Yes, this is an E-zine that has its main focus on the hard rock, heavy metal genre and its lifestyle, but sometimes an opportunity comes along. An invitation to take a closer look over the fence to see what’s going on on the other side. In this case German rocker Michael Voss, who claimed fame as frontman of Mad Max and extended his career as a successful producer and songwriter [Michael Schenker, a.o.], let us know he had produced an album with a young German singer named Van De Forst. This badass looking “fraulein” happens to sing laid-back pop music with a strong country appeal and surprisingly she also already worked with various “hotshots” in the business. Van’s new, second album `Unconditional’ contains accessible songs, in which she presents herself as a confident singer with a very pleasant vocal sound and timbre. Like in rock music also the guitar has a prominent role in her songs and the variation goes from steel guitar, acoustic guitar till the roaring electric six string and it seems we can hear Michael Voss’s rockin’ roots come to the surface once in a while. I can’t say that I am a pop country expert, but to me it is obvious that this album is made with passion and dedication, just like our own rock and metal gods do for decades. Just out of curiosity I decided to ask Van De Forst a few questions about the connection with Michael Voss and to see if things are really that different on the other side of the heavy metal fence.
What influence did Michael’s experience have on your song writing, performance and the end result of `Unconditional’?
,,Michael is such a great artist and he started his music career a long time ago, so he is a big idol. Because of his long time experiences in the music business he knows a lot and knows how things work. He is like a mentor, who I learn a lot from. He gives me advice and I trust him when he wants to change something or thinks that something could work better in a different way.’’
Did you also figure out what his signature or magic is as a producer?
,,It definitely is magic so I let him keep it as a secret [smiling]. I know that he puts his heart and soul in every project he is working on and he brings out the best in every song and artist.’’
Is it important to you, as a multi instrumentalist and singer, to be very active involved in the technical side of making an album?
,,Of course I want to be involved and I am always interested in the whole process of an album. But with Michael by my side as the best producer I could ever image, I know that he is doing his best and everything is working out in the end in the right way.’’
You have also performed live with Michael. While working with him on different levels, what has been his most useful advise?
,,His most useful advise is to always be the best version of myself and to be self-confident and to have fun and enjoy the moment while I’m up on stage.’’
Like in the rock and metal scene, I assume people also have prejudices about the country music scene. Do you know what they are, did you experience it yourself and how do you deal with it?
,,Especially in Germany there are not a lot of people listening to country music. Because of that they do have prejudices and only know the traditional country from the past and immediately thinking about Honkytonk, horses and campfire. It is so much more than that and I try to tell them that country is a lifestyle and has its very own vibe which I really love.’’
If you could do a crossover project with a rock or heavy metal artist or band, who would it be and why?
,,I am not really into heavy metal, but I really like Alter Bridge.’’
How do you feel about the future of the music and entertainment industry in general?
,,Unfortunately the music industry changed a lot in the last couple of years. Most of the people are streaming and the selling is getting more less worse than ever. But I know that everybody loves to be entertained and concerts will always be very popular.’’
What is your life motto?
,,If you’ll never try, you’ll never know.''
Van De Forst Facebook here