We know you also worked with Rolf Köhler, how was your relationship with him? In how many projects did you work together?
Yes I worked with Rolf and it was always a pleasure. I guess he was the one who invited me to a choir session in 1998 for the german Metal Band "Blind Guardian"
because Billy King and also Thomas Hackmann needed one day off because of other things they have had to do.
That was the start and it was a very good working in a lovely team.
Later on Billy King and his wife became parents and he decided that he will not travel that much because of his little children.
That was the part when Rolf and the producer Charlie Bauerfeind (a real fine guy!!) asked me for various rock choir sessions like: Blind Guardian, Helloween, Saxon, Freedom Call, Hammerfall and some more.
I also joined Rolf on some gigs with his cover band history. Loved his voice, his way to work as a team player and his way of humour. - We do not only became a good team in working together but also for having fun at/with work!
How were you called to collaborate with SIB?
I think it was Detlef who called me whether I could imagine to become a part of Systems in Blue. Micha and Detlef did some shows but felt Rolf was missing that much. Because I have got the possibility to change the sound of my voice and being close to Detlef and Rolf they decided to ask me.
What do you think you can contribute to SIB?
I hope that I will have got some nice melodies, lyrics and also some production ideas. I have got a little production studio where I can work on some files, sounds and so on. Also I do hope that I will fit with my voice into the choir and solo vocal sound.
Which are your expectations joining to SIB, is it something that you feel you will enjoy or it is something that can concern you because is a responsibility?
I do not have concrete expectations different from/unlike loving it to work with Detlef and Michael and it was a nice experience performing Systems in Blue songs together with both of them. There is a lot of creativity, experience and musical taste in Michael and Detlef.
It is a pleasure to work with and I am learning a lot! So of course I will enjoy the work and do not think of being concerned. My work and singing is a gift / proposal to the people. Of course they are in the position to like or dislike. As I said before - nobody is able to replace Rolf so I will not try to imitate his voice or style of singing, but together with Michaels voice we will try to find a nice leadvocal and of course the high pitch sound for the choirs.
How did you feel the concerts in Poland?
The concerts in Poland have got "two faces" like the song. The audience was always amazing also the people who worked directly with and for the acts were almost professional and very kind!
But the organization (so the head of all) was sometimes… - we didn´t even get paid and some other contracts have been broken.. but that´s life.
And in summary it was a nice trip and a good experience, so we have had very nice conversations with Fancy for instance.
The new member of SIB, Olaf Senkbeil (48), gave us an exclusive interview to Systems In Blue Hispanoamerica.
Which countries have you visited already? Which was your favourite venue?
If we are talking about countries I have visited because of making music - there are a lot. I have visited a lot of countries when I was singing on german cruising ships and also for the formerly Scorpions guitar player Uli John Roth,
So some of the countries not in alphabetical order:
U.S.A, Mexico, all Caribbean islands, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama ,United kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Austria,
Japan, Poland, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and some more
Where would you like to travel?
I do not have special whites to travel to. I have seen a lot of places and
I am still visiting a lot of interesting ones because of making music.
And the most beautiful place is always there were you have got friends.
You have worked in some productions like DSDS. Are you related to other Bohlen or Rodriguez productions?
As I remember it were some of the first DSDS songs (Dieter Bohlen) and
the "Schlager Single" I mention it was produced by Louis Rodriguez.
Maybe there have been some more but I do not stay in contact with Dieter Bohlen directly, When I am asked to sing the other choir members like Billy King ask me to do so.
How long have you known Michael and Detlef?. How did you meet them the first time?
Detlef I do know since he did a "Haale" recording in the late nineties maybe 1998 or so. Than I met him again when he joined the band "History".
There I was replacing Billy King for some shows. When I met Michael the first time I can´t remember but I think it was because of Systems in Blue.
I have heard him singing in Kentucky and some other bands.
Dear Olaf, we are grateful with the time you give us. We start this interview asking you a little bit about your personal life. How did you start your music career?. How did you realize you have the talent for sing?
As I remember I started to sing when I was 11 years old. Of course I sang also earlier at the age of 11 my voice behaved in a way like the german Thomaner choir singers. I sang in the school choir -solo vocals- but I quit because the teacher have had a lack of humour for me in person . It became impossible to sing cause in my point music should make your heart smile. Also I played flute in a "Spielmannszug Tostedt" (marching band).There I learned reading notes a bit.
In the beginning I would not call it talent but it was joy to make music especially singing.
In the age of 15 I joined a school band as a singer and had my first experiences in other bands, too. Maybe at that age I realized that I might have talent and a voice that is able to do something special which others are not able to. Even like the best soccer player, or the maths genius in a class - I was the best at singing. (But remember you don´t get good school grades for singing :) )
After I sang in various bands I joined a weekend party band.
That was the first time I started singing professional and we got paid for gigs on weddings p.e. At that time I did my first recordings with our own hard-rock-Band Jacks Hammer (3CD´s and two cassette Demo tapes)
Also I have had my first experience with singing and recording in a bigger Studio. It was Studio 33 of Louis Rodriguez and the producer was Werner Becker who produced/arranged a lot of Dieter Bohlen Songs - especially the ballads.
e.g. the single named "Glanz in deinen Augen" - German Schlager.
I did that for about five years and in 1995 I joined the german top 40 Band "Rockford". It is a cover band just like the band "Kentucky" where Rolf, Michael and Detlef played together. We played on parties, radio station parties and so on. we played up to 100 shows a year.
So since that time singing is my main profession, even if I wanted to study german laws… but that is another story. =)
Which have been the more important influences in your profession?
The Beatles, The Beatles and The Beatles.
Which are your favourite music bands, singers?
The Beatles and so many other bands, - Singers: also The Beatles, John Farnham, David Coverdale, Bob Catley and many more!
I do love all kind of female and male singers who sing from the bottom of the heart and with a lot of feeling/soul.
How many music projects have you been part till now? Can you mention some of them?
I have been involved in a lot of different music projects mostly semi-professional.
After we tried to get a record deal in the early 90´s with Jacks Hammer there were only a few Projects were we I tried to make my way by recording CD´s or something like that.
I never found the time to focus myself on one special music direction. So I sang in bands and did various cover recordings
Still today you can find some of them at karaoke-version.de.
I also sang some songs for a Musical CD (Stella Musical Company) which is still available today.
Since 1998 I also sang backing vocals and choirs for hard rock bands like Blind Guardian, Helloween, Grave Digger and so on.
Dreamtide was a project of german guitar player Helge Engelke. He invited me to sing and we did 3 CD´s together which I still love and I am happy that this kind of music is spread around the world.
With which singers or bands did you enjoy working the most?
Rolf Köhler & Hansi Kürsch of the band Blind Guardian, Andi Derris of the band Helloween, Billy King, Bobby Kimbal, Phil Mog of U.F.O
that have been the first names I remembered but there were a lot more, because mostly it is an atmosphere of harmony and constructive empathy that defines a good team.
Do you also play music instruments?, which is your favourite?
I play only rudimentary because my passion always was singing, but actually I can express myself and discuss with other musicians. So I play a bit acoustic/ electric guitar and piano.
Do you also write songs?
Yes I am also writing songs but rarely finish them because I do not know what for. Maybe that will change because I have hundreds of ideas unfinished but we will see. Actually some of those ideas I want to finish with Michael and Detlef.
After many time without new SIB songs, will they continue following their same music style or maybe it would be modified according the new times and trends?
That is a question not easy to answer but Systems in Blue has had it´s musical style. Now after loosing Rolf the first thing which is changing is the colour of the voice.
I think we will fit the genre with most of the songs but we will try to do some new aspects with 2 or three songs but not that radical that they won´t fit the record.
To follow new trends and times may not be the only thing, because to follow means you will always be behind. So of course we will open up our ears, listen to
actual music and productions but I think maybe we will also discover some older stuff. Music has got so many colours, like all the colours eyes are able to see. So I hope we will be free in our minds and create something wonderful!
Hits like “Gangman Style” and more recently “Get Lucky” gave again popularity to the electronic dance music. How do you see the disco dance movement in nowadays?
"Gangam style" I saw first in a hotel when I couldn´t sleep and turned on the TV. I was fascinated because it was in way different than other music at that time.
It also depended on the video and korean language I think. It was also well produced!
"Get lucky" isn´t that new, because it sounds like 70´s deco style and when you´ll search at Youtube you will find several songs of Bee Gees and so on that are very close to Get lucky. As you see there is also a video on Youtube where many other songs are performed to the backing of "Get lucky".
At the time "Get lucky" was pushed, there was other music played in the radio stations. So always ears and eyes are searching for something new. That has been in all times. The younger generation did not know so much about disco style, Bee Gees and so on.
So for their life and ears it is something new. Bye the way Pharrell Williams has been pushed a lot at that time. He wrote and produced so many songs as you can read on wikipedia. Now the time was right to push him as a singer also. - "Get luck" - "Blurred Lines" and "Happy" have been great hits here in Germany.
What I am talking about is songs and artists. The Disco and Dance movements … well I think there will be no movement like we have had in the past. like Rock´n Roll in the 50´s, Beat and Psycho in the 60´s, Disco and Rock and Punk in the 70´s, New Age. Synthi Pop and Pomp Rock in the 80´s, Grunge, Dance and Tekkno in the 90´s. A lot of music styles are existing side a side.
We do not have the big record companies anymore. They grabbed trends and made them big. Today a lot of people watching and listening to stuff via Youtube.
So if there will be one time a really new trend it will be created by that kind of media Youtube/Google.
Disco and Dance will have their part but I do not know if they will be a real new trend again.
The listeners Taste often changes in days often even in minutes….
Which is your opinion about the illegal download or the links for download free MP3s in some music boards?
I do not think about it. Everyone has to think about if he really likes - loves the music he is listening to and if he wants to support the artist. Music as itself has lost it's worth. We are able to save all kinds of recordings in a digital way and so it is hard to create something really new. It is difficult for artists to go their way but Youtube and digital media also gives artists the chance to communicate directly with their fans. So I am not angry, because there is no way to go back into that what a lot of older and rich artists reclaim as the "good old times".
In those times it was hard for artists to get a record deal and we as consumer were mostly "forced" by the record companies to listen to that what they wanted us to listen to.
Today there is the possibility to create something together using crowdfunding or something else. Even Neil Young is crowdfunding for his idea of "Pono-Player" playing music on 96khz! If enough people join and have got the same dream, they are able to create something together. That is also a result of the digital revolution!
How do you think will be the music distribution in future?
Actually a lot of music is distributed by shops like iTunes, Amazon and so on. I do not know the actual numbers but there are buyers who like CD´s but a lot of music is sold as mp3. Now is a time where the industry changes over to streaming. That is ok for the industry but not for the artists. So in a few years the mass market so most of the people do not see the need of being the owner of their music because they can stream it anytime.
Also they can have a copy on their smartphone or whatever, when they are offline. It is like cloudcomputing.
Which is your favorite song from SIB?
My favourite song is "only for you !!! also (solo por ti)" and the second one ""Magic Mystery"!
Will be possible that SIB make new versions of the old songs, this time with your voice and Michael’s voice?
No, I do not think so. There is no need to do that. Rolf sang everything perfect. So if there would be new versions they will only be live at gigs.
Many fans would like to see SIB in their countries, do you think is possible to have a promotional tour in other countries?
Well I am not in that theme that much, but you need sponsors even to make a promotion tour. It depends on the success and the interest of the fans. There is not much we can do for pushing and making it real. We would love to do so of course!
Are you aware of how many fans are expecting for the new work coming from SIB? What can you say to them?
I am not aware of how many fans would like to listen to a new album. We do hope that there will be a lot but after Rolf's death there has been a long long time passed by. Now we started a crowdfunding on the german Startnext platform hoping for support. So that the fans of Systems in Blue become one and to produce a new - the third album.
I would like to say to all the fans of Systems in Blue - spread the word - everywhere. Join us on startnext, even if you have got no possibility to spend a dime,
The most important thing is that Systems in Blue is still alive.
We would be happy to let a dream … come true.
Cheers and lots of love to all of you
Pictures courtesy muzolandia.pl and SIB Starnext. All rights reserved - www.talkingforever.com/systemsinblue Systems In Blue Hispanoamérica (C) 2014