"Canada was a big adventure! Ever since I started making music, it’s been my dream to record an album on the North American continent. I always imagined it to be exciting and inspiring because most of the music that I listen to comes from there. It feels a bit like following in the steps of my idols and continuing what they did successfully for many decades. This album makes me proud and I’m thankful that this dream has come true."
This is the debut album from WITTSHELL.
Arguably the most important stage in the career of the singer/songwriter and guitarist from Cologne, Germany. He has penned an incredible 150 songs and although he has worked with many different producers, the search for the right man continues: "I always felt that the recordings sounded great and were well produced but weren’t reflecting what I had in my head." Shows in front of a few thousand people supporting 'Söhne Mannheims' (well known German act) and Eric Burdon (The Animals) encouraged WITTSHELL to persue his aims with focus and determination. He knew that it was worth being patient for.
But let’s go back to the very beginning…
At the age of 12, WITTSHELL – originally JOSCHA WITTSCHELL – was given his first guitar by his parents as well as guitar lessons. He showed talent and much promise. He first earned reasonable money with his skills back in the winter of 1997, busking on the street. At that moment he realized: "People want to hear my music!". In just two days he’d accumulated 1400 German Marks (appromimately $1000).
He sat outside a travel agents with his guitar for two days straight braving freezing temeratures. He played continuously, singing the songs of his idols such as Eric Clapton and Johnny Cash. His love for music grew fast and his initial idea of becoming a goalkeeper in the Bundesliga was quickly superceeded by the plan to do as his musical role models were doing. Writing songs, recording albums and playing concerts. A love that burns as bright now as it did in the beginning. "I cherish playing live. It’s a passion."
WITTSHELL followed his path. At night he worked as a bartender at the "El Diablo" restaurant in Mannheim. In the day he worked at a removal company and he spent his weekends playing gigs all over Germany.
After graduation from the German Pop Academy and with over 250 gigs under his belt, WITTSHELL decided that the time had come to record his first album. The album was to be self financed and this empowered WITTSHELL to make assertive decisions and craft a definite plan. He had a clear vision of how the album would sound and he knew exactly who should produce it. The search had come to an end. His debut album was produced by BRIAN MONCARZ at RATTLEBOX STUDIOS in Toronto, Canada.
"Finally I have played 8 of the 10 songs live. That means guitar and vocals at the same time in one take, uncut, totally live. Like the legends of music history did it as well (Elvis Prestley, Joe Cocker, Johnny Cash...) I wanted the album to sound as authentic as possible. The fact that SYLVIA MASSY mixed my first album - the woman who won a grammy for her JOHNNY CASH mixes, is the ultimate highlight of it all."
The album sounds unconventional, truthful and rough. It earns its greatness with its intimacy and minimal arrangements. Sylvia Massy about WITTSHELL: "Jeez, this musician has such talent. I love these songs."
"It’s been a long ‘JOURNEY’…this song on the album is meant to encourage all the people who want to realize their dreams."
"At first sight melodies have a strong impact on me when I’m listening to music or while composing. A melody has to blow me away. After that I have a look at the lyrics. In the best case they put the story in a nutshell."
"Nobody could tell me, if in the end we would end up with the desired result. For this reason it has been a great risk somehow to do it. But my intuition should be proved right. It has been amazing to work with Brian. He pushed me to the top."
- www.wittshell.com - artitsts website