Band of the Day: Christian Tolle Project

We’re getting all sorts of classic with you today.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

I am from Germany, living in Cologne, and the guys joining in on Point Blank are David Reece from the US, living in Italy, John Cuijpers from the Netherlands as well as Morris Adriaens, then we have Doug Aldrich from Los Angeles and Mathias Dieth also from Cologne.

How did you meet?

I know each and everyone for quite some time and I have worked with all of these fantastic musicians in the past. I met John Cuijpers for my 2nd solo album, The Real Thing, back in 2003 and we have been playing together in our band Cooper Inc. afterwards and also released a great record called Pulling The Trigger. I also have been working with David Reece on my past records as well as guest playing and writing for his band Bangalore Choir as well as on his solo records. I have a fantastic chemistry with both singers and I really love how easy it is to write and record with them. Two awesome voices.

Morris is a long time friend and an ultimate all around musical weapon – so to say. We also have worked on many occasions in the past, on my records and on other artists releases. I met Doug Aldrich back in 2003 and he was kind enough to contribute to The Real Thing as well back then. We never lost contact and it was an honour for me, that he took the time in his uber-busy schedule to play on Point Blank and guested for two songs. Mathias and I have a long lasting friendship and it was about time that we met for one day so he could rip a solo.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Well, C.T.P. is not really a band as the name Christian Tolle Project reflects. It is an open platform for me to be creative and surround myself with friends and fellow musicians. Nevertheless we/I have put this on stage in the past, so at some point Cooper Inc. was a transformation of C.T.P for quite some years.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

The last question answered that I guess.

What are your influences?

I got in touch with great music and influences at a very young age. The older brother of my longest childhood friendship had a huge record collection and he was kind enough to make tapes for us. So I listened to all kinds of music, Golden Earring, Rainbow, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Rainbow and then it was Toto that actually made me wanting to play the guitar. My first big concert I saw was back in 1984, the Scorpions, and these influences were the very early ones. Then I discovered Van Halen and it went from there in a rock direction with many pop and even jazz influences on the side. This record is more straight forward rock, though some of my songs from the past show the west coast influence as well.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

To be honest, for me it is not about reinventing the wheel, it is all about fun being creative and explore the fascination of being able to work with so many different musicians and friends. I love the songwriting and production process; it is like painting. Of course I think I have developed my style over the records I did in the last 18 years, but I am not the one to judge if that is unique. I would be happy if someone says it sounds personal and has some sort of constant musical fundament, that can be heard on my records. Since you asked for a description: I would say it is classic hard rock with a modern sheen.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

I guess the lyrics reflect the word we live in. David wrote them on Point Blank and it is about the things and topics that we all have to deal with: relationships, the status of the world we live in and how it can affect your senses.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

I have played many shows with John in our band Cooper Inc. where we played many songs of C.T.P. As well beside our own material in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and that was always great. Meanwhile C.T.P. is more a studio project – especially due to the conflicting schedules of the main musicians being involved. I mean, John plays in Praying Mantis and ten(!) other bands to make a living. Though there is some thought and talk about getting it back on stage again, we will see.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Easy, we supported Toto three years in a row on their summer legs over here in Germany in 2005, 2006 and 2007. That was a fantastic experience, and Steve Lukather is a good friend, whom I know for over 25 years now. We also played in my hometown, where I was born and I played with them for the encore. That is something I will never forget and I am truly grateful for.

What guitars do you play?

I am a Les Paul guy. I have played Strats and so called Super Strats for years. That was hip, using the whammy bar and make all kind of Van Halen-ish gimmicks… but I always loved the fat tone of good sounding Les Paul – the “old school” approach that comes with it. And a few years back I really started to feel comfortable with the short scale neck and play those for most of the time.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Surely the new record Point Blank. I am very proud of that. Having John, David, Morris, Doug and Mathias on it, is great and I think this is a truly great rock record. If you dig Rainbow, Whitesnake or The Dead Daisies, I am sure this is right up your alley.

What are your plans for 2018?

I would love to bring this on stage and off course I will start writing new material for the next one. Beside being creative with my own project I also like to play, produce or write for others, which I have done in the past as well. So maybe there will also be an opportunity for that road, I have a few songs done for John (Cuijpers), so we will see where that will lead to.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I would love to support Toto again or The Dead Daisies for sure. But who would I like to open for C.T.P.? That is tough, cause I think I/we would be the opener on a three band bill.

Christian Tolle Project: officialfacebook | youtube

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