By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.
The Sainted Sinners are an amazing, new classic rock-influenced band, featuring the guitar wizardry of Frank Pané, also of the German rock band, Bonfire, and veteran vocalist, Davis Reece, formerly of Bonfire and Accept. Their self-titled debut release hits the streets on February 24th via the El Puerto Records label. This sonically delightful, 11-track album is already receiving outstanding reviews from many music journalists across the world. Pané and Reece, along with bandmates: Ferdy Doernberg (keyboards/guitars), Malte Frederik Burkert (bass) and Berci Hirleman, (drums) have natural and powerful chemistry together, resulting in each member reaching a new plateau of musical excellence on this epic release.
What follows is an exclusive Rock Music Star interview with six-string superstar, Frank Pané. During this interview, Pané explains the formation of Sainted Sinners, the band's future plans, and much more.
RockMusicStar: Hello Frank, thank you for taking time out to speak with Rock Music Star. You have a brand new band called, “Sainted Sinners,” which also includes veteran musicians- David Reece on vocals, and Ferdy Doernberg on keyboards/slide guitar. Both Reece and you played together in the German band, Bonfire, but then Reece left the band last summer. Why did you decide to start another band, at this point in your career, and has there been any fallout from any of the members of Bonfire for working with Reece again, after his split from the band?
Frank Pané -Hi Thomas, thanks for having me on Rock Music Star. The idea to start a new band already started before David left Bonfire, and actually had nothing to do with that split. The situation was, that I played in a Deep Purple tribute band, Purpendicular together with Malte and Berci, and was also the songwriter for their original album, which was released 2015. I continued writing songs for, what could have been their second release, but then I split with the band. Malte and Berci immediately told me that they wanted to continue working with me, and I thought, “Why throw away that material?” So, the idea for a new band was born. For me, personally, I can just say that I enjoy working with both bands very much, and I don’t think it would be professional from any band member to act with animosity against the other band.
RMS: The Sainted Sinners record has a real classic rock feel, without sounding dated. It's a great mix of brilliant, melodic riffs, intense solos, and vocals that are very reminiscent of vintage Whitesnake and Deep Purple. Was it your plan from the beginning of the project, to create a band that paid homage to the great, classic rock British bands?
FP- Thanks for your kind words! I think the reason it sounds fresh is that, I just wrote what comes naturally to me, without any preconceived plan. That these bands shine through is obvious, as they inspired me to make music. If you just follow the flow, it will have colors of all that music.
RMS: David Reece was the last member to join the band. How much of the material was written before he joined? Did he write all of the lyrics?
FP- I would say 75% of the material was instrumentally written before he joined. He wrote the majority of the lyrics alone; I think three lyrics, he wrote together with his lyric writing partner, Jon Wilde.
RMS: Sainted Sinners just played their first show on February 5th; tell us about the gig and what it meant to you.
FP- That was a very memorable event for us. We also had Graham Bonnet as a special guest vocalist, to make it even more special. It was stressful, but also very relieving in the end, and the people loved it. So, I think we did ok.
RMS: The Sainted Sinners debut record comes out in the USA on Feb 24th, on newer record label, El Puerto Records. Why did you decide on signing with them, and not a more established label? Also, is it a priority for El Puerto Records to try to break the band in USA, or is the focus to concentrate more on the European market?
FP- It was important to find somebody that stands 100% behind what we do, and is there for us with heart and soul, as that is what our music is about. So, I think we couldn’t have made a better decision, as the people at El Puerto are not only good, reliable and true people, but also really into it, and see us as their priority on the label. Concerning the market, El Puerto will try to break both, as they have good promotion partners on both continents.
RMS: Have you ever performed in North America before? If so, when and with what bands?
FP- Unfortunately, not yet, but I hope very much this will change very soon. Hopefully with Sainted Sinners this year. We are working on that, at the moment.
RMS: You have endorsement deals with both Laney amps and GJ2 guitars. What makes this gear better for you, as opposed to the traditional Marshall amps and Gibson/Fender guitars?
FP- For my gear, I was always into the individual stuff that not everybody played. For Laney amps, I have to say that I never had a more reliable amp on tour than what I use at the moment, and they are a great company and family of people/friends that I’m happy and proud to be part of. For guitars, I mean- Grover Jackson, what a legend! To play an instrument built by the same master that built guitars for lots of my heroes (Randy, Gary…) is just amazing, and I honestly never played a guitar that felt better right out of the case. I, for nearly my complete history as a guitar-player, played mainly Strat-shaped guitars. But, as I finally got my hands on a Concorde, (the model designed for Randy Rhoads) as the connection to GJ2 came about, it was like, “Wow!” It’s an honor to be artist for GJ2 guitars!
RMS: What are the future plans for the other band that you're a member of- Bonfire?
FP- Bonfire will release the next album on 24th of March, and then tour to promote the album shortly after that.
RMS: What is it like working with Alexx Stahl, the new vocalist of Bonfire?
FP- The chemistry with Alexx is very good, and his voice suits greatly to the Bonfire sound, and gives the fans that “German“ feel back that they were used to with the original singer, and were looking for.
RMS: You have been in Bonfire only since 2015. But, why do you think that the band has failed to make a mark in North America?
FP- Hard to tell. I honestly never followed the band that much before I joined, so I guess people that know more about Bonfire’s history can answer that question better. I guess the lack of touring the states might be a reason for that.
RMS: When you played in your Deep Purple tribute band, Purpendicular, there were a few times when Ian Paice, drummer of Deep Purple would perform with the band. What was it like, playing with such a legend? Are there any plans to do more gigs with Purpendicular in the future?
FP- That was a huge honor and definite highlights for me, as Ian is probably my favorite drummer. No, as I prefer to concentrate on my own creativity, rather than playing in a tribute band. Even if it’s fun, being yourself and creating something is much more important to me.
RMS: Have you ever been approached by any classic bands to join their line-up?
FP- Not yet, but i’m open to any adventure.
RMS: I can hear many influences in your style such as Schenker, Blackmore, Rhodes, and Van Halen. Are they any newer guitarists out there that inspire you?
FP- Thanks so much. These comparisons are a big compliment as, yes, these are some of my definite heroes. I really like Mark Tremonti as a player and songwriter, Michael Amott is a very melodic player in the Schenker-style. I like and I love Zakk Wylde and Nuno Bettencourt. That’s as new as it gets.
RMS: Frank, Thank you for your time and best of luck with all of your musical endeavors.
FP- Thanks, Thomas. Great questions, and hope to meet you when we hopefully come over to tour the US.
For more on Sainted Sinners, click here.
To purchased the new Sainted Sinners CD, click here.