After the departure of Marcus Jürgens from Pump, the remaining band members have reinvented themselves with new singer Oliver Weers. The new project, Miracle Master, now have an album to their name, entitled “Tattooed Woman”, which has been available for a couple of weeks. Why the name changed, and how Oliver Weers ended up as frontman - bassist Michael Vetter reveals all.
Hello Michael & Oliver! First of all, congratulations on the ´first´ album! How happy are you with the reactions so far?
The reactions so far have been outstanding! Regardless whether they´ve been from fans or press, we´ve really been bowled over! People seem to be happy to be able to listen to good music with melody and a certain hard rocking factor. We knew we had a good thing going from the beginning, but we could never have counted on such rave reviews! And what makes us happy, is that we´re getting good reviews from the States as well; the Americans are not always fans of German music!
Miracle Master initially were known as Pump, why did you decide to change the name after Marcus Jürgens left the band? Was it not enough to simply continue with a new singer?
We could have done so, and to start with, that´s what we wanted! The plan in the beginning was to continue on with Pump once we found a new singer. And there were a couple of candidates with whom we could have pursued this avenue. But everything changed when Oliver entered the room. Not just because his vocals are a world apart from Marcus´s, but it changed the feel within the band. Suddenly the new songs just didn´t sound like Pump. And the chemistry between us was suddenly very noticeably harmonious. Working on the material took on a new approach. So it was a sign for us that something needed to change. We three from Germany and Oliver from Denmark were pretty much a new band. So it wasn´t simply a name change. We wanted to strike out as a new band in the industry! And we soon intend to leave the legend of Pump far behind, trust me!
What I´d like to know, is whether you will be playing the old Pump songs at these new concerts, or will they be left behind like the name?
At our first show, we played a Pump song as an encore. But there were many ´old´ fans there, so it felt right to play this song then, also because he [Oliver] adds a new feeling to it. At the CD release party, however, we refrained from playing a Pump song. And that also felt good! I think it even felt better not to play them. We have enough material with Miracle Master to stand on our own live. So in the future we will probably avoid playing Pump songs, or throw one in as a ´cover song´. *laughs*
How long did it take to find a suitable replacement vocalist, and how did you come across Oliver Weers?
We found our new singer pretty quickly! We did 4 auditions with the candidates, but from the first song together it was inevitable who the new man behind the microphone would be. We found Oliver through our amazing international network. Jesper, a reviewer from Denmark, has been friends with Oliver for years. And when he read on Facebook that Marcus hat left us, he sent us a message: “I have the perfect singer for you!”. So he put us in contact and just three weeks later we flew Oliver over to Germany to give him a test run.
What did he have that the others didn´t?
Everything!!! He has an incredible voice. He intones like a god! He has buckets of charisma! And he became our friend from the first evening! We have very similar opinions and senses of humour, and a similarly big thirst!
Given Oliver has such an interesting background, we wanted to ask him a couple of questions. Oliver, you developed your voice for 7 years with a Hungarian opera signer. Did you learn the typical vocal training there, or were you effectively trained in opera? Oliver: I started with lessons in how to build on my ´rock voice´. I needed this training so as not to wreck my voice. I always wanted to sing powerfully and have no limits on it. My teacher, through the opera technique, showed me how not to strain my vocal chords. Good breathing technique and learning how to use muscles you didn´t know you had. That helped!
Which tips can you give newcomers to singing, that they need to keep in mind in order to use their voice correctly? Oliver: Sing! Experiment! Have fun! It´s good when you can bring your emotions into it, it makes things much easier and more honest! Then it´s naturally all about the technique that some are born with and others develop. Some get the hang of it without training, others find the training immensely helpful, and with it can widen their vocal range. There´s no such thing as a free lunch though, you must commit to these kind of things. Do it if you enjoy it, and enjoy the fruits of your labour when you establish your endurance.
You released your last solo album in 2010, and I assume that in the last 4 years there have been plans made to make another one. Are these plans in the background, or can you press on with them alongside Miracle Master? Oliver: I actually didn´t have any plans for a new solo record. There´s a lot of work involved behind the scenes for a solo album. That was what was so great with Pump. The music was what drew me in and got me going, so to speak. Suddenly all this inspiration exploded out of me. When you experience that, you simply can´t stop it, and you certainly don´t consider your solo career. It was a wonderful journey for me, to write the melodies and lyrics for these songs, so awesome. There was perhaps a little too much beer involved, but hopefully we´ll sweat all that off on stage!
You took part in the Danish X Factor in 2008, but were eliminated before the shows were filmed. Would you recommend this experience, or do you warn against such shows, now you have seen what they´re like on the inside? Oliver: Sing! Experiment! Have fun!
There´s a massive amount of competition out there, and these days as a musician it is incredibly important to build a network and put yourself on the market. Considering someone like me, who moves around a lot, you need to start anew a lot of the time, and it´s not always so easy to be left untarnished in local scenes. Musicians will know what I mean. Opportunities are often hidden, so you need to be creative about these things.
What have you guys got planned for this year then? A tour, maybe? Michael: This year we´ve got plenty of shows lined up! We want to finally showcase the CD! Our booking people are hard at work with this. In August we´re probably going to do one or two small tours. I don´t want to get into specifics because the plans haven´t been wrapped up yet. And we´re actually in the middle of writing for the second album! We just can´t stand still!
Last but not least: Which question do you always want to be asked, but so far haven´t?
This questions also comes up frequently! And it´s not so easy to answer! I will let you in on a secret: you can get rid of the thoughts in your head even without the correct questions to unlock them. Therefore, I think I can get rid of all my thoughts!
Many thanks and all the best for the future!
We thank you for your interest! Cheers, and stay tuned!
More information at: www.miracle-master.com
Author: Sandy Mahrer, transl. M.Brandt, photos: Band Date: 2014-04-23