Ferdy Doernberg

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Ferdy Doernberg
Ferdy Doernberg.jpg
Background information
Born (1967-06-10) 10 June 1967 (age 49)
Origin Germany
Genres Hard rock, Heavy Metal
Associated acts Rough Silk, Axel Rudi Pell
Website www.ferdydoernberg.de
Notable instruments

Ferdy Doernberg (born 10 June 1967) is an English-German heavy metal musician. He is the last original member of Rough Silk, which he founded in 1989.[1][2] He has also performed with Helloween and Holy Moses. Since 1997, he has been the keyboardist for Axel Rudi Pell's band. From 2006 to 2009, he played the keyboards for Eden's Curse, which was founded by Michael Eden (Lead Vocals) and Paul Logue (Bassist).


The English/German slide-guitar/keyboards-player and singer/songwriter Ferdy Doernberg was born in 1967 as the son of the British composer and violin-player Martin Doernberg and the German teacher and writer Dr. Gesine Doernberg.

When he was three years old, his parents moved to Barsinghausen, Germany but he spends some time in England, too. When he was six years old, he started with piano lessons. At the age of 12, he also started playing guitar and trumpet.

First recordings[edit]

After playing in several school and local bands, he became the lead guitar player of the locally successful punk band "The Wabbles", with whom he played his first over-regional gigs and did his first recordings for a vinyl single. He also played trumpet and piano in a local jazz ensemble for years. His first professional band, Rough Silk, was founded in 1989. Through the years, Ferdy found his own style of playing. As a keyboard player, his favourite instrument is the Hammond organ, the piano and vintage keyboards like the Wurlitzer-piano, accordion and the monophonic moog synthesizer.

As a guitar player, Doernberg fell in love with the slide-guitar and all her relatives like lap and pedal steel, dobro and the Hawaiian guitar. Rough Silk have recorded 8 albums (the last one, A new beginning, was released in April 2009), and toured a lot (as headliner and supporting for example Helloween, Deep Purple, Savatage, Saxon, Accept, Whitesnake and Dio) all over Europe. Since 2007, Doernberg is also the lead-vocalist of the band.

Doernberg also works a lot as a studio musician (keyboards and slide-guitars) and has played on more than 100 albums by Roland Grapow (Helloween), Destruction, Freedom Call, Metalium, Tom Angelripper (Sodom), Howard Carpendale, Crimson Glory, John Wesley Harding, Chris Caffrey (Savatage), Powergod, Sweet, Jane, Seven Witches, Sargant Fury, Masterplan, The Traceelords and many others.

Axel Rudi Pell Band[edit]

Besides Rough Silk, he is also a member of the Axel Rudi Pell band (he did 12 albums, 3 DVDs and several tours with him so far). Ferdy has shared the stage with many different musicians like John Wesley Harding, Jason Ringenberg (Jason & The Scorchers), ex-Scorpions musicians Uli Jon Roth and Francis Buchholz, Julian Dawson, Joseph Parsons, Jeff Kollman (U.F.O., Glenn Hughes), Warren De Martini (Ratt), Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Roy Z., Tony Franklin (Whitesnake, Blue Murder), David Paich (Toto), Jeff Scott Soto, Don Dokken, Chris Poland (Megadeth), Therion, Snowy Shaw, (Merciful Fate, Notre Dame), Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass), Gamma Ray, the award-winning country act Autumn Leaves, Freedom Call, Jon Oliva (Savatage), Al Pitrelli (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Savatage), Emma Bunton (Spice Girls), Olivia Newton-John (TV-show "Wetten Dass..."), the legendary drummer Max Weinberg of Bruce Springsteen's "E-street-band" (Frankfurt-music-fair), Axxis, Ana Popovic and many others. He has toured in Europe, South-America and the US so far.

Doernberg had the honor of being asked by the legendary German thrash-metal band Destruction to add a slide guitar-solo to their all-star-song "The Alliance Of Hellhoundz". Other artists appearing on this song are Biff Byfford (Saxon), Doro Pesch, Paul Di Anno (ex-Iron Maiden) and Messiah Margolin (Candlemass). He also appears in the video to this song.

Ferdy Doernberg also runs a recording-studio, the "Droehnwerk", at Bad Nenndorf, nearby Hanover/ Germany, where he lives. Since 1998, he has produced and engineered albums (or tracks) by Rough Silk, John Wesley Harding, Destruction, Mike Terrana, Taraxacum, Brainstorm, It's M.E., Heavenly, A.O.D., Freedom Call, Masterplan and many more in his studio.

Solo work[edit]

So far, Ferdy Doernberg has released five solo-albums as a singer/songwriter. The first one, Just a piano and a handful of dreams, was released in 1995 on SPV-Records.

The second one, Storyteller..s Rain - a rock musical was released in 2000 on Massacre-records / Sony. The lyrical concept presented 12 ghost stories with philosophical and ironic undertones, told by the main character called "the Storyteller". The music follows the "ups and downs" of the stories through progressive rock, classic, jazz, heavy metal, folk, country and bombast rock elements. Many unusual acoustic instruments like dobro, violin, sitar, didgeridoo, trumpet, trombone or zither can be heard on the album. Mike Terrana (Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Steve Lukather), Axel Rudipell, Roland Grapow, Uli Kusch And Michael Weikath (Helloween), Tom Angelripper (Sodom), Tobias Exxel (Edguy) and all the members of Rough Silk participated on the album.

To promote "Storyteller..s Rain" Doernberg played many shows as a solo artist. Besides solo performances - the largest was on the Wacken-open-air 2000, where Doernberg performed solo just with a Dobro, a lap steel and a piano, between all the louder heavy-metal acts - he also did a tour through Germany supporting John Wesley Harding in 2002. After his solo performance, he and Joerg Ohlsen were also Harding's backing-band (aka "the Barkins"). He also opened for the legendary Thin Lizzy, Jason Ringenberg, Nils Lofgren, Bryan Adams, Jeff Kollman, country singer Rick Monroe (USA) and the German pop-metal band Axxis. With his dark English humor and his intelligent songwriting, Doernberg seems to be able to work with bigger rock-crowds as well as with seated audiences in small folk clubs.

In May 2007 Doernberg's third solo album "..till I run out of road" was released on Rebellion-Records.

It is a singer/songwriter album with guest appearances by John Wesley Harding, Jeff Kollman, Mike Terrana, Andre Hort (Rough Silk) and Doernberg's brother Curt (Treibhaus).

Doernberg again played countless solo shows to promote the album and reactivated his first band Rough Silk with new members. They released a new album called "a new beginning" in 2009 and played on several festivals and opened for bands like Sick Of It All, Agent Steel, W.A.S.P. and Demon.

Doernberg also continued working as a studio musician and went on tour as a sideman with different artists.

He is still a member of the Axel Rudi Pell band. Doernberg's fourth solo album travelling light was released in December 2009 and is again a singer/songwriter album with a lot of slide guitar and piano features.

Parts of the album were recorded in New York City and this melting pot of cultures greatly inspired the music on the album. The album before, .....till I run out of road, was more "earthy" but many songs on travelling light have some kind of "big city atmosphere". Doernberg also integrated more jazz and soul influences into the music. His third instrument, the trumpet, is also more in the focus than on the previous albums.

Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell) sang a duet on "Mutants at the shopping-mall" The drums on the album were played by Mike Terrana, Alex Wenn (Rough Silk) and Doernberg´s brother Curt.

The bass tracks were performed by Anke Sobek (Nikki Puppet), who also played upright bass, Ecki Huedepohl and André Hort (Rough Silk). Doernberg played everything else apart from one song "integrity" where Michael Hankel (Holy Moses) played electric guitar. On the same track, Holy Moses' lead singer, Sabina Classen, did some growling and - this may be a surprise for many of her fans - clean vocals as well!

The song "May God save us from religion" is a duet with Joseph Parsons, who contributed an incredible vocal performance and co-wrote the lyrics to this song.

Travelling light is a singer/songwriter album with folk, jazz, rock, soul, pop and even classical and world music influences and intelligent lyrics.

Doernberg released his fifth solo album titled a bridge to Dobroland in December 2011.


  1. ^ Grigoris Chronis (March 1, 2009). "Ferdy Doernberg (Interview)". Metal-Temple.com. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  2. ^ John Moscow (October 15, 2010). "Rough Silk Band - The Obscure Gem". ReviewMaze.com. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 

External links[edit]