we all go through. There isn't a message as such, but I do hope my lyrics give people comfort.”
T.V.: Vaselyne is quite a strange and weird name for a band of this kind, some people found it even funny...
Frank: No shit. What’s in a name? How funny is a name like ‘The Beatles’?

T.V.: What can you tell me about the response from fans and critics regarding The Fire Within. Do you even care about this matter?
Frank: Well, so far we’ve had very nice album reviews. As a matter of fact most of them were really good, but to be honest with you, I don’t really care that much about criticism. First of all I think it’s a healthy thing for people to have an opinion about music or any form of art for that matter, but to me it doesn’t matter that much whether it’s a good or a bad response. I just do what I feel is right. My music comes straight from the heart and I would never make any compromises to somehow make my music being appreciated by a wider audience.
T.V.: You’ve chosen to include a cover of Depeche Mode “World In My Eyes” which I find it very good. Are you a huge fan of this band and what do you think about the music they make today?
Frank: In the 90’s, I was a huge fan of Depeche Mode and still am. They certainly were a big influence for me when I first started to write music. Yvette is also a big fan. So, yes our cover version of "World In My Eyes", is a sort of tribute to them. As far as their music of today... I still like what they are doing but to me the most favorite album is still Violator.
T.V.: Let’s dig a bit in a past of yours... Do you ever regret the fact that you left Clan Of Xymox?
Frank: Ah, there is already said so many things about that. It has been such a long time ago, it’s better to leave that all behind. You know... before, in several interviews, my words have been quoted the wrong way, about my Xymox past and that caused all sorts of misunderstandings. I just want to say that I had a fabulous time during the period that I played with Xymox (1985-1990) and that I am proud to have been part of the recording of the first album Clan Of Xymox which is still a classic highlight and the second album Medusa. I also think it’s quite an achievement from Ronny’s part to still keep Clan Of Xymox going like he does and I do respect that, and who knows... maybe the original first line up from the period when we were signed with 4AD, with Ronny, Anka, Pieter and myself could eventually get together again to do something new in the near future... I know for sure that a lot of the early Xymox fans would love to see that happen.
T.V.: I’m more than sure about this! Regarding to your answer I believe that you already discussed this with Ronny and others? Now you made me curious, can you reveal anything more?
Frank: Not really. Don’t expect too much of it. Maybe it’s only wishful thinking from my part. But I do have regular contact with Pieter again and we have discussed this possibility, but right now there are no concrete plans. Time will tell...
T.V.: In 1998 you played keys and even wrote one song for one of my favorite bands, Love Like Blood, on their Snakekiller album. What can you tell me about that experience and do you maybe know if brothers Eysel plan to reform the band any time soon?
Frank: I came in contact with Gunnar and Yorck Eysel from Love Like Blood when Born For Bliss was signed with Nuclear Blast (under one of their sub-labels) and we released our first album Flowing With The Flu. Gunnar just started his own management company and did some things for us while his brother Yorck was working for Nuclear Blast at that time and did the label promotion for our album. Yorck particularly liked one of the tracks on our album and we asked him to do the backing vocals for it ("If Only")... After that, they asked me to write a song for their Snakekiller Album. So that was when "Ylene" was born. I haven’t had contact with them since then, so I have no idea what they are planning to do in the near future.
T.V.: What about Born For Bliss? Any more informations about a new album?
Frank: Yes, I already mentioned that in one of your previous questions. Earlier this year, I released our EP Innocent as a warming up for a full new album. I am still working on new tracks in my studio and I hope I will be able to finish the final mixes in the beginning of next year.
T.V.: The music you did and were involved with so far, showed that you have been influenced and inspired by many artists, but who are the names that made the biggest impact on you?
Frank: I was influenced by many different artists and bands but the biggest influence was for sure David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust period. Of course, knowing this, it’s needless to say that his guitarist during that same period, Mick Ronson, is still one of my all-time guitar heroes. Then there is old Pink Floyd and Peter Hammill (from Vandergraaf Generator) influence for a little bit of that psychedelic touch and of course my thanks go out to bands like The Sound (with Adrian Borland), The Cure and The Sisters Of Mercy for letting me discover the more subtle dark edges of wave music and Depeche Mode for the necessary grooves. At this time I listen a lot to Porcupine Tree and all the other stuff that Steven Wilson is doing. But it’s impossible to name all the bands that have influenced my writing. There is so much good stuff out there.
T.V.: Ok, Frank, thank you for those answers! But is there anything that you think that we forgot and should mention?
Frank: Not really. I liked your questions and it was a real pleasure answering them! I just want to thank all the people out there who still take the time to listen to my music and keep supporting me. I very much appreciate that and it's what makes me feel good doing this.

Frank Weyzig links:,,

Vaselyne links:,

Born For Bliss links:

Vaselyne articles: The Fire Within review


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