Frank Bornemann: The Legend of ELOY
ELOY, the flagship of German progressive rock is back indeed and with a lot of noise. We are talking about the CD “The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre” (MIG music) which was released in August 2017. After a longer period having predominantly worked as a producer Mastermind Frank Bornemann has dropped his very first rock opera. In thirteen songs he unfolds the life of French national heroine Jeanne d’Arc with historic precision and lots of emotion. Everybody who has heard it is either raving or – in case that prog operas or Eloy are not really on his aural menu – at least comments with deep respect. MIG now has the special privilege and the pleasure to release the album which high-end magazines already marked as a “real audiophile delight” in its CD format as a double 180 gr vinyl with gatefold cover. Just imagine which sound dimensions might also unfold in the “lavish historic painting” if you can call self-build loudspeakers and a tube amplifier your own. The vinyl version released in December 2017.
Eloy is a German progressive rock band, whose musical style includes symphonic and space rock, the latter theme being more prevalent on earlier albums. Despite their nationality and time period, the band is not generally considered krautrock because of their sound, which has much more in common with English progressive rock and symphonic rock groups such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, and Camel. Founded in 1969 by guitarist Frank Bornemann, the band has endured several line-up changes, with Bornemann being the only consistent member of the group. In the 1980s, after a series of major splits in the group, Bornemann pursued a more commercial direction. Despite attracting a large following in Germany, the band never gained popularity in the United States. However, in later years, former members of the band re-joined, and in 1998 released the album Ocean 2, a return to the classic symphonic progressive rock genre for which the band was well known.
Frank was born in Hanover in April 1945. He began playing music in the early 60s and in the mid-60s founded his first band, which covered famous songs. In 1969 he founded ELOY, named after the Eloi people from H.G. Wells’ novel “The Time Machine”. For the first, eponymous album, “Eloy” Frank still limited himself to composing and playing the guitar. After the departure of vocalist Erich Schriever in 1972, Frank took over as lead singer as well and became the front man of the band. Frank Bornemann is the head and producer of ELOY, and the only musician to have been with the band since 1969. Since the 70s, he has also worked as a producer for other bands, such as the “Scorpions” (“Fly To The Rainbow”, 1974). Frank Bornemann is still working in the music business today. Horus-Sound-Studio, which he obtained in 1979, is one of the best and most successful recording studios in Germany. It is now under new management. Furthermore, he founded a music publishing group and the label Artist Station. Frank has made it his task in life to actively support young bands and artists. Among others, he has helped the “Guano Apes” to success. He is currently working on new songs for ELOY. Frank Bornemann was involved with all ELOY productions as a band member.
Interview by Michael Limnios Cover Photo by Kate Cymmer
Special Thanks: Julian Hähnel (MIG Music) & Efthimis Latsoudis (Heathen Natives)
How has the Rock n’ Roll Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
How do you describe Frank Bornemann (ELOY) sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?
Which meetings have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
Photo: ELOY, 1975
What are the lines that connect the legacy of Eloy music from debut album to The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre?
Why do you think that the Eloy music continues to generate such a devoted following? ELOY is…
What touched (emotionally) you from Jeanne d’Arc? What do you learn about yourself from Jeanne d’Arc’s story?
What were the reasons that made Germany in the’ 70s to be the center of Prog-Rock researches and experiments?
What is the impact of music on literature? What is the relationship between music and socio-cultural implications?
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?