Eloy is a classic band in Rock, dubbed back in the day as the German Pink Floyd. Through the years guitarist and band leader Frank Bornemann has kept the band going on, with different lineups and a very short hiatus occurring in the mid-80s. Late last Summer, after a few years in the wilderness, the band unveiled the first part of a new concept album that’s been in the making for quite a few years, with the first traces of the idea/concept about Jean D’Ark, going all the way back to the mid-90s. Bornemann and co finally delivered the first part of this “passion project” with “The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre – Part 1” of which a second part and possible live performance might follow soon if all goes according to plan. Without further ado and with a sense of utmost pride for having him, here’s Frank Bornemann ladies and gentlemen.
Frank Bornemann - Eloy pic

Hi Frank, it’s an honor to have you on Grande Rock. First of all, congrats on your new album, The Vision the Sword and the Pyre… it’s exceptional on the whole.
F: Thank you very much for your appreciation.
Well, it’s been about 8 years since the band’s previous studio album. What happened all this time and why did it take you so long to release a new album?
F: Yes, you are right. “Visionary” in 2009, and now in 2017 “The Vision, The Sword & The Pyre”. The reason why we’re not able to release as much music as in former times is easy to explain. The musicians of the band don’t live in the same town anymore. They live far apart at different places with their families and have their professional duties there. It requires therefore a lot of organization to gather all the members in Hannover for rehearsals and for recordings. By the way.... we did play some concerts in 2011 and 2012 and we released the live-double album “Reincarnation on Stage” in 2014. These concerts were the first after a break of 12 years! “The Vision, The Sword and The Pyre” is not only a normal Eloy-album. It is a rock opera, which is not easy to realize with all these choirs and guests, especially for me as a producer. To be honest with you... it was the biggest challenge in my career, and I’m still working on the second part.
Which was the idea that urged you to compose a concept album about Jeanne d’Arc?
F: I’m fascinated by the person Jeanne d’Arc and by the history.
What does the album title “The Vision the Sword and the Pyre” declare?
F: It is the true story of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). I have studied thoroughly the history.
Do tell us a few things about the guest appearances on the album by Alice Merton (vocals), Anke Renner (vocals) and Jessy Martens (vocals). Are there any contributors to the album?
F: Alice and Jessy are merely guests whom I have selected in numerous auditions. Anke has been backing singer with Eloy for many years.
This is Part I of the Jeanne d’Arc story. Are you working on the second part as we speak and when do you plan to release it? In which parts is it going to be different from Part I??
F: Part 1 contains only half the story. I hope that I can release Part 2 in Autumn 2018, and regarding the music I would like to surprise you.
Give us a hint about each track…
F: “The Age of the Hundred Years’ War”: Description of the violence of war.
“Domremy on the 6th of January 1412”: The birth of Jeanne d’Arc.
Early Signs... From A Longed For Miracle”: Rumors about a wondrous girl from Lorraine.
“Autumn 1428 At Home”: Jeanne’s father talks about a strange observation.
“The Call”: Jeanne talks about her first revelation by angels.
“Vaucouleurs”: Jean de Metz report of her departure to Vaucouleurs to meet Captain Baudricourt. Baudricourt decides to send Jeanne with an escort to Chinon so that she can meet the king.
“The Ride by Night... Towards the Predestined Fate”: It is the description of the journey to Chinon.
“Chinon”: Jean de Metz tells about the events in Chinon, her meeting with the King and her examination by the church.
“The Prophecy”: A fairy and a choir describe an ancient prophecy that a virgin in arms will liberate the land. Children beseech the virgin for rescue.
“The Sword”: Jeanne receives a mysterious sword, which was hidden in the ground of an old church. A mighty army follows her into war.
“Orleans”: Jean de Metz describes the march of the army to Orleans.
“Les Tourelles”: Jean de Metz describes the battle of Orleans.
“Why?”: Jean de Metz describes the situation after the battle. Jeanne sheds tears of sadness because of the numerous victims on the battlefield.
Are you totally satisfied with the album’s production and which things you would change if you had the chance again?
F: I think that Part 1 is well done. The feedback is wonderful. There is no reason not being satisfied. Regarding the version “spectacle musical” in French, there is something left to do of course.
Do you plan to release a concept or lyric video anytime soon?
F: I have the intention to bring this project as a rock opera with a strong ensemble to the stage, but first I have to write all dialogs for the actors of course.
Do you have in mind to give any live shows at some point in the near future? Do you prefer to work in the studio more or you equally fancy being on the road as well?
F: It is completely impossible to play any concerts as long as I am still working on this project.
What are your expectations form Eloy’s return and are you satisfied with the feedback so far?
F: The feedback is overwhelming and I’m absolutely satisfied.
What is that’s secret that keeps Eloy been active for almost 50 years now?
F: It’s me! I’ve never stopped inviting the other musicians to further activities.
It’s time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Eloy initially?
F: I saw the movie “time machine” based on the book by H.G. Wells. Later on I read the book and I was fascinated. I have compared the situation of the Eloi in the book with the situation of young bands in Germany during a changing music business in the sixties. The people in the book started into a new future of mankind, and young bands started into a new future of music. I know, it sounds funny, but this was the idea. I only changed the last letter. Eloy with a “y” instead Eloi with an “I”.
If you could “erase” one thing from modern music, what would it be?
F: Editing of recorded music in the studio.
Which are the best 3 Prog Rock albums according to you?
F: “Wish You Were Here” (Pink Floyd), “Thick as a Brick” (Jethro Tull) & “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” (Genesis)... but I also like many other albums, it’s very hard to answer.
Fill in the phrase… “Prog Rock music wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
F: The new instruments that were being invented at the time... for example the synthesizer.
Top 3 sci-fi movies of any era?
F: “Logans Tun”, “The Time Machine” (first version), “The Time Machine” (second version).
If you could be any historical person, which one would you be and why?
F: Jean de Metz, because he was the companion of Jeanne d’Arc.
Which is the most underrated musician of all time?
F: Rick Wright.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
F: “Wish You Were Here”; it is wonderful!
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
F: “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history?
F: Impossible to say; I know many singers who are overwhelming. It’s finally a matter of taste.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
F: To the past. I would have many unanswered questions.
Which character from the “Game of Thrones” would you have been – if you lived in the Seven Kingdoms?
F: Sorry, but I haven’t seen “Game of Thrones”.
Thx for talking to Grande Rock, Frank. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Wish you the best for the future to come. Take care, dude!
F: It was a pleasure to answer your questions.