|In 1988 after sending in only one demo song Axxis were signed to EMI Electrola. The debut album "Kingdom Of The Night", 1989 which was already released in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and the USA sold 100000 times immidiately. It became the best ever selling debut album by a Hard Rock band in Germany in 1989. "Axxis II" marked a similar huge success in 1990, followed by the authentic and energetic live release "Access All Areas" a year later. The ambitious "The Big Thrill" became a best seller 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.
In the following years AXXIS had traveled thousands of miles. One if the most impressive destinations was Japan, where Bernhard Weiss and guitarist Walter Pietsch performed a couple of acoustic live shows due to the release of the Japanese only CD "Profile". The band became known world-wide!
The album "Matters of survival" was produced in Los Angeles in 1995 - the city of angels which is uncritically praised as metal-capitol by some, a city where glamour, violence and homelessness live together very closely. An impression which was responsible for the choice of the album title.
With Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Scorpions) the band had a producer who had already worked in the biz since 25 years. Olsen had visited the band in Germany first and both together chose the 12 best song from the original 30 demo tracks and commited the arrangements. Afterwards they flew over to Los Angels where Olsen is running his Goodnight L.A.-Studio.
AXXIS especially see themselves as a live band. At a perfect gig, as Bernhard Weiss once said, the own hands have to glow. "It is the best possibilty to play your music", says Weiss, "already alone because of the chance of getting so close to your fans." So, the performances at "Rock am Ring" in front of 30.000 spectators were for sure important highlights of the years 1994 and1996!
To keep on moving into new directions was a principle which this Hard Rock band from the "Ruhrgebiet" had always followed. If you have a look on KINGDOM OF THE NIGHT ('89) , AXXIS II ('91 ), THE BIG THRILL ('93) , MATTERS OF SURVIVAL ('95) oder VOODOO VIBES (97 ), the latest album by the band - they had always avoided to repeat themselves.
AXXIS do of course have their basic sound, their roots are lying within the traditional Heavy Rock of the 70's and 80's, they have found their very own style which is orientated on hooks like "LIVING IN A WORLD". This song is still regarded as a hymn at every show and, as Walter says, the best example for a typical AXXIS song. Bemhard's unique vocal style is another characteristic trademark which makes AXXIS' sound unique. But the cover on this basics is very different anytime. The permanent move can be found within the details.
Axxis' major ambition is, as Walter adds, "to be a pure Rock 'n' Roll band", and to wash away any doubt, VOODOO VIBES became the most rockin' album since the very early days. The heavy guitars remind the listener a lot on the intensive Punch of the debut album.
The production this time was done by the band itself for the very first time. After those great lessons in the US by highly skilled producers, Axxis felt strong enough to handle the complex studio technics alone and to take over the responsiblity for it themselves. "The idea for this was invented by our label", says Harry. "We had already produced our demos for a long time before. And as we presented our new demo tapes to our A&R manager, he was not only convinced by the quality of our new material but of the sound of this supposedly rehearsal room recordings as well. He told us to put it on the album as it was. But the songs and especially the vocals weren't completed yet at the time and that was the reason why the idea came up to let us mix it up ourselves. Because of our demos our label gained a lot of confidence in our abilities to produce an album."
Confidence which was confirmed. VOODOO VIBES, produced by Bemhard, Walter and Harry with the help of co-producer and engineer Thomas Kemper at Dierks Studios in the outskirts of Cologne, offers a straight and powerful sound from the beginning to the end which couldn't had been done better by an American star producer. The fact that those complete recordings were finished after only 18 days in the studio is a proof for the band's reliability, who according to Walter, "had a little fear to do the job right in the beginning. The band had to deal with new aspects like being responsible for a recording budget and to be judged for anything that might have gone wrong. But finally everything worked perfectly" - and it worked so well that AXXIS would like to repeat it again when starting to record the next album.
Okay. We're doing it slightly different today", a happy Axxis-singer is telling to the people at the live show. "I won't talk as much as I normally do today."
Nevertheless talking is one of the many skills the frontman has - the frontman of a band that is as good in writing songs as it is in being human and down to earth.
Without any doubt: Bernhard Weiss is a natural born entertainer that gets never exhausted. And Axxis are a natural born live band that has been rocking the block for 15 years.
With „Paradise In Flames", their ninth album in the meanwhile, they can prove that once more. Retiring is very far from where they are. Similar to their last album „Time Machine" Axxis have again put their focus on heavyness. The band presents itself dynamic and heavy, without forgetting their typical hymnal choruses. Atmospheric, bombastic choirs and tunes that are easy to sing along with rule the songs and know how to convince. And there's not many words necessary to describe that anymore. The music does the talking. Besides the real heavy groove probably. "With Axxis it has always been the songs that were most important", Bernhard explains. "They have to rock. And 15 years ago there has been a different level for "rock". Nowadays you have to be a lot heavier to be considered as rocking."
Seeing the signs of time without losing their own roots is the secret Axxis are keeping. And with it, attractive female singer Lakonia belongs. While she only did some choirs on „Time Machine", she now is even singing a couple of songs together with Bernhard. A fact that surely causes a nice fresh flavour that matches perfectly to the Axxis-typical sound and even lifts it onto a new level.
Sleeping on their own success has never been the motto of the band for sure. For more than 15 years the band has been influencing especially the German Hardrock scene a lot. Until now they are one of the bands having the truest fans ever. Wherever the guys are playing, the venues are full and the mood can't be any better.
Axxis have gained cult status - and not only within the Hardrock world. They have become a constant high quality milestone in an - apart from them - not very constant music business. And they have their very own charm that can impossibly compared with anyone else.
Allowed is what is human, thereby. Though being around for so many years in the professional music industry the guys have kept their humour.
For a couple of years the band has already been having their own Soundwoxx Studio, in which they write, arrange and record all of the songs. Again, keyboarder Harry Oellers and singer Bernhard Weiss have done the whole production on their own to achieve a self confident, charming album that could be forwarded to their old fellow and friend Dennis Ward (House Of Audio-Studios, Karlsdorf, a.o. Pink Cream 69) for mixing and mastering.
Again the result of this working process is an excellent rocking album that is equally "paradise" than "in flames". Just like listening in paradise and though full of energy, freshness and fire.
Official biography: http://www.axxis.de and AFM Records