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history


THE PAST...


Flying Skull began in the end of 1980 under the name Skull, formed by Roland Saager and some friends from school, all without any great abilities on their instruments. They only did two gigs between 1982-1983. First one was to play for 20 minutes at a Carribean party (!) in 1982 - Without a bass player, they made some noise by playing songs with German lyrics, and the payment was a hot-dog for each musician. Anyway, after the show the DJ was able to fill the room again...

The following gig already happened with Achim Nohl on vocals. They now had english lyrics and played even basic versions of songs like "Red Death" or "Lonesome Child", besides some cover-songs. In 1984 they renamed into Flying Skull and were able to do the "Invasion"-Tour through Cologne and the surrounding area.

After Rudi Becker (guit.) and Elmar Birlo (bass) joined the band in 1985, they had their first studio experience in 1986 by recording the three-track demo with "Red Death", "Nagasaki" and "Crusaders of the 80's" under the title "The First Flight". Because of the low budget production (recorded and mixed on a single day) they never made it public or sold it.

Nevertheless they had send this tape to D&S Recording, which was looking for new bands for a compilation-LP. Meanwhile the drummer was replaced by Ralph Blankart in the end of 1986. Surprisingly it became true and Flying Skull participated in "German Metal Tracks no.5" with two songs ("Lonesome Child" and "Race to Hell"), whereas Rolands brother Wolfgang (who always was and still is the sixth band member!) painted the cover for this compilation.

In late 1988/early 1989, the band released its first official demo "You are my fan no.1", which got great response. They were able to get worldwide attention, got very good reviews and the songs got airplay in different radio-shows throughout Europe. Over that parts of the recording were used for the German short movie "Die Clique". Live followed several shows, including some as opener for better-known acts such as Brainfever, Holy Moses or Thunderhead.

Even at this time it was clear that Flying Skull would try to keep its independence alive and that a possible album would be a self-produced one, and so they didn't send this tape around in search of a label.

Around 1990 the band underwent a line-up change since Rudi Becker was replaced by Stefan Uschwa (guitars). Although Rudi was one of the band members with a very big input and a very productive musician, he unfortunately became unreliable more and more and had to leave the band.

In 1991 the band decided to release "Darkness" on its own (following the 1990 release of "Darkness" on tape). Flying Skull did make this decision because they wanted to be pushed and supported only by the fans, without thousands of dollars of the industry in the back. In their opinion Heavy Metal is not only a kind of music, it also means freedom and rebellion. And so they tried to be little rebels who don't wanna be part of the industry and its always equal machineries. They even by-passed an offer from Teichiku Records, one of the main labels in Japan when it came to Metal. 1000 copies of "Darkness" were printed, and meanwhile all of them were sold during the gigs and with the support of fans, magazines, fanzines, a Japanese record store and (later) in distribution of Semaphore.

In 1993 "Revelation" was released. The plan was to do a self-produced album again and to distribute it as far as possible by mail-order and sales during the live-shows. Over that the band thought it could be better to find a distribution company that is able to place at least some copies into the record stores, and so they signed a distribution deal with Semaphore. The 1500 printed "Revelation"-copies were also sold meanwhile.

In 1993/1994 the band first played some single gigs, followed in 1995 by the first tour all over Germany, also organized by the bands own initiative. This tour they did with two line-up changes: Achim Nohl had difficulties combining the band with his profession and was replaced by Björn Geske (before a fan that was present on nearly every concert of Flying Skull), Stefan Uschwa became also too unreliable and Simon Lozo took over his part only for this tour.

During the last two years they had Thorsten Schüller on lead-guitars. Together with him Flying Skull did several gigs and composed new material, until he also quit in the end of 1997 to form his own band. A show on Dec 15th, 1997 in Cologne prison was the previous last action.


...and THE NEW MILLENIUM


After a break of more than 16 years Roland Saager, Florian Saager (guitars), Elmar Birlo (bass) and Björn Geske (vocals), supported by various guest musicians, recorded the CD "Sign of the Brave". In time still without a drummer, that means that three-fifths of the last line-up in 1997 will tread the future path of Flying Skull. The style has not changed: Heavy-Metal with melody and punchy guitar work - and this time the band has even managed it to capture its intense stage power on CD, caused by an almost original sound without the nowadays common traits like blank polishing and over-compression.
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