Axxis

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Axxis
Axxis Rockharz 2016 21.jpg
Axxis concert on Rockharz festival 2016 in Germany
Background information
Origin Dortmund, Germany
Genres Power metal, heavy metal, electronic rock, hard rock
Years active 1988–present
Labels Phonotraxx, AFM, Massacre, EMI, Harvest
Website Official site
Members Bernhard Weiß
Harry Oellers
Rob Schomaker
Marco Wriedt
Dirk Brand

Axxis is a German heavy metal band that was founded in 1988. Their debut album, "Kingdom of the Night", became the best-selling debut album ever by a hard rock band in Germany in 1989.

Singer Bernhard Weiß and guitarist Stefan Weber at Rockharz 2016
Bassist Rob Schomaker at Rockharz 2016
Drummer Dirk Brand at Rockharz 2016

Biography[edit]

Axxis' musical roots lie within the traditional heavy rock of the 70s and 80s including influences of 90s electronic music. The band was formed in early 80s, with the name Anvil. They released some self recorded demos under that name, before finally found out there was Canadian band that using Anvil name and had released album internationally.

The band than choose Axis as new band name. In interview with Battle Helm [1] in 2015, Bernhard said the new band name must be a small word to get bigger letters on the posters for promotion, and Axis follow that condition. They choose that name because "the name AXIS sounds a bit like guitar axes but meaning wise".

They recorded demo Tears of the Trees in 1988. This demo than sent to EMI. At first, the record company rejected it. But after sending the demo twice, Axis were signed to EMI Electrola. EMI than pointed its subsidiary in Germany, named Axis, as the publishing company. Because of that, the band put another X in the band name, and the band became Axxis. At this time, the band consists of vocalist Bernhard Weiss, guitarist Walter Pietsch, bassist Werner Kleinhans and drummer Richard Michaelski.

Axxis than released their debut album, Kingdom of the Night in 1989. This album was released in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and the USA, and sold 100.000 copy immediately.[2] It became the best ever selling debut album by a Hard Rock band in Germany in 1989. Axxis did touring to promote this album, including as opener for Black Sabbath.[3]

In 1990, Axxis released Axxis II, which marked a similar huge success. For this album, Axxis added keyboard player Harry Oellers. This album contains hit single such as Touch the Rainbow. Axxis II was followed by the authentic and energetic live release Access All Areas a year later.

The band than released The Big Thrill in 1993. This album was a big turning point in the career of this five piece band. Produced by Joey Balin and recorded in Philadelphia, it was the first international production by Axxis. This album became a best seller in 1993. Axxis did some show, including concerts in Japan, to promote this album. In Japan, Weiss and Pietsch performed a couple of acoustic live shows. Some of the songs played in those acoustic show later compiled in Japan-only release album, Profile.

Axxis continued to record in America. For their next album, they had Keith Olsen as producer. Axxis actually wanted Olsen to produce The Big Thrill album, but Olsen refused because he had no time.[4] Weiss later said, Olsen tried to change the bands' sound from heavy metal to alternative, which was trending at that time.

With Olsen, Axxis released Matters of Survival in 1995. Fans didn't accept the album well because of the music change. Weiss admitted later this album is not metal enough in his opinion.[5]

Axxis continued to play with modern rock style with 1996 album, Voodoo Vibes. This is the last album Axxis did for EMI.

Axxis than parted ways with long time guitarist Walter Pietsch. According to Weiss, Pietsch choose to be a producer. He is a well known producer in Germany right now.[6]

Axxis than signed with Massacre and back to the studio in 2000, with album Back to the Kingdom. This album was received well by fans, since the music style back to melodic heavy metal. Axxis continued to release new album after that, including compilation album Collection Of Power in 2000 and Eyes Of Darkness in 2001.

Bernhard's unique vocal style is another characteristic trademark of the band. Axxis' major ambition is "to be a pure Rock n' Roll band".

Members[edit]

  • Bernhard Weiß - vocals (1988–present)
  • Harry Oellers - keyboard (1988–present)
  • Rob Schomaker - bass (2004–present)
  • Marco Wriedt - guitars (2007–present)
  • Dirk Brand - drums (2012–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Guido Wehmeyer - guitars (1998–2006)
  • Werner Kleinhaus - bass (1988–1993)
  • Walter Pietsch - guitars (1988–1998)
  • Markus Gfeller - bass (1993–1998)
  • Richard Michaelski - drums (1988–2004)
  • Kuno Niemeyer - bass (1998–2004)
  • André Hilgers - drums (2004–2008)
  • Alex Landenburg - drums (2008–2011)

Albums[edit]

DVD's[edit]

  • 20 Years of Axxis (2011)

Live[edit]

Best Of[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]