Dan McAvinchey: Christian, let's talk first about your solo album, "Timewarp". When did you write the songs, and what did you want to achieve when recording started?
Christian Muenzner: I started with the songwriting for the album in September 2010, right after I finished recording my solos for the current Obscura album "Omnivium". It wasn't really planned long before, although being a fan of virtuoso guitar playing and instrumental music myself, it has been a dream of mine for many many years to do an instrumental solo album one day. Since the band wasn't on tour for a couple of months, I had some time on my hands and felt really, really inspired after the "Omnivium" sessions, so the writing process in total didn't take more than three months, although I of course had many many ideas that I had collected over the years, which finally turned into real songs on "Timewarp".
What I wanted to achieve was to record an album that would capture the essence of all my favorite classic '80s and '90s shred albums (Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Michael Lee Firkins, etc.) and to combine that with my more modern metal influences - I like to describe it as 'Shrapnel Records shred meets modern metal'. I of course wanted it to showcase a lot of the technique and knowledge I learned over the years. I wanted to try a lot of stuff I never get to do in the context of a band setting, but I also wanted it to be real music, with the main focus being on songs, the riffs, melodies and arrangements. I think that's what made all those classic albums like "Maximum Security", "Passion And Warfare", "Rising Force", "Dragon's Kiss", "Mind's Eye", "Surfing With The Alien" and "Perpetual Burn" special. Beyond the flashy guitar work they featured really strong and epic songs that people would still remember 25 years later. Many modern shred albums totally lack that, as often it's just a bunch of randomly thrown together riffs and bad drum programming with a guy noodling over that. I definitely tried to get away from that as much as I could.
I also strived for a good, organic production with only real musicians being involved, instead of a plastic release with me doing everything myself. I also wanted to showcase the other musicians a lot, to make it more dynamic, musical and interesting for the listener. more