Demon’s Eye

Demon’s Eye (not to be confused with American retro rockers Demon Eye) begun as a Deep Purple etc. tribute band. While they kept going like that for a while a chance to record a couple of songs with Doogie White (ex-Rainbow, Temple Of Rock and others) led to an entire album’s worth of original material being recorded with him, that sold in very healthy numbers and spurred this friendly German bunch to just lay down a sophomore, with Doogie on the vocals helm once again. Grande Rock got in touch with Andree Schneider, the band’s producer as well as the only remaining founding member and inquired about this new album, as it really made me a very good impression and here’s what he had to say...
Demon’s Eye band pic

How were Demon’s Eye formulated, and how long have you existed prior to becoming an originals band?
A: Back in 1998 I had the idea of playing some Deep Purple songs. So did a few phone calls and after the first session we had a Deep Purple tribute band called Demon’s Eye. On 18th of July, 2008, Demon’s Eye played the Burg Herzberg Festival in Germany and for the first time in our history we performed not only Deep Purple songs but also original material. In March 2011 we released “The Stranger Within” – our first album with only original songs. And in September 2015 we released “Under the Neon” – again only original songs.
Demon’s Eye return with their second album? What was the reaction to the first one?
A: “The Stranger Within” was very well reviewed by the music press and the album sold way better than we ever expected. Therefore it was a logical consequence to release a second album. The only condition we had set was that the song material had to be as convincing as on “The Stranger Within”. Now I think “Under the Neon” is even a stronger album than its predecessor. One can hear that the band has matured during the past few years. Furthermore, we now really found our own sound. Gert-Jans harsh, distorted organ on one side and Mark’s Stratocaster on the other create a massive soundwall.
How did you come into touch with Doogie and are you happy with him?
A: In 2008 I asked Doogie if he would fill in for two shows. He agreed and we had a blast. Since then Doogie performs regularly with Demon’s Eye. It is always a joy to work with him! He is such a great singer and a great human being, too.
How do you work with him? Via mail and then meeting up every now and again?
A: I send Doogie rough ideas that we have written and recorded in our rehearsal studio via email. Then Doogie comes up with rough melodies and sends them back to me. Later we record demo versions of the songs. In April and May 2015 we entered the Megaphon Tonstudios in Arnsberg/Germany and recorded the album. Doogie flew in for 9 days to do the vocals.
Is Doogie he a proper member and are Demon’s Eye a proper band or a project?
A: Demon’s Eye are a proper band since 1998. But we work with three different singers. So for Doogie it’s a project, for us it’s a band.
I wrote: “this is probably better than the Deep Purple albums w/o Ritchie and pretty close to some Rainbow material”… How do you feel about it?
A: I think you have a very good taste in music (laughter). On a serious note, I really like most of the stuff Deep Purple did, wither with or without Ritchie. I think their last album “Now What” was great. But of course there are people who prefer the 70s Deep Purple sound with a distinctive Stratocaster guitar and distorted Hammond organ. In the end, it’s all about the songs and the songs on “Under the Neon” are inspired and very good. I am convinced fans of the old Deep Purple and Rainbow days will love it.
Do you tour exclusively as an original band or are there “tribute” nights? Also you seem to employ David Reedman, when Doogie isn’t available and others...
A: When we are on the road with Doogie we play a mixture of original songs and Deep Purple and Rainbow songs. When we are on the road with David Readman or Dario Velasco we are “just” a Tribute Band, playing Deep Purple songs.
Do you know that there’s an American retro hard rock band that goes by the name of Demon Eye, which tends to release albums almost a month apart from you and they too have two albums?
A: As far as I know their name is “Demon Eye”. Our name is “Demon’s Eye”. That makes a really big difference (laughter)…
Tell us what got you into music and who were your “other’ influences...
A: My brother Michael played “Made In Japan” to me when I was 12. That was in 1982. It was my start into the world of Deep Purple. But I also love bands like Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Rainbow and other bands from that era.
I recently saw a guy who is in the tribute circuit, stating his annoyance about who “Ritchie” tours with, saying that he got no name players to avoid paying them properly, which is pretty dear coming from a cover’s guy. What’s your take on this “Rainbow” 3 gig situation?
A: For sure Jens Johansson is a fantastic keyboard player and Ronnie Romero seems to be a great singer. But Ritchie said he will play those shows for the fans and for nostalgic reasons. If so it would have been really cool to see this line-up: Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Carey, Bob Daisley or Jimmy Bain, Bobby Rondinelli and Doogie White. In my opinion it makes not that much sense to hire new musicians for just three shows and without recording a new studio album. Anyway, I am sure Ritchie doesn’t give a shit about what other people think about it. I have already ordered my ticket for one of the shows and I am looking forward to see him rockin’ again. If the shows are great and successful then maybe he will play more shows and maybe he will write new songs. Who knows?
Demon's Eye band pic
Obviously a lot of projects would not have happened that easily without the internet. But on the other hand it facilitates piracy particularly because Swede, doesn’t want to close down its infamous “Pirate Bay”. Is there a way that could make everyone happy?
A: No.
How far south have you ventured touring and could we ever hope to see you in Greece?
A: If a promoter can put a string of shows together that make sense, then anything is possible. So far the most southerly place we’ve been to is Graz in Austria (laughter).
It’s time for our weird questions!!! If you were a God for a week – what would you do?
A: Sorry but that question is a bit too weird for me.
Which is the best Rainbow vocalist?
A: Ronnie James Dio
Who deserves a slap in the music business?
A: Who doesn’t? (laughter)
Which one of the seven deadly sins are you?
A: None. And if there would be one I wouldn’t tell you (laughter)…
If your girlfriend/wife sold your records, or your equipment to buy herself an expensive ring how would you react?
A: I would give her the Antarctic Newspaper with rental apartment advertisements!