mks... who?

Welcome!

Music means everything to me. For more than 40 years i am making music, behind the drums and as a producer in my own studio. That's a long time. Kids grew up, bandmates passed, hearts fell in love and got broken, composers started using algorithms instead of emotions (interesting concept tho), bands split up, but through good or bad times, music has always been there to give me strength... or simply enjoyment.

Coming up with new original music is my focus. My sacret place of destination is my studio, you would say it's a typical bedroom home studio. But in fact it's more a room filled with instruments where i also sleep. Here i produce genre-crossing instrumental music.

Well, this is the technical description. In fact, it's more like catching a moment and creating a piece of music out of nothing. Sometimes my music comes out of a particular mood or inspiration. But often it happens quite unexpected, without a defined path to go. Happy Accidents included.

Ringo started it all

So, i was born in the 'Revolver' year and started drumming in late 1977. I took lessons since day one but learned the most from playing along with The Beatles at that time.

A few years later i finally met the remarkable Jazz-Drummer Otfried Stanzel who educated me in "Studien der kleinen Trommel" by Siegfried Fink and also in the Dante Agostini method of drumming.

Although i was a shy teenager i tried to form bands and projects whenever there was a chance for it. The basement in my parent's house was the place to go when you were a young musician looking for a session.

The blanketed composer

After fruitless attempts of my sister to teach me guitar, i finally discovered the 6 strings on my own in the early 80's. What was the impulse for that? Somehow i had developed the urge to write my own original music. I guess, Mike Oldfield had a huge impact on me. The idea of a single person, playing all the instruments and writing in different styles, from pop to complex orchestral arrangements, that idea was more than appealing to me.

But at that time i already felt really comfortable behind the drums and spent most of the time on the drum throne of local bands. So my guitar playing and interest in composing never came to the surface.

Apart from a number of small side projects that i did on my own, i always were "the drummer in band x/y". It took me a few decades to overcome with that. However, many of my old pals still think that i have stopped making music, because i don't play drums in a band no more. That's quite funny, because, by the time of writing (2020), i make more music than ever before in my life.

The bands

In 1982 i was asked to join the local church band "5 Brote und 2 Fische" as the new drummer, replacing a guy who also was the drummer in the coolest band in town, the "Hot Springs". So i felt quite uncertain but did the right thing, i joined. And i found out that the other members of the "Hot Springs" also were in that Church Band. How cool is that?

My first concert with that band was only a week later or so, when i had to perform the 3-hour musical "Uns allen blüht der Tod" live on stage during the Katholikentag in Düsseldorf. I remember how much fun it was. I played so well that i received a kiss from a pretty girl i didn't know. She came just out of nothing, kissed me and disappeared. I've never seen her again. I guess this was my first (and only) rockstar moment.

In 1985 i was one of the founding members of "Die Freundliche Unterstützung", a German rock band by singer/songwriter and piano player Axel Ludwig. 6 years later i left the band, then, after a really looong break, Axel and me joined up again, to record all of the songs. Check it out: axel-ludwig.de

While i still was in the "FU", i've met guitarist Joe Brozio and formed a fusion-jazz group named "Nylon Times". This band had a number of members over the years, with the most productive time as a trio formation when bassist Michael Rejman joined Joe and me in the early 90's.

Shame on me, but i also did cover rock. I never found playing other people's songs musically satisfying, but still had a blast with the funny-named "4 Too Olds", also in the 90's.

In the late 90's i was done with being in bands. I only wanted to give it one more try, when i replaced the drummer in the hard rock band "7th Seal". This band had been formed by two very talented young musicians, singer Oliver Henrich and guitarist Jens Rösel, now together with my longtime bass-partner Ralf J. Seiltgens and my powerful rock drumming we were ready to conquer the world with Van Halen and Metallica-ish songs.

That was in the year 2000, two years later we recorded the album "Seven" and split up in 2004. That was because of many questionable decisions that had been made during 2003, also on my side, and we members just weren't cool enough to keep on rocking together. The end of Seal was a bit sad and unlucky, but such things happen.

Aside of these 5 bands i played in many smaller projects and bands. Often as emergency drummer due to my ability to learn big amounts of songs in very little time.

Producing

Back in the late 80's the digital revolution had just started to push out some cool products you finally could afford. So i got my Yamaha QY-10 pocket sequencer. It had the size of a video cassette and contained lots of shitty sounds, but i carried it around all the time and always could program my own playbacks and collect ideas acoustically, not only on paper.

This thing was replaced by my first PC, a super small Laptop with 8MB Ram and a tiny monochrome screen. But it could run Cubase! I bought a Korg Keyboard i still have, and also had a 4-track recorder at that time. It was a productive period where i also sent lots of demos to record companies, but i'm not going to romanticize. I could fill tons of cassettes with my own music and get deeper into composing, needed no band and rehearsals for it, on the other hand i still couldn't make professional sounding music with it.

By the end of the century when hard disk audio recording became affordable, i also worked in the professional studio "Public Audio" as co-producer and writer, mainly using my pseudonym "h-master".

After the sudden death of "7th Seal" in 2004 i retired from stage and continued writing and producing in my own home studio. It wasn't a very productive time between 2004 and 2009 because i tried to focus more on other things than music. Anyway, in the millenial years i also became the go-to drum teacher in my local area and i am torturing my students will all kinds of diddles and odd meters to this date.

In 2009 i was asked by "5 Brote und 2 Fische" - that church band i was playing in when i was a teenager - to write a musical for them, based on the movie "Das Leben ist schön". Due to the unlucky situation of the band at that time this work still remains to be unrelased. Plans to make an instrumental rock opera out of that material are on ice.

Recently

Since 2013 i have released 7 albums: General Wasting, 214, Sham, Functional Disorder, Only, 171 and Archetype. More to come.

While, in my opinion, the good old Longplayer Album is the only acceptable medium to leave an artistic footprint, i also make a lot of experiments, single tracks and demos that i usually release on my SoundCloud.

With that being said, i close this bio. Currently working on new music for upcoming albums. Let's see what comes out.

Thanks for reading!

April 2020

mkshoffmeister.com