Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Michael Bormann...

"Happy 45th Birthday"
Michael Bormann

Michael Bormann (b. April 24, 1966) is a Hard rock lead vocalist best known as a member of the band Jaded Heart as well as other European groups.

Michael's Biography

Michael Bormann is a very well-known rock vocalist whom has fronted no less than 12 bands, five of which are world renown. He is know for his variety of vocals that range from singing adult contemporary to rock to heavy metal. The one thing about Michael is that he is the most sought after lead vocalist in Europe and chooses his projects carefully. Aside form his harmonic vocals, Michael is an accomplished song writer as well as a producer.

Michael’s career began at the tender age of 12 when his father quit his own music career to help Michael with his own, first by learning to play guitar. His inspiration came from Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the rest of the 60s and 70s music and would form his first rock band with his guitarist brother, Dirk, in 1979 called HIGH VOLTAGE. A big break came when in 1982 the band was featured on a huge German TV-contest and as the youngest group (age wise) to participate, they won first prize. With that exposure, the band received numerous concerts arranged by radio stations, a jingle for a radio show and a single released by EMI ELECTROLA - Germany.

The band then evolved in 1987 after Peter Hanke joined as they went from a schoolband to a profession group, calling themselves T.A.X.. No one really knew what the letters stood for, but Michael has gone on record as saying it was just a name, that the periods between the letters just looked good at the time. The group carried on from there until Michael Müller and ex-Mad Max drummer Axel Kruse joined the band in 1990. This was the line-up fans of  Michael Bormann would come to know. The two new additions were not very keen on the band name so after some discussion, the group renamed themselves again and JADED HEART was born.

Michael Bormann had been trying desperately to get a record deal for JADED HEART, but nothing ever panned out. In fact, due to him already being a well known vocalist in the scene, different offers were brought to him, but these offers were only for the interest of his voice, not for the entire band. He knew he had to make a living and decided to accept some of those offers, but not once did he ever think about deserting Jaded Heart, although Peter left the group in 1991.

The first project Michael Bormann accepted was in 1990 to be the lead singer for J.R. BLACKMORÉS SUPERSTITION, the guitarist was the son of Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple and Rainbow fame). This group would become J.R. BLACKMORE GROUP and it was Michael’s first time performing outside of Germany.

Once his stint with that group was done, he was contacted in 1992 by Frank  Frank Hildebrand concerning a new job. The band LETTER X was looking for a new vocalist and he thought Michael would be great. Although he did record the group’s second album, Michael decided to not be a new member because of the progressive style the band was into. After the studio sessions and a year of shows, he left the band. In 1993, he would then get his first major break.

Gaby Hauke, manager of ACCEPT, had contacted Michael with a sweet offer. A world renown band was looking for a new lead singer after their long-time frontman had parted ways with them. Michael was a bit standoffish about it because once Gaby had contacted before and had a good offer, but it was only valid if he left JADED HEART, which he refused. This time the terms were more favorable. The band, it turned out to be, was BONFIRE.

After auditioning for the group, Michael became their new lead singer in March of 1993. The group then went to work to introduce Michael and several shows were arranged. Also at that time, the session recordings Michael had done with the J.R. BLACKMORE GROUP was released. After touring for 15 months and recording a demo album, BONFIRE broke up in June of 1994. The true reasoning is not fully know but there were several factors. BMG was unwilling to release any new BONFIRE material without the original singer (as evident by the live album release in 1993 that was recorded prior to Michael’s membership). The popular style of music had changed to alternative rock. BONFIRE fans were not overly impressed with seeing a new singer in the group. For whatever the reasons, after this break-up Michael was not out of the music scene.

Before BONFIRE’s end, Michael Bormann received some great news, JADED HEART had a contract finally. Sondy Sonderbauer was willing to give the group a chance so Michael and the boys had an array of 60 to 80 songs to choose from to create the first album release, going back four years. Finally they released ‘Inside Out’, and the group hired Chris Ivo on keyboards, then promoted the album. It was produced, mixed and recorded by Michael and his father in their own studio. 

This was the beginning of his producing stint, the first group to hire him was STEEL DAWN.

In 1995, JADED HEART won first prize in LINDA DE MOL`S SOUNDMIXSHOW, which was broadcast on European’s biggest TV-channel "RTL". The group performed BON JOVI's "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE" and it served two purposes. The first was that it gave Michael Bormann more exposure than ever before. The other half was not so well as it was the origins of why several record critics began to dub JADED HEART as Germany’s version of BON JOVI. Although labelled as such, the band carried on and while recording their second album, Dirk decided to bow out. Nonetheless, the band would release two albums without a lead guitarist as part of the band, using session guitarists instead.

1997 became a year where the musical road Michael was traveling on went from a single lane to a multi-lane highway. He would first form a new project called THE SYGNET, which was a heavy metal band, and then his ex-BONFIRE mate, Angel Schleifer, would contact him to once again try to release the material they did as BONFIRE, but calling themselves CHARADE. The self-titled album was only released in Japan and because a highly sought after recording, especially once it was revealed to have been the shelved BONFIRE album with Michael on vocals. 


Lastly was the creation of another group. Michael would take an annual pilgrimage to Rhodes, Greece, for every summer. At a club called the COLORADO PUB, he met a few guys from Norway whom were putting together a side-project musically. When they recruited Michael, the band became known as RAIN.

While recording the JADED HEART's fourth album, which now featured a new guitarist, Michael was contracted to write songs for two American bands, AXE and GUILD OF AGES. He sat down and came up with 15 for the two bands, 12 of which were picked for their albums. This established Michael’s credibility as an accomplished song writer. 

It also gave him some confidence and ideas that did not fit with any of the bands he was involved with. At the start of 2000, Michael decided to record a solo album of the adult contemporary vein. Also, THE SYGNET, in the middle of writing material for their second album broke up.

While taking a much needed break, JADED HEART released a greatest hits album that featured the theme song to the ICEHOCKEY-WORLDCHAMPIONSHIP 2000 games, which was entitled ‘Champion’. A second song that was written for the event would be recorded for the band’s next studio release, the song called ‘Wéll Drag You Down’.

The year 2002 was a busy one for Michael. RAIN released their debut album, JADED HEART released their sixth album (with a new keyboardist) and Michael’s solo was also put out. You had rock, hard rock and soft rock recordings by the same man in one year. 

Also, Michael was recruited to join two new projects, IDEA and guitarist Doc Heyne’s BISS. 

It was also the year that Angel and Michael started to collaborate on new material for a second CHARADE album. The following year Michael turn things up a notch by building his very own studio and label, RMB-Records and RMB-Studios. The first group to take advantage of this new studio and label was, of course, JADED HEART.

2004 was a year that would come to be the point when Michael’s musical life hit an unexpected turn of events. After having a few bands use his studio, Michael Bormann completed the final touches to JADED HEART’s seventh album and it was released, called ‘Trust’. Once it came out, the band began to tour for the first time as the headliner. After that, he sent the final recording for CHARADE’s new material to Angel for approval and did his usual summer vacation. Then Michael had an accident that broke his arm, canceling shows JADED HEART was to play days later. It was while he was recovering that he received terrible news. The remaining four members of JADED HEART copyrighted the material from the past without Michael and had fired him from the band he created. The shock was felt throughout Europe, fans would not believe such a thing had happened. Regardless, it did and for a short time, Michael was in a state of shock as well, but he was not stopped in his career.

CHARADE’s new album came out not long afterwards and Michael continued to schedule musicians in his studio. Then he went into high gear to show that he was not through with singing, writing and producing. A second solo album was released which featured material he had planned for the next JADED HEART album.

 Followed by him joining Zeno Roth’s band, ZENO, and a second RAIN album which Michael called his “new primary band”. This was followed in 2007 by his contributing vocals for the second album by the SWEDISH death-metal group, BLOODBOUND, and for the first album for Greece’s band, REDRUM.


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