Werock had the privilege of a great interview with Austrian Aor Rockers Cornerstone To Chat About Their Great New Album ‘Reflections’ The Future And The Past:-
WeRockWebzine:: As a rock act hailing from Austria more reknowned for its classical music have you found it hard to break through and become recognised ?
Cornerstone:: Alina: It’s hard for an Austrian band to actually make it in its homecountry. For example, even Falco had to pursue his career abroad first to get noticed in Austria. The problem is there is not really a Melodic Rock, AOR music scene here, but we won’t change our music direction just because of that. So, yes, it is hard! But we are who we are, we make music for ourselves and for our fans, if that’s not enough in Austria, we go to England *laughing*
WeRockWebzine:: Your third album ‘Reflections’ available now was produced by Harry Hess how did this alliance come about?
Cornerstone:: Alina: The album was produced in the Vespa Studios in Toronto, Canada. The recording process lasted 5 months and it was pretty exhausting but also incredibly fascinating as I had never recorded an album professionally before. There has already been some talking about Harry producing “Somewhere in America” (our last album) but due to time problems it was not possible to collaborate on that album. So now we are more than happy that it finally happened.
WeRockWebzine:: And what was the experience like working with Harry?
Cornerstone:: Alina: He is a very kind and hard working person and he tried to give “Reflections” a personal note. It was a pleasure to work with such an amazing and experienced producer and musician.
Michael: My first idea for “Reflections” was, to create something keyboard-orientated, a heavier version of Savage Garden. Steve wanted to create something that sounds like Gun’s Roses. At the end of the day, Harry turned up the guitars and the drums and created something, that neither sounds like “Affirmation” nor “Appetite For Destruction” – “Reflections” sounds completely unique, and this is, what I like on this album: love it or hate it, it’s Cornerstone.
WeRockWebzine:: Do You feel this is your best work to date?
Cornerstone:: Michael: My personal goal was, to top “Somewhere in America”, and I guess, we’ve reached that goal. We’ve matured as persons and also as musicians since, and I guess you can hear that in the music. Of course, we’re always try out things on our albums, also on “Reflections”: for example, “Whatever” is an orchestra-piano-ladden ballad, which could be played in every Lovesong-show on BBC Radio 2, same with “Sooner Or Later”, which has some Sixties-influence. It was fun, but also because of Harry’s production, the spectrum of the whole album became a bit more focused, and I mean that in an absolutely positive way.
WeRockWebzine:: How proud are you of the response to Reflections?’
Cornerstone:: Alina: Our fans love the new album, they are incredibly supportive and provided us with the best feedback we could ask for. A few radio stations in England as well as in Germany and Austria have already taken our Singles “Last Night” and “Northern Light” into the rotations. We got some very good reviews on the album, therefore we are more than proud of the response! *laughing*
WeRockWebzine:: Reflections features Superfantastic ballad ‘ Whatever’ is it true this was almost a eurovision track?
Cornerstone:: Michael: At “Whatever” it was the very first time, I didn’t write with Steve: Alina and I created it, we both had half of a song finished and couldn’t get it to everywhere, and we combined it – perfect fit! I wanted to create something different, something with a classical orchestra and big piano. We’ve tried to get the song into the Eurovision Songcontest – so, yes, it’s true. Although we were #4 in the Pre-Voting for the Wildcard, the organizer ORF chose another artist – it’s very political. Musically I don’t think the song has something to do with the rest of the album, but this is also Cornerstone.
WeRockWebzine:: With Cornerstone you get a very mixed sound which could range across many genres is this do you feel each of your own influences?
Cornerstone:: Michael: I pretty much come from the AOR-side of the street… Toto, Alan Parsons, Queen, Journey… those are the bands I grew up with. Steve listened to some harder edged music – Metallica, Gun’s Roses, Bodycount, this stuff. Of course our own music is influenced by those artists, but we’re always try to keep an unique sound, we’re no copycats – at least we’re trying not to be some *laughing* Alina is the one who explores new music… I do more researching of old bands, that I don’t know – so at least they are “new” for me *laughing*
WeRockWebzine:: Who are your major influences style and sound wise?
Cornerstone:: Alina: We often get compared to Journey, Quarterflash and Fleetwood Mac and these are definitely our influences, but we also try to develop an individual style.
WeRockWebzine:: You have toured quite consistantly over the last few yrs do you believe you are now gaining international success through doing this?
Cornerstone:: Michael: In 2016 we did an European Tour in five countries with 33 concerts, so we were quite busy. It was a nightmare, workingwise, and all of us need a rest to care about our private lifes, families, friends, etc. I guess, it’s A way, to bring out the name Cornerstone – Commercial-radio etc is not very supportive to new bands, and basically it’s Pay-to-Play at the radio stations so we are trying to make it through constant touring.
WeRockWebzine:: Is there a festival that would be your dream to play?
Cornerstone:: Alina: For me it would be the “Nova Rock” festival here in Austria. It’s one of the biggest in our country and I have been there last year and it’s just awesome! Awesome music, awesome bands, the perfect atmosphere!
Michael: I guess, Download or Glastonbury would be fantastic. And in the states there is a festival called “Cornerstone”, this would be funny! *laughing*
WeRockWebzine:: You have been featured on a movie soundtrack ‘Little Alien’ where some of your tracks were featured how does this make you feel?
Cornerstone:: Michael: This was a big honour for us… the movie won a few awards, and was actually shown in some New York-cinemas. But the funny thing is: there were a few politicians etc. at the sneak-preview in Vienna, too, one of them is now the president of Austria – we took a photo with Steve and him, so this was a funny incident! *laughing*
WeRockWebzine:: In 2013 you also released a charity single for the ‘Room To Breathe’ Charity could you tell us about this?
Cornerstone:: Michael: We knew this guy who had cystic fibrosis. It’s a horrible disease and we saw him in Nottingham City Hospital. We thought we could do something to help, the goal was, to get the song into the UK-charts and make some money for charity: let’s do a cover of something no-one would expect. The UK likes dance music a lot. We thought about Erasure in the first place, but no-one felt really comfortable with that, so we did “Smalltown Boy”, because it’s pretty cool. Ironically, it didn’t chart in the UK but it entered the charts in Austria. The whole thing wasn’t a great idea. It wasn’t Cornerstone music, we created it for charity – a good charity – but I’m not proud of it musically. We’re a rock band. Looking back, I wouldn’t do it again.
WeRockWebzine:: And when can we expect to see you back in the Uk?
Cornerstone:: Alina: We definitely will be back in England in summer 2018. We really love England! It is so different than Austria. The audience really listens to the music, the lyrics and everything and they are a lot more appreciative. We are very looking forward to it!
WeRockWebzine:: The Future for Cornerstone?
Cornerstone:: Michael: We’ll definitely record a 4th album, but not next year: 2016 was a nightmare, workingwise, and all of us needed a rest to care about our private lifes, families, friends, etc. From April this year on we’ve been starting playing gigs again, and slowly starting to write new tunes, but no stress: for the moment we have enough about studios, recordings and so on, but I guess the hunger will appear again *laughing*.
WeRockWebzine:: Thank You To Cornerstone For The Interview
Cornerstone:: Michael: Thanks, Shane! In case you want to support Cornerstone, the new album “Reflections” is available at amazon, iTunes, etc. – we have to pay the rents for our Villas in Los Angeles and tank our Limousines, so this is kinda expensive… *laughing*. Seriously: to find out more about the band, please visit www.cornerstone.co.at and www.facebook.com/cornerstoneaustria Thx and cheerio!